Please sign in to post.

Gluten free food while travelling ( Europe etc) comments/ideas

For those people looking for gluten free food, here are some findings from our latest trip.
We have been driving through Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium for approx a month. Stopping in various towns and cities, eating out each night and buying groceries for lunches and breakfasts etc.
As anyone who needs to eat gluten free would know, it can be challenging. we often spend at least half an hour each night wandering around checking out the menus in each town, looking for something suitable.

On this trip we found only a few restaurants that offered gluten free meals ( eg: italian pasta etc) as an option. it was by no means obvious on the menus ( believe me, we looked)
As for buying gluten free products at local supermarkets, it was very hit and miss. generally very poor. there was only one supermarket, Kaiser in Germany that had a reasonable range of things like bread/rolls and biscuits etc. Schar brand for example.
in contrast on a previous 2 month trip in Italy and France we often found supermarkets with gluten free products. Perhaps this was just being unlucky this time?
This is NOT a complaint ( I survived quiet well) but any information that others can add may help.

What countries/areas have you found the best for finding GF food and products?

Posted by
3696 posts

Aldi has a huge assortment of gluten free... not sure of exact countries they are in, but I have shopped them lots of times in Europe... as well as the US.
I guess if you are looking for gluten free bread of pasta in restaurants it might be more difficult... but simply meat, vegetables and a salad can be found in most restaurants.

Posted by
2828 posts

In Germany and Austria you can usually find gluten-free products at the health food stores. I forget what they are called in German but they are all over.

In Italy we have usually found a gluten-free section in each supermarket. In restaurants Ijustorder carefully ( risotto, grilled meat or fish, salad, wge tables)! Rather than try to find gluten-free pasta or pizza.

Posted by
11613 posts

I posted about gluten-free eating in Sicily last month. I found waiters and chefs very knowledgeable about what to order or changes they could make in preparing food. I had gluten-free pasta and pizza which was good, and I am fussy about that. Since then I've been to Lake Garda and the Veneto, fewer dedicated gluten-free menus but still easy to eat gluten-free.

All the places I have stayed either had gluten-free items for breakfast, or when I told them I could not eat gluten, those items appeared at breakfast the next day. Supermarkets and pharmacies also have gluten-free sections.

Posted by
703 posts

thanks for the replies, we found that Aldi (while they have gluten free breads in Australia, that I buy) did not have any ( or a space for them), the 'health food' shops were either closed, or had opening hours that did not suit us, as travellers. maybe it just happened to be the stores we looked at, although we checked at lot as we were often in the shopping centres and towns.

I usually order 'simple' foods as suggested, but did find a general lack of information on menus.
After spending over 20years of living on a gluten free diet, you get fairly good at ordering and finding foods.

Posted by
1345 posts

In the UK and Ireland there is usually in the bigger supermarkets a 'Freefrom' section of gluten free products, ditto from my experience in France.

Usually in the chain restaurants gluten free items are marked on the menu. In my experience it seems to be better in the countries where there is a higher incidence/awareness of coeliac disease (UK, Ireland, Spain and Italy spring to mind) than others.

Posted by
8100 posts

Tegut grocery chain in Germany has a large selection of gluten free as well as vegan products. DM and Rossman drugstores also offer a decent selection. The health food chains, Reformhaus, Allnatura, or Denns will also have these items. I am sure that Rewe must have them too.

Posted by
703 posts

thanks for the info, we are in the UK now and there seems to be lots more products available in the supermarkets. particularly bread, which is often the one that I need.
often where gluten free products are available ( in some other countries, in health food stores etc) they don't always have bread they have cake mix etc and other products that are not particularly useful to a traveller

Posted by
1345 posts

If you are in the UK and spot it, try the Genius brand gluten free bread. It is gluten free bread, that tastes like bread!

Posted by
703 posts

thanks for the tip, i will keep an eye out for it. thus far in the UK I have spotted a number of shops with gluten free options ( actually listed) on there menus and even takeaway shops with gluten free options. even gluten free cornish pasties, scones and ice cream cones. I am loving the UK.
It goes to show its not really that difficult to actual mention that gluten free options are available. whereas I have found other places where they do have gluten free but only after you actually ask them ( it not advertised or shown on the menu)

Posted by
248 posts

I have a daughter with Celiac and was impressed on a recent trip to Slovenia, that the menus in EVERY restaurant indicated allergens. When I asked about this, I was told that the EU has recently made a ruling that allergens need to be posted, but that each country can comply with this as they see fit. Croatia did not seem to be giving much info, but Slovenia was better than the US on posting in their menus. It gave me hope for future travels with my daughter.

Kaye