Please sign in to post.

Gluten Free in Ireland

I've recently become sensitive to gluten. I'm planning my first trip ever to Ireland. How difficult will it be to eat gf in Ireland? Do pubs serve anything other than ales and beers? Thanks. SO looking forward to my trip next Fall.

Posted by
185 posts

Were you medically diagnosed? If so, it's a journey in itself as going on 2 years gf (I was already vegan- and dairy is sometimes an issue for those with gluten intolerance) I am still learning. You have a whole year, so that's great. Pre- Covid19 at a family reunion gala dinner in Florida last year I ended up quietly snacking on the trail mix I keep with me, wherever I am. There was nothing offered that I could safely eat. When I traveled (sigh) I always took packets of peanut butter, gf and v energy bars, my trusty nut mix, etc and scattered them throughout my suitcase. Sometimes there just won't be an option and then you have a healthy back up. It will be easier in larger cities but you never know- one of the best meals in my life was in a tiny hotel in remote northern Finland. You can also research ahead of time if eating in restaurants is something you enjoy.
By the time you depart (here's hoping!) you should be an expert in which foods and drinks gluten lurks. There are gf options for a lot of things, even beer, but make sure to always ask to read the label. (I thought scrambled eggs were safe till I found out many restaurants use a pre- mixed product that includes dried cream. Etc. )
The closer you are to eating the actual food, rather than say, a complicated dish with a lot of ingredients, the safer you will be, anywhere. And you can always drink water ;)

Posted by
3437 posts

When I took the RS Ireland tour a few years ago, one of the other tour members was gluten free. She was an interesting person to talk with and I learned a lot about the struggles someone who has been diagnosed with gluten issues face. Every hotel and B&B we stayed in had breakfast options that worked for her -- gluten free breads in sealed packages, eggs cooked specifically to prevent gluten contamination and other options. She just had to mention to the desk clerk the night before and they provided.

Pubs (at least all of them we visited) offer soft drinks (Coke and similar), bottled water, juices, wine, and hard alcohol in addition to the expected beers. Many have food offerings as well, but I wouldn't bet on them being gluten free options.

Every restaurant we ate our group meals in had good gluten free options available.

Posted by
176 posts

One of my friends is gf - she drinks cider when we go to pubs and that will certainly be available in Ireland.

Posted by
164 posts

Coeliac Disease/gluten intolerance is fairly common in Ireland and you'll find most food establishments cater reasonably well for it (some better than others of course). Bigger supermarkets have an area for GF products too.

Posted by
103 posts

I am intolerant to ALL grains, not just wheat. I am also lactose intolerant. So I have to be very careful about what I ingest. My husband and I visited Belfast and Dublin (and the surrounding area) for a week last fall. One thing I greatly appreciated was that the restaurants in Ireland are much, much better at identifying the common food allergens than here in the USA. Almost every restaurant we considered had the allergens listed. I then could decide if there was anything I could eat that I also wanted to eat. Since I have two intolerances, my choices were very limited. I use the website findmeglutenfree before I travel anywhere to get an idea of what restaurants to check out. Certainly not all of them are listed on this site, but it's a start. I also use Google to search for restaurants and then visit their site to view their menu. As I said, you will find the food allergens labeled for most, if not all of the restaurants. Even small mom and pop restaurants had allergens clearly labeled. Enjoy Ireland!

Posted by
4215 posts

There's a common misconception that Europe lags behind the US in many areas including catering for coeliacs. Europe, particularly EU countries, is often way ahead of the US particularly when it comes to food safety and regulations (there are over 1000 toxic ingredients banned in the EU that are commonly used in the food and cosmetic industry that are not banned in the US) and as a result you'll find eating out in Ireland when you're gluten intolerant is relatively easy. EU law dictates that food outlets are required to provide allergen information for all the food they serve, many will list them on the menus however those that don't are required to advise you on request.

Consequently, awareness of food intolerances, allergies etc is high and many establishments offer gluten free alternatives.

I've never heard of any pub that only serves ales and beers. Wine, cider, spirits and soft drinks along with tea and coffee are served in pretty much all pubs so it's easy to find something not made from grains.