As you stroll along Sixth Street in Uptown New West, you might notice a sandwich board outside of a bright and cozy bakery offering Ukrainian treats. I mistakenly walked past it several times, possessed by the idea that a bakery wouldn’t have anything gluten free. Finally, I looked at the menu, and discovered that Solodko Bakery is a perfect place to grab a lunch that’s completely gluten free!
Gluten Free Options at Solodko Bakery:
The cabbage rolls: Also known as holubtsi, the cabbage rolls at Solodko are made with only nine ingredients, and none of those ingredients contain gluten. They’re also deliciously addictive. You can choose from a meaty version, or a vegan version. If you want to eat them right away, the lunch-sized order of cabbage rolls is four large rolls, served with sour cream. You can also buy them frozen, by the kilogram, and take them home to enjoy later! It’s all the deliciousness of cabbage rolls, without the pain of assembly.
Ingredients in the meaty cabbage rolls: Cabbage, rice, onion, carrot, ground pork, tomato paste, olive oil, salt, black pepper. Boom, done!
Ingredients in the vegan cabbage rolls: Cabbage, rice, onion, carrot, roasted peppers, tomato paste, olive oil, salt, black pepper. That’s it!
The borsch: Like the cabbage rolls, the borsch comes in a meaty or vegan version. This hearty and satisfying soup is made with ten simple ingredients, and is completely gluten free. The generous lunch-sized portion is served with sour cream (ask for it without bread, of course), or you can buy a two-litre bucket o’ soup to take home.
Ingredients in the meaty borsch: Beets, cabbage, tomato, onion, carrot, pork, black pepper, olive oil, salt, sugar.
Ingredients in the vegan borsch: Beets, cabbage, tomato, onion, carrot, kidney beans, black pepper, olive oil, salt, sugar.
What to Watch Out For:
The pierogies: Called varenyky, the pierogies at Solodko come in a variety of savoury and sweet flavours. The dough contains wheat flour, so they’re not gluten free. However, they are perfect for all of your gluten-loving lunch companions.
The piroshki: The piroshki at Solodko are available in a range of sweet fillings. But like the pierogies, the dough contains wheat flour, so they’re not safe for gluten free people with a sweet tooth.
The bread and baked goods: Solodko offers a plethora of freshly baked bread and other treats, but these aren’t gluten free.
Solodko Bakery is very proud of what goes into their food, and what doesn’t go into their food. They use real, fresh, simple-to-pronounce ingredients, and make everything in house. In fact, they’re so proud of what they make, you can find all the ingredients in every dish printed on the back of their menu. There’s no gobbeldygook on their ingredients list. The staff members are always very friendly, and love to chat about what they do! Since it’s a bakery, Solodko isn’t a 100% gluten free environment. But they are aware of the dangers of cross contamination, and do their best to avoid it.
Solodko isn’t a restaurant per se, it’s a bakery, which means you place your order at the counter, and then receive your delicious treats. However, if you do want to enjoy your meal there, they have a few bar-style tables at the windows, where you can nibble your cabbage rolls and watch the street go by. The bakery is located right on Sixth Street, in the bustling Uptown neighbourhood of New West. It’s about a 15-minute walk from downtown, but if you don’t want to conquer the hill on foot, the 106 bus runs up Sixth, and there’s metered street parking nearby.
Don’t let the word “bakery” fool you like it did me! Solodko is the perfect place to get authentic, gluten free Ukrainian food, made from scratch. The staff is fantastic, the food is amazing, and the bakery itself is bright and welcoming. Go get those cabbage rolls!
Happy cabbage rolling!
If this is your business and your gluten free options have changed, please let me know! My goal is to provide the most up to date information on New Westminster’s gluten free choices.