The usual anxieties kick in before I travel abroad as a coeliac. Will I be hungry for the next few days? If I eat something will I get poorly and ruin my holiday? Have I packed enough snacks in my suitcase?
But I needn’t have feared as Amsterdam is full of options and their seems to be a great understanding of gluten free.
Amsterdam has tons of places which will leave your tummy feeling happy, but here is a little guide to get you started.
Bagels and Beans
I was very lucky as we had one from this chain a stone’s throw from our hotel which meant a LOT of visits (literally every day). But who doesn’t love a bagel?
When you place your order, the staff ask if you have an allergy to gluten and explain the measures they take to make it as safe as possible for you to enjoy your bagel (preparing separately, cleaning surfaces/utensils) but also acknowledge that it is prepared in the same kitchen which means there is a small risk of cross contamination. They were able to advise me on what I could eat from the menu and how they could adapt certain bagel fillings so that they were safe for me to eat.
The gluten free bagel is delish and their array of creme cheeses made me VERY happy. Their fresh fruit juices also make for a very tasty accompaniment.
I have high standards when it comes to gluten free pasta. I have had clumpy pasta stuck together in one huge lump, pasta so undercooked that it is still crunchy and on the flip side, overcooked until it is mush. But this Italian chain in Amsterdam nailed the bowl of the good stuff so much that we went twice.
We visited their Daniël Stalpertstraat restaurant as it was just a 10 minute walk from our hotel. There are lots of huge sharing tables which gives a homely feel to the restaurant, but as the tables are so huge, you still have your own space and privacy to enjoy your meal alone.
There is a simple menu of six pasta dishes which I believe change seasonly. The only thing which doesn’t have a gf option is the ravioli and you also miss out on getting a little chunk of bread to accompany the meal. But the pasta is SO delicious, I could totally forgive the lack of bread.
On my first visit I opted for the seafood spaghetti with mussels and clams which I will be dreaming about for days. The second time we went there I chose the arrabbiata which came with penne pasta and was equally delicious. One thing I particularly liked was that each dish came with its own gluten free pasta shape. Let’s be honest, it just isn’t the same having gluten free fusilli with EVERY pasta dish.
As they are dotted all around Amsterdam, it is defo worth a quick search on Google Maps for your closest one.
It wouldn’t be a trip to ‘Dam without getting pancakes. And this chain dotted all over the city (literally everywhere) ensure that us gluten free folk don’t have to miss out.
Chose from sweet or savoury (as well as a few traditional options) and let them know you are gluten free and your pancakes comes with a little counter on it to assure you that your food is safe to eat and without any wheat.
One thing I struggle with being coeliac, is finding safe hot snacks to have on the go, particularly when I’m abroad. Yeah, I can pack a banana or a gf cereal bar in my handbag, but sometimes they just won’t do the trick.
Chipsy King is a street vendor selling, you’ve guessed it, chips. When we asked the man if the chips were definitely gluten free, he very confidently told us that the chips themselves were only potato and were the only thing fried in the oil.
Crispy, a little greasy and totally delicious. The dream hangover snack.
Unlike the UK which for some reason STILL doesn’t offer gf buns, selected McDonalds in Amsterdam do. Choose from a Cheeseburger, Hamburger or Quarter Pounder and enjoy it with a bun, because let’s face it, a Cheeseburger with no bun in a box is quite sad looking.
Not all McDonalds in Amsterdam offer these but if you can’t track one down, fear not as you can grab one on your way home at the airport!
Albert Jeijn Supermarket
One of my favourite things to do when I go abroad is to have a look around supermarkets to see what different gluten free snacks they have on offer. I clearly know how to have fun on holiday.
We visited a few, but this one I felt had the best selection of affordable snacks. The thing I was most excited to see was gluten free stroop waffles which I just had to bring back to the UK with me. This is not something I could find in the England and is a traditional Dutch treat so I had to get my hands on them.
Overall, I’d say that Amsterdam was one of the best European cities for knowledge and understanding of a gluten free diet. There are SO many more places I would love to try when I visit again.
Here is a link to my What I Eat in a Day video to follow me round and see some of the restaurants I visited.
What are your favourite gluten free spots in Amsterdam?