Gluten-Free Travel Experience: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Edinburgh is a beautiful city to visit. For anyone visiting the UK I highly recommend fitting Edinburgh into your itinerary – you won’t regret it! I’m lucky enough to live close by – so read below for my GF tips based on my last trip to Edinburgh in February.

Restaurants

  • Mammas American Pizza, Grassmarket – the menu is clearly marked with what is and isn’t suitable, they do a special GF dough and most of the toppings (minus the haggis and sausage!) were GF. I’m pretty sure all of the fries are GF too. The pizza here is by far the best GF pizza I’ve eaten! Also the portion sizes are huge so we took our leftovers away and ate them for lunch the following day.
  • Hard Rock Cafe – I definitely recommend eating here, especially as they’re GF accredited by Coeliac UK so there’s extra reassurance about cross contamination. I found staff to be really accommodating, they have a special GF menu and your food comes with a little GF flag. I had pork ribs, and because it’s the HRC – the portion sizes are massive! Happy days.
  • Dishoom – I’ve heard amazing reviews of Dishoom from non-GF friends. When I found out they have a GF menu I was crazy excited about eating there. Unfortunately you can’t book tables for evening meals and when we arrived there was a 45 minute wait to be seated! So we decided to go somewhere else. Watch this space as we will definitely go back next time!!

Activities

  • Arthur’s Seat – a trip to Edinburgh is incomplete if you don’t venture up here. The hike is fairly steep and took us about 35 minutes but the views of Edinburgh once you reach the top are definitely worth it!! Proper footwear and a woolly hat are definitely recommended.
  • Camera Obscura – a multi-storey museum full of optical illusions, with excellent rooftop views of the castle and surrounding city. We found it lots of fun, and it’s definitely not just for kids!
  • Harry Potter Tour – you can pay to go on a guided walking tour or you can just go visit everywhere by yourself; the Elephant House Cafe, Greyfriar’s churchyard and of course Museum Context on Victoria St which sells lots of HP merchandise (it’s location was the inspiration for diagon alley).
  • Surgeon’s Hall Museum – this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but we found the exhibits really interesting and we were here for almost 2 hours! Ticket prices are fairly cheap and even less if you work for the NHS. There is a quiet cafe right beside the museum entrance where I got a jacket potato with cheese – because what coeliac-friendly city trip would be complete without a trusty JP?!
  • Botanical Gardens – you should visit here if you’re fortunate enough to have good weather when you’re in Edinburgh. It’s quite a trek from the city centre (we walked, but I’m sure you can get public transport). The best thing about the gardens is the proximity to a COMPLETELY 100% GLUTEN FREE BAKERY. Yes you heard correctly. SugarDaddys bakes completely GF goods, and some are DF/vegan too. I limited myself to just buying three goodies but I seriously could have purchased everything in the whole bakery, it was coeliac heaven. We went to SugarDaddy’s first and then sat down in the Botanical Gardens to eat our goodies. 😍 Some good news is that they’re planning on opening a second bakery in Edinburgh very soon!

Eating out in the UK is fairly easy if you stick to GF accredited chain restaurants but the fact that Edinburgh has a bunch of different places to eat that are suitable for coeliacs makes it extra special. I really think Edinburgh is a great place to visit and the fact that it’s so coeliac-friendly makes it even better.

 

Have you been to Edinburgh? Do you have any other recommendations? I’d like to hear them!

Hannah

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