Do you know about Bella Italia?
Bet you’re asking “do I know what?”. Well, do you know how amazing they are for allergens?? I didn’t. I’ve really been missing out. Here’s why…
WHY I WENT
I hadn’t been to Bella Italia since my uni years. Since my coeliac/dairy free diagnosis, it’s been one of those places I just walked past, assuming I can’t eat there because it’s going to be just gluteny pasta & dairy filled cheese. WRONG!!
I saw an article on Vegan Living about how they’d launched some amazing new allergen friendly dishes so I was down there like a shot!!
WHAT I LOVED
(1) MENU LABELLING
- There’s a dedicated gluten free menu. Always a win.
- Its really easy to read the allergen info on the menu. They use colour coded icons next to each item to indicate whether they’re gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian or contain alcohol.
- There’s a separate line at the bottom of the menu that states “we test our dishes for the presence of gluten”. They send samples of their food to an external company to check the accuracy of their nutritional & allergen info. Not sure if this is standard practise, but either way I’d never seen it written on a menu before and it gave me an extra boost of confidence that I was safe!!
- We all love a gluten free flag in our food, right?! Well these guys had little stickers for gf & vegan. Another win.
- You can tick gluten & dairy free on their website and it filters the menu for you. Yet another little feature that makes them stand out from the pack.
(4) MENU OPTIONS
- To say they have an extensive menu for us is an understatement. Pizza, Pasta, Risotto, Burgers, Salmon, Salads etc etc. Just look at this!!
- There was actually even more choice in the restaurant than they had online.
- I went for the Spicy Sausage Pizza Starter (base was really good), Calabrese Pasta and…
- “Jess, you’re gf df so dessert is just sorbet”. Nope. Coconut Panna Cotta. Fresh fruit & a melt in the mouth creamy Italian classic with a coconutty twist. This dessert still ticked all the boxes for me and wins star of the show. Coming from a self confessed chocoholic, that’s no mean feat. The freshness was perfect after all that pasta ?
- If you’re gluten free but can tolerate dairy, then you could have a warm chocolate brownie, cheeky sundae or gelato with all the toppings! The picture below is the regular desserts menu – orange circles represent gf.
(1) THE FOOD ITSELF
- Well, you won’t be leaving hungry. The portions are seriously generous. Yet being the biggest foodies around, we cleared our plates… naturally.
- It’s fairly priced, fast & consistent. Nothing to blow your mind but definitely worth every bite.
- We visited the Bella Italia in South Kensington. It was SO much nicer than what I remember from c. 2010. Felt like a lot of care and attention had gone into everything from the maps of Italy on the walls to the cute prosecco glasses lining the little bar in the corner.
- Think Bills cross Pizza Express (I love the interiors of both so this is definitely a win).
Deals – Bella Italia offers out some awesome deals on – check out their website for the latest (don’t forget to change to your location). Right now its 40% off all mains… its really reasonably priced anyway so that’s such a steal. Can’t go wrong.
One thing to note – Prices vary by location but they only print one generic gluten free menu to distribute to all their stores. As a result, the gluten menu hadn’t got any prices on it. To be honest, they’ve made it super easy to read the allergens from the regular menu as the allergen icons were on both, so I just scrapped the gluten free one and used the regular anyway!!
This meal was gifted but all the views are completely my own & 100% honest. Bella Italia have had no input into what I’ve written.