There is a buttload of misinformation out there about eating gluten-free in Thailand, information that can be extremely harmful for those with a gluten allergy or celiac disease, like myself. Information like Thailand is a celiac’s haven, or everything here is gluten-free is a load of crap. We spent over a year in Thailand, and I honestly believe Thailand is one of the worst places for a celiac.
To be frank traveling as a celiac around Asia is super difficult but with the help of this guide and our new ebook, 100% dedicated Gluten-Free Restaurants Around the World it’s now a bit easier as this book has dedicated GF restaurants in places like Bali, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and of course Thailand.
Let me be clear, this article is not about how Thailand sucks for celiacs or gluten-free dieters, rather it’s about correcting the wrong information and of course, helping make your gluten-free Thailand trip safer and easier! Warning, this is a very long, but super useful gluten-free travel guide. If you are looking for something specific, like gluten-free restaurants in Thailand, just use the index below.
What You’ll Find in This Article
- Tips for Traveling Gluten-Free in Thailand
- Gluten-Free Thai Dishes
- Gluten-Free Map of Thailand
- Gluten-Free Restaurants Around Thailand
- Gluten-Free Hotels in Thailand
- Supermarkets with Gluten-Free Items
- Useful Thai Phrases
- Books About Thailand and Its Food
Tips for Traveling Gluten-Free in Thailand
1. Mentally Prepare Yourself
There will be so many delicious foods/street foods in Thailand that you, as a celiac or gluten-free dieter, will not be able to indulge in. This will be mentally and emotionally challenging! But don’t despair! If you utilize this gluten-free Thailand guide during your trip, you will get to taste some gluten-free Thai food during your stay. Not to mention that we found at least one restaurant in several popular Thai destinations that’s either gluten-free friendly or 100% gluten-free!
2. Take What You Read Online With a Grain of Salt
As mentioned earlier, there’s a lot of misinformation circulating the web about eating gluten-free in Thailand! For example, when you Google gluten-free restaurants in Chiang Mai, the first restaurants that will come up will be Salsa Kitchen, Blue Diamond, and Butter is Better. Even though all these restaurants offer gluten-free options, they are NOT 100% safe for celiacs because the possibility of cross-contamination is very high. Salsa Kitchen even states on their menu that there might be cross contamination. If you want a cross-contamination-free meal, and want to avoid spending your entire Thai vacation on the toilet (talking to you celiacs), check out our favorite gluten-free restaurant in Chiang Mai below, it’s 100% gluten-free!
3. Understand That Sauces are the Culprit
In Thai cuisine soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce and mushroom sauce are used in almost every dish. Unfortunately, wheat is commonly found in soy sauce, some fish sauces (although the commonly used fish sauce brand does not use wheat), oyster sauce and mushroom sauce. Sometimes the oyster and mushroom sauces use cornstarch instead of wheat, but still contain soy sauce, so please be aware of that! If you think you can just point at a bottle and tell the street vendor not to add it, think again. Most street vendors don’t have sauces in their original bottles laying around, just a huge container with a dark sauce, which will have you pondering what did they just add to the dish! With that being said….
4. Purchase Your Own Gluten-Free Sauces
Buy your own gluten-free soy, fish and oyster sauce and bring them to restaurants with you, or use them to make your own meals! We found and used a gluten-free sauce brand called Megachef, which is available in Thailand at Villa Supermarket, Tops Market and sometimes Tesco Lotus. The gluten-free Megachef sauces include soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and even mushroom sauce. The Megachef sauces are more commonly available in the bigger cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket than on the islands, so plan accordingly.
5. Expect for Grocery Items Not to be Labeled Properly
Unless it’s an imported product, chances are you will get ingredients like “other” or “starch” as an ingredient. There were times when I noticed the ingredient percentages didn’t add up to 100. This makes shopping a much more difficult and longer task. However, there is no need to overpack your backpack with gluten-free bars and other gluten-free treats, as Villa Market has a bunch of imported gluten-free products. Of course, expect for those items to cost a bit more. In Bangkok there are also specialty stores that sell imported GF stuff. See our list of supermarkets below.
6. Use a Super Simple Thai Allergy Card
You don’t want to use a super complicated and long allergy card, as it will further confuse the person you are talking to. Mentioning rye and gluten is not necessary, as your biggest issues will be soy sauce, oyster sauce, Maggi and maybe barley. Again, you want something simple, but something that still communicates the seriousness of your dietary needs.
Since we didn’t find any good gluten-free cards we decided to make our own with the help of a native Thai speaker and fellow celiac. You can download our FREE Thai gluten-free card here!
7. Stay Somewhere With a Kitchen
Thailand is not an easy place to find apartment rentals or hostels with kitchens (stove/electric plate). The culture emphasizes eating food outside rather than cooking your own meals. However, when you can’t trust someone else to make food for you that won’t make you sick, you must make your own! So finding a kitchen for us was mandatory. With the help of Airbnb and some determination, we were able to find at least one place with a hot plate in each location we traveled to in Thailand!
Want to use Airbnb during your trip? Then why not get $35 off your next stay with this coupon! If you already have an Airbnb account but still want to use the coupon, read this article to learn how to do just that!
8. Cook Your Own Meals
Not having gluten-free options doesn’t mean stuffing your face with only gluten-free processed foods and unhealthy shit. Instead, head to the local market, buy some fresh fruits, veggies and meat, make use of those gluten-free sauces and start cooking. This was one of the main ways I was able to survive five months in Thailand on a gluten-free diet.
9. Beware of Fruit Smoothie Vendors
Fruit smoothies can be found throughout Thailand, which is awesome, but be aware of vendors who have Oreos as an optional ingredient. Blenders are usually only rinsed and not washed, so clearly crumbs can get stuck in the blender. I recommend skipping those vendors and going to a vendor that doesn’t have Oreos as an option.
10. Take a Thai Cooking Class
Taking a cooking class is a great way to learn how dishes are traditionally made and what ingredients are commonly used in the local cuisine. It was during our cooking class in Chiang Mai that we learned almost every dish had soy sauce in it, except the curries. We went with Mama Noi Cooking School in Chiang Mai and I informed them of my allergy and they did everything they could to accommodate me. Everyone had their own cooking station, utensils and cutting board, which helped limit the chances of cross-contamination. And because I brought my own sauces, I was able to eat all 6 of the dishes (no bland food for me :)) with the exception of the spring rolls. Instead of the spring rolls I was offered pumpkin in coconut milk. It was delicious! So yes, you can take a cooking class in Thailand, just let them know ahead of time, bring your own sauces, and make sure there are separate cooking stations!
11. Stay at a Gluten-free Friendly Hotel
If you can’t stay somewhere with a kitchen, opt for a gluten-free friendly hotel. This is typically the best option when you know you can find celiac-safe food outside. Those hotels usually offer gluten-free options for breakfast, like gluten-free bread, muffins, muesli and even pancakes, when you inform them in advance. You can find a list of gluten-friendly hotels in popular Thailand destinations in the “gluten-friendly hotels in Thailand” section.
12. Just Because it Looks Safe Doesn’t Mean it is Safe
A lot of people are saying noodle dishes and Thai soups are safe to eat for celiacs and gluten-free dieters, but that is not true! Yes, they use rice noodles in Pad Thai and in soups, but just because the broth may look clear, or rice noodles are involved, does not mean it does not contain soy sauce, Maggi or Knorr cubes. Many times they do. Invisible culprits aren’t the only problem with Thai soups. Most soup vendors sell more than one kind of soup, usually a wonton soup dish or an egg noodle soup dish, which have wheat in them.
Normally it won’t be a problem, but both egg noodles and wontons are dipped in the same broth as rice noodle soup broth! If however, you are lucky enough to find a place where the broth doesn’t contain soy sauce, Maggi, Knorr or a place where egg noodles/ wontons aren’t dipped in the broth, please share the location with us as this is super rare!
Also know that grilled or roasted meats are usually marinated in soy sauce prior to grilling/roasting, and the same goes for BBQ skewers. So they are usually a no-no for celiacs and gluten-free dieters.
To be clear and transparent, Pad Thai is not gluten-free… it’s smothered in soy sauce! Some vendors might not use soy sauce for their Pad Thai’s but those are rare.
13. Pots & Pans Aren’t Washed Between Meals
I have read in several gluten-free Thailand guides that you can just go to a vendor and ask for them to use your sauces instead of theirs. It is possible, however, these bloggers are forgetting about cross-contamination. Vendors do rinse their pots and utensils at times, but they are not washed! So we wouldn’t suggest this option, unless you see them WASHING between meals, which we hadn’t seen in the five months we were in Thailand.
Gluten-Free Thai Dishes
I hate listing dishes or meals you can eat in my gluten-free travel guides, as every cook cooks differently and can easily make a naturally gluten-free dish a poisonous gluten-filled dish. However, there are a few in Thailand we can say are “safe”, as most of these dishes are usually cooked in the traditional way. If you want to eat the “safe foods”, try to purchase them from vendors or restaurants that only sell these items to help limit the risk of cross-contamination.
There are not too many Thai dishes you can eat on a gluten-free diet. Though rice noodles are used in the majority of dishes, they are usually smothered in soy sauce or oyster sauce. Which means no stir fry, no fried rice, no soups, and of course, no deep-fried foods.
However, curries are usually safe, as they are often made from a blended spice paste and coconut milk, but of course, always double check. Please note that Khao Soi Curry is NOT gluten-free, as egg noodles are used in the dish.
Usually safe curries are:
- Green Curry (Kaeng Khiao Wan)
- Red Curry (Kaeng Phet)
- Penang Curry (Phanaeng)
- Masaman Curry (Kaeng Matsaman)
- Yellow Curry (Kaeng Kari)
- Sticky rice (Kâao Nieow)
- Plain rice (Kâao Bplào)
- Green Papaya Salad (Som Tom): Usually gluten-free, but be careful because sometimes they add pork! The same pork varieties sold in the stores include starch as an ingredient, but don’t specify which type of starch. So just watch out for possible cross-contamination with the pork.
- Green Mango Salad (Yam Mamuang)
With regular non-Thai salads from vendors and even salad bars, please be careful as they may contain barley. Barley looks very similar to Job’s tears a.k.a. Chinese barley (which is gluten-free), and many times the salad bar could have Job’s tears instead of barley, but they are too close in appearances to tell. However, it is said that you can tell the two apart, as Job’s tears are bigger and more round than barley. I personally wouldn’t take the risk and would just skip any salad I see with barley or Job’s tears in them.
Many Thai desserts use rice flour, tapioca starch, mung beans, sticky rice and coconut. Wheat flour and bread are rarely used, however, that does not mean there aren’t desserts with those ingredients in them.
Here are some desserts we are aware of that are gluten-free:
- Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Neow Ma Muang)
- Sticky Rice in Bamboo (Khao Lam)
- Coconut Custard (Khanom Krok)
- Coconut Pudding Custards (Khanom Tuay)
- Red Ruby (Tub Tim Krob)
- Rice Balls in Coconut Milk (Bua Loy)
- Custard Cake (Khanom Moa Gang)
- Coconut Balls (Khanom Tom Khao)
- Bananas in Coconut Milk (Gluay Buad Chee)
- Mung Bean Candy (Look Choop)
- Rice Dumplings in Sweet Ginger Soup (Yang Yuan)
- Coconut Ice Cream: Technically gluten-free, but be aware that some vendors add bread to their ice cream.
Definitely NOT Safe Dessert
This is just a list of desserts we know that aren’t gluten-free, obviously there can be more.
- Roties (Roti Gluay): Made with wheat flour
- Fried Sweet Bananas (Gluay Kaek): Wheat-based batter
- Most Cakes
Gluten-Free Map of Thailand
Below is a map of all the gluten-free restaurants, bakeries, hotels and supermarkets listed in this article.
Gluten-Free Restaurants in Thailand
Like I mentioned earlier, there are a few restaurants in Thailand that offer gluten-free options, but very and I mean very few of them are knowledgeable of what gluten is, how to cater to someone with the allergy, and are aware of cross-contamination. Lucky for you, we found those very few places, some of which are 100% dedicated gluten-free restaurants in Thailand! Crazy right! Who would have thought! But before you go and stuff your face, always double check by informing the waiter/chef of your allergy, and by reminding them of things you cannot eat as restaurant menus, staff and owners can change!
Restaurants marked with a star (★) are a 100% gluten free.
Gluten-Free Restaurants in Bangkok
Theera Healthy Bake Room
Theera is an allergen-free bake room with healthy and guilt-free desserts, all-day breakfast and branches. The amount of gluten-free options at Theera are endless. You can indulge in homemade waffles or pancakes for breakfast, or lose yourself in some delicious stew chicken or roasted pork, all of which are gluten-free and healthy! Though the pasta dishes are not originally gluten-free, you can ask for gluten-free noodles as the sauces are all gluten-free. All items and dishes are clearly labeled on the menu, stating exactly what it is free of. Delivery is also possible if you don’t want to come into the store!
After talking to the owner, we learned she actually opened Theera three years ago so her son who is allergic to gluten would have a place to eat without getting sick, which means the owner knows about celiacs and cross-contamination. Though all gluten-free items have separate utensils and equipment to ensure the gluten-free products are as safe as possible, cross-contamination is still possible as non-gluten meals are cooked in the same space.
P.S. If you have a meal or drink at Theera’s second location, Steps With Theera, your money will go into supporting young adults with special needs such as autism and down syndrome. Steps With Theera is not only a coffee shop, but also a vocational center that provides employment training and life skills to young adults with special educational needs. All the employees at the cafe are trainees! So go support the cause!
Rasayana Retreat’s Raw Food Cafe
This raw food cafe makes the list for our top gluten-free restaurants in Bangkok not because the food is amazing (it’s not bad), but because it has the least amount of possible cross-contamination and gives celiacs and gluten-free dieters a small sense of relief. All the dishes at Rasayana contain no wheat, dairy or meat and consist of primarily nuts, seeds, sprouts, vegetables and fruits.
The menu is almost entirely gluten-free, with the exception of the two sushi starters: Mock Salmon Sushi (contains nama shoyu) and the Barley Sushi, which clearly contains barley. There is a wheatgrass “cocktail” on the menu as well, you can decide if it’s safe to consume. The cold-pressed juices and raw cakes seem to be gluten-free as well, as no oats are used for either. Rasayana’s Raw Cafe gets extra brownie points from us for its peaceful, tranquil and nature-y atmosphere, which is a great welcome compared to the noisy and chaotic Bangkok.
If you don’t want to trek all the way to the Cafe, you can have your meal delivered to your door. P.S. We don’t recommend Rasayana’s if you are in the mood for a warm meal.
Paleo Robbie ★
Paleo Robbie is not a restaurant, rather it’s an independent meal delivery service in Bangkok that provides fresh, organic, healthy, and high quality home-cooked Paleo meals to anyone in Bangkok. Best of all it’s 100% gluten-free.
All meals, which are cooked by a foreign chef, contain no grains, no processed food, no food flavorings, no additives, no preservatives, and no industrial meat, just pure, natural and healthy food just the way mother nature intended it to be. You can devour dishes like the red wine braised beef with apple gremolata or the seared wild tuna nicoise salad.
As delicious as that may sound, Paleo Robbie is not a service you can use on a short visit to Bangkok, as pay-per-order services are not available. Paleo Robbie is more for individuals looking to stay a little longer in Bangkok, at least a month.
However, there is a way to use their services if you are in Bangkok for at least a week. With Paleo Robbie’s trial week option, you can test or should I say taste their services before committing to them! For the trial week you can order for one week (a minimum order of three meals is required) and you will be billed only for the meals ordered. So if you are staying in Bangkok for a while or want to live there, rest assured you can have a healthy 100% gluten-free meal prepared and delivered right to your home or office!
To learn more about Paleo Robbie, check out their website.
Insider Tip: If you do decide to use Paleo Robbie, use promo code Paleo450 to get 450 Baht (~$12 USD) off when you order six meals or more as a new customer.
Thip Samai is a popular Thai restaurant that focuses on one thing, pad thai. This is the only place you can have authethic pad thai which is traditionally gluten-free. The pad thai is not made with soy sauce put with tamarind and shrimp paste. The only options that is not gluten-free is the vegeterian pad thai as it’s made with soy sauce. Highly recommend the egg wrap pad thai with a bottle of their homemade orange juice. Thip Samai now has multiple locations but we have only eaten many times at their original location on Maha Chai Rd.
Allergy Free Sweets Bakery
This bakery in Bangkok has no storefront, however all their products can be purchased online. Their delicious goodies (cookies, cupcakes, and cakes) can be enjoyed by most, if not all allergy sufferers as all the products are soy, shellfish, milk, egg, peanut, gluten and wheat-free. Want to throw yourself a gluten-free party? Now you can as they offer catering services. All orders must be made three days in advance by phone (081-372-1583) from 8:30 am – 18:00 pm or via Facebook.
Bars with Gluten-Free Beer in Bangkok
A night out is a must in Bangkok, and guess what? There are two bars with gluten-free beer! Yup, I said bars with gluten-free beer. Here are the two bars we know of in Bangkok that sell gluten-free beer:
Wishbeer Home Bar
A variety of Brunehaut Beers (Belgian Beers) are sold at this bar. Also, their online store has more gluten-free beer options. However, I haven’t seen those options in the bar.
Bottles of Beer
Bottles of Beer sells Daura Damm, a gluten-free lager from Spain. Insider Tip: If you buy one you pay the bar price, but if you buy six you pay the wholesale price :)
Gluten Free Restaurants in Chiang Mai
Pink House Garden Restaurant ★
Originally just an online store to order delicious gluten-free cakes, Cake Away has now expanded to a 100% gluten-free restaurant with healthy gluten-free meals and delicious cakes! The small, family-run restaurant is located in a beautiful garden just a few minutes walk from the Silver Temple in Chiang Mai. If you don’t look for it closely, you just might miss it.
Pink House serves gluten-free and vegetarian dishes such as green curry, pineapple fried rice and papaya salad. Dishes with tempeh are a favorite among customers. We highly recommend not leaving until you have some dessert. The food at Pink House is good, but the desserts are even better. Regardless of the dessert you chose to indulge in, you’ll love it.
Curious as to how a 100% gluten-free restaurant popped up in Thailand? We asked the owner why she decided to go 100% gluten-free, and she simply said because her husband is allergic to gluten! As a celiac in Thailand, I couldn’t help but be grateful to her husband!
The beautiful atmosphere and 100% gluten-free menu makes this hidden gem a must-visit while in Chiang Mai.
Butter is Better
Butter is Better is an American style diner slash bakery that offers everything from waffles and pies to sandwiches and other deli classics. Many of the items can be made gluten-free. They also bake their own gluten-free bread which can be bought by the loaf. Not Celiac friendly.
Blue Diamond is a great little spot for western style breakfast. Many of their dishes can be made gluten-free and vegan. They also have a shop attached to their restaurant where you can buy many gluten-free and organic products. Not Celiac friendly.
A Mexican restaurants with many gluten-free options such as tacos, enchiladas and nachos. The owner has two family members with celiac disease and has an understanding of the do’s and don’ts of gluten free eating. However, keep in mind that their menu states that there might be cross contamination.
Free Bird Cafe
Free Bird Cafe is a vegan cafe that donates 100% of its profits to support Burmese refugees in Thailand. Many of their dishes are or can be made gluten-free.
Danissa Bakery & Cafe
Danissa Bakery & Cafe offers gluten-free breads (white and multi-grain) and other gluten-free baked treats. You can also request most items on menu to be gluten-free.
Pun Pun has two restaurants in Chiang Mai serving nutritious, vegetarian Thai food, organic local coffee and shakes and smoothies. Some menu items are gluten-free.
Gluten-Free Restaurants in Chiang Rai
Barrab is a northern style Thai restaurant just a few steps from the famous clock tower in Chiang Rai. The friendly and English speaking owner, who suffers from a peanut allergy, told us she completely understands how difficult it is to travel with an allergy! That is why she makes sure to take care of her allergy suffering customers by thoroughly going through the menu and explaining what you can and cannot have. Of course, you must inform her of your allergy before ordering, as chances are she will be your waiter! She takes pride in greeting all her guests and introducing them to the menu.
Barrab does not have an extensive menu, just 20 items they have perfected. Everything we ate was super delicious! Of the 20 meals, only four are not gluten-free, the three pork sausage meals and the Khao Soi. Other than that you are free to indulge in any of the dishes. Everything that is gluten-free is clearly marked with a (G) symbol.
Though dessert is not a part of the menu, after 5pm you can enjoy a gluten-free dessert called Bualoy from a women that sets up shop right in front of the restaurant! She is only there in the evenings.
Gluten-Free Restaurants in Pai
Falling in love with Pai was super easy, not just because of all the amazing things to do in Pai or its relaxing vibes, but also because of its night market!
Pai’s night market gave me the opportunity to truly experience and participate in the street food extravaganza and not just eat sweets all the time. Excluding the dessert and tea stalls, there are two stalls that are 100% gluten-free!
Street Stall 1:
100% Vegetarian Pad Thai Vegan Chocolate Coconut Balls This stall is where you can eat Pad Thai. It’s not the traditional Pad Thai, as there is no soy sauce or oyster sauce used in the dish, just tamarind sauce (tamarind fruit with water). To make his Pad Thai, the English speaking cook assured us he only uses lettuce, tofu, egg, rice noodles and tamarind sauce…nothing else, not even oil! Only Pad Thai is made at this stall, so no worries of cross-contamination. I ate at this stall so often that he knew my order before I would even open my mouth! Not that it was that difficult to remember haha
The guy who used to run this cart is no longer selling Pad Thai instead he is selling now vegan chocolate coconut balls. Also gluten-free.
Location: You can find this stall on the main walking street (where the night market is) just 2 – 3 stalls after Edible Jazz and Wat Pakam. If you are coming from the direction of the bus station it will be on the same side as the temple. Just use the picture as your guide on how the stall should look.
Note: Never mind the Maggi bottle in the picture. He doesn’t use it in his cooking and it is only there as a condiment for people who want to put it on their Pad Thai afterwards.
Street Stall 2: Shompu’s Potatoes
The woman at this stall makes a mean version of loaded potatoes. They’re so delicious! From the baked potatoes to the homemade sour cream and guacamole, everything is gluten-free! You can choose from an array of different toppings like sour cream with mushrooms and cheese or avocado, tomato and cheese. Better yet, you can be a fat ass like me and get everything, avocado, tomato, pesto, black olives, eggplant, spinach, salsa, mushrooms and baked beans! Yup, I ate all of that on a nice baked sweet potato. Delicious! She also sells nachos, but I chose to skip those as she uses store-bought nacho chips, and I don’t really trust the labels.
Location: If you found the Pad Thai guy above then just walk 3-4 stalls down and the Shompu’s Potato stall will be there. Use the photo as your guide!
Earth Tone is a vegetarian cafe that offers many gluten-free dishes, including salads, buckwheat waffles, raw cakes and fresh spring rolls. They also have a small shop attached to their cafe that sells gluten-free and organic products.
FatCat is another health food restaurant that offers breakfast, sandwiches, salads and more. Many items are naturally gluten-free.
Gluten-Free Restaurants in Phuket
Bake Free Speciality Bakery & Coffee Shop ★
Finding Bake Free in Thailand was like finding gold. Here you can indulge in a delicious meal and mouthwatering desserts worry-free, as everything is gluten-free! Who would have thought we would find a 100% dedicated gluten-free bakery in Thailand? Definitely not us!
Bake Free has a set breakfast menu with dishes such as pancakes and omelets, as well as daily specials that include soups, salads, quiches and even gnocchi. Oh, and of course it has an endless amount of fresh baked goods including different cakes and pies, bread, and pita bread.
Besides the tasty gluten-free food, what makes Bake Free stand out from many other gluten-free restaurants is the owner’s (who is also a celiac) dedication to making sure Bake Free is truly a safe haven for those with allergies, especially celiacs. No outside food is allowed in the shop from patrons or staff. All imported GF goods are tested not just once but twice to make sure everything is truly gluten-free. So yeah, Bake Free is clearly a gluten-free haven for celiacs!
It’s no wonder we kept going back to Bake Free! Seriously, you cannot visit Phuket without visiting Bake Free, even if you aren’t on a gluten-free diet!
Gluten-Free Restaurants in Koh Samui
Greenlight Cafe is a health food restaurant with creative dishes which are mostly made of organic and locally sourced ingredients. The majority of the menu is gluten-free and it’s clearly marked. Gluten-free friendly.
Vikasa Life Cafe
As part of a Yoga Center, Vikasa Life Café focuses on serving healthy dishes that are good for the soul. From granola and acai bowls to falafal and Buddha bowls you’ll find many options are gluten-free. Gluten-free friendly.
Gluten Free Restaurants in Koh Phangan
Karma Kafe is a fantastic option for celiacs as the menu is almost entirely gluten-free and the only things that aren’t are the granola and dishes that contains soy sauce.They even serve gluten-free bread for burgers, gluten-free wraps, gluten-free french toast and much more.
World’s End Cafe
One of the most popular places for breakfast on the island happens to be the best restaurant for gluten-free eaters. The owner is celiac and she understands cross contamination. Gluten-free burgers, pancakes, falafal, sandwiches and desserts are just a few of the great things you can eat there.
This small vegan restaurant sells three things, gluten-free vegan pizzas, vegan mac & cheese (not gluten-free), and gluten-free brownies*. All of their pizzas are gluten-free and vegan and the base is made of sweet potato and tapioca flour. I don’t say this often but it’s one of the best gluten-free pizzas I’ve eaten around the world. I highly recommend going for dinner. Midnight Bistro is open from 6- 11:30 on selective days.
*Celiac Note: The gluten-free brownies are made with regular oats.
Address: 78/3, Moo 8, Srithanu, Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani 84280
Gluten-Free Hotels in Thailand
With all the gluten-friendly hotels in Thailand, please inform the hotel upon booking and follow up a week before to make sure they got your request and can accommodate your awesome gluten-free needs!
Gluten-Free Hotels in Bangkok
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is considered the best of the best of luxury hotels in Bangkok! With a staff that calls you by name and caters to your every need, Mandarin will be sure to welcome you and cater to all of your dietary restrictions! Gluten-free options are available at breakfast and in some of their restaurants.
Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel
Located within walking distance of the shopping mecca of Bangkok, Renaissance Bangkok is dedicated to providing a true 5-star experience to all of their guests. With gluten-free muffins, rolls and bread, you won’t be left wondering what you can eat here, as Renaissance Bangkok has you covered.
Gluten-Free Hotels in Chiang Mai
Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
The contemporary style luxury hotel located directly on the banks of the Mae Ping River is happy to accommodate any guest with dietary needs. Anantara not only has gluten-free options for breakfast, but also for their in-room dining services. Anantara’s culinary team is always happy to accommodate special requests!
Amaka Cafe Bed & Breakfast
Amaka is a small bed & breakfast with a friendly staff and clean, comfy and modern rooms. All the baked goods in Amaka Cafe are gluten-free and most breakfast items are gluten-free as well.
Gluten-Free Hotels in Phuket
Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket
This 5-star hotel has no trouble pampering and making their guests feel special with their luxurious rooms, five top-notch restaurants, outdoor pool and full spa! Upon request, Dusit Thani can provide their gluten allergy guests with gluten-free bread, waffles, pancakes, cookies and pasta, as well as gluten-free dishes in the restaurants!
JW Marriott Phuket Resort
This Thai-inspired resort situated on the white-sand beach of Khao Lak offers their gluten-free dieters more than just gluten-free options such as bread and muffins at breakfast! JW Marriott Phuket’s restaurants also have gluten-free options, including their Italian restaurant that serves both gluten-free pasta and gluten-free pizza. Here, they make sure their gluten-free guests are accommodated at every turn.
Gluten-Free Hotels in Koh Samui
InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort
At InterContinental Samui you can enjoy your gluten-free breakfast from one of the most beautiful vantage points on the entire island! Gluten-free breakfast includes gluten-free bread and muffins! The poolside restaurant can also make gluten-free meals on request.
Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui
This quiet oasis surrounded by tropical trees has a separate, but small gluten-free breakfast buffet section with fresh, homemade gluten-free bread and pastries that changes daily! Also, if you ask nicely you might even get delicious and fluffy gluten-free pancakes! As for lunch and dinner you can also find an array of gluten-free options available. And even at their afternoon tea time you can indulge in gluten-free snacks.
Supermarkets with Gluten-Free Items
Villa Market is our top choice when looking for gluten-free items. They have practically everything from cereals, muesli and snack bars to pasta, cookies, pancake flour mix and so much more. The only thing we couldn’t find was bread! But hey, there are enough gluten-free goods to not be sad about not having bread. Though there is a gluten-free section, you will find most gluten-free items scattered throughout the aisles. You can find Villa Markets in most major cities in Thailand.
If you are in Chiang Mai, this is the supermarket you want to go to to find gluten-free goods. You can find a wide range of gluten-free foods ranging from cereals to Bob Mill’s flour mixes. There are three locations in Chiang Mai, one of which is located on the basement level of the Maya Mall.
Found only in Bangkok, Sunshine Market is a small health shop with a variety of gluten-free products. Besides their gluten-free items in the supermarket, they also bake their own breads and snacks that are all gluten-free and dairy-free. Author Note: Recently revisited Sunshine Market and found out that their GF baked good are not suitable for Celiacs as they are made in the same facilities that process spelt and kamut flour.
Gourmet Market is exactly like it sounds, good quality food, but for a hefty price! However, they also sell high-end imported goods, like gluten-free items! There have multiple stores throughout Bangkok.
Tops is found throughout Thailand. They don’t stock many gluten-free items, however this is where we first saw and bought our gluten-free sauces! In their larger stores you might find more gluten-free products, as the larger stores have more western brands!
Useful Thai Phrases for Celiacs
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to get your FREE Thai allergy card here.
- I’m allergic to wheat flour – ผมแพ้แป้งสาลี (Puum Paae Paeng-saa-lii)
- I’m allergic to oyster sauce – ผมแพ้น้ำมันหอย (Puum Paae Naam Man Hoy)
- I’m allergic to soy sauce – ผมแพ้ซีอิ๊วขาว (Puum Paae see-ew)
- Cannot eat – กิน ไม่ได้ (Kin Mai Dai)
- Please don’t add soy sauce – ไม่ ใส่ ซีอิ้ว (Mai sai see-ew)
- Wheat flour – แป้งสาลี (Paeng-saa-lii)
- Rice flour – แป้งข้าวจ้าว (Paeng-khao-jao)
- Bread – ขนมปัง (Kha-nom-pang)
- Maggi – แม็กกี้ (Mag-gee)
- Soy sauce – ซีอิ้ว (See-ew)
- Oyster sauce – น้ำมันหอย (Naam Man Hoy)
- Mushroom sauce – ซอสเห็ด (Si-ew hed hohm)
- Not spicy – ไม่เผ็ด (Mâi pèt)
- No oil please – ไม่ใส่นําา้มัน (Mâi sài náam man)
- No sugar please – ไม่ใส่นําา้ตาล (Mâi sài náam dtaan)
- No MSG – ไม่ใส่ผงชูรส (Mâi sài pong choo rót)
- Thank you – ขอบคุณครับ/ค่ะ (Kòp kun kráp/kâ)
Books About Thailand and Its Food
- Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen by Leela Punyaratabandhu
- Hot Thai Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine with Authentic Recipes to Make at Home by Pailin Chongchitnant
- Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand by Andy Ricker and JJ Goode
- Thai Street Food: Authentic Recipes, Vibrant Traditions by David Thompson
- Quick & Easy Thai: 70 Everyday Recipes by Nancie McDermott
I know this was a lot to read, but I hope that after reading this gluten-free Thailand guide you feel confident and prepared to travel to Thailand on a gluten-free diet! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below or shoot us an email!
I wish you a happy and safe gluten-free trip to Thailand!