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The Custom House in Barnstaple is one of my favourite gluten free places to eat in North Devon. Not only do they offer excellent food in a fresh and modern setting, but they also just make me feel so normal. When you have coeliac disease, sometimes you get a bit fed up of feeling like ‘the special one’, having to grill the waitress or ask for your own separate menu.
But at Custom House it’s great, because so much of the food is just gluten free by default. And the best bit? It’s all the foods you think would never be gluten free. Crispy fried chicken, mozzarella dippers - so much of the menu is gluten free, it made it so difficult to choose what I wanted to eat because I wanted it all!
I first wrote a review of Custom House back in 2012 and now the restaurant has rebranded and opened with a fresh new look and menu, I knew it was time to update it. If you’re looking for a gluten free restaurant in Barnstaple, this should still be your number one stop. The only thing that has changed since I wrote my first review is that the gluten free options have become more plentiful, and the food has got better.
When Steve and I visited to write this review, I’d spent aged pouring over the menu online but still did not have a clue what I wanted because it all sounded so good. I opted for the fried chicken to start served with aioli and hot wings sauce. I absolutely love the satisfaction of being able to bite into something fried and crispy and know it’s completely safe for me to eat. The fried chicken is gluten free anyway, as it was perfectly crisp, crunchy and seasoned to perfection.
For the burger, it was a tough choice but one thing was certain - it needed to have a mozzarella dipper in it! I opted for a beef burger, cooked pink, with a gluten free bun, mozzarella dipper, Monterey Jack cheese, gherkins, lettuce and burger sauce. Steve opted for a non-gluten free bun beef burger with bacon and goat’s cheese, and that looked delicious too. We also both had sweet potato fries, of course!
The burger was epic beyond belief - I think my eyes may have been bigger than my stomach when I ordered (pro tip, wear elasticated trousers or in my case, a floaty dress, to hide that food baby!). The burger was delicious, the bun held together well and the fillings were the perfect match. I love the ‘build a burger’ concept because it means you can go back time and time again and always having something different. Not to mention all the monthly specials!
As always, the vibe was fresh, the food was delicious, the portions were generous and the gluten free options were in abundance. I can’t recommend Custom House enough if you’re looking for gluten free food in Barnstaple (or even if you’re not, just go!). I can’t wait to go back again and try a different burger combination! Oh, and if you are visiting Barnstaple, make sure you check out Bull and Bear too, Custom House’ sister bar, which serves up a wicked gluten free menu too.
For more information visit Custom House online where you can see the full menu and also book a table - it books up fast so don't leave it to chance!
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