Address: 134A Hinemoa St, Birkenhead
Phone: (09) 419 8084
Open: Monday-Friday 6.30am-4pm. Weekends 8am-4pm.
Cost: $46 for two people.


On a Thursday morning Woodside wasn't too busy and there was plenty of roadside parking in front. There's a choice of three seating areas - in front on the footpath, inside the cafe or out on the covered deck to the side. We chose the deck.


The blackboard menu is short and to the point - the point being 100 per cent gluten-free and an emphasis on natural food. We learn that the drive behind this is not to keep up with fashion, but due to the requirements of co-owner Mark Villela - himself a diagnosed coeliac. There are also sugar, dairy and nitrate-free options. I order a "toast and toppings" (with one slice each of sprouted buckwheat and paleo bread) with avocado, rocket, hummus and toasted black sesame seeds ($10); my son opts for a European breakfast ($18), with salami (nitrate-free), cheese, boiled egg, preserves, fruit and toast (gluten-free). The toast and toppings were tasty - I preferred the buckwheat of the two toasts. The European breakfast came as a surprise to my English-breakfast enthusiast, a deconstructed arrangement of sliced cheese, pear, mandarin and salami around the toast and ramekins of egg, butter and jam. However, he was impressed with its good mix of savoury and sweet and the size of the meal - "just right". Woodside's coffee ($4) of Coffee Supreme beans was a good brew.



The staff were cheerful and helpful, and knew about their food - explaining ingredients and making recommendations. We decided to share a cake before departing, opting for a caramel slice ($6). This - again gluten-free and paleo - wasn't as sweet as we were accustomed to - but far from bland. The premise of the GF theme is the perfect point of difference to make this cafe worth a return visit.