Brighton has always been accommodating. It’s the cultural home of veganism in the UK, with plant-based restaurants on just about every candy-coloured corner leading the charge. Now, it extends its umbrella of inclusivity to the gluten-free. Just about every cuisine is catered for in this vibrant seaside town and everything’s within arm’s reach. For the sake of those grappling with more than a mild gluten aversion, however, here are a few places that take extra care. So you can tuck into your next Brighton roast with a safe and satisfied smile.
From its 24-hour-fermented sourdough to its pancakes and puddings, everything on the menu at Dough Lover — despite the name — is gluten-free. Many of its offerings are dairy and refined sugar-free and it uses mostly organic fresh produce in its dishes. Aside from an enviable brunch menu, this polished little Brighton cafe offers an extensive cocktail and wine list, even going so far as to create its own reduced-sugar sodas. It’s obsessive about coffee and makes organic nut milk, in-house, from cashews and tiger nuts — to harmonise perfectly with the flavour of its coffee.
Purezza translates as ‘purity’. Aptly named for its entirely plant-based pizza menu. Gluten-free dining is the two-branch restaurant’s new focus, with up to 90% of the menu available as a gluten-free option. While there are wheat-based dishes in abundance on the menu, Purezza acknowledges and accommodates the contamination aspect of coeliac dietary requirements — across a delicious roll call of dishes, including meat-free burgers, raw pasta and chocolate calzone dessert pizza. It’s also masterminding a new gluten-free sourdough crust recipe as we speak.
This humble little deli in Brighton’s vibrant Laines specialises in a ‘clean’ menu. It only has space for five, if you can squeeze in, otherwise it makes for a good grab-and-go. Everything on the menu is wheat, gluten and refined sugar-free, from its extensive list of nourishing salads to owner Stacie Stewart’s delectable raw desserts. There are ethically sourced meats on the menu and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options — but it’s usually all gone by 2pm, so you’d need to get there fast if you have your heart set on lunch.
It would be inconsiderate not to give a nod to that British seaside institution, fish and chips, when penning a list of beach-based eateries. And Brighton’s next door neighbour, Hove, hosts Wolfies — which happens to crisp up award-winning gluten-free fish and chips, with all the usual extras. Its gluten-free options are deep fried in a dedicated pan, so worries of cross-contamination can be forgotten as you tuck into a piece of golden, flaky white, cod.
Almost every dish on the menu at this atmospheric watering hole is gluten-free and E+S is fully obliging to coeliacs, vegans, vegetarians and just about every other dietary quirk. It mixes traditional pub classics, like whitebait, steak and fish and chips with superfood salads, falafel flatbreads and sweet potato cakes. There’s a rich gluten-free chocolate and walnut brownie, on a small menu of well-executed sweets. All of the Sunday roasts are gluten-free, including — importantly — the gravy and even the side of cauliflower cheese. Only the optional Yorkshire pudding and Sunday dessert specials pose any danger. The food is impeccably presented and well-loved in the town — winning multiple accolades in Brighton’s Gluten-free Dining Awards.
Serving authentic Thai — accredited by the Thai government, no less — Sabai caters to vegetarians, vegans and, of course, coeliacs. Though you may have your heart set on the non-coeliac-friendly prawn crackers, there’s more to this menu than the generic ‘green curry’ Thai of familiar reference. For starters, literally, there is ‘Tangy Thai “Seaweed”‘ — a vegan option of crispy shredded greens, topped with cashews. Then there’s satay mushroom and stuffed rice rolls, all before tackling a traditional soup, salad or — of course — one of the many rice or noodle dishes.