Heading to a more developed country than where I’ve been living for the last 5.5 months, you think it would have been “easier” to find gluten free friendly options pretty easily.. That was the case in some countries, others not so much, especially around the holidays and more when you reached areas outside the city core. Honestly you don’t take for granted how far Canada has come with the selection of Gluten Free options since moving abroad because the selection and options living in other countries has just not been the same.
So as I spent 33 days in Europe, in 13 different countries, what did I eat?
Well you guessed it, there were days where it was just too difficult to find something Gluten free, and so I pushed through and ate as little gluten as possible, but there were others where I absolutely lucked out and ate full meals completely Gluten free, or even traditional meals of some countries absolutely Gluten free. So let me share with you some places and some of the foods that I ate on my adventures.
German Sausages or better known as Bratwurst, absolutely not gluten free in this case, absolutely worth eating. I could have taken the bun off the sausage, but I felt like that wouldn’t have been as traditional, so I left it and for only 3.5 Euro and no stomach ache, it was worth it.
I took a hop skip and a jump to Salzburg, Austria next and not only was the country itself beautiful, but the food tasted fantastic and it was gluten free! We gave a friendly visit to Heart of Joy Cafe where the entire menu had Gluten free options and it was breakfast food, talk about heaven. I hadn’t had a real breakfast in weeks. Absolutely Delicious! Would recommend checking it out, even if you aren’t Gluten Free, there’s options for you as well, the cafe was cute and the food was great, although the servers don’t speak much English and they weren’t sure if the gluten free bread had nuts on it, and the packaging was not in English so I didn’t end up eating my bread, nonetheless the meal was great!
Next stop, De Glutenvrije Winkel, Amsterdam Netherlands a completely Gluten free store for oliebollen! Powdered sugar optional, powdered sugar necessary, powdered sugar recommended! Without the use of gluten, lactose and refined sugar you won’t find anything else like it in Amsterdam.
We jetted off to Belgium after a quick stay in Amsterdam, and yes I ate Belgian waffles, no you cannot visit Belgium without eating Belgian waffles. No they were not gluten free, read the sentence before this. I also ate ALOT of Frits, probably more than I should admit to. Actually so much that the lady at Fritkot Max, Antwerpen Belgium might know my name and my order if I ever went back, and honestly, I’m not ashamed to say that french fries with mayo has become my new favourite snack (thanks Belgium). In additional to all the Frits I could intake I also had the most delicious pancake breakfast on my first day in Belgium at Murni Food. Organic, yep, gluten free, you bet! I’ve never seen something so beautiful and delicious looking brought to my table!
Next stop Switzerland, and I have no proof of this, but just take my word and buy yourself a plane ticket to Geneva, Switzerland to check it out yourself BUT Switzerland has GLUTEN FREE MCDONALDS. Yes friends, this is exactly what I ate for dinner on New Year’s Eve, and Gluten Free Cheese Burger for a McDonalds in Geneva, Switzerland. I was too shocked myself that I didn’t document this one, so it’s one you’ll have to take my word on or check out yourself. For coming in a package it didn’t taste half bad.
Ah! The beautiful and warm Nice, France, the Mediterranean, the country where 2 crazy Canadians and the guy we met from Colombia swam in the Mediterranean swam in the Sea on January 2nd. The country where I ate Crepe’s 3 times, and on the 3rd time coffee was on the house. The Country where Crepe’s were… wait for it…. GLUTEN FREE. POP-O-THYM in the Heart of the hustle of Nice, just look for the purple and green shelter, or the smell of the dessert crepes, you can’t miss this one, common I went back 3 times.
France was the start of my journey solo as well, the start of my journey where I also started to cook food, so my good friend the Colombian and I headed to the grocery
store gathered all things pasta and made some restaurant quality pasta, that really I could have sold and made a fortune (what was I thinking), and without saying a word, I slipped the gluten free pasta into the cart and introduced him to a whole new world.
Poland however wasn’t such a friendly country, they love their Pirogies and they aren’t such a fan of making those Pirogies accommodating to those who can’t consume them in their original form, but you also can’t go to Poland and not eat a Polish Pirogi, so off I went and enjoyed myself a few Polish Pirogies, and minded the reprocushions later on.
Next was Hungary, and man was I hungry. HAHA. Disney Princess country. Gluten Friendly, not overly, though I did find one place for lunch, if you’re into all things spicy, check out Soul Foods for some BBQ, curry, and Gluten Free. Hungary’s traditional food, Langos basically fried dough, with sour cream and cheese, oily and delicious, wasn’t gluten free and honestly could have been shared had I not been travelling alone because the portion was massive. I tried it, I liked it, and with the recipe I would make it Gluten Free at home one day.
Only 3 countries left, and I was quickly realising that my trip was ending over thinking about what food to eat. In Spain I met a couple people travelling and one of the girls in their group was also Gluten free, so for one day it made eating easier, I left the finding of the food up to her. Fate was in her hands to find all of the food for us to eat and I had to do nothing. The food in Spain must have been too good, because it never got documented
I headed out early for Iceland, the most expensive country in Europe, or at least on of them; and I assure you that I cooked for 99.9% of the time I was here, but I also assure you that I did in face buy an Icelandic hot dog, so this goes back to the German Sausage comment.
Finally, Prague, Czech Republic, the cheapest country in my travels. Leave that to the end, when I’m almost out of money in my budget and ready to head back, but just enough to survive on. Prague Poutine, Canadian not approved. Try it if you will (Garage), and even though the line-up was out the door, locals and other travellers from other countries that are not Canada do not know what a good Canadian Poutine is supposed to be like. Goulash and Large potato fries for $7 CAD, a solid meal when you need to warm up, I’ll take it, and it was from the Gluten Friendly menu, thanks Kolonial Restaurant.
So that’s a wrap folks, thanks for taking it this far with me. Most of my travels were gluten free, but there were some things I couldn’t pass up trying. I enjoyed my 33 days in Europe but it’s time to be a student again. Stay tuned for more about my trip in Europe, there is still lots to tell.
Until the next adventure, and in safe travels!