Parisian pastries, minus the gluten

Last updated 12:59 13/02/2014
Chris van Hove

GF PARADISE: The Helmut Newcake in Paris sells an intoxicating array of gluten-free treats.

Related Links

Travelling with allergies Travellers ignoring health risks

Relevant offers


Travellers share their best New Zealand fine dining picks in TripAdvisor awards World's best restaurant: TripAdvisor says Spanish restaurant is tops Dining like James Bond: Ice-Q restaurant A taste of southern Brazil at Gramado's Restaurant and Bar in Marlborough Gisborne Wine and Food Weekend celebrates the best of the region 13 foods that have been banned around the world Bon Appetit magazine asks kids to try 100 years of airplane food Inside Bangkok's Unicorn Cafe, where everything is rainbow bright Why it's worth spending $400 on a meal when you travel Lonely Planet's three-day Auckland food trail

Sometimes, worse than the actual threat of getting sick on the road from contaminated food is the frustration of not being able to indulge in the incredible regional specialities a destination can offer (because let's face it: who wants to eat grilled meat with salad every meal?).

However, in the City of Light, there's no need to miss out. A new wave of Parisian restaurants and cafes catering to gluten intolerances has emerged, allowing visitors to have their chocolate eclair - and eat it too.

Best known is Helmut Newcake, a French patisserie offering les petits gateaux a short walk from Goncourt Metro.

The cafe delivers an incredible array of sweet treats, from feather-light choux a la cremes filled with vanilla bean cream to pistachio tarts topped with a pyramid of red berries; indulgent Paris brests filled with praline creme and the not-to-be-missed Madame de Fontenay; a chocolate custard-filled choux pastry covered in chocolate icing, topped with a smaller, chocolate covered choux pastry ball and crowned with a sliver of crisp toffee: all 100 per cent sans gluten.

The reaction from first-timers to the store is priceless: it's not uncommon to see a coeliac close to tears at the sight of the pastry case.

Along with their indulgent pastries, they also offer lunch, bake fresh bread and on Sundays offer brunch.

After six visits purely in the name of research, I can happily report the taste, texture and execution live up to the visual promise: if you're a coeliac, this is the Holy Grail of pastry shops.

Located in a tiny space in the 11th arrondissment is Thank You my Deer, a friendly gluten-free cafe that got its start in part through online crowdfunding.

With just a few tables, this cosy cafe serves waffles, sandwiches, cake and (surprisingly for Paris) good coffee. On weekends, it also offers a traditional Parisian brunch.

Bio Sphere Cafe, just a few blocks from the Galleries Lafayette offers gluten-free organic meals.

Along with their speciality, galettes bretonnes, they serve pizza, quiche and pastries (they also have some lactose-free pastries for those who also have to avoid dairy).

Most importantly, this is the best place to play Parisian and pick up gluten-free baguettes to take away, a perfect option for those wanting to picnic by the Seine.

For something more savoury, head to NoGlu, a popular gluten-free French bistro in the ambient Passage des Panoramas. The restaurant has a menu that includes options like veal stew with black risotto or duck with polenta and pear.



Helmut Newcake, 36 Rue Bichat,

Thank you my Deer, 112 Rue St Maur,

Bio Sphere Cafe, 47 Rue de Laborde,

NoGlu, 16 Passage des Panoramas,

Ad Feedback

- Sydney Morning Herald


Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content