Sin Gluten! Eat Your Way Around Gluten Free Spain
The Biocasa health food shop in the old town central district is huge and offers a great range of gluten free foods. Click To Tweet

Living with a food allergy or intolerance can be a challenge even in our own country. I remember the hours spent searching supermarket aisles, reading ingredients labels, trying different brands to finally find a range of foods that not only taste delicious but more importantly food I felt I could trust.

For me going on holiday or traveling, meant packing as much gluten free food as I could. Oats, bread, pasta, and snacks would all be stuffed into my suitcase. I did not want to risk living on a diet of fruit, vegetables, and rice or even worse – getting sick!

On many occasion I would be asking ‘Do I pack the cute orange shoes or that extra pack of gluten free oats’?! Tough decision and yes we have all been there!

I did not know what to expect from Spain, a Mediterranean diet with bread (and red wine) at the heart of every meal. I assumed gluten free would not be easily available and I would be sat watching everyone else tucking into their morning tostadas!

Upon arriving in the beautiful city of Malaga, the choices of places to eat was pretty impressive. Most restaurants offer a gluten free bread option, as well as gluten free tapas.

If like me, you like to prepare your own food Malaga has one of the best health food shops I have been in for a long time. The Biocasa health food shop in the old town central district is huge and offers a great range of gluten free foods. You will spend way to much time looking through all of their quirky and beautifully packaged food.

Move further down the coast to Vera Playa, Garrucha and Mojacar and you are welcomed into rural Spain.

Has gluten free made it’s way to the smaller and more traditionally ‘Spanish’ towns?

Thankfully the answer to this is YES!

Spanish supermarkets such as Consum and Mercadona have aisles dedicated to gluten free food and you will be able to buy pasta, bread, pastries, soups and many more food items you would ordinarily buy at home.

spanish gluten free logoMost food in general in the supermarket will also be labeled with a gluten free logo too – for example nearly all of the crisps have a logo detailing if they are gluten free, as well as other food products.

I was really surprised at how much easier it is to actually shop in Spanish supermarkets because of the clear markings.gluten free chickpea flour

The Spanish LOVE to cook with different flours, so chickpea flour and rice flour are super cheap and easy to find. I was able to make some delicious chickpea pastry!

Search around as many gluten free products are also neatly nestled in with other food.

The towns of Vera and Garrucha both have amazing health food shops, small but perfectly formed and offering other gluten free food options.

gluten free muesliHerbolario in Garrucha stocks many well-recognised brands as well as quirkier food brands too. I found this delicious gluten free ‘low sugar’ muesli in Herbolario in Garrucha.

Eating out ‘gluten free’ in Garrucha and Vera is relatively easy, menus offer lots of fresh fish and deliciously cooked tapas. When it comes to gluten free bread, Spain can offer you several varieties, which can be found not only in supermarkets but also in restaurants and coffee shops.

If you do not speak Spanish, communicating will obviously be a challenge, but as long as you can say ‘Sin Gluten’ most servers will understand what you mean.

We have recommended a couple of places, you can feel safe in the knowledge you can eat, get merry and be happy!

Eating Gluten free in Garrucha

  1. La Cantina De Flor Paseo del Malecon, 80, 04630 Garrucha, Almería – Coffee Shop with great tapas and breakfast
  2. Alcala Calle Mayor, 150, 04630 Garrucha, Almería – Coffee Shop by day and tapas bar by night. Lovely terrace in the old town
  3. Gnomo Feliz Ctra. Vera – Garrucha, Desvío Puerto Rey, 04620, Almería – Delicious restaurant with great views and traditional Spanish food

Eating Gluten free in Vera

  1. Pepe’s bar and grill Plaza del Hospital, 6, 04620 Vera, Almería – Lovely restaurant offering main meals and tapas
  2. Juan Moreno Ctra. de Ronda, 3, 04620 Vera, Almería – Traditional restaurant offering home cooked delicious food


Related Tag: Gluten Free Meals

Beautiful Gluten Free Barcelona Spain
Like any city and depending on how much time you plan on staying, Barcelona is home to some beautiful markets. Markets where you can pick up fresh fruit, veg, cheese and other traditional delicacies. Click To Tweet

Traveling in Spain has certainly opened up my eyes to just how ‘common’ gluten free diets have become – thankfully for us, this is a good thing!

Southern Spain has impressed me; with small towns home to many small but awesome cafes and restaurants offering gluten free menu options. For a country with a HUGE reliance on wheat for many of their meals, it was certainly a welcome surprise.

Yay, I could eat the same food as everyone else!

I always hoped a city like Barcelona would live up to its reputation of offering diverse and amazing cuisine, and even more so for those with Coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Like any city and depending on how much time you plan on staying, Barcelona is home to some beautiful markets. Markets where you can pick up fresh fruit, veg, cheese and other traditional delicacies.

For me, having the option to buy and cook my own food is a ‘backup’ plan I like to know I can fall back on. I have walked away from restaurants with the rumble of hunger in my stomach way too often, you soon become a pro at planning when you have a dietary requirement like gluten intolerance.

Get ready to feast your eyes on our top picks of places you can eat gluten free in the beautiful and romantic city of Barcelona.

Buenos Dias or good morning, let’s start with gluten free breakfast of champions in Barcelona.

There are a host of bakeries you can pick up a snack time breakfast treat (see below bakeries), but if you want to sit down and enjoy your breakfast in polite surroundings then look no further!

  1. Brunch & Cake Carrer d’Enric Granados, 19, 08007
    Such a cute name for a lovely little breakfast place. Offering an impressive range and well thought out creative menu. Gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian are all well catered for.  It does get busy, so be prepared to queue or arrive at 9am!
  2. Menssana Carrer Sardenya 48, 08005
    Reminiscent of a breakfast space you would find in California, the laid back feel of Menssana immediately puts you at ease. An interesting and varied menu offering delicious, fresh gluten free food. Staff are also very helpful and knowledgeable!

Gluten Free Lunch and Dinner

There is never enough time to eat in all the places you want, so the below are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to lunch and dinner options in bountiful Barcelona.

  1. Flax & Kale allers 74B, 08001
    As someone with a dietary requirement, when you see the word Kale in the name of a restaurant, you know there will be something you can eat. This lovely restaurant serves fresh food in a calm atmosphere. The service could have been better, but the food menu and taste certainly made up for it. Vegetarians and vegans are also catered for too. A lovely relaxed place for a spot of lunch.
  2. L’Antic Bocoi del Gotic Baixada de Viladecols, 3, 08002
    Certainly, a mouthful to pronounce, but definitely worth a visit. A lovely, cozy restaurant offering traditional Spanish food. Impressive gluten free menu and impeccable service make for a very special dinner.

Sugar and spice and all things nice (and gluten free of course)!

  1. Jansana Gluten Free Bakery C/Balmes 106, 08008
    Donuts, cakes, muffins and other lovely little fancies are waiting to be devoured. A very swish, modern and ultra cool bakery where you can sit in or take away. A true gluten free gem.
  2. Pasticelia Carrer de París, 165, 08036
    Our next sweet option is the traditional Pasticelia. A very cute traditional bakery offering a lovely range of gluten free treats. Choose one of their small and delicate Spanish fancies and sit on one of the many benches outside and watch the world go by. Great atmosphere, with friendly service.

Eating gluten free in Barcelona is easy and with so many options available, you really will be spoilt for choice. Let’s face it, choice makes a refreshing change for people with dietary requirements.

Gluten Free Bruges Belgium
I can recommend Bruges as having a fair few restaurants that cater for someone that is following a gluten free diet, which is great news for me and other coeliacs who are thinking of going to Bruges! Click To Tweet

Bruges is a quaint medieval city located in the north west of Belgium.  The city centre was granted UNESCO world heritage site in 2000 and is pretty special with it’s narrow cobbled streets and large squares.  With the city being just over a 3-hour train journey from Amsterdam or even better, a mere 1 hour 20 minutes from Brussels, you should really make this a stop on your European trip.  Often deemed as the ‘Venice of the North’, I can now see why, with lots of beautiful canals running through the city and bustling cafes to enjoy a glass of wine, eat some nice gluten free food (yes, really!) and watch the world go by.  

In terms of gluten free eating, I can recommend Bruges as having a fair few restaurants that cater for someone that is following a gluten free diet, which is great news for me and other coeliacs who are thinking of going to Bruges! I had no problems in any of the restaurants that I visited in finding gluten free food it was either already clearly labelled on the menu, or by informing the waiter of my allergy and asking them to inform me what foods are gluten free.

My top 3 gluten free Bruges food serving restaurants:

  1. Reliva, Goezeputstraat 6, Bruges 8000, Belgium.  This restaurant serves delicious European fayre.  They seemed to be very aware of dietary choices and are very vegetarian, vegan and gluten free food-friendly, with the gluten free food being highlighted on the menu.  They also had a very good wine menu too.  Quite expensive but worth it as the food, including my gluten free meal, was delectable.
  2. Marieke Van Brugghe, Mariastraat 17, Bruges 8000, Belgium.  I had a very tasty dinner here on my last night.  I told the waiting staff about my gluten allergy and they took their time to explain to me what I could and could not eat on the menu, as a coeliac.  They also explained to me the dishes that they could amend to make it gluten free for me.  The restaurant had a really nice, authentically Belgian ambience and this combined with the really yummy gluten free food it was a real winner!
  3. Gingerbread Bagel & Coffee House, Sint-Amandsstraat 29, Bruges 8000, Belgium.  Cute little tearooms that serve coffees, salads and cakes.  I always get excited when I have a good gluten free cake in a restaurant and this was particularly memorable.  They also have gluten free bread on offer which I had with a delicious salad.  I’d recommend this place for a great gluten free lunch in a cute tearoom setting.

Belgium is world famous for its chocolate shops and Bruges is no exception.  Chocolate shops are found around every corner, and as a gluten free traveller with a sweet tooth, this was very well received! As a coeliac, chocolates are always a go-to dessert and having so many varieties on offer was gluten free heaven!  Make sure to ask the chocolate shop workers which chocolates that they sell are gluten free, in most instances for me their English was perfect and they were very happy to tell me which ones I could eat as a coeliac.  They also were very ready to give out free samples, so go chocolate shopping on an empty stomach to really enjoy!

So to travel to Bruges as a gluten free traveller or not?  The answer is yes, Bruges should definitely be a stop on your gluten free travels.  A romantic city like no other, with lots of chocolate and gluten free food on offer, what’s not to love?!

Gluten Free Copenhagen Denmark
At Christmas Copenhagen is really special. The Christmas markets that pop up around the city are great to explore, with lots of local crafts on offer and of course mulled wine which must be consumed for warming purposes. Click To Tweet

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark and my gluten free capital of Scandinavia! Every meal I gobbled up in this wonderful city was truly delicious. As a coeliac it was also refreshing to have more than one or two gluten free menu choices to choose from in every restaurant that I visited.

At Christmas Copenhagen is really special. The Christmas markets that pop up around the city are great to explore, with lots of local crafts on offer and of course mulled wine (which must be consumed for warming purposes!). There are usually a variety of food stalls at these markets too; chocolate covered fruit seemed to be popular and a really delicious gluten free treat!

The days are short in December, with the sun setting at around 3:30-4pm, which adds to the cosy, wintery atmosphere. It is also the perfect excuse to slope off into a restaurant, to keep warm and enjoy some good gluten free food.

There are an abundance of restaurants that serve gluten free meals in Copenhagen and every cuisine seems to be catered for. From a gluten free burger to gluten free pizza (leave the calorie counting at home), I found the food here was exceptional.

Top 5 gluten free restaurants in Copenhagen

  1. Tight Hyskenstraede 10, Copenhagen 1207. This is a really cool place, hidden away down a small alley it would be easily missed, but make sure you don’t! It served the BEST gluten free burger (what an accolade!) I have ever eaten, served on tasty gluten free bread, which is hard to come by. The place has a funky ambience created by the dim lighting and indie music, definitely a place to not be missed.
  2. Simpleraw Gråbrødretorv 9, 1154 København K, Copenhagen. You can’t help but feel healthy once you’ve finished your meal here. They serve lots of gluten free food as well as vegan and vegetarian dishes. Try the Poke bowl; a yummy gluten free meal consisting of a variety of veg and tofu. Friendly service too.
  3. Costa D’Hellerup Kildegårdsvej 15, 2900 Hellerup, Copenhagen. Pizza. Gluten free pizza. Heaven! They are able to make pretty much every pizza on their menu with a gluten free base and be assured, they are delicious! It’s hard to find gluten free pizza bases that aren’t like eating cardboard, but at Costa D’Hellerup they have certainly achieved it, yum!
  4. Kodbyens Fiskebar Flaesketorvet 100, Copenhagen 1711. I don’t think a trip to Denmark would be complete without sampling a fish dish, the Danes do love their fish after all. So a trip to fish restaurant Kodbyens is must. Most of the meals on the menu can be adapted to be gluten free and the waiters were more than happy to explain how the meal could be adapted, once I had explained to them about my gluten allergy.
  5. Naturbageriet Frederiksborggade 29, Copenhagen 1360. Gluten free cake is something to get really excited about and this bakery has so many choices! So many choices = So much excitement. The cinnamon rolls are highly recommended, as is the banana cake. Top tip: Come here at the beginning of your trip and take a few away to keep in your hotel mini bar fridge; the perfect hotel room snack!

So, are you a coeliac looking to book your new European getaway? Make it Copenhagen!

Gluten free Bangkok Thailand
Along with the usual tourist things to tick off our list while in town, such as the Temple of Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and taking a ride on the Skytrain, I’d also heard that the street food here is amazing, and that’s true. Click To Tweet

Bangkok; brash, bustling, boiling and brilliant! Having spent 3 days there before heading to Vietnam, I can safely say that I fell in love with the place.

After a 14 hour flight, to step outside into the 34 degree humid heat was immense. The air is filled with petrol fumes, sizzling spices and moisture (we arrived after a heavy rainfall), it smelt exotic and exciting.

Along with the usual tourist things to tick off our list while in town, such as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), the Grand Palace and taking a ride on the Skytrain, I’d also heard that the street food here is amazing, and that’s true – it simply cannot be missed during a trip here.

Of course as a coeliac, the words ‘street food’ brought me out in a cold sweat when it was suggested we sample some on our first night there, but be assured it is possible to find and eat gluten free street food, if you go prepared.

My top tips for a coeliac eating street food in Bangkok:

  1. Street food tends to be made to order, meaning if you keep your eye on what is going on, you can tell your dutiful street vendor if/when you don’t want any particular ingredient added to your dish. The big names in seasoning here are oyster and soy sauce; these two ingredients contain gluten so watch out for these.
  2. Take a card with ‘No oyster sauce or soy sauce’ written on it around with you and show it to the street vendor before they begin cooking. (I asked my hotel concierge to write this out in Thai for me).
  3. Look for rice noodle dishes such as Pad Thai (soy/oyster sauce is usually not used for this dish) or Pad See Ew. Rice noodles are made from rice flour and result in a white and (usually) thick, flat noodle. They’re perfect for coeliacs as they contain no gluten. Thai curries such as green and red curry are usually gluten free and coeliac friendly, they very rarely contain soy or oyster sauce (always double check), and are served with rice. Papaya salad, which is a commonly found and really delicious, is also traditionally gluten free.

Head to Chinatown or ‘Yaowarat’ as it is known locally, for loads of stalls selling authentic and delicious Thai street food. The vendors are friendly and happy to help if you speak to them about your gluten allergy (take your card and gesturing goes along way!).

Other than street food, Bangkok has a plethora of restaurants with something to suit every taste.

Here are my top 3 gluten free friendly restaurants for the discerning coeliac traveller:

  1. Thip Samai313 Maha Chai Road, Khwaeng Samran Rat, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200. Great restaurant, vibrant and chaotic. They can provide English menus which makes all the difference for those with a gluten allergy! Many dishes on the menu are gluten free, try the Pad Thai – to die for!
  2. Veganerie Bakery35/2 Soi.Methiniwet (Sukhumvit24) behind Benjasiri Park Klongtan Klong Toei Bangkok 10110. So many gluten free choices! The bakery focuses on producing vegan food, but they also have a variety of gluten free bakes. For a coeliac visiting Bangkok this is a place really worth taking a trip to, the gluten free and vegan chocolate fudge cake is amazing!
  3. Nahm27 S Sathorn Rd, Hotel Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok 10120. If you are after something a little fancy and pretty special, this Michelin starred restaurant is the place for you. Most of the menu is naturally gluten free and everything I sampled was delicious. Try the Tom Yum soup, it really was yum and perfectly gluten free!

So to round it up, Bangkok is definitely worth a trip, there are so many interesting things to see and eat. Gluten free travellers should not be wary, there are lots of gluten free food options available, both street food options and restaurants. There are also a few Australian supermarkets that sell Australian branded gluten free foods, in case of emergency.

Singapore sling and gluten free things in Singapore
Singaporeans are very friendly and keen to help. We even managed in the wet markets in Little India, which on first impression ,seemed like an allergen nightmare. Click To Tweet

After spending 4 days in Singapore on a stopover to Australia, I can admit it was a little tricky at first to find gluten free dining. Despite most speaking perfect English, it was common to meet a confused face when using the words gluten free or coeliac, however being a little more descriptive and asking if foods contained wheat, soy sauce etc. made the conversation much easier. (It may be helpful to carry some restaurant cards in Chinese, Malay and Tamil just in case.)

Singaporeans are very friendly and keen to help so it wasn’t too much of a struggle to find gluten free eats everywhere we went, we even managed in the wet markets in Little India which on first impression seemed like an allergen nightmare.

Just be wary as yet there is no gluten free certification board in Singapore. Proceed with caution as food allergens are not well understood, possibly due to rice being the main grain used, and ask lots of questions.

For an easy gluten free trip to Singapore here are my top dining selections by area:

Central Gluten Free Restaurants and Eateries

  1. Soi 60 – Fantastic Thai restaurant on Robertson Quay, with a lovely riverside atmosphere. Their menu is marked up GF (gluten free) and GFA (gluten free available) for super easy ordering. Do always check with your wait staff though. Try the delicious Duck Pancakes and Salt and Pepper Squid to start and the Pad Thai and Gai Nang (chicken with green curry cream) for main.
    60 Robertson Quay, #01-04 The Quayside, Singapore 238252
    Tel: +65 6635 6675
  2. Super Loco – Mexican street food restaurant next door to Soi 60, you’re spoilt for gluten free choice along Robertson Quay. Their menu is also labelled up with gluten free choices making for an effortless ordering experience.
    60 Robertson Quay, #01-13 The Quayside, Singapore 238252
    Tel: +65 6235 8900
  3. Raffles Hotel – A trip to Singapore would not be complete without sipping a Singapore Sling and tossing peanut shells on the floor of the famous Long Bar at Raffles. Given 24 hours notice they also provide a gluten free version of their afternoon tea.
    1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673
    Tel: +65 6337 1886
  4. The Soup Spoon – Outlets exist throughout Singapore and they clearly state which of their soups, salads and stews are gluten free, dairy free, egg free and vegetarian.
    Tel: +65 6835 7086
  5. All Good Things – This cute little bakery has a small selection of freshly baked gluten free cakes available. The favourite is the flourless chocolate cake. These guys are currently moving location stay tuned…
    7 Rodyk Street#01-30 The Watermark, Singapore 238215
    Tel: +65 6238 1086

Coeliac Friendly China Town

  1. Artemis Grill – A mediterranean roof top restaurant has a good selection of gluten free options marked up on its menu and a spectacular view.
    138 Market Street, #40-01 CapitaGreen (Rooftop), CapitaGreen – Office Space, Singapore 048946
    Tel: +65 6635 8677
  2. Tiann’s Bakery – Cafe just west of China Town, serving gluten free savoury waffles, cakes, ice cream and fresh juices.
    71 Seng Poh Rd, Block 71, Singapore 160071
  3. The Soup Spoon
    120 Maxwell Rd, TG Pagar MRT Stn, Singapore 069119

Gluten Free Eats in Little India

  1. Jonathan’s – Singapore’s first completely gluten free kitchen, specialising in cakes and bread. They also serve breakfast and brunch.
    17 Dalhousie Lane, Singapore 209685
    Tel: +65 6291 3396
  2. The Tekka Centre (wet market) is a must visit in Little India. However it is tricky for gluten free diners, the nature of the markets means there is likely to be an element of cross contamination. My advice would be watch how the stands prepare the food and what sauces they use. We stuck to Hainanese (chicken rice) or duck rice and asked for no sauce. Dosa is usually a good gluten free option from the Indian food stalls but again be wary of cross contamination in the cooking process. If in doubt there is always the fresh produce stalls.
    Tekka Centre, Bukit Tina Rd, Singapore 
  3. Crust Pizza Bar – This well-loved Australian pizza franchise has gluten free pizza bases available. Not all pizza toppings and sauces are gluten free though so it’s best to chat with the staff prior to ordering.
    Serangoon Outlet
    1 Maju Avenue, My Village @ Serangoon Garden #B1-23/24, Singapore 556679
    Tel: +65 6636 7666
  4. Delcie’s Deserts – A little further out from Little India is this baker of organic, allergen free, diabetic friendly and vegan goodies. Awarded the Health Promotion Board’s Healthier Choice Bakery Certification, they even make customisable cakes to order.
    34 Whampoa West #01-83, Singapore 330034
    Tel: +65 9789 2309

A little further from the centre:

  1. The Line – A little further from the city, not too far from the Botanic Gardens, this buffet style restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel has a gluten free section.

    Tel: +65 6213 4275
  2. Baker & Cook –  Claim to have the best gluten free bread in Singapore… baked fresh on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. However you can still pick up frozen gluten free bread on other days.
    77 Hillcrest Road, Greenwood, Singapore 288951
    Tel: (+65) 6469 8834
  3. Crust Pizza Bar
    34B Lorong Mambong, Singapore 277691
    Tel: (+65) 6467 2224
    215R Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574349
    Tel: (+65) 6456 1555

Gluten Free Dining at Singapore Changi Airport

Eating gluten free in any airport is a always a nightmare, although I recently experienced Wondertree at London Heathrow which served a great gluten free breakfast/brunch and even had a separate gluten free menu.

Needless to say we struggled to find gluten free options at Singapore Changi Airport and we were stuck their for 6 hours! Here is what we found:

  1. Nandos (Terminal 2) – International Portuguese PERi-PERi chicken restaurant chain originating from South Africa.
  2. Boost (Terminal 2 Departures) – Australian juice and smoothie bar
  3. I wouldn’t usually recommend these two but worst case scenario the chips at Burger King are gluten free and you can get grilled chicken and chips at KFC.

It is easy and quick to travel between terminals for free using the Skytrain.

And a quick mention about Singapore Airlines, we flew with them from London Heathrow to Singapore and the gluten free meals on board were the best I’ve had by far. They have a really good range of meals for different religious and dietary requirements.

Coeliac friendly self catering options:

  1. Major Supermarkets – FairPrice, Market Place, Isetan and Cold Storage all carry their own ranges of gluten free produce usually in the health food sections but sometimes on the same shelves as the non gluten free options.
  2. Little Farms – Stocks organic, farm fresh produce as well as gluten free and refined sugar free snacks.
    491 River Valley Road #01-20, 248371
    Tel: +65 6262 0619
  3. Brown Rice Paradise – A great store for healthy foods and catering for food intolerances in general, you can find all your gluten free flours, cereals etc. here.
    163 Tanglin Rd, Tanglin Mall, Singapore 247933
    Tel: +65 6738 1121
  4. Ryan’s Grocery – 99% of their over 1000 products are gluten free but they also stock other allergen free, free range, organic, and antibiotic free foods. The owners are two parents who wanted to cater for their son’s dietary requirements. Plenty of GF cooking and baking ingredients.
    29 Binjai Park, Singapore 589831
    Tel: +65 6463 3933
  5. SuperNature – Very expensive but has a wide range of gluten free goodies.
    21 Orchard Boulevard, #01-21/23 & 27 Park House, Singapore 248645
    Tel: +65 6304 1336
  6. Mustafa Centre – Open 24 hours and offering a wide range of gluten free products including pastas, quinoa, grains, lentils, and pre-mixes.
    45 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207704

Have you been to Singapore? Do you have any recommendations for great gluten free eats?

Gluten Free Venice Italy
With a bit of googling, some trial and error and a lot of saying the words 'senza glutine' (gluten free) and 'Io sono celiaco' (I am Coeliac), we found some great restaurants. Click To Tweet
gluten free Burano Venice Italy

Burano, Venice

Italy… land of pizza, pasta and bread. When my mum wanted to treat my sister to pre-wedding celebrations for a long weekend in Venice I was beyond excited but a little nervous about eating gluten free and getting around any language barriers in restaurants.

True to its reputation Venice was simply stunning. After arriving at the airport we jumped into a private water taxi to our hotel; just around the corner from St Marks Square. The canals, piazzas, art and cathedrals are exquisite. The islands of Murano and Burano are not to be missed for their glass blowing and windy streets with multi-coloured houses.

glass blowing gluten free murano venice italy

Glass blowing in Murano, Venice

But I’ll be honest we found it pretty difficult to find gluten free dining in Venice, a lot of restaurants we tried just said no when we asked about gluten free options. However with a bit of googling, some trial and error and a lot of saying the words ‘senza glutine’ (gluten free) and ‘Io sono celiaco’ (I am Coeliac), we found some great restaurants.

In fact Italy is pretty clued up when it comes to Coeliac disease. Children are routinely screened for coeliac disease and subsidies are available to compensate people with coeliac disease for the higher cost of gluten free food. Italian law even requires gluten free food be available in schools, hospitals and public places. The Associazione Italiana Celiachia publishes a restaurant guide and provides annual reports for the Italian Parliament.

If you are looking for gluten free alternatives to cook your own food, go to a Pharmacy, they are considered medicine for Coeliacs. Supermarkets tend to stock some gluten free pastas and things too.

Here are the restaurants we ate at which had great gluten free options:

gluten free kori restaurant venice

Kori Restaurant

  1. Kori Restaurant – This was the best restaurant we visited in Venice hands down. We were strolling past when one of the waiters approached us, we asked about gluten free options and they assured us they could provide pretty much anything on the menu gluten free. We had the most amazing night our waiters were excellent (and handsome) especially Stefano. Nothing was too much trouble and they were very aware of dietary requirements.
    We had a gorgeous platter of Lobster, Prawns and Langoustines which they prepared and served for us. Finished of course with some delicious Limoncello.
    Calle Larga S.Marco, 280
gluten free kori restaurant venice

Kori Restaurant

  • Restaurant Galuppi – Great seafood restaurant, very accommodating and understanding of gluten allergies, in beautiful Burano. Lots of fresh grilled seafood to choose from, risotto and even gluten free spaghetti. They gave us rice cakes in place of the bread before the meal.
    Via B. Galuppi, 468 (Burano)

    gluten free restaurant galuppi Venice

    Restaurant Galuppi

  • La Zucca – Famous for its Venetian delicacies, fish, meat, and vegetarian recipes. The waiter was able to tell us exactly what was gluten free on the menu and the food was great.
    Santa Croce, 1762

    Gluten Free Pizza Venice AeOche

    Gluten Free Pizza at Pizzerie AeOche

  • Pizzerie AeOche – Great pizza and sports bar, the only Italian gluten free pizza we managed to find in Venice! Huge range of pizza toppings to choose from.
    Santa Croce, 1552/A
  • Grom – Amazing gelato and gluten free (except for flavours noted on a sign which is in clear display). The staff were clued up about which flavours were gluten free and took precautions with cross-contamination.
    Various locations:
    – Salizada S. Giovanni Grisostomo, 5803
    – Campo San Barnaba, 2761
    – Cannaregio, 3844
    – Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia, Fondamenta Santa Lucia, 30100

Translations to help you out:

Gluten free: senza glutine
I am Coeliac: lo sono celiaco
May contain: possono contenere
Contains: contiene
Wheat: grano
Barley: orzo
Rye: segale
Oats: avena

Have you been to Venice? Do you have any recommendations for great gluten free eats?