Gluten-free is no diet fad or an excuse for being a difficult customer at a café. This movement is here to stay and, fortunately, bread varieties have come a long way since the brick-style GF loaves of ten years ago. Here's where to track down the best gluten-free bread in Melbourne. Somebody pass me the butter.
The Common Good Ethical Grocer | Hawthorn
The Common Good in Hawthorn is an ethical grocer whose local knowledge is second to none. Stocking Janes Gluten Free Bread and Levito Bakery Gluten Free Bread, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to what you put your jam on in the morning. Choose from white or seeded, and enjoy with avocado and eggs for a filling breakfast, minus the bloat.
Knead Bakers | Hawthorn
Knead Bakers' gluten-free bread is so good, even my non-coeliac boyfriend will eat it. The seeded loaf is full of fibre and while the loaf is a little shorter than some, thick-cut slices with soup are a favourite of mine. (Also available at the South Melbourne Market).
Dench Bakers | Fitzoy
Home to some of the best gluten-free bread in Melbourne, you're spoilt for choice at Dench, with a savoury and sweet gluten-free loaf available for your enjoyment. Organic besan and buckwheat flours and brown rice and chai flour give the loaf its distinctive darker colour. An exceptionally heavy gluten-free bread, but delicious. The sweet variety includes pureed orange and sultanas and currants.
Black Ruby Bakeries | Thornbury
Their gluten-free bread has been famous for as long as they've been making it, but it's the other bread-like goods that are the reason Black Ruby Bakeries does so well. In addition to the standard sliced varieties, Black Ruby does a pumpkin loaf, a fruit brioche, English muffins, banana bread, a cob style bread and croissants!! Oh, and bagels. Amazing.
Matisse Bread | Moorabbin
The Matisse bread is a brilliant combination of buckwheat and fermented gluten-free sourdough, creating the most authentic sourdough style bread available. It's slightly chewy but the light texture makes it perfect for sandwiches, or serving with olive oil and salt pre dinner. Just don't fill up!
GF Precinct | Various Locations
Specialising in slightly different style gluten-free loaves, GF Precinct brings artisan breads to a whole new level. Try Buckwheat and Chia, Quinoa and Soy, or their delicious Fruit Loaf. The Market Loaf and House White are the most traditional styles and are still pretty darn good when you want a fresh sandwich, if fancy fibres aren't your thing.
Fatto a Mano | Collingwood
Gluten-avoiders favourite from way back, Fatto a Mano still gets their gluten-free bread to rise higher than all those who've come after. A good 8 inches in height, the Fatto breads, and other gluten-free delights, are a clever mix of experience and a little TLC. The seeded loaf is my personal favourite.
The Left-Handed Chef | South Melbourne
With everything baked on site, it's a wonder The Left-Handed Chef has time to create a gluten-free loaf as good as this, but indeed he has. This quaint café is a little off Clarendon Street in South Melbourne, and is an ideal spot to sit in the sunshine and enjoy Sensory Lab coffee, together with the yummy bread – served with eggs, as a sandwich, or with soup.
Tivoli Road Bakery | Toorak
Formerly the Movida bakery, the new owners at Tivoli Road have continued to bake the gluten-free loaf that had people lining up on Wednesdays, Saturday and Sundays. Nowadays, they recommend you get in early or pre order – this seeded gluten-free bread is a hot commodity in Toorak.
Just Yummy | Chirnside Park
The bread at Just Yummy in Chirnside Park is good, but their white rolls are nothing short of the best gluten-free breadrolls in town. Hamburgers and salad rolls really come to life and make you remember what soft, fresh white bread really tastes like. Worth the trip out to the burbs.
The Healthy Loaf | Geelong
With so many varieties of gluten-free breads and rolls, The Healthy Loaf in Geelong has really carved a niche with their gluten-free offering. From baguettes to panini and focaccia, all the doughy goodness is here for the taking. Available at selected Melbourne cafés, the Healthy Loaf is worth hunting down.
Not mates with gluten? Check out our pick of Melbourne's best gluten-free dinners and gluten-free pizzas. Nom!
Image Credit: Britta Nickel.