Australia, in general, is pretty much a breeze for anyone who’s gluten-intolerant or Coeliac. Some places are easier than others but on the whole, I can usually find something that I can at least nibble on.
Since moving to the Sunshine Coast a few years ago, I’ve had a bit of time to try out various cafés and eateries so here are some of my favourites.
Gluten-Free Guide to the Sunshine Coast: My Favourite Spots
There’s no shortage of fabulous gluten-free spots on the Sunshine Coast, from dedicated gluten-free cafés, eateries that are not exclusively gluten-free but offer a wide range of gluten-free food to some that just provide a few gf-options in addition to their standard fare.
Obviously, cross-contamination is an issue with places that are not exclusively gluten-free. The places mentioned here are usually aware and will take extra care but make sure you ask questions and discuss your needs, you never know if they’ve got new staff who aren’t as aware, etc.
The nice thing is that these cafés and restaurants are all local businesses, so go and support them whether you’re gluten-free or not.
They also prove that gluten-free food doesn’t have to taste like cardboard, and that gluten-free cake doesn’t need to be limited to the standard ‘orange & almond cake’. This makes me very happy as one important tradition in my life is Kaffee & Kuchen (coffee, well, tea in my case, and cake).
1. Café Envy | Cotton Tree
Café Envy is one of my favourite spots on the Sunshine Coast.
It’s cosy, it’s quirky, and it’s got a great menu that includes paleo, vegan and raw food. It’s not exclusively gluten-free but they are very aware of food contamination and I’ve never had any issues eating out there.
It’s usually packed, and breakfast is my favourite time but I also love their lunch menu and I can hardly ever go home without buying a coconut lime tart for afternoon tea.
They also make great coffee alternatives, and I think I’ve tried everything on their menu from their Chai Latte, Turmeric Latte to their Dandelion Tea Latte (yum!).
ADDRESS: Find them at the Argyle Building, 31 Cotton Tree Parade, Cotton Tree. Open daily, 6 am to 4 pm.
2. Café Nurcha | Maroochydore
Café Nurcha is perhaps not in the most attractive location on the Sunshine Coast but they do have some awesome food. They’re nestled into the corner at The Zone shopping centre and are part of the Coastal Wellbeing shop.
They’re completely vegan so don’t go and expect to have your latte with dairy milk. They also have a range of gluten-free lunch options and plenty of gluten-free cakes, cookies and protein balls. Being a vegan cafe, they know their stuff, prepare food from scratch and are careful about food contamination.
I haven’t actually tried them for lunch but their cake and cookie selection is pretty nice, as are their coffee alternatives! Plus, they use plant-based takeaway cups if you’ve forgotten to bring your own keep-cup.
ADDRESS: Find them at 32 Wises Road (The Zone Shopping Centre), Maroochydore. Open Mon-Fri, 7:30-5:30 pm; Sat, 7:30-4 pm; Sun, 9-4 pm
3. Husk & Honey | Nambour
Husk & Honey in Nambour is another quirky, alternative and health-conscious café, and this one is entirely gluten-free!
Breakfast here is delicious, and let’s just say that I always feel slightly overwhelmed when I can eat whatever I want on a menu. Last time, I actually ended up having breakfast and then polished off some cake, just because I could and because my friend Anita and I just kept chatting and chatting and chatting…
As with the other cafes, they make great coffee alternatives and loose leaf teas but they also offer some nice organic coffee if that’s more your cup of tea (haha).
ADDRESS: Find them at 16-18 Queen Street, Nambour. Open Mon-Fri, 7-3 pm; Sat, 8-1 pm.
4. Goodness Gracious Café | Yandina
I’ve only been to Goodness Gracious Café once but I’m really keen to go back and try more of their very home-y food.
Goodness Gracious is another gorgeous, entirely gluten-free café on the Sunshine Coast. They’re organic and also offer a range of vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, etc. options. Basically, they’re highly allergy-aware and make great, healthy food.
Everything feels very homemade, maybe that’s because the café was started by a mum and daughter team, and it’s housed in an old Queenslander. It just feels like you’ve just stepped into someone’s home – very cosy. There’s also a great garden if you want to sit outside and soak up a bit of sun.
I must admit that the Chai Latte I ordered wasn’t the best I’ve ever had but maybe that was just a bit of a miss on the day. The cake was definitely delicious, and their mains sounded awesome. And I’m sure breakfast would be just as delicious.
ADDRESS: Find them at 3 Conn Street, Yandina. Open Mon-Fri, 7-4 pm; Sat 7-2 pm, Sun, 7-1 pm.
5. Elixiba | Maroochydore
Elixiba is a plant-based (= vegan) restaurant and bar, so it’s more of a dinner option than a coffee and cake place. While not 100% gluten-free, they have a ton of gf-options, and being vegan they’re pretty good with the whole cross-contamination affair.
Their Sunshine Coast restaurant is located in popular Ocean Street in the heart of Maroochydore. I’ve been a few times and it’s always packed. One time four of us had to sit at this tiny bar table for a while until some kind couple decided it was time to leave and we could squeeze into their booth.
The menu has crazy things like jackfruit burgers on it, which is alright but not as tasty as I thought. That said, the husband loved it so there you go. I love their bowls: They sound delicious and taste delicious.
They also support fair trade and animal rescue initiatives, and like other eateries mentioned here, are keen on sustainability and reducing our footprint.
ADDRESS: Find them at 11-13 Ocean Street, Maroochydore. Open Sun-Thu, 10-9 pm; Fri & Sat 10-11 pm. Kitchen closes an hour before the restaurant closes. You can also find them in Byron Bay and the Gold Coast.
6. Moo Burgers | Maroochydore
Another vegan spot that caters for gluten-intolerant people is Moo Burgers, just a few doors down from Elixiba in Maroochydore.
Apart from their great range of non-meat burgers, they also have a fabulous selection of desserts and cakes, some of them raw and/or gluten-free.
Point out that you’re gluten-intolerant or coeliac, and they’ll try and take good care of you. They do have gluten buns in the kitchen but I haven’t had any issues (as yet). And I pretty much watch them like a hawk when they make mine as you can see right into the kitchen.
It’s not the cosiest of eateries but their burgers are delicious so I keep going back for more.
ADDRESS: Find them at 1 Beach Road, Maroochydore. Open daily, 10-8:30 pm. You can also find them at a couple of spots, including food trucks, in Brisbane.
7. Kunara Café | Forest Glen
Kunara Café is part of the organic Kunara Marketplace store in Forest Glen, nestled in between the Bruce Highway and the suburb of Buderim.
It’s never not been packed when I’ve dropped in there for morning tea or lunch. Their food looks absolutely delicious, they have a huge variety, and they offer anything from vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo to vegan meals. They also don’t use microwaves so that gets a big tick of approval from me.
I have, however, had mixed experiences. Sometimes things go well for me, a couple of times not so much. I don’t know if it was the food last time or if I just didn’t have a great food day but I have ended up with some very unpleasant and averse food reactions.
I haven’t written them off by any means because there’s just so much to like about their food but I’m wary of what I order. But by all means, try them, even if it’s just a coffee!
ADDRESS: Find them at 330 Mons Road, Forest Glen. Open Mon-Fri, 7-4 pm; Sat, 7:30-4 pm; Sun, 9-4 pm.
8. Mountain View Café | Maleny (Sunshine Coast Hinterland)
Situated within the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve and overlooking the stunning Glass House Mountains, the Mountain View Café offers a pretty large range of gluten-free cakes for a non-gluten-free café.
If you’re doing a scenic drive around the Glass House Mountains, this would be a great spot for lunch or afternoon tea.
It’s only been open just over a year, and can get pretty busy on weekends, especially during school holidays.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much the first time we went but their selection of gluten-free cakes was great! I had a really hard time choosing, and ended up with a slice of raw raspberry cheesecake or some such! Quite delicious.
ADDRESS: Find them at 148 Mountain View Road, Maleny. Open Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 pm; Sat-Sun, 8-5 pm.
9. Maleny Food Co. | Maleny (Sunshine Coast Hinterland)
If you’re exploring the Sunshine Coast Hinterland (you really should), stop at the Maleny Food Co. Café in Maleny.
It’ll be packed but their gelato is to die for! I don’t say that lightly because I’m fussy about ice cream and gelato but I’ve not bought a flavour that I didn’t enjoy.
And the best part: All flavours are clearly marked so you’ll have no trouble working out what’s gluten-free and what’s not. The range of gluten-free gelato and sorbet options is amazing, plus you can also get a gluten-free waffle cone!
If gelato isn’t your thing (how can it not?!), just check out their fromagerie or take a look at their cheese menu. It’s mind-boggling – perhaps not if you compare it to France obviously but if you think about the fact that we’re in a regional area in Queensland here, it’s incredible!
They also have a few gluten-free options on their breakfast and lunch menus but ask questions if you’re unsure about cross-contamination. I haven’t had any issues but there’s a lot of gluten food flying around.
ADDRESS: Find them at 37 Maple Street, Maleny. Open Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 pm; Sat-Sun, 8-5 pm.
10. Beefy’s | Maroochydore, Buderim, Buddina
Meat pies are a pretty standard fare in Australia.
It took me a while to like them but once I did, I was hooked (though my favourite was always the broccoli & cauliflower cheese pie, yum yum). Unfortunately, pies are usually made out of very tasty wheat pastry so I haven’t been able to eat them for years.
Gluten-free versions tend to have a strong cardboard-flavour and/or fall apart as soon as they’re heated (not much fun when you try and eat something with a hot filling). What’s more, they usually cost you just about an arm and a leg so no thanks.
Then came along Queensland’s own Beefy’s pie shops and their new line of Coeliac-friendly pies, and I’m back in business, woohoo!
There’s Beefy’s pie shops all over the Sunshine Coast so go check them out and indulge in a Signature Steak Pie (seriously, it’s a great pie, especially when you consider how crunchy the gluten-free pastry is!). You can even get them home-delivered, including interstate!
ADDRESS: Find them at 56-58 Aerodrome Road, Maroochydore; The Point Complex, 138-140 Point Cartwright Drive, Buddina or 106 King Street, Buderim. Open daily, various hours but usually from 5/5:30 am to 5/6 pm (shorter hours on Sundays). They also have stores in Gympie, Glasshouse, at Aussie World, and a few other spots.
So, that’s it. These are some of my favourite gluten-free friendly spots on the Sunshine Coast.
Where should I go next? What fantastic places have I missed, especially around Noosa or Caloundra? What do I need to add to my gluten-free eat-out list? Leave a comment and let me know.