gluten free europe

Gluten Free Dublin

I was surprised to find out that Dublin's policies on gluten free food at restaurants is much more strict than anywhere else I've seen before.  Restaurants and bakeries are legally mandated not to serve anything gluten free that was prepared in the same kitchen as gluten.  While there are gluten free options in many restaurants, we came across several bakeries that expressed the desire to serve gluten free options but said they needed to first find a separate facility to produce the product.  And many of the restaurants that have gluten free offerings bring in the prepared products from an outside gluten free facility.  So if you are sensitive to gluten, you can feel safe eating gluten free in Dublin!  

Milano

19 Essex St E, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland

This Italian restaurant was across the street from our hotel in the city center.  The atmosphere is casual and clean with waiter service and reasonable prices.  We had an early dinner because we wanted to catch the Early Bird specials.  Restaurants in Dublin don't have Happy Hour, but have something similar called the Early Bird menu.  Typically, alcoholic drinks are not on special but there are select food items that are offered at a reduced rate for dinner before 7pm. 

MIlano's claim to fame are their Dough Balls, which are basically pizza dough rolled into bite sized balls and dipped in butter.  Since they were highly recommended by our server, we ordered the gluten free dough balls.  I expected something more doughy, but there was nothing special about them.  They just tasted like mini bread rolls with a crusty outside and slightly dense inside.  

The gluten free pizza was disappointing.  As you can see from the photo, there was barely any cheese on our pizza.  The crust was kind of cardboardy tasting.  The manager told us that they get the gluten free pizza crusts pre-made from a gluten free bakery in Dublin.  They are not allowed to make the crust from scratch on premise because of issues with cross contamination. 

It was also fun to be able to order gluten free beer off of the menu in one of the beer drinking capitals of the world!  Even though Josh doesn't like beer, his attitude was When In Rome! 

Gallaghers Boxty House

20-21 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland

Next to Dublin's famous Temple Bar, Boxty is one of the many packed and trendy restaurants on Temple Bar Street.  It was only 6pm when we went and the place was already crowded.  There are two floors with plenty of tables but squeezed tightly together.  The tables are candle lit and the restaurant is dim to set a cool ambiance.  For us, the main draw back was that there were no high chairs for our 11 month old, and since the space is so small, they don't allow strollers into the restaurant.  However, the manager found a table for us in the corner of the restaurant where we were able to fit our stroller- so they were accomidating in that way! 

The menu is a modern twist on traditional Irish cuisine with featured items like smoked fish and chips and Irish Beef and Stout stew served with Irish soda bread.  The Boxty Tasting Slate was the highlight of the meal.  Boxty Dumplings with Honey & Chilli, Toasted Boxty Loaf topped with St. Tolas Goats Cheese, and Boxty Fries with a Rocket & Garlic Dip.  The Boxty Fries were out of this world!  Unbelievably tasty and crispy fries made out of potato pancake.  In fact, they were so good that we ordered a second side of fries for dessert.  

Beshoff Bros

71 Dame St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland

A fast food restaurant with no physical charm or ambience to write home about, this restaurant is a MUST HAVE for anyone who is gluten free!  They make the most unbelievable and perfectly crispy gluten free fish and chips.  In fact, the GF fish and chips are even better than the non gluten free ones.  The batter that they use gets extra crispy in the fryer, while the normal ones came out slightly soggy.  The gluten free menu is a deep fried food lover's dream and will blow you away.  Items include GF fried calamari, GF fried chicken goujons, seafood chowder, and a variety of fried fish options.  We inhaled two orders of gluten free fish and chips made with cod, gluten free onion rings and gluten free cod goujons (like fish nuggets).  The chips (french fries) were just up my alley too- thick and potatoey (I really don't care for shoe string fries) and the fish and chips were served with a delicious house made tartar sauce.   We also got a gluten free beer and gluten free cider to share to round out the meal.  It was nice to see other families eating there together and ordering everything gluten free for the table even though not everyone was gluten intolerant.  The GF food is just that good!

The Thursday Cafe Dublin Food Coop.

12 Newmarket Dublin, Ireland D8

We were on our way to visit the Teeling Whisky Distillery to learn about the process of making Irish Whisky and do a whisky tasting (we love to incorporate all sorts of craft food and beverage tastings into our holidays!) It was early afternoon and we had been walking all day. Our tummies were ready for a quick lunch!  Next to the distillery, we passed by a sign that said Gluten Free & Vegetarian, which in our language means C'mon In! 

The Thursday Cafe is part of Dublin's Food Coop.  It felt more like a cafeteria than a restaurant.  The space appeared to have been a school or community gym.  Most of the customers were women with little children. Children ran around energetically and played with old toys and blocks provided by the coop with while mothers conversed over a salad or coffees.  The sitting area was filled with long communal tables and a few old couches that were in desperate need of reupholstering.   When you are finished eating, you clean up after yourself, with separate bins for composting, trash and recycling.  The restaurant definitely had a very earthy and hippy vibe.  

The food was very homemade and rustic tasting.  You can see from the images that it wasn't particularly pretty, but filled with healthy vegetables, cheeses and many gluten free options.  There was a curry lentil soup that was delicious, served with a gluten free charcoal bread and hummus. The bread was very dry but also extremely healthy tasting and the hummus was excellent (more chunky and emphasis on chickpeas rather than tahini).  The gluten free vegetable lasagna had been sitting out for a few hours already and the cheese looked all hard, so we passed on that. The GF seasonal vegetable and goats cheese quiche was nice.  There was another vegetable quiche that had already sold out.  I also had a cappuccino made with organic fair trade coffee beans, which I really enjoyed.  I really needed that boost of caffeine! 

The Thursday Cafe is not a dining experience but is a cheap and quick place to stop for a healthy lunch, especially if you're on your way to the Jamison or Teeling Whiskey distilleries.    

Peacock Green

25 Leeson Street Lower, Dublin, Ireland

A charming little bakery and cafe open for breakfast, lunch and high tea.  There are two levels, but small and limited seating.  What I like about a neighborhood cafe like this is that they seem to have their regular daily customers.  They have a selection of teas and coffees, cakes and sandwiches.  There were a few gluten free cakes that we had our eye on.  Particularly the adorable little tea cakes in flavors of banana, toffee and lemon.  There was also a decadent looking flourless chocolate cake with fresh raspberries.  Recommended for a quick place to have mid morning or afternoon tea.  

Dublin Airport Food Court

In the departures area of the Dublin Airport there is a large food hall with a wide array of cuisines.  I was pleasantly surprised to also see that in the bakery area, there were a selection of pre-wrapped gluten free cakes and scones. 

Gluten Free Vienna

Ristorante Pizzeria Scarabocchio

Florianigasse 3, 1080 Wien, Austria

A charming Italian restaurant in the center of the city, Ristorante Pizzera Scarabocchio is a real gemstone.  Step into an Italian bistro style pizzeria where the staff who wait on you are full blown Italian.  Of course there are non-gluten free pizza and pastas on the menu, but nearly everything can be made gluten free.  They claim to make their own gluten free pizza crust, which we were really excited to try. 

We ordered the gluten free focaccia bread to share as a starter and the gluten free penne pasta and pizza as our mains.  We thought that the focaccia bread would be fluffier like a traditional focaccia bread, but they actually use the same crust that they use for the gluten free pizza and top it with rosemary and olive oil.  We enjoyed it but we likely would not have ordered it had we known that it was going to be made from the same crust as the pizza.

The gluten free pizza was the same size as the regular pizza and there was no surcharge for gluten free.  We ordered the fresh buffalo mozzarella pizza with garlic.  The pasta was a gluten free penne with fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella and ricotta cheese.  We were so full by the end of the meal, but we had to save room for the gluten free tiramisu! The tiramisu was really delicious and beautifully presented on the plate.  You would never known that you were eating a gluten free dessert.  We sat next to a couple from Ireland who came to the restaurant because the husband had celiac and he was so excited to have a piece of gluten free tiramisu!  They told us that Ireland has one of the highest rates of celiac in the world and is a very gluten free conscience country.  I guess we'll have to plan a trip to Ireland to check out the gluten free restaurant scene!     

Allergiker Café

Wiedner Hauptstraße 35, 1040 Wien, Austria

Here is a little cafe in Vienna that is 100% gluten free.  Open for breakfast and lunch, they serve coffee and tea and a variety of gluten free cakes and cookies.  Some of the cakes are signature to Vienna, including the famous Sachertorte.  The cake consists of a dense and slightly dry chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam on top, coated in a thin layer of dark chocolate ganache on the top and sides. It is traditionally served with whipped cream.  Earlier in the day, we sought out the most famous place to get Sachertorte for me at the Hotel Sacher.  To be honest, I could not tell the difference between that slice of cake and this gluten free version.  That is to say that the Sachertorte is meant to have a dry consistency and we all know that gluten free is too often infamous for being dry and slightly crumbly.  

 

As you can note on the menu in the photo below, many of the cafes and restaurants in Vienna have symbols to indicate the allergens in their menu offerings.  The most common allergens noted are gluten free, lactose free and nut free.  We very quickly learned that Vienna is a very easy place for individuals with food allergies to navigate because restaurants are legally obliged to note the major allergens on their menus.  

Blue Orange

Margaretenstraße 9, 1040 Wien, Austria

Blue Orange is a cafe that is open for lunch and offers all different types of bagel sandwiches.  With it's origins in NYC and eventual growth across the US, the bagel trend is growing internationally, especially in major cities.  We've discovered at least one trendy bagel shop in every city throughout Europe, and Australia that we've traveled to.  Blue Orange can make any of the bagel sandwiches on the menu gluten free.  They don't make their own bagels in house and purchase them from a gluten free wholesale bakery.  We ordered the caprese style sandwich with fresh mozzarella, tomato, pesto and basil.  The gluten free bagel tasted more like white bread in the shape of a bagel. It definitely didn't possess the chewy texture and crunchy exterior that you would expect from a traditional bagel  I guess you could say it tasted more like a lender's bagel.  There was a slight surcharge for the gluten free bagel.  The sandwich itself was tasty and it was fun to be able to stop for an afternoon gluten free bagel snack in Vienna!  The cafe is also a cute place to sit with lots of space and tables.  Many customers were sitting and working with their computers and a cup of coffee.  

Café Landtmann

Universitätsring 4, 1010 Wien, Austria

Cafe Landtmann is an old famous cafe in the heart of Vienna.  It is one of Vienna's tourist attractions, as it was opened in 1873. Walk into the cafe and enter a charming old-world European bistro-cafe with elegant finishings and servers dressed in formal attire.  Your eyes will be immediately drawn to the bakery counter.  Filled with three shelves of beautiful colorful cakes, each is more mouth watering than the next.  The most impressive part is that there are about 10 desserts that were labeled with a yellow gluten free sticker.  In addition, cakes that are lactose free and nut free are labeled too, each allergen with a different color code.    

The cakes were reasonably priced too.  Each cake was about 5.50 euros for take out and 6.50 euros to eat in.  I had to stop Josh from buying one of each cake to try.  We bought three cakes to try- the chocolate cake, strawberry shortcake, and chocolate mousse.  The cakes looked better than they tasted, but we eat with our eyes so that was most of the fun! 

Gasthaus Zum Wohl

Stumpergasse 61, 1060 Wien, Austria

The entire menu is gluten and lactose free.  To clarify, this doesn't mean that the restaurant is dairy free.  They offer dishes with lactose free cheese and coffees with lactose free milk and almond milk.  There is a really pretty courtyard with tables outside, but it was a bit chilly so we sat inside.  The entrance of the restaurant has a huge bar with a coffee machine and alcoholic beverages including gluten free beer.  The restaurant is really spacious and clean with a modern and sleek design.  Our server was very friendly and knowledgeable.  He taught us a fun new fact- cheese that has been aged for more than 6 months becomes lactose free.  So if you are lactose intolerant and love parmesan cheese, you're in luck!

We started with a vegan yellow lentils curry soup with carrots and coconut cream and enjoyed three spreads with homemade bread.  We moved on to a delicious Asparagus quiche with salad and herb dip.  The crust had a lemon zest flavoring in it, which was sensational.  We also shared spinach dumplings with tomato sauce and nut pesto. The dumplings tasted sort of like gnocchi.   The dish was very pretty and the tomato sauce was excellent, but the dumplings were a little too gummy and chewy, a bit slimy in fact.  For dessert we had a version of the famous Viennese crepes with powdered sugar.  The presentation was very appetizing, but the crepes were also gummy and chewy.  I would recommend steering clear from anything that resembles a dumpling or a pancake on the menu, especially since there are so many other options.  All in all, I would definitely recommend trying Zum Wohl because its a very pretty place to enjoy a hardy 100% gluten free meal with excellent service.  

Mr. and Mrs. Feel Good

Paniglgasse 22, 1040 Wien, Austria

This little cafe has delicious, home-made food every day, with many dishes that are gluten free, vegetarian or vegan. They have an english menus and label all allergens and multiple GF choices.   They also have delicious cakes and they serve coffee, tea and smoothies. We loved the curry, especially sweet potato. You can sit inside or outside under large umbrellas. A quick on the go option for lunch.

Waldherr

Naschmarkt

One of my favorite activities in European cities is to explore the food markets and taste the fresh handmade local cuisine.  Naschmarkt is Vienna's famous outdoor food market with over 100 food stalls and restaurants.  We stumbled upon a small "bio" bakery called Waldherr in the middle of the market.  The bakery serves an array of fresh organic and whole wheat breads and pastries.  They also have a dedicated selection of gluten free pastries that are wrapped in plastic.  We tasted something that looked similar to a croissant.  It was very dry and crumbly.  The excitement factor of eating gluten free versions of some of Vienna's pastry delicacies was a redeeming quality.  Maybe they would have been better fresh out of the oven.  

Merkur Market

Hoher Markt 12, 1010 Wien, Austria

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Markur Market is a really gorgeous and upscale supermarket in the city center close to the Hilton Hotel where we stayed.  There are three floors.  The bottom has fresh produce, the middle floor has gourmet groceries and the top floor has a bakery, wine bar, and coffee bar.  Near the bakery section, we found a table filled with gluten free baked goods from a company called Weizen Frei, which means Wheat Free in German.  The muffins didn't look like anything special, but the breads looked fantastic and there were a few different types.  We bought a few different breads to try and enjoy with our canapes at the hotel club lounge that evening.  The Hilton Hotel offered GF bread with breakfast from the same company.

Here is an excellent recipe for traditional Viennese gluten free poppyseed noodles. 

Gluten Free Paris

My favorite part about living in Paris was walking through the streets and discovering the most beautiful boulangerie and patisserie windows with their baguettes, croissants and decadent pastries.  While I could indulge in the world’s finest breads pastries, my husband with celiac disease had to stick to macaroons! In 2010, the words “sans gluten” were foreign to restaurant and bakery owners.  The concept of pastry without the gluten was unthinkable.  And yet, 6 years later, gluten free has taken hold. In Paris, you can now find bakeries selling gluten-free breads, sandwiches and pastries.

Helmut Newcake

28 Rue Vignon, 75009 Paris

The city’s gluten-free dedicated gluten free bakery is Helmut Newcake, a pastry shop less than a 10-minute walk from the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps in the Ninth Arrondissement. The display windows at Helmut Newcake are stacked with delicate fruit tarts and cream filled éclairs, typical of the traditional boulangerie. 

Eric Kayser

4 rue de l’Échelle, 75001 Paris

Not far from Helmut Newcake, near the Louvre, the famed French baker Eric Kayser, too, has gluten-free offerings on the Rue de l’Échelle.  Since Eric Kayser is not a dedicated gluten free bakery like the others, they pre-wrap all of the gluten free offerings.  The cellophane wrapped cakes and cookies appear un-appealing in the case, especially compared to their neighboring fresh regular bread and pastry options.  

There is a separate area dedicated to various types of gluten free breads including chickpea bread, buckwheat bread, and multi-grain bread.  We bought one of each loaf to try.  To be frank, I didn't like the gluten free bread at Eric Kayser as much as I hoped I would.   The loaves were dense and heavy.  But it's so fun to be able to purchase gluten free treats at one of Paris's most well established bakeries!  

Chambelland

14 Rue Ternaux, 75011 Paris

Post from May 2015:

You can also find artisanal leavened breads made with flours like rice and buckwheat at Chambelland in the 11th Arrondissement.  At Chambelland, as at La Maison Kayser and Helmut Newcake, they don’t use the food-grade preservatives that are the norm in North American gluten-free products. We sat outside the very crowded restaurant and enjoyed the most delicious lunch.  There are a select number of sandwiches offered daily and once they are sold out, they don't make more.  We finished eating at 12:30 and two out of the three sandwich options were already sold out!  Josh and I shared the tomato, basil and mozzarella sandwich and the tuna sandwich on a large fresh focaccia.  We could not resist tasting the raspberry tart for dessert.  It tasted as beautiful as it looked in the bakery case.  

We loved Chambelland so much that we went back the next day again! We bought a loaf of Chambelland’s pain aux cinq grains (the five grains being buckwheat, sunflower, gold and brown flax, poppy seed and sesame) to eat at our hotel breakfast.  Most Paris hotels still don't offer gluten free bread at breakfast.  We can't expect them to progress that quickly!

Post from May 2017:

Chambelland was the first restaurant we came back to on our trip back to Paris.  It was a rainy cold day, but we made it our mission to make the trip back, despite its non central location.  We were most excited to eat that amazing bread that we remembered so fondly, and the lemon meringue tarte made with the creamiest richest French meringue you have ever tasted in your life.  We actually got a seat inside this time- usually this place is PACKED around lunch.  They haven't changed much since we went two years ago, but the food was just as consistently delicious as we remembered.  All of the breads resemble a focaccia shape but made with different ancient grains, rice flour and seeds.  We took four different types of breads home with us to try.  It's most exciting that they bake all of their breads in the back of the restaurant, as many of the other gluten free bakeries that we went to purchase their bread from a supplier.  Nothing like fresh (gluten free) bread in Paris!  

 

NOGlue

Posted May 2015: 69, rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris

NOGlue is an entirely gluten free restaurant featuring French cuisine.  Located in an alleyway in the 7th arrondissement, they are open for dinner only and require reservations in advance.  The space is tiny, so they fill up quite quickly.  If you can't make it to the restaurant, be sure to stop by the take-away bakery just across the way.  We stopped their for an afternoon snack when the restaurant was closed.  The tomato and mozzarella panini was just delicious!

Posted May 2017: 38, rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris


We went to have lunch at a new NoGlue location near Le Marais, which was a nice sit down restaurant.  It seemed like every patron in the restaurant was American. Even the servers preferred to speak English to French.  This was very illustrative of their main customer base.  As I always say, the French are very negative on gluten free, since baguettes and croissants are part of their underlying culture.  We ordered gluten free fish and chips, spinach and goats cheese quiche, and raspberry tarte for dessert.  The fish and chips were nothing to write home about.  The quiche was absolutely phenomenal!  It's hard to get the same flaky crust without the gluten but the buttery flavor was delicious.  The tarte was very impressive- similar to the quiche crust.  The presentation of the tarte made it all the more delicious.  

Bears and Raccoons

21 Rue Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris

Bears and Raccoons is a new gluten free cafe since the last time we visited Paris 2 years ago. A dedicated gluten free cafe that offers sandwiches, cakes, cookies and organic coffees and teas.  They don't offer classic French patisserie like Chambelland and NoGlue (tarts, eclairs, chouquete) but they have a nice selection of sweets including carrot cake, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies.  Not your genuine Parisian culinary experience, but a cute spot to sit for lunch.  They don't make their bread in house, and the sandwiches were just ok.  The carrot cake was moist and very delicious.  

Le Grande Epicerie

38 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris

The Grande Epicerie is the most grandiose multi level food and beverage hall that I have ever witnessed.  The store is so beautifully merchandised that it makes you want to buy and eat everything.  There are foods from around the world and all different types of cuisines.  The almond croissants are the best I have ever tasted in my life.  I was excited to see that since I've last visited Le Grande Epicerie, they have added an entire gluten free section next to the bakery with packaged breads, pastries and cookies.  We bought a loaf of bread seeded bread to eat with some truffled goats cheese at the cheese and wine bar and it was pretty impressive!  Everything is pre-packaged so you can make sure there is no cross contamination.  

Yummy & Guilt Free

3 Rue du Temple, 75004 Paris

Le Marais is filled with trendy and creative food concepts.  If you have any dietary restrictions, you can bet that there will be food for you in Le Marais.  One of the new gluten free and vegan concepts in Le Marais is Yummy & Guilt Free Gaufres.  Gaufres means waffles in French.  The waffles are vegan and gluten free.  There are sweet and savory options- similar to the French sweet and savory crepes.  You can choose your own fillings and watch them hand pipe the fillings into the waffles in front of you. The place is very tiny with only a few tables, but it's more of a quick fix take away type of place.  The gaufres are light and delicious.  It's hard to stop at just one!

Chapon Mousse Bar

69 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris

Chapon is another concept eatery in Le Marais.  This is the first chocolate mousse and toppings bar that I have ever seen.  Choose your mousse base and then choose your toppings.  Served either in a cone or a cup.  

Hank Burger Restaurant

55 Rue des Archives, 75003 Paris

The entire menu is vegan and they also have a gluten free patty and gluten free bun.  Their vegan and gluten free burgers are delicious! Choose from an interesting mix of flavors and variety of toppings and accompaniments. I would highly recommend it for anyone who is vegetarian or gluten free!  Most customers in the restaurant sounded American. Even the guys at the counter spoke English perfectly with no French accent.  Le Marais is filled with lots of x-pats since it has turned into such a trendy and "yuppy" area.