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15 Gluten-Free Treats You Need To Eat In Leeds

Free from gluten needn't mean free from flavour.

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1. Lemon Courgette Cake and Bacon Sarnies at The Well

Annie Moss-Quate

This little Saturday morning haven is tucked away on Stonegate Road in Meanwood and so far is only frequented by those in the know. Since my first visit I’ve discovered the "Bressert": the breakfast dessert. You can’t leave without a nibble on a gluten-free cake after your gluten-free bacon sarnie (accompanied by Yorkshire Tea, obvs).

2. Fish & Chips from Fryday’s

Annie Moss-Quate

Grab a gluten-free haddock in regular size or as fish bites (pictured). Apart from the appearance being reassuringly darker (so you know it’s definitely GF) you wouldn’t know there was any difference. To top it off, Fryday’s delivers within three miles of its Street Lane shop in Roundhay. A chippy that delivers!

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3. Chocolate Cheesecake at Roots and Fruits

This is hands down the best cheesecake in Leeds (wheaty versions included). No need for a buttery biscuit base, coconut macaroon is soooo much better. It’s like chomping on a luxurious Bounty bar. The pomegranate syrup adds a touch of sophistication too. This is a brilliant café for those with the double dilemma of being gluten-free vegetarians. They offer GF bread, chips, and sponge cakes too.

4. CrossFit Leeds Burger at The Pit

Arc Inspirations / Via arcinspirations.com

You can thank local health nuts for this one as it was designed for those on a low carb and high protein diet. If you feel the need to work up a bit of a sweat before you chow down then there’s a handy ping pong table at the city centre branch of The Pit to help you work up an appetite. Most gluten-free treats involve some sort of guilt or weight gain, but not this beauty!

5. Coffee and a Muffin at La Bottega Milanese

Owner Alex is the reason this coffee aficionado’s sanctuary is so successful. He’s a very passionate and well-known character in Leeds whose determination to run Costa and Starbucks out of town is admirable. There’s not a huge amount of choice of GF items but the bonus is that his gluten-free muffins are wrapped in cellophane to ensure they’re not contaminated. Much safer if you’re super-sensitive to gluten. Follow Alex on Twitter for a good laugh @BottegaMilanese.

6. ALL of the Cakes at Filmore & Union

Annie Moss-Quate

After a mooch around the posh boutiques of Victoria Quarter rest your weary feet at this lovely people-watching hot spot. Take your pick of loads of wheat dodger treats such as carrot cake muffins, banana loaf, and orange and lavender cake.

7. Snickers Pie at Get Baked

Annie Moss-Quate

There’s not a huge choice on the Mr Nice Guy’s/Get Baked menu for wheat and gluten dodgers, but let's face it, we’re pretty grateful for what we can get, right? Having the choice of two desserts on a takeaway menu is pretty rare. The Snickers Pie is like a ridiulously indulgent Ikea-esque Almondy cake. There’s a Daim Bar version too if you’re that way inclined.

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8. Everything at 2 Oxford Place

Here it comes, the centrepiece of Leeds’ gluten-free culinary map. 2 Oxford Place is 100% coeliac friendly, with EVERYTHING on the menu up for grabs. Rub your eyes and read it again. I’m not kidding. This place is awesome! They have a strict policy that nothing comes through the door that isn’t gluten-free, so you can relax; they know what they’re doing. The highlights are the bread which is made in-house and the amazing array of cakes baked daily.

9. Pizza at Salvo’s Restaurant & Salumeria

Salvo’s opened in 1976 and people come from all over Yorkshire and beyond for the tasty pizza and pasta at this family run Leeds stalwart. They’ve collaborated with Isabel’s Free From range to create a really tasty gluten-free pizza base mix on sale at supermarkets, so they know their stuff. You can order pretty much any pizza or pasta on the menu but be sure to be clear about your dietary requirements as the staff are not always up to speed on the facts. They’re big supporters of coeliac awareness week too (in May) and usually put on a nice GF spread to celebrate.

10. Florentines from Bettys Tea Room Ilkley

Bettys Florentines / Via bettys.co.uk

There's a good reason why there's always an orderly queue snaking out of the doorway of Bettys. Everything on offer is carefully crafted. These delicate yet generous florentines are a great alternative to biscuits to accompany your china cup of fresh tea. They also have beautiful macaroons to rival Parisian Laduree but with very English flavours such as blackcurrant and apple caramel.

11. Chocolate Soup at Roast and Conch

Annie Moss-Quate

Roast & Conch serve "Anglo-West Indian cuisine" with a bit of cacao snuck in here and there. There are loads of gorgeous savoury dishes on the menu that are wonderfully sophisticated, but who are you kidding? You want the creamy chocolately chocolate dishes, right? There is chocolate salvation for wheat dodgers right here within this delicious take on French classic Îles flottantes. A velvety chocolate sauce moat surrounds a light and fluffy soft meringue sprinkled with almonds and topped off with caramel and banana. Divine.

12. Quesadillas and Tequila at Cielo Blanco

Cielo Blanco serves quesadilla and tacos with spicy chicken tinga and unbelievable double cheese, sticky chilli onions, and árbol chutney. See and be seen in the trendy rooftop restaurant aloft the stupidly popular (and pretty darn good for a shopping centre) Trinity Leeds. Don't forget to pair your tacos with a tasty Rhubarbarita cocktail.

Tip: Call ahead and ask for gluten-free tortillas to avoid disappointment.

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13. Almond slice at Leeds Museum Cafe

Annie Moss-Quate

Being cultured is hungry work so a lovely piece of almond slice or gooey chocolate brownie to finish off a trip to the museum is a welcome treat. Most of Leeds City Council-owned attractions have cafes featuring at least one gluten-free option which is great if you have kids who are sensitive to gluten and wheat.

14. Mojito poached strawberries, strawberry jelly with basil creme fraiche at Art's Cafe

This lovely cafe looks like its straight out of the set from Amélie. Don't be fooled by the word cafe in its name though, it's a foodie favourite with a really inventive menu. Great for date night. Their dish names are a bit of a mouthful but portion-wise they're spot on.

15. St Louis Ribs at Red’s True Barbecue

Red's is a bit of a cult hit in Leeds. Made famous by its Donut Burger, the restaurant has caused quite a stir. People happily queue out of the door as if it was iPhone 6 launch day at Apple Store. Good news! Their rib sauces are gluten-free.

Always remember that there are very few places that can 100% guarantee the absence of gluten in their dishes and kitchens, so those who have very severe reactions to gluten and wheat should call ahead and check before visiting any of the above venues.

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