When trying to pick a destination to spend an extended period of time, Australia jumped to the top of the list. Not only because there is sunshine and surfing during the middle of a brutally cold winter back home, but because of their strict gluten free labeling laws. Specifically, “The standard for claims in relation to gluten labelling is –
- Foods labelled as gluten free must contain no detectable gluten and no oats or malted gluten-containing cereals or their products.
- Foods labelled as low gluten must contain less than 200ppm (parts per million) of gluten (low gluten foods are rarely seen in Australia and are not recommended for those on a gluten free diet).” – Coeliac Australia
While this does limit the gluten free products that can be imported from other countries, this makes grocery shopping in Australia very simple. In fact, their laws are quite good for all allergens, so it was easy to find gluten and dairy free cheeses, sorbets, teddy grahams, and more!
While for the most part I settled down in Queensland, I also went out and explored as much of Australia as I could traveling all the way from Sydney to Perth. To give you a sense of scale those two cities are as far apart as Las Vegas and Boston.
Many people associate the koalas, kangaroos, and the Great Barrier Reef with Australia. However, Australia is actually the driest inhabited continent on earth, and there is so much to see from its deserts to mountainous regions. (They may be a bit more like hills if you’re from the Rockies.)
While traveling I bought snacks and prepared some meals, but I also ate out quite a bit. Many of the restaurants I found were much more celiac friendly than in the United States. While the gluten free diet is also a fad diet there, more restaurants had heard of celiac/coeliac and took my concerns seriously. I also researched all the restaurants I went to in advance, which helped quite a bit, and many of them were 100% gluten free.
Without further ado, I have compiled a list of celiac-friendly restaurants with brief descriptions of why I liked them. If you’re interested in any of them, a link to a full review is included for most spots!
Coeliac Friendly Restaurants Across Australia
New South Wales
Apparently, I did a lot of home cooking during my stay in Sydney. I found lots of cool products in grocery stores from gluten and dairy free packaged soups to kiwis sold with a kiwi spoon that makes them so easy to eat! However, the only “dining out” I did is this Guide to Food in the Bush, which tells you about foods are edible in the Blue Mountains.
There are two options to easily visit the Northern Territory: 4WD/Camping or a trip to Ayer’s Rock (a self-contained town with accommodation options ranging from hostels to hotels). I chose Ayer’s Rock and was surprised to find that some restaurants could accommodate my needs. Plus, the town has a local grocery store that was stocked with plenty of allergy friendly products, which was how I cooked most of my meals. I would certainly recommend bringing some cooking supplies to have the flexibility to explore the Northern Territory as you may be packing quite a few meals. Full Review of Gluten Free Options at Ayer’s Rock.
I spent the majority of my time in Australia in Queensland on the Sunshine Coast, and grew to love a couple of restaurants, one of which happens to be 100% gluten free.
- The Paleo Place (Caloundra): Currently closed due to a fire, check their FB page for updates on reopening. I was a little nervous about dining here as I’m not paleo and don’t tend to like food that tastes like “health food,” BUT this ended up being my FAVORITE restaurant. The food was absolutely delicious, and the facility is 100% gluten free. I brought a fellow backpacker (who doesn’t have any dietary restrictions), and he said it was some of the best food he ate while in Australia. We tried the Jalapeño Chicken Tower and Beef Tacos. Full Review of The Paleo Place.
- Hot Pipis (Mooloolaba): While it’s not a dedicated gluten free establishment, the owner’s wife has celiac disease, so they are very diligent AND have a dedicated gluten free fryer. I was beyond pumped to have some fish and chips. They also have quite a few delectable and fresh sea food dishes. The salmon is one of my favorites! Full Review of Hot Pipi’s.
- Eating Pipis on the Beach- Just in case you want to learn how to prep pipis (surf clams) for a fun beach day activity. There are a ton of them at Fraser Island. Full Directions on Eating Pipis.
If you’re a backpacker visiting the Great Barrier Reef, I recommend Cairns as a convenient city with affordable hostels and a fun nightlife scene.
- Pantry 15 (Cairns): This restaurant was previously called the Paleo Place, but it looks identical from all the research I’ve done since I was there. As the only 100% gluten free restaurant in Cairns, it’s a pretty good option for any celiac. They have delicious breakfast and lunch options, and you can even order a meal to go, which I brought on a few of my snorkeling trips. Full Review of Pantry 15.
If you’re down near the city (Brisbane), there is also an amazing place for fish and chips- a classic Australian dining experience you won’t want to miss.
- The Fishmonger’s Wife (Brisbane): While not 100% gluten free, they do have a dedicated gluten free fryer and are quite aware of cross-contact, making it a coeliac friendly restaurant. You can pick fish from Australia or New Zealand, and there’s also a fresh catch every day. Full Review of The Fishmonger’s Wife.
South Australia is home to Adelaide and many wonderful wineries that you should look up. However, when it comes to food there are few places I recommend checking out.
- Ruby’s Cafe (Adelaide): This is a 100% gluten free restaurant with the most scrumptious breakfast and lunch options. If you like egg dishes in the morning, this cafe is for you. Full Review of Ruby’s Cafe.
- Enzo’s (Adelaide): This small Italian chain has some gluten free dishes (including pasta). They cook all gluten free pastas on a separate day with cleaned (and/or different) equipment. It’s more of a quick service spot or you can pick up a loaf of their gluten free bread. I’d recommend calling for more information.
- Raw and Real (Adelaide): If you’re looking for a juice or smoothie this is your place to go in Adelaide. While Raw and Real is not a 100% gluten free restaurant, they do not place any gluten ingredients in their blender. Full Review of Raw and Real.
- Rundle Mall (Adelaide): This shopping area is a big tourist attraction in Adelaide, and a few shops sell gluten free food, such as chocolate and popcorn. Most importantly (for me), there is a shop that sells some American sweets. Fun Fact: Unlike American Starbursts, Australian Starbursts contain gluten as they use wheat instead of corn products. Full Review of Rundle Mall.
Lastly, no trip to this region is complete without visiting Kangaroo Island! There are many tour groups with varying levels of support for gluten free diners. I still felt most comfortable bringing some of my own food. Read more about my trip to Kangaroo Island here.
The Great Ocean Road is a site that can’t be missed if you head down to Victoria. While I packed my own food for this trip, I did stop at one 100% gluten free restaurant when I was in the city (Melbourne).
- Red Robyn (Melbourne): Not only is this spot 100% gluten free, they aim to be allergy friendly with no nut ingredients on their menu. You can also order a meal to-go, and eat it later when there are less gluten free options around. While some items might sound a bit out there, such as chickpea fries, everything I tried was absolutely delicious, so this restaurant definitely knows what they’re doing. Full Review of Red Robyn.
The main city in Western Australia is Perth; however, I drove down the coast to Denmark, which is a scenic drive that I highly recommend. And, if you have more time, you may want to head north or east into the desert landscape. Unfortunately, I never made it that far on my travels.
- The Kewdale Tavern (Kewdale): This tavern is located right by the airport when you land in Perth making it a great first stop on any trip. (Trust me, it is very unlikely that you drove to Western Australia.) I chose this spot because they had a dedicated gluten free fryer. They served the crispiest sweet potato chips I had in Australia. While they’re gluten AND dairy free options are limited, they have a fairly large gluten free menu. Full Review of Kewdale Tavern.
- Strange Grains Bakery (Leederville): This is a 100% gluten free bakery with a wide array of baked goods and the cutest decorations. Full Review of Strange Grains Bakery.
- Market Juicery (Leederville): This is your standard juicery. All the items that went into the blender at the time of my visit were gluten free, making for a thirst-quenching and safe juice. Definitely check with the staff about your allergens and current policies when you visit. Full Review of Market Juicery.
Have you traveled to Australia?! What was your favorite coeliac-friendly restaurant or gluten free product there?
P.S: For all my Wanderlust Wednesday reviews, check out the map below, or bookmark my Celiac Friendly Travel Reviews Page.