Low FODMAP Melbourne
Remember that feeling of being able to go out to eat and order whatever you wanted, without having to explain your intolerances to the waitress? Well, that’s what it was like eating out in Melbourne. I was so impressed by how well this lovely city catered to food intolerances, that I wanted to write about it!
In general, Melbourne was just incredible about food intolerances.
WHY MELBOURNE IS AN INTOLERANT FOODIE'S DREAM
1. MILK OPTIONS
Not only is all of the coffee delicious, but you’ll find almond, soy and lactose free milks on offer practically everywhere. So, you can have all the lattes and flat whites you want without any of the consequences of too much lactose. I got totally spoilt.
2. THE SUPERMARKETS
You can find so many allergy friendly foods and snacks in the supermarket. They carry low FODMAP, dairy free, and gluten free options and the best thing is that they’re not expensive. This makes it so easy to pick up a snack when you need one or to find something to cook up in your AirBnB.
Sold in every fridge, in every cafe and every shop. It’s about as common as Coca Cola. This makes it so easy to get a daily dose of probiotics and to support your gut health on the go.
4. AWARENESS OF THE LOW FODMAP DIET
The low FODMAP diet was developed by Monash University in Australia, so I guess it makes sense that there would be more awareness of it here. I was just so shocked that so many people knew of the diet. I couldn’t believe it when I’d ask about garlic and onion in a restaurant and get asked ‘Oh, are you on the low FODMAP diet?’
5. SO ACCOMMODATING ABOUT INTOLERANCES
Every single cafe or restaurant I went to was so accommodating about my intolerances. Either they had a special menu or they were more than happy to make some substitutions. They didn’t just hit you with ‘you can have plain fish and vegetables’ or ‘you’ve got one option - the steak.’ This made it such a pleasure to eat out there.
I’ve done a round up of the top 5 restaurants/cafes I visited that were incredible for low FODMAP options. If you’re planning a trip to Melbourne, or know someone who is, you’ve got to check these out.
5 INCREDIBLE FODMAP FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS
FODDIES - CAMBERWELL
This was by the far the best because you can literally order whatever you want from the menu. The entire cafe is FODMAP friendly, with all of the dishes being safe to eat on the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet. Not only is all the food low FODMAP, but it’s absolutely delicious. Foddies had one of those brunch menus where I wanted to order everything! The fritters I ordered were the best I’ve ever had and my fiance (who has no food intolerances, and can eat whatever he pleases with no problems) said his smashed pumpkin was the best meal he had in Melbourne.
On top of these delicious dishes, they also sell low FODMAP sauces and ready meals that you can buy to take home. I bought a pot of bolognese sauce, which I used last week and it was also pretty great.
MARKET ON MALVERN (MOM) - PRAHRAN
A beautiful, Scandinavian style space and a fabulous menu. This is a wellness clinic and cafe in one, so the menu has been designed by dietitians and nutritionists. It specialises in meals that are gluten free, low FODMAP, fructose free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan and paleo and all of this is marked on the menu alongside each dish. This makes it so easy to identify which dishes will be good for your tummy, without having to ask any questions or feel awkward. The ‘Super Green Breakky’ I had was absolutely incredible..the best halloumi I’ve ever had. This was one of those rare cases where my fiance was jealous of my low FODMAP meal!
SEEDLING - CBD
This is a tiny little cafe, with only about 5 tables, but they have lots of takeaway options too. This one doesn’t have low FODMAP options called out, but it is entirely gluten and refined sugar free, which is a good place to start. They then also offer paleo, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan and nut free dishes. All of this makes it really easy to find something to fit with your intolerances. Jordan was slightly annoyed that they had no gluten options, but that quickly changed when he got his gluten free buckwheat and chia seed toast. Hands down the best gluten free bread I’ve ever tried..it was very springy and crumpet-like. I, on the other hand, was also pretty happy with my chia pudding pot.
This is a great spot for a quick, but delicious, breakfast!
CHOCOLATE BUDDHA - CBD
This place really impressed me with how accommodating they were to intolerances. The restaurant is Japanese, and right on Federation Square in a beautiful, but touristy location. So, they could quite easily get away with not accommodating to food intolerances, and they’d still not struggle for customers. I chose Japanese because it’s normally one of the easiest cuisines when you’re avoiding FODMAPs..rice, tick. Fish, tick. However, I was so impressed with how great they were!
Firstly, they have a whole gluten free menu (AND all the soy sauce is gluten free), which is just on the back of the normal menu, so you don’t even need to ask for it. It’s a really decent menu too, with tonnes of gluten free options. Secondly, when I mentioned my garlic and onion intolerance to the waitress, she quickly said ‘Oh, we get a lot of low FODMAP people here, so all of the dishes on the gluten free menu have been designed with no onion and garlic too.’ Incredible. I ordered the char-grilled eggplant with smoky miso glaze as fast as I could. Thirdly, even though I’d ordered foods from the gluten free menu, our lovely waitress came back over to me after a few minutes just to confirm that the dishes I’d ordered definitely won’t contain any onion or garlic. So, I could eat my dinner with confidence.
I’m still dreaming about that eggplant…
BERTH - DOCKLANDS
This place didn’t have any specific low FODMAP options or separate menus. However, they were incredibly flexible with me. Again, when I mentioned my garlic and onion intolerance, our waitress said she’s aware of the low FODMAP diet and that it wasn’t a problem. I felt comfortable right away. She asked me to pick the dishes I was interested in and then she’d go and speak to the chef about what could be done. I picked a lamb and a salmon dish. She came back and told me the lamb has already been slow cooking for hours in a marinade, so that couldn’t be done for me. However, I could have the salmon and they would just need to change up the sides for me. The sauce contained garlic but I was given a list of garlic and onion free sauces and told I could choose whichever ones I wanted.
I ended up with a really lovely meal, that I felt confident eating. They really went out of their way to make sure I had something that would keep both my taste buds and my tummy happy.
In conclusion, Melbourne is a low FODMAP-er or intolerant foodie’s dream. I ate delicious food, felt understood and catered for, and, most importantly, had a very happy tummy, for 3 days straight. If it isn’t already on your travel list, get it on there now.
Have you been to Melbourne and found the same? Or been anywhere else and also found it super accommodating? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!