Eating Out in Townsville

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A friend from ‘out of town’ was arriving for a few days and asked for some guidance regarding gluten free eating out options in Townsville.

I had been one of the biggest moaners, on behalf of my gf teenager, about the lack of gluten free eating options in Townsville.  But putting together a list for my friend, helped me gain a little perspective.

So I photocopied an article from The Australian Coeliac June 2013, “Take it away” about gluten free take away food as well as putting together this list.

1. McDonalds… ask for a burger no bun… it really is okay… my teenager survived the looks and friendly ribbing by his friends when his burger without the bun arrived in its box.  And don’t forget their chips and hash browns.

2. Zambrero – they have a number of gluten free options: corn tortillas, bowls,tacos, nachos and are in Flinders Street East, Stockland, Domain and Thuringowa Village. It is like a Mexican Subway… you choose the meat, the filling, the sauce … etc

3. Willy’s Cantina – at Warrina Centre, Currajong  between Ottos and the cinemas. “All menu items are gluten free unless otherwise noted”

4. Lulu’s Cafe 66 – at Warrina Centre, Currajong  between Ottos and cinemas. They have a number of gluten free options.

5. Mocha Mecca – Riverside Douglas – makes their gluten free bread on the premise and their sausage rolls are yummy.  Very very very gluten free.

6. Tom’s Tavern Roadhouse Grill,  Aitkenvale – very impressed with their service… tell them that the customer has a severe gluten allergy and they will press the allergy button on the till and type a note on the docket that is sent to the kitchen : pizzas, pastas, bread

7. Relish – Kingsway Place, off Flinders Street West down a little street in the new development. Haven’t eaten here but a friend says that it is their ‘go to’ cafe for gluten free

8. Red Rooster – chips… they have three fryers : one for chicken, one for fish and one for chips,  I know this because I asked to speak to the manager regarding “how gluten free are their gluten free chips?”

9. My Favourite Thai – Yolanda Drive, Annandale – the sweet and sour and curries are  gluten free

10. Wayne and Adele’s Garden of Eating, South Townsville – this is the place for a special night out, owned and operated by Wayne (chef) and Adele (front of house) their menu is that little bit different with many great gluten free options.

11. Guzman y Gomez – at The Precinct, Idalia – Mexican with gf options although my sons say that there are too much beans, rice and salad for their liking. Home made Mexican is better.

12. Rising Sun Hotel – cnr Ross River Road and Bowen Road, Mundingburra –  the Townsville Coeliac Qld Group had their Christmas in July dinner there.

NB  Please remember that the nature of the hospitality industry is such that staff change on a regular basis and so while a cafe may have had safe gluten free options the last time you ate there, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the same holds true now.  Always be prepared to ask the questions.  

Don’t be afraid to let the maître d’ know that a member of your group has a gluten allergy and  check the integrity of their gluten free options when ordering. It is however best to do your research, phone calls before hand and then make mention of your allergy requirements when ordering.

Also important to note is that if you mention Coeliac Disease, this might mean very little to the person you are talking to.  Mention “severe allergic reaction: gluten and wheat products”.

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