6 Great Spots for Free From Food
It’s becoming increasingly common to be affected by food allergies and food intolerance’s.
Whether it’s yourself, or a close friend or family member, it seems rife in today’s modern world. There are a few explanations for this which I’m not going to go into on here- after all, you don’t come here to read about scientific theory right!?
As well as food intolerance’s and allergies, many people are becoming more mindful of what they eat, perhaps cutting out dairy to try and improve their skin and digestion for example, or even removing all animal related products from their lifestyles and becoming vegan. I applaud these people to be honest. I know from personal experience how hard it can be to cut something out of your diet.
What can make it even harder is eating out. When I first removed dairy and eggs from my diet, around eight years ago, eating out often felt like a game of Russian roulette. There were several times the evening ended with me vomiting at home (occasionally even in the venue’s loos) despite having conversations with the restaurants about my allergies.
My eating out options were quickly narrowed down to fail-safe dishes and venues, which is great – up to a point. But with the number of places to eat opening up in Manchester every week (seriously- loads) there is a great opportunity for me to expand my list of Safe Free From place to eat. It has changed a lot since first having to explain my allergies to someone, it is almost the norm now which make it easier to choose great places to eat.
My latest recommendations for good Free From choices (and staff that “get it”) are;
Tea Hive in Chorlton, Manchester
A great selection of local food and ingredients can be found in this independent cafe. They have Vegan cake or brownies available every day. They are super easy going about taking ingredients out to make a dish work for you- they totally get the intolerance and need for free from food. And they have gluten free bread options too.
Or V-Rev if you are a regular! A vegan diner that is simply AMAZING. You have to try it to believe it. Even my carnivore other half loved the burger he had on our last visit. At the time of writing they are still open at the top of Oldham Street, but are moving into bigger and better premises later this year. Exciting times for Manchester!
This place is a bit of a Manchester institution and has been around in some form or another since 1970. A workers co-operative it has a cafe downstairs which is big enough for 100 people. A large, and every changing menu of hearty vegan and vegetarian (often free from without even trying) food. As well as the shop upstairs which includes more food and groceries as well as skincare and free from wine and beer. There’s always something new here to try so bring your canvas shopper!
Wagamama, branches nationwide
I’ve go to admit Wagamama has been a grower for me. When I first went there, I found the menu hard to make head or tail of. I often ended up with dishes that weren’t what I’d hoped they’d be. But this past year or two I think they have really upped their game as the menu is changing more often to reflect seasonal produce and to cover different types of diet. On a recent visit here* I found they now have the option to build your own dishes, including their famous Ramen. They are also incredibly good at dealing with allergies, double checking everything without making you feel like some kind of freak. In fact I felt the opposite, like I was in a really safe pair of hands eating here.
This place had been around for a while in Manchester before I eventually tried it. Turns out they are excellent at dealing with allergies and intolerance’s. Australasia do lots of smaller tasty dishes and are really happy to adapt any dish to suit your needs. Being on the pricey side compared to the others I mention here, you do expect great service and my expectations were met. Go here for a birthday treat.
Yo Sushi, branches nationwide
I love Yo Sushi for all the reasons everyone else does; the fun element of picking your own dishes, the fresh and tasty food. But it’s also great for Free From food. I always take a look at the allergen menu before I go, or whilst I’m there, but the staff are always happy to help in my experience.
Bonus Free From suggestions
A couple of other notable places especially for pizza are Zizzi (nationwide) who now do a vegan cheese- I’ve yet to try it, its on my list! And Dough in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, also great for pizza offering Gluten free bases and dairy free cheese too.
Do you have a food intolerance or allergy? How do you find eating out?