Anyone who has a food allergy or is on a restrictive diet knows all too well the awkward and disappointing moment when a cafe menu lands on the table with limited options.
As little as a few years ago, cafés catering to dietary requirements were scarce.
Today the Central Coast cafe scene is positively brimming with options that offer an array of menus with an exciting range of vegan treats, dairy-free goodies, lactose conservative menus and gluten-free delights.
So forget the cramps, beat the bloat and overcome the anxiety of eating out with these Coastie cafes that suit every type of foodie from the fussy eater to those with touchy tummies, specific dietary requirements or alternative lifestyles.
Tucked away in the Colonial Arcade on Blackwall Road, Woy Woy, is a mecca for gluten-free Coasties with a sweet tooth.
Fudge Monkey is the only coeliac-safe, 100 per cent gluten-free cakery on the Central Coast and they are so passionate about catering to Coasties with dietary requirements that they’ll make any of their standard or special-order cakes dairy-free, egg-free, or vegan, at no extra cost, so everyone can have their unicorn cake, and eat it too.
It’s probably why people travel from all over the state to enjoy their gluten-free gateauxs, 32 fudge flavours from watermelon to jam doughnut, vegan cupcakes, and growing gelato selection which includes a vegan fridge full of dairy-free flavours like soy hazelnut, coconut sorbet and passion fruit swirl.
The sweet little bakery fills the gap in gourmet, hand-made, high-quality vegan desserts while saying ‘no’ to mass-produced, low quality, factory-manufactured cakes and tarts.
If you’re not sure what to try, the salted caramel raw or raspberry baked ‘no cheese cake’ hits the spot.
Located in the heart of Woy Woy, BBF cafe has opened its doors to locals with a gut-friendly menu.
Behind the counter, the gorgeous Maree crafts home-made chutneys and an egg-based mayonnaise with love, careful to keep out the nasties that can cause an upset stomach.
The menu is bursting with items that are suitable for those with intolerances including a zesty salmon salad, breakfast bruschetta stack, gluten-free burger with coeliac-safe hot chips and a tempting cabinet of sweet treats.
The café stands for “bring best friends” and it really is a place you can take any friend, no matter their dietary situation.
At Island Time Espresso Bar on Terrigal Esplanade, magnificent beachside views collide with Insta-worthy dishes that are good for your soul and your gut.
From the big breaky to the acai bowl and the paleo slice to the gluten-free baked beans on toast, it’s a wholesome and hearty offering that is considerate of a range of dietary requirements.
The trendy folk at Terrigal cafe Bella Natural Food Co are the masters of producing a lean, mean, and best of all, clean feed.
Their fresh juices and veggie brekkies will get the day off to a nutritious start, their filling smoothies are served every which way from almond to coconut and soy, and their bliss balls and paleo slices are GF, DF and free of artificial sugars.
Coast 175 at Ettalong Beach is not only hip with its chic yellow-striped shutters and grocer-style vibes but offers a well thought out menu too.
Grab a snack on the run from the fresh fruit and vegie wall, a piece of gluten-free banana bread, a colourful juice, or dine in and enjoy a Super Bowl salad packed with nourishing greens.
Overlooking the ocean, park and communal garden at Umina Beach, Jasmine Greens is a chic health haven within the Peninsula Recreation Precinct.
From turmeric lattes to raw balls, eggs benedict with house hollandaise, and the eatery’s signature french toast with nitrate-free bacon or berries, there is something for everyone on the menu.
The cafe proudly sources locally grown, free-range and chemical-free food and the gluten-free options are vast, even extending to hot chips for coeliacs.
Most importantly, all dishes are prepared fresh daily, with love.
The precinct is also home to the Coast’s popular vegan markets with Umina Beach Markets on the third Sunday of each month.
Gnostic Mana cafe at Woy Woy’s ‘Gnostic Corner’ is a great pit stop for greenies and gluten-freebies.
From vegan breakfasts of scrambled tofu to a gluten-free smoked salmon breaky with lemony mashed potato, and frittatas and falafels galore, dietary requirements are catered for all day.
Super smoothies with soy, fresh juices bursting with fruit and vegie goodness, vegan chocolate cake and gluten-free cheesecakes, round out the all-inclusive offering at this colourful Woy Woy institution.
Wamberal’s newest cafe Three Donkeys is home to on-trend menus, chic decor and clean, green, fresh food including what could be the Coast’s best smashed avo.
From green bowls to smoothie bowls and burgers made with gluten-free charcoal bread, it’s an exciting foodie experience.
There is a focus on home-grown with tasty home-crafted chutney, extravagant cakes prepared by the owner’s wife and a great raw cake selection from Raw by Hara.
Just as the raw revolution has swept the nation, the Coast is now home to some good options for raw food and Raw By Hara is fast building a raw empire.
The raw, vegan, paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar free treats are available in a range of flavours from mint choc chip to peanut butter cookie dough cheesecake.
They taste as good as they look.