Pod Food…Healthy Fast Food, Gluten Free

In last night’s really fun gluten free tweet up, a question was raised on favourite gluten free fast food chains. Without hesitation I volunteered Pod. I go to Pod every day, either for my lunch or breakfast but often both. A ‘Tweet Up’ for the unintiated is a meeting (or really discussion) held over Twittter. If you’re interested, you can read Alex Gazzola’s round up here.

Pod was set up in 2006 and has branches  mainly in the City of London. You can check out their locations here. They serve a seasonal menu in which the food does not contain additives, preservatives or colourings. They also have some keen eco principles: Their food is served in compostable packaging and each Pod store has its own composter to dispose of it in. Their stores are also built using sustainably sourced and recycled materials as far as possible.

But most importantly the food is very tasty.  And they have LOTS of gluten free options. The menu is here  and I like it because it very clearly displays the ingredients of each dish with information on allergens as well as calorie and other counts. I find it easier to check the menu before I go to the store to make sure I know what’s gluten free. It’s often really busy at lunchtime and I’d rather go prepared. They do have boards above the serving counter with the menu and stating if it’s gluten free, wheat free etc and they also have an allergy book which you can ask to double check but I prefer to check in advance so that I don’t hold up the queue of busy and hungry City workers!

Here’s my daily breakfast:

It’s quinoa with yoghurt, mango and topped with flaked almonds. Delish!

Pod have several gluten free salad options for lunch including this Indian Slaw Salad (Note to nut allergy sufferers, this one is not for you):

The salad comes without protein topping but I like it with salmon or plain chicken as in the photo below:

If I fancy something warm for lunch I really like the Thai Green Chicken Curry and the vegetarian Sunshine Stew with rice but make sure to request the rice and not the pearl barley. Both dishes are both very tasty and filling.

And if I’m having a spectacularly bad day in the office I have been known to invest in one of the Pod gluten free chocolate brownies which are without doubt the best chocolate brownies you can buy in a store in London. I wrote about them last year here. The packaging has changed since then and they’ve introduced an orange chocolate brownie too. But they still taste just as good!

Other sweet treats include gluten free carrot cake, a gluten free ginger cake, various GF biscuits including Eat Natural bars and my newest discovery: HoneyBuns. I recently tried one of the HoneyBuns Almond Moons which was a neat bundle of polenta, cranberries and toasted almonds. Best of all, it was in a small-ish sized bar which made me a little less guilty about my sweet guilty pleasure!

If you are looking for a place to pick up a healthy lunch or breakfast on the go (ignoring the gluten free brownies /cake in this “healthy” statement!) then I recommend giving Pod a try.


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  1. July 13, 2011 / 2:00 am

    Quinoa with yoghurt, mango and almonds? I’m going to have to recreate that! Sounds like a great way to start the day!

  2. July 14, 2011 / 3:47 pm

    Thanks so much for recommending this. I spotted it across the busy street from the queue in Cafe Nero nr St Pauls and raced out and over the road to try it. I had a very refreshing mint tea (real mint leaves) with ginger and agave syrup. I have to confess to adding brown sugar but it was such a treat to find such an innovative and tasty hot drink on the go. Much more interesting than bog standard mint tea. I didn’t have time to eat but I noticed the allergy labelling so will definitely be looking out for them again next time in London. Which is your local then? If I’m passing I’ll let you know and maybe we can share a GF pod bite!

    • July 14, 2011 / 7:31 pm

      Really pleased you ditched Cafe Nero for Pod today and that you liked it. I’ve seen that fresh Mint tea but haven’t tried yet – suspect I would need some gluten free cake to go with it so have resisted so far! If you are in the Liverpool Street area, let me know. Would be great to share a gluten free Pod bite!