Eating gluten free in Montenegro was straightforward, especially if you have just been to Croatia because the language is similar. The Montenegrins eat a lot of fresh seafood that is prepared in risottos or served with salad or vegetables. We didn’t have many problems when asking that the food be free from wheat (gluten isn’t a well known word there) and most of the restaurant and cafe staff were friendly and helpful.
Gluten free in Montenegro
Gluten free is not a term many local Montenegrins were familiar with so stick to words like flour and wheat if trying to explain your condition in English. You will also be able to find gluten free products in supermarkets but if it is a small store you will need to check labels rather than hunting for specific gluten free produce.
Getting to know Montenegrin cuisine
There is a large focus on fresh produce making eating gluten free relatively stress free. The national cuisine of Montenegro is influenced by Italian, Turkish and Greek food but there are plenty of traditional dishes that you won’t see elsewhere.
Tips for eating out gluten free in Montenegro
The abundance of fresh produce in Montenegro makes eating gluten free straight forward. Below are a few tips to give you some confidence about eating out gluten free in Montenegro.
Explaining your gluten free dietary requirements in Montenegro
- Use terms like flour and wheat rather than gluten free if speaking English.
- The language in Montenegro is officially Montenegrin and although it has many similarities to Serbo-Croatian it is not the same. Below are a few phrases that might help you to communicate your requirements.
Anything problematic with eating gluten free in Montenegro?
- Bread is served with meals, usually in a basket but be wary that it doesn’t come into contact with the food. Usually it is easiest just to specify you do not need bread, although the staff generally get the gist after asking questions about gluten free!
- Be vigilant with sauces and condiments, always check when you order that they are gluten free (haven’t been thickened with flour).
- Gluten free desserts were few and far between, panna cotta was usually the only option and it is very different to our interpretation. It has jellied fruit on top and the custard itself is white and more dense.
Suggested gluten free meal options in Montenegro
- Fresh salads.
- Fish, meat and poultry dishes (if a sauce is accompanying the dish be sure to check it is gluten free). Fresh seafood is easy to come by and a recommended dish in Montenegro.
- Risottos were always a safe choice.
Montenegro's tried and tested gluten free restaurants
Here is a list of restaurants in Montengro
- Galion: Superb food, lovely service and a beautiful setting overlooking the bay.
- Cesarica: Lovely fresh seafood in the old town, this restaurant was recommended by a local at another restaurant who saw us order seafood and thought we might like a local experience.
- Ferao: If staying on the Kotor Old Town side of the bay this was a nice kayaking distance and a very quaint setting.
- Lungo Mare: Nice risotto rinsed down with cider while watching the waves crash against the beach.
Lake Skadar National Park
- Konoba Badanj: Although many of the things listed on the menu weren’t available the fresh fish was delicious! This is the view from the restaurant.
- Ramada hotel: Both the room service and the breakfast buffet had some gluten free options and the food was to a high standard.
Tips for eating in gluten free in Montenegro
If you are concerned or stressed about eating gluten free in Montenegro it is a wise idea to book accommodation with a kitchen. Allowing you to prepare food at your accommodation when all the question asking gets too much! It also makes gluten free breakfasts easy.
Reading labels in Montenegro
In Montenegro the language is now officially Montenegrin. It is similar to Serbo-Croatian but it isn’t the same (it has two additional letters and some different pronunciations too). Although you will be able to identify the following wording on packaging when looking at labels which are always written in numerous languages;
A lot of gluten free brands are international so they will have English on them but also many other languages. Most specifically gluten free products are often labelled as gluten free in English. You will need a basic grasp on the terms above to be able to determine may contain clauses on any local and gluten free by ingredient products.
Gluten free breakfast options in Montenegro
When you can't find yourself specific gluten free bread, cereal or breakfast substitutes here are some of the breakfast options we used
- scrambled eggs and bacon
- rice cakes with nutella or cheese
- fresh fruit salad with greek yoghurt and honey (you can buy fresh honey and wine from local homes in Lake Skadar National Park, the bees that made some we bought are below, yum...naturally gluten free)
In Mercator supermarkets there are some specific gluten free products although this is the only chain in which they were sighted.
Gluten free snacks in Montenegro
With careful checking you should be able to find gluten free potato chips and chocolate bars. Fresh fruit, nuts and dried fruit are a good fall back though, the fresh produce is delicious.
Supermarkets and gluten free in Montenegro
The best supermarket for gluten free foods was Mercator, some of the stores had a dedicated gluten free section.
If you have any tips to add or questions to ask please get in contact we are always looking to add to our guides to improve travelling gluten free for everyone. If you are looking for more gluten free travelling guides go here.