Where to eat if you have food allergies…

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All of the good food allergy-friendly eats for 2017 (food and tea in the Tron, with a couple of special mentions from Auckland, Te Awamutu and Raglan).

It’s a new year, so time to update my recommendations for places to eat/drink in Hamilton and even a few places in Auckland, and one Te Awamutu place thrown in for good measure. The list isn’t huge, because I’m pretty fussy about what I consider to be a safe place to eat with food allergies.

There are many fabulous (and allergy-friendly) places to eat in Hamilton. Let me take you on a brief tour of just some of the yummies…

PUNNET
Yup the food is fantastic, but you know what’s amazinggggg about Punnet? The awesome customer service.
 
MR MILTON’S CANTEEN
Right in the heart of the CBD is a fabulous cafe run by Mikey and Alice. This place has the most delicious looking ‘cabinet of glory’, and much of it is gluten and/or dairy-free. I’ve been a local of Mr Milton’s for nearly five years, and have never had a disappointing meal. Lots of sweet and savoury options, frothy coffee and flavoursome teas.
 
NAMI JAPANESE RESTAURANT
I’ve been eating chicken and avocado sushi from Nami for nearly 10 years and I’ve never had a gluteny reaction. They’ve recently brought gluten-free soy sauce on-board too, so you can now enjoy your sushi with extra flavour. This sushi is THE BOMB DIGGITY. Super tasty, freshly prepared in front of you and always with a smile.
 
COLUMBUS (LONDON STREET)
I have to admit, I’m not usually a fan of chain-cafes, but Columbus really is the exception. Lovely paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free options. Great service, and a relaxed atmosphere.
 
TWO BIRDS EATERY
If you’re a little obsessed with whole foods, ditching refined sugar from your diet, and eating well while still enjoying full flavour, this is the place for you. The most decadent raw cakes imaginable, smoothies, good quality tea and coffee, hot food and everything good. Also, special mention of their gluten-free vat for cooking hot chips – I love you vat, please don’t ever change.
 
CAFE INC
Based in Rototuna, this cafe caters for just about everyone – people with food allergies and people who can eat absolutely anything.

THAI AND KAI
Feel like some Friday night takeaways? Thai and Kai on Rimu street does gluten-free fish, chips and hotdogs. And they’re delicious!
 
ZEALONG TEA HOUSE
Wow, amazing – how delicious their food is. Also, special mention of their nommy tea. They catered for my entire family of special foodie needs with no dramas.
 
LK COFFEE HUB, HAMILTON EAST
Raymond and Zoe are the nicest people ever. And their cafe L.K. Coffee Hub has a great range of gluten-free items in the cabinet – yum! They also brew a wicked coffee.
 
FISH PUNK, HAMILTON EAST
I’m obsessed with hot chips. Fish Punk on Grey Street does awesome fish and chips, burgers and other yummies gluten-free. Mmm.
 
THE SHACK, RAGLAN
Head to the beach! If not for the waves, then for the food at The Shack. Awesome food, awesome service and a great surfy vibe.
 
MONDAYS, AUCKLAND
Holy crapamoly, did I have some awesome whole food goodness at Mondays. Worth the drive to Auckland just for the food. What more can I say?

BIRD ON A WIRE, AUCKLAND
While on a recent trip to Auckland I got to check out the chickeny goodness that is ‘Bird on a Wire’. Delicious! Great service and a delightful spot to sit on a summer night.
 
SIMPLY THE BEST TAKEAWAYS, TE AWAMUTU
I haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing Simply The Best yet, but my glutey parents, and every glutey person I know in the Te Awamutu area raves about this place. Definitely on my ‘must visit’ list.
 
Wherever you eat, remember to always ask questions to ensure your safety. These are my recommendations, but I can’t guarantee the safety of any cafe or restaurant, so please do your homework.


Christina Stewart, aka Glutey Girl is a blogger, photographer, and frequent cafe haunter. She has lived with multiple food allergies and intolerances for almost 15 years and has become a popular blogger on the topic.

“For me, it all started with gluten … and while I tried to deny it for ages, eventually my gut wouldn’t allow me to carry on. Since then, I’ve also had to cut out dairy and high FODMAPs foods like onion, garlic, chickpeas, mushrooms and more.

“Food allergies can really dampen your ability to eat. You have to learn new ways of cooking, get up to speed with what ingredients are safe for you, and source different places to eat when you’re out of the house. It also means you have to ask a lot of embarrassing questions at cafes and restaurants like “are the chips cooked in a separate vat to the gluten-containing foods.”

“I decided to turn my life around, and focus on eating good, allergy-free food, that was high in nutrients but also tasty.

Turning my diet around improved my health massively and inspired me to start a blog. There are many amazing places to eat in Hamilton (and beyond) and so many great foods you can still eat even with multiple food allergies.

There’s also a huge community of people around who are ready and willing to help you, including those who will even teach you to cook. The best advice I have for other people with food allergies is to get online. Join Facebook groups, read blogs, do your research. Knowledge is power, and in this case, knowledge is health.”

Christina’s blog gluteygirl.com  is about living with food allergies, and includes interviews, information about where to eat and tips on how to live a healthy life. 

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