Cairns is a perfect holiday or long weekend destination for any type of traveller, with so much to see and do. Dive and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef (many of the dive boats offer a gluten-free option for lunch), Crocodile spot on the Daintree, lots of adrenalin with sky diving and bungy jumping, fun nightlife.
Having lived in Cairns for 7 months, we experienced a wealth of the cafes, bars and restaurants on offer. Many restaurants have gluten-free options available and most have their menus clearly labelled making gluten-free dining in Cairns a breeze.
I recently went back to Cairns for a long weekend and was pleased to discover many of my go-to gluten-free friendly restaurants are still there plus a few new ones!
Here is my run down of the best Coeliac friendly restaurants in Cairns.
For gluten-free breakfast and brunch;
1. Caffiend – we loved the breakfast here so much we went two mornings running in one weekend! Great coffee, the perfect combinations of eggs, bacon, smoked salmon, avocado and more. If you’re a brunch lover, don’t miss breakfast here.
2. Paleo Cafe – As the name suggests this Cafe is completely Paleo. Paleo is all about going back to basics and sticking to foods like eggs, lean meat, vegetables, nuts and berries, so perfect for the gluten intolerant amongst us.
3. Coffee Club – wherever you are in Australia you can get a decent gluten-free brunch at Coffee Club. In Cairns there is one within Cairns Central Shopping Centre and one on the Esplanade.
4. Jack and Shanan’s, Palm Cove – This little gem is a short drive from Cairns to its northern beaches. Palm Cove has a beautiful palm tree lined beach with a good row of places to eat. But Jack and Shanan’s is my favourite! Open from 7.30am you can get delicious gluten-free pancakes and crepes.
For gluten-free lunch and dinner;
1.Tha Fish – There is a plethora of waterfront dining options at The Pier. One of which is ‘Tha Fish’. The seafood restaurant has a separate dairy-free and gluten-free menu with the majority of their dishes available gluten-free. Service was faultless.
2. Jimmy’s Burgers – Jimmy’s is new to the Cairns restaurant scene and definitely did not disappoint. Serving up burgers diner style, gluten-free burger buns are available and all except the fried chicken burger are gluten-free. Sadly the fries are cooked in the same fryers and are not suitable for Coeliacs though.
3. Khin Khao Thai Restaurant – My favourite Thai takeaway when I was staying at Gilligan’s on Grafton Street. You can also dine in at Khin Khao and enjoy all the usual gluten-free Thai dishes such as Pad Thai, Green Curry, Stir Fry and so on.
4. Waterbar and Grill – Located at The Pier, Waterbar is my favourite steak restaurant in Cairns. At the pricier end of Cairn’s dining scene, Waterbar is ideal for a special occasion and a cooked to perfection steak dinner.
4. Salt House – Has one of the best views in Cairns over the Marina. Perfect for a delicious cocktail and some bar snacks or a full blown dinner in their restaurant.
5. Thai Coins – BYO Thai restaurant a short drive from the centre of Cairns on Mulgrave Road. This place is a hidden gem, the cosy restaurant is always busy. The usual gluten-free Thai dishes are available such as rice noodle stir fry and Thai curries. Takeaway is also available.
6. Grill’d – Located Australia wide, Grill’d serves up some of the best gluten-free burgers in Australia. The Cairns restaurant is located on the Esplanade. Choose from the low-carb or gluten-free bun and even the fries are gluten-free.
7. Jack and Shanan’s – as mentioned above, also does awesome food for lunch and dinner.
8. Pier Bar – Another option at The Pier, perfect for a casual drink, lunch or dinner. The menu indicates a number of gluten-free options. I would also recommend the Sunday sessions for some live music.
On a side note, the Tjapukai Cultural experience is the perfect way to learn about Aboriginal culture and the evening session, Nightfire, includes a delicious buffet which is largely gluten-free and the perfect place to try crocodile, kangaroo and emu amongst other yummy dishes.
So, there you have it, our best gluten-free restaurants in Cairns, Australia.
Have you visited Cairns, which were your favourite gluten-free eateries?
Related Tag: Gluten Free Foods