Regular deglutenous readers will know that we have recently been on a holiday to Europe. Many gluten free travellers feel a little nervous before embarking on an overseas holiday but we are happy to report that our trip included many excellent gluten free dining experiences. Language barriers proved the biggest problem, as you would assume, but in each country we quickly learnt the best items to order from the menu resulting in confidence in ordering gluten free meals. On our trip we visited Croatia, Montengro, Italy and the UK.
Italy is widely known for their gluten free options and everything you have read is correct, there was no issue ordering gluten free food in Italy. The staff know exactly what is suitable for someone on a gluten free diet and were very aware of coeliac disease and the importance of ensuring all food is 100% gluten free. It was easy to find gluten free pasta in restaurants. We were even lucky enough to find gluten free pizza (which although it is quite easy to find in Australia isn’t that easy to come across in Italy because they take cross contamination so seriously). The same restaurant also served gluten free hot chips. We couldn’t help but get a little excited! The best thing about eating gluten free in Italy was that there was no need to worry. You specify your requirements when you arrive at a restaurant and you can be confident that you will not be served gluten.
London was also one we were looking forward to. We were fairly certain that the much larger population of the UK would ensure there were a wide variety of choices when it came to finding gluten free food and restaurants. We weren’t wrong, many restaurants had gluten free menus or clear reference to what was gluten free. There was a huge range of gluten free products in supermarkets and we felt spoilt for choice most places we went.
Croatia and Montenegro were our largest concerns mainly for the language barrier but also because Croatia is known to be influenced by Italian cuisine which meant the tourist traps of non gluten free pizza and pasta. We managed to eat our way through both of these countries unscathed. There are a lot of fish dishes and rice dishes that are perfect for those in need of a gluten free meal. Croatia was a little more difficult but that is also because by the time we made it to Montenegro we had worked out the best dishes to order gluten free as there are similarities in their cuisines
All in all with so many meals consumed in Europe there were no cases of glutening when eating out. The verdict is that it was a very successful trip as not only were all the meals gluten free, they were also delicious. As a result deglutenous are compiling several guides to eating gluten free for the European countries we visited. We hope they will help you have a comfortable and enjoyable dining experience while traveling overseas.
Stay posted as each of these guides will detail tips for both eating out and cooking or preparing gluten free meals in Croatia, Italy and Montenegro.
- The local cuisine and expected experience
- Recommended restaurants
- Suggested dishes that should be gluten free as a starting point
- Questions to ask and tips for ensuring your meals are gluten free
- Some gluten free translations
- Tips for reading labels
- Suggested breakfast and snack options
- Recommended supermarkets
Here are our completed guides;
- guide to eating gluten free in Croatia.
- guide to eating gluten free in Montenegro.
- guide to eating gluten free in Italy.
- gluten free in London, this is more of a guide to restaurants than anything, you will have a great time eating in London, there is so much choice!