The Trouble With Takeaways When You’re Gluten Free

The Trouble With Takeaways When You’re Gluten Free

Everyone loves a cheeky takeaway every now and then. A payday treat, a kebab at the end of a night out, or a chinese on a sunday. Takeaways are quick, easy, convenient. But when you’ve been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease…well then they’re not.

When you have Coeliac Disease, finding a gluten free takeaway can become quite the challenge and that once quick and easy solution to being too tired to cook, has now become a military style operation.

Need more info on Coeliac Disease? Check out my post Coeliac Disease: Learning The Gluten Free Life!

Why not pin it for later?

Having ARFID meant that take-aways for me were always a safe option. They were places I could usually rely on to be near enough the same every time, they were convenient if I didn’t really feel like eating and I enjoyed them. So naturally, that meant I got them often. Probably way too often if I’m being honest! 

When I got diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, oddly enough the idea of not being able to have takeaways didn’t even cross my mind. That was until I was sitting with my family and it was suggested that we get one. 

I always order the same thing from the pizza shop, cheese pizza and chips. So that’s what I asked for. Then I remembered – I can’t eat just any old pizza and chips anymore. I was beyond devastated (dramatic I know, but very true).

Well, how hard can it be to find a gluten free takeaway?

Turns out? Very. 

After my shocking revelation, I did what I do best and scoured the internet and the apps for takeaways in my area that provided gluten free food. There was a grand total of 6 – and one of them was a Costa. 

While takeaways are great at being a convenient option, when you can only eat gluten free they’re extremely inconvenient. Not many of your standard, end of the street pizza shops tend to stock gluten free pizza dough. And I’d imagine they’d look at you daft if you mentioned cross contamination. 

I went for a walk to my local Chinese to see if I’d have any luck there. Immediately as I walked to the door I knew it would only hold more disappointment. Plastered on the front door was a giant list of allergens that they were unable to guarantee safety from. Gluten was of course one of them.

As I walked back home, I had to accept my fate. No more comfort takeaways for me.

Do gluten free takeaways exist?

As I mentioned, there were some takeaway establishments that appeared when I did my search. So there was some hope!

Here’s a list of the gluten free places that I found near me:

  • Pizza Express
  • Domino’s
  • Zizzi
  • Pizza Hut
  • A local (but not really local) fish and chip shop
  • And the Costa

This was with the filter set just to ‘fast food’. 

The biggest thing I noticed about this list was what they all had in common – an uptick in the price.

Admittedly, these days getting a takeaway is not as cheap as it used to be. But that being said, when I would get my pizza and chips before being diagnosed with Coeliac, my total usually came to about £8-£10 at most. 

If I ordered the exact same thing from any of the restaurants on this list, I would have to spend quite a bit more than that. Just a pizza alone from Domino’s is £15.99 (price from UberEats). 

As is the norm with any gluten free foods, there seems to always be a price increase on food that (let’s be honest) is not as good as the regular version. It’s incredibly frustrating and ultimately unfair. People with Coeliac Disease should be able to enjoy a good takeaway too!

Gluten free cheese pizza

Throw that spontaneity out the window!

You know when you come home from work and it’s just been one of those days. You’re looking through your cupboards and thinking I don’t want any of this. So you say forget it and order in.

Not with Coeliac Disease.

You know when you’re out with your mates and they say, “Ooh shall we get some food? Let’s try somewhere new!” So you go and you don’t worry about it.

Well, not with Coeliac Disease.

Being spontaneous about where you eat is something I’ve really struggled with since being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. You can’t just nip into any restaurant or grab something from the corner shop. 

I went to the coast recently with my dad and sisters. On the way there we decided we needed some dinner. There were a few suggestions thrown around of where we could go that was quick and on the way and then they looked at me and asked: where can you eat? 

Without prior research into places in the area that served gluten free food, I had absolutely no idea.

Can I never eat a takeaway again now that I have Coeliac Disease?

Of course, people with Coeliac Disease can still eat takeaways! I’m not saying it’s an absolutely impossible feat. It’s just a little harder than it used to be, in my experience at least.

First you’ve got to find somewhere that actually serves gluten free food. And these places do exist. Some lucky people happen to live in areas that even have dedicated gluten free takeaway places. 

The only advice I can give for this is do your research. Like I said before, there’s no room for spontaneity when you have Coeliac Disease, so you have to be prepared. Try to become familiar with the places in your area that do offer gluten free takeout food. Check their menus so you know that the gluten free offering is actually something you like. 

I got caught out with this. There was a takeaway showing up on google that said it was gluten free and I thought great, finally! Only to find out that their only gluten free items were a salad (of course) or pesto pasta. Bested by two of my favourite ailments, Coeliac Disease and my nut allergies. 

Next thing to think about is the cross contamination. This can be even more important if you’re ordering takeaway food because you can’t see where the meals are being prepped, or where the ingredients are coming from or who’s making it. 

You can read more about cross contamination in my post What You Need To Know About The Dangers Of Cross Contamination!

If you’re worried about your food not being prepared in a safe way, make sure to contact the restaurant and ask about their cross contamination procedures. If they’re serving gluten free food then you’d like to hope they would have something in place to ensure it stays safe. 

Third thing when it comes to getting a takeaway when you have Coeliac Disease? Wrestle with the shame of having just spent a small fortune on a meal that would probably have been less hassle and tasted better had you just made it yourself.

No, I’m just kidding. Enjoy your gluten free takeaway!

There’s no reason that we should have to miss out just because our bodies have decided gluten is the enemy.

McDonalds in the UK is not a very gluten free friendly takeaway

Now I’m hungry…

When you have Coeliac Disease getting something as simple as a nice takeaway on a saturday night, shouldn’t be a pain in the behind. But unfortunately, it often is. 

So, did I just go on a thousand and something word rant because I can’t get a nice takeaway without spending a day’s wage? 

Yes. Yes, I did. 

Is this my best written and most informative post ever?

No, it absolutely is not. 

But my whole thing with this blog is being honest and sharing my experiences with having Coeliac Disease on a personal level. And I needed a good rant about the fact I can no longer enjoy a KFC and have the only consequence be my jeans getting tighter.

All that being said, there is some really great food out there that is gluten free and can be conveniently delivered to your door, but I’ve only ever seen it on Instagram. I always find myself jealous of the people that live near really good Coeliac friendly takeaways. If you know of any good takeaways that cater for the gluten free people, please let me know in the comments. As you can probably tell, I’m missing takeaway food. 

Maybe you’ve found getting fast food surprisingly easy, despite having Coeliac Disease? Like I said this is only my personal experience so if you’ve had luck with it, leave a comment! I’d love to hear it!

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