Once upon a time, I used to take my own gluten-free bread in a ziplock bag to cafés, begging the kitchen staff to please make the bacon and eggs on my BYO dough and yes, of course I was happy to still pay full price for whatever the original menu item was.
Fast forward to 2013 and things are a little different. If I walk into a café to find the menu doesn't shout 'WE CATER TO GLUTEN-FREE', I generally find no reason to stay.
Here are 8 of the best brekkie and brunch spots southside, shouting from the rooftops that they are joining the gluten-free movement. Enjoy.
This quaint Albert Park eatery is nestled among family homes and is bathed in sunshine on a truly gorgeous autumn day. Rarely empty, the gluten-free offering is popular with the yoga mums, weekend cyclists, and uses Go GF multigrain bread to add flavour to standard breakfast fare. Also, the staff are awesome.
Where: 381 Montague Street in Albert Park
Contact: 03 9077 1372
Hidden behind the 96 tram line, Mart130 ('Tram' backwards. Geddit?) isn't large but the meals here are. No matter the weather, it's comfy on the deck and the corn fritters, a Melbourne favourite, are gluten-free here. Set breakfasts or make up your own. Note though, it's cash only.
Where: 107 Canterbury Road in Middle Park
Contact: 03 9690 8831
Fairly new to the scene, these guys get their gluten-free bread from Brassiere Artisan Bakers and if you like it thick cut and sweet, this is the place for you. Avocado smash always goes down a treat, and with gluten-free muesli and porridge too, you can't go wrong.
Where: 113 Victoria Avenue in Albert Park
Contact: 03 9686 3000
Just off the beaten track of Coventry Street, Freestyle Espresso makes a mean poached chicken, mayo and avocado toasted sandwich. Enjoy it with the chocolate brownie – all gluten-free of course – for second breakfast.
Where: 6 Union Street in South Melbourne
Contact: 03 9696 4396
The bread here comes all the way from Fatto a Manno in Collingwood, a gluten-free institution. Go for basic egg and bacon and just enjoy the thick cut multigrain, or try the BLAT with chicken and housemade dukkah on the side for something more substantial.
Where: 169 Chapel Street in Windsor
Contact: 03 9521 4884
If you are more of a sweet tooth in the morning, these guys will add some magic to your day. Gluten-free lamingtons and peanut butter choc chip cookies will leave you floating on cloud nine. I'm yet to get past the sweet stuff and try the actual menu items, but if the treats are anything to go by, I don't think you can go wrong.
Where: 286 Ferrars Street in South Melbourne
Contact: 0414 991 556
The hype round this place may have died down (which just means it's easier to get a table) but the food is still rocking my boat. Gluten-free Matisse bread is soft and has the perfect chew factor. I like it best simply done with jam or preserves. PS they have fruit bread too!
Where: 35 Market Street in South Melbourne
Contact: 03 9686 2255
A cool spot in a refurbished mechanics, St Edmonds is the go-to for southsiders looking for something that says 'hip' rather than 'you need a baby on your hip to eat here'. Gluten-free Brookfarm apricot muesli with Schulz organic yoghurt and poached pears is your classic weekday fave and I can assure you that you won't be hungry 'til lunch.
Where: 154 St Edmonds Road in Prahran
Contact: 03 9525 0473
Want more? Here's where to get the best gluten-free breakfast on the northside. Heading out for dinner? Here are 13 of the best spots for a gluten-free dinner in Melbourne!
Image Credit: CLIPZINE