ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Cheese and Oatcake Bistro Box at Starbucks - A Wheat-Free Treat

Updated on November 10, 2011
Some wonderful looking, but wheat-laden Starbucks snacks.
Some wonderful looking, but wheat-laden Starbucks snacks. | Source

If you are trying to exclude wheat from your diet, then finding a lunchtime snack when you're out and about can be quite a challenge.

Most of the lunchtime foods on offer are served with either bread or pasta, and even those that you think look safe, (a nice rice dish for instance), may have wheat flour in the dressing.

So I've always been grateful for places like Starbucks and Cafe Nero, which mark their wheat-free or gluten-free products.

That means that we don't have to hold up the line by asking, or risk asking a question that nobody knows the answer to!

Grateful as I am for any wheat-free products that are available, there are still not very many, and they do tend to be rather uninteresting.

I know that we non-wheat-eaters are a minority group, so the lack of choice is probably mostly due to a lack of demand for wheat-free products.

But now more and more people seem to be discovering the benefits of being wheat (or gluten) free, and I'm glad to say that things are improving gradually.

For instance, a little while ago the only things I ever found to eat in Starbucks were plain crisps (chips) or yoghurt.

But today, in addition to these, there were gluten-free flapjacks, chocolate brownies, the Cured Ham Hock Bistro Box (gluten-free)*, and the Cheese and Oatcake Bistro Box (wheat-free)*.

I was more than happy!

* [I've got a feeling that these particular Bistro Boxes are just sold in the UK. I think each country has its own variety of Bistro Boxes, which is exciting in itself. And adds an extra dimension of excitement to any foreign travel!]


A lot like a Ploughman's Lunch.

I chose the Oatcake Bistro Box followed by a plain yoghurt with maple syrup, with my usual chai tea latte.

First of all, Bistro Boxes are plastic boxes with different compartments, and each compartment contains different, complementary food items.

In the Oatcake Bistro Box the compartments contain the following;

  • four round oatcakes
  • three different kinds of cheese, (brie, cheddar and stilton)
  • apple slices
  • grapes
  • and a little pot of Branston-like pickle, (Branston is a tangy pickled vegetable relish from the UK. This relish was very similar, but mainly onion-based).

Which in fact gives you nearly all of the components of a ploughman's lunch. A ploughman's lunch is a delicious and nutritious British snack, traditionally served in pubs.

Normally a ploughman's lunch includes crusty bread, but if you're wheat-free then an oatcake is as good an alternative as any. Although not quite as filling as bread, it worked well all the same. And if you're trying to eat healthily I'm sure it has many fewer calories.

One thing that really was missing from the traditional ploughman's was a pickled onion. Now I am rather partial to a pickled onion so it would have just added that extra touch, but I still had the relish for my pickle fix.

I piled all of the other ingredients on top of the oatcakes and the flavours combined together in a really delicious way. It tasted fresh, tangy, zingy and somewhat wholesome. Putting aside the lack of pickled onion, this really was a lovely snack.

On the downside, at nearly £4 ($6) I'd say that it was rather expensive for what was really quite a small lunch. And some people might find that they need something extra to fill them up properly. My combination of the bistro box, the yummy yoghurt and the dreamy chai tea latte worked well for me, but then I don't have the biggest appetite. And a few items at Starbucks can really add up money-wise.

But to have a tasty and wheat-free lunchtime snack once in a while when I'm out and about is definitely worth the price, and is kind of a novelty!

I would recommend this as a quick, healthy and tasty snack, without a trace of wheat. And I will undoubtedly be having it again, although it's not something I will be doing every day.

(I guess that would really lessen the novelty value anyway!)

There is also a Gluten-Free Bistro Box

Please note that this meal is wheat-free but not gluten-free, as it contains oats.

However, the Cured Ham Hock Bistro Box is gluten-free, which is also pretty good news!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Moon Daisy profile imageAUTHOR

      Moon Daisy 

      6 years ago from London

      Great, I'm glad that you learnt so much from my hub! Things are slowly improving in terms of availability, but they are indeed still pricey.

      I also try to make my own bread and cakes (and hopefully some of those lovely ice box cookies!) using non-wheat flour, and that helps too. It's really crazy when you consider how cheaply you can make wheat-free things, compared to how expensive they are in the shops! Thanks a lot for your comment. :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Interestng hub about finding good (if a bit pricey) items that suit gluten free diets at Starbucks. Voted useful. I also learned about bistro boxes and ploughman lunches and branston-like pickles from you hub. Thanks!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)