My husband and I are planning a trip to Europe this summer, but he has a gluten intolerance. How easy is it to find gluten free food in Europe? Do markets and restaurants readily carry gluten free options, or should we pack lots of CLIF bars?
You can find this topics discussed in other posts by searching in the box above for "gluten." Typically "safe" foods like salads, grilled vegetables, grilled meats and fish, omelets, rice, etc. are everywhere. Gluten-free replacements for typically glutinous foods may not be easy to find outside of a well-stocked supermarket, so pack a box of your favorite (sturdy) crackers. When ordering a dish with sauce or anything you suspect, do ask. You can write down the term "gluten-free" in several languages before you go (glutenfrei in German).
Europe is a big continent. If you tell us which countries you are visiting, you will get more specific information, weblinks, etc.
I have seen restaurants in Italy posting notices for gluten-free items on their menus. You can tell your waitperson that you need gluten-free food (in the language of the country you are in, carry some translation cards). Pharmacies and some supermarkets have gluten-free sections. I don't know much about eating gluten-free in other countries, but I travel with friends sometimes who need gluten-free options and they say Italy is one of the easiest countries for eating gluten-free.
Thank you! I'm glad to know about Italy. We will be visiting Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Czech Republic. Any tips for other specific countries?
Information about Germany:
All grocery stores have a wide variety of gluten free items. Reform Houses, which are health food stores will have a large selection too.
I have friends who live in a village in Switzerland and they can find gluten-free options there, larger cities should be no problem.
I have a gluten free child and we haven't had much trouble in England, France, Spain, and Portugal. Haven't had trouble anywhere except super rural USA, but those countries are the only ones we've been to since celiac diagnosis. Supermarkets and specialty food stores carry plenty of GF food, I just stock up on snacks and keep them in the room. Restaurants often have things, you just have to ask. This site has information about GF for restaurants translated in many languages Because my child is picky, I usually get a hotel with a kitchenette, but an adult who will eat more flexibly should be fine. If all one restaurant has is a salad, have a salad then stop at the market for cheese, produce, etc.
I buy GF pasta over there and cook it in the hotel kitchen if all else fails. It almost never does.
Thanks for all the helpful advice!
I don' know if you've taken your trip yet, but this New York Times article confirms that Italy is very gluten-aware, as well as having some useful links at the end: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/29/travel/gluten-free-dining-in-italy.html?ref=travel
Thank you, Harold. We are leaving soon, and I was glad to read this article.