Touring Europe Gluten Free Style

My husband recently found out that he has celiac disease so as we begin to plan out our Europe trip for next summer, we're starting to do some research on restaurants that have a good amount of gluten free friendly options. I know Europe is much more understanding of celiac disease than here in America (even living in Chicago, we find eating out can be challenging sometimes) but I would love to hear if anyone has specific restaurant suggestions or places that they really enjoyed for delicious gluten free options. We're traveling to Rome, Florence, Gimmelwald/Swiss Alps, Rhine Valley, and Amsterdam. Would love to get input on any memorable breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert places you found enjoyable.

Posted by Elaine
Columbia, SC
800 posts

Try, or, where Gluten-Free Mrs. D. is usually hopping around Europe on a wonderful gluten-free adventure. or, just do a google on gluten free dining in Europe.

Posted by Chris
6 posts

My wife is Gluten Free and we just got back from a 3 country trip in Europe.
First we made sure we printed out translation cards explaining what gluten free was at Most people understood as soon as you said Gluten Free or some variation of this but we did have to give the card to a few to explain and they were more then accommodating. Since menus are available on the street we would find most said Gluten Free on the menu if they offered the options. For us Rome was by far the easiest with this as most offered a gluten free pasta option although there usually wasn't a variety. In Grocery stores there was usually a small section dedicated to food allergies and we would always find a few options here as well for snacks. Look for the symbol with wheat and a slash through it. Enjoy your trip

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
6175 posts

You don't need specifically gluten-free restaurants; you just need to choose carefully from the menu. Italy is very easy on a GF diet. Skip the bread, pasta, and pizza, and focus on the wonderful risottos, salads, grilled meat and fish, and vegetables. I have heard of a restaurant in Florence that offers gluten-free pasta, but we did not bother to try to find it as I have never found a gluten-free pasta that was any good. Switzerland is also easy, as their foods are more potato-based. Rösti makes a nice lunch if you are really hungry from hiking; mainly I order mixed salad for lunch and save the big meal for dinner. Our favorite restaurant in the Gimmelwald area is the Hotel Bellevue Stübli. Same menu as the dining room, but a bit cozier ( no view, though, so on a nice evening you might do better with a window table in the dining room). The Asian restaurant in Mürren is also popular but again you would have to be careful in ordering. Some celiacs are so sensitive they can't even have regular soy sauce as it contains some wheat. If your husband is in that category He should avoid Asian food. Breakfast usually comes with your hotel room so you don't need restaurants for that meal. But it is the toughest meal, I find, because most European breakfasts are heavy on bread. They offer a wonderful selection, but he won't be able to enjoy those. Fruit and yogurt are generally on offer, and sometimes a platter of sliced meat and cheese.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
5879 posts

Can't speak for other countries but in Italy we let our B&Bs and hotels know that one of us has celiac disease and many of them had gluten-free crackers and cereals on hand (in a separate area of the dining room). Sometimes we brought our own gluten-free crackers of flatbreads to breakfast. You will be able to find many snacks at pharmacies and grocery stores as well.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3254 posts

@Lola... just bought a bag of gluten-free penne pasta from Costco (made mostly with quinoa) and I literally could not tell the difference....don't remember the brand, but it's probably the only one Costco has. And I have only been off gluten for a short time. Fed it to my Italian grandson and he couldn't tell either.