Akubekuhle! Gluten Free in South Africa!

Akubekuhle! Impilontle! Akubekuhle! means Cheers/Good health in isiZulu (Zulu) one of the many languages spoken in South Africa. South Africa has 11 official languages, and scores of unofficial ones. English is the most commonly spoken language in official and commercial public life – but only the sixth most spoken home language. English is generally understood across the country, being the language of business, politics and the media.

South Africa is on my top 5 destinations to visit. I have been to Africa before. (I am 100% Ghanaian – both my parent were born and raise in Ghana!) and I will probably be doing a Ghana piece soon. (It’s easy to do gluten free in Ghana because it is a lot of yams and potatoes and cassava as their starches, as well as rice, more on that later – after all, that is what I eat in my house and what I have been eating for 22 years) ANYWAY! Back to South Africa.

Looking for breakfast? Deane House Bed & Breakfast, Sea Point, Cape Town offers gluten free breakfast on request [and gluten free cookies on the tea & coffee tray in the rooms]. They can also provide gluten free AND dairy free breakfast. The Wellness Warehouse (in Kloof Street and Cavendish) sells gluten free bread and a nice varity of gluten free items in its supermarket. They also offer gluten free muffins in the cafe and they offer a gluten free bread option for their breakfast menus. If you are staying in Cape Town central or nearby, this is a great place for breakfast AND stocking up on gluten free food.

Another place to get some breakfast is Harrie’s Pancake House at the V & A Waterfront, beside the Robben Island Museum ferry port. They offer gluten free pancakes.


By far the best supermarket for gluten free items is SuperSpar. They sell a South African brand Glutagon who make bread, pasta and gluten free flour mixes. It also stocks imported brands Schar and Orgran. Other useful supermarkets in South African are Pick n Pay and Woolworths. Checkers in Sea Point sells imported Orgran products. Rice crackers and gluten free pasta are widely available, also nuts and seeds for snacks and of course lots of fruits and vegetables! (Fruits and nuts are the best snacks for anyone ANYWHERE!)

Here are some Restaurants & Cafes

  • Kauai – branches Canal Walk and V &A Waterfront sell juices, smoothies and salads, some of which are gluten free
  • Osuma – Canal Walk- sell smoothies and salads, some of which are gluten free
  • Ocean Basket – branches citywide – good sea food but you must choose the grilled option from the menu – and REMEMBER always check that the fish is not cooked with flour (shellfish or grilled calamari is always a good and tasty option)
  • Fork – Long Street; great tapas, some of which are naturally gluten free A PLUS! – A flour-free chocolate cake on their dessert menu! (You know how I feel about chocolate 🙂 YUM!
  • Masala Dosa – 167 Long Street
  • Sea Point
  • Caveau Cape Town central – Bree Street at Heritage Square – blackboard style menu which changes each lunch and dinner – really good food with naturally gluten free options
  • Sage Organic Cafe – naturally gluten free salads – useful stopping point if you are visiting the South African National Gallery, Jewish Museum or walking through the Company Gardens. They offer a gluten free chocolate and ginger cake on their menu but it often goes out of stock so if you are there GET IT!

SWEETS! (I know my favorite part wherever I go)

Creme brulee is featured on just about every dessert menu. But for gluten free chocolate cake or brownies or cheesecake, head for Hillcrest outside Stellenbosch. YUM! Hillcrest Berries Orchards (Tea rooms, outside Stellenbosch) They have no less than THREE gluten free items on their dessert menu, which is quite exceptional in a city which does not usually acknowledge gluten free/celiacs.(Sad yes but it is becoming more and more mainstream every day in so many places) They include baked cheesecake, Belgian chocolate and almond cake and chocolate brownie with roasted hazelnuts. They’ve also have the ubiquitous creme brulee For special dietary requirements, including gluten free options, call them 48 hours in advance on 021 885 1629. Its a beautiful setting, definitely worth stopping in when you are out in the winelands or near Stellenbosch.

For a restaurant review guide, Roussows is excellent.

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