Saturday, June 22, 2024

Attention celiacs: Here are 7 safe places to get your gluten-free fix in Victoria

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It’s a hard-knock life for celiacs and people leading a gluten-free existence in Victoria on the best of days.

Fortunately, there are a number of places in the city that are dedicated as gluten-free restaurants or have been vouched for by celiacs. 

These spots have become known for having a number of menu items that are gluten-free and operate a clean kitchen where cross-contamination is not as much of a worry as it is in some places.

Surprisingly, Victoria Buzz has never compiled a list of places where all the gluten-free-ers can have their bread and eat it too. So this one’s for the bread-intolerant!

Here are seven places where gluten-free folks can safely go for a great meal:

West Bay Cafe

Esquimalt represent!

New in town and already creating a stellar name for themselves, West Bay Cafe is located just off Head Street near the waters of West Bay Marina. 

They are 100% gluten-free and vegan and you can count on that because the owner and operator Rox Thomas is gluten-free and vegan.

West Bay Cafe has a small but mighty menu of baked goods, bowls and handhelds along with a delicious selection of smoothies, all intended to be health-conscious and good for the body and mind. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CuKqpTMPZUn/?img_index=1

  • Where: 474 Head Street, Unit 108
  • When: 
    • 8 a.m to 3 p.m., Tuesday to Friday
    • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Six Mile Pub

Although they are not 100% gluten-free in their kitchen, they are the number one spot recommended by celiacs who frequently brave restaurants in the hopes they can avoid cross-contamination.

Six Mile Pub runs a tight ship in their kitchen and has dedicated gluten-free fryers along with a fantastic clearly-marked menu which indicates what is safe to eat.

Looking at their lunch and dinner menu as well as their breakfast menu, mostly every dish is guaranteed gluten-free or there is a gluten-free option available. 

And, they make their own gluten-free buns! Just look at this gluten-free burger made with a house-made gluten-free bun!

  • Where: 494 Island Highway
  • When: 
    • 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday to Thursday
    • 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday

Origin Bakery

Bread, cake, cookies, pastries, sandwiches, quiche, pie — that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what Origin Bakery can sling to the gluten-free-ers of Victoria and the Westshore.

They’ve got two locations which are both some of the safest spots to eat for celiacs on Vancouver Island as a whole. 

Their mantra is simple, make good gluten-free food which can also be accessible to people who have other food allergies and dietary restrictions.

“Our priority is making gluten-free products, however, we also provide options for diets with various other allergies and food restrictions,” reads Origin Bakery’s mission statement on their website. 

“When you browse our store, you’ll notice common allergen information listed with ingredients for each item.”

For a safe and delicious meal, look no further than Origin Bakery.

  • Where: 
    • Langford: 3039 Merchant Way
    • Victoria: 1525 Pandora Avenue
  • When: hours vary depending on location

Bao

Although much of their menu isn’t gluten-free, they have long been a mainstay of Victoria’s culinary scene and they have always been wizards at avoiding cross-contamination for gluten-free folks as well as people with peanut allergies.

Several of their ramen dishes can be done gluten-free by using rice noodles. They also have a stirfry and bibimbap which can be done gluten-free.

Many celiac people in Victoria have voted them as being safe and their gluten-free food being certifiably delicious. 

Their ‘Mei Fun’ is a crowd-favourite amongst celiacs who have vouched for their kitchen. It includes vermicelli bean thread noodles wok fried in curry spices with gai lan, grilled pork belly, prawns, fried tofu, egg, fresh cilantro and scallions.

  • Where: 626 Fisgard Street
  • When: 
    • 12 to 8:30 p.m., Monday to Friday
    • 12 to 3:30 p.m., 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday

Virtuous Pie 

They have long been collaborating with the Good Flour Co. to make 100% guaranteed gluten-free pizza dough and desserts.

They are also entirely plant-based, which means some of their cheese contains nuts and some of their faux meats contain gluten, but all these issues are clearly marked on their website and menu. 

Pizza is the holy grail of food and celiacs deserve to eat it whenever they damn well please. 

Their ice cream is also guaranteed gluten-free, so grab a pint to wash down your pie while you’re in the neighbourhood. 

  • Where: 530 Pandora Avenue
  • When: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily

The Art of Slow Food

IYKYK!

Grab some quinoa pancakes, a kimchi grilled cheese or a sourdough cinnamon bun without having to worry if your gutty works are going to explode. 

The Art of Slow Food is a Victoria owned and operated 100% gluten-free kitchen which is tucked away in the alley behind the Victoria Public Market. 

Although they are nestled in a hard to find spot for the typical foot-traffic tourist, their menu has captured and held the attention of gluten-free folks across the capital region. 

Make sure to grab a loaf of their renowned sourdough bread while you are there for a munch — it’s no coincidence that they have become so well known for their hard work and amazing results. 

  • Where: 780 Fisgard Street, Unit #140
  • When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday

Be Love

Be Love is a home for all the health nuts in and around Victoria. 

Every single thing they produce from their kitchen is guaranteed to be wheat, gluten,
dairy and processed sugar free.

Be Love’s menu is constantly changing with the seasons based on what ingredients are abundant and available. 

Their chefs make everything from scratch using organic, plant-based and mindfully sourced ingredients.

But according to the restaurant, the most important ingredient they use is love.

  • Where: 1019 Blanshard St
  • When: 
    • 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
    • 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, Saturday

Did we miss a spot that is 100% gluten free in Victoria? Or somewhere that can be vouched for by the celiacs in the region? Let us know in the comments!

mm
Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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