Toulouse: The Mini Gluten Free Suitcase Guide

Known for its cassoulet and confit de canard, Toulouse can be a food lover’s paradise. The city pulls in multitudes of tourists each year, especially during the summer months when the masses head to the wine region. It’s a beautiful city to walk around in, with lots of culture and a rich history. But how good is it for gluten free food you ask? Finding gluten-free friendly eateries can still be a challenge and so I’ve pulled together a mini guide to the provincial city, which will be perfect for anyone staying nearby and venturing in for the day or in Toulouse for a city-break over a weekend. Bon Appétit!

Lucas et Marie Sans Genes

A highly popular free from spot, Lucas and Marie Sans Genes is a 100% gluten free bakery, which also specialises in vegan products too. From beautiful pastries to homemade bread, you’ll be spoilt for choice here and will not have to worry about traces. The bakery prides itself on creating food that is free of up to 14 key allergens and is entirely organic. A lovely family run business created by mother Marie and her son Lucas, this place is a must-visit for coeliacs and vegans alike who will go absolutely crazy over the pastry selection – trust me! Closed on Sundays.

Where?
28 Rue des Polinaires
31000 Toulouse

Yard – La Burger Factory

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If you’re craving a proper hamburger while you’re in Toulouse, this is your one-stop shop. This fast food joint is incredibly gluten free friendly, and offers most burgers on a soft and squidgy sesame seed gluten free bun! I was assured that the regular fries and sweet potato fries are also safe, so just be sure to state your dietary requirements at the beginning so the staff make sure to take extra care of you. I opted for a classic cheese burger, which is entirely gluten free when the house Yard sauce is removed and it was absolutely delicious. Yard gets brownie points in my book for also offering a gluten free beer on the menu – the perfect accompaniment to your burger!

Where?
51 Rue du Taur
31000 Toulouse

Invita

Another organic hotspot, Invita is a great destination for lunch, dinner or weekend brunch while you’re in Toulouse. The menu, which is entirely vegetarian, has a great array of options from salads to gluten free pizzas (yes you read correctly!) to galettes. What’s great about Invita is their availability of a weekday meal deal, where you can get two courses for €16 or three for €20. As I hate missing out on dessert, I’d personally recommend you opt for three courses! If you fancy a pizza or vegetarian lasagne course, head to Invita on a Friday or Saturday when they are available. Vegan options are also aplenty!

Where?
18 Rue d’Aubuisson
31000 Toulouse

Pastel & Sarrasin

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Everytime I venture to France I crave crepes and galettes. Luckily for the gluten free community, more and more places are starting to offer a gluten free friendly alternative so that everyone can feel included. Pastel et Sarrasin is a must-visit during your time in Toulouse as they not only use the freshest of ingredients to top and fill their pancakes, but they offer a gluten free batter on the menu too. This expansive restaurant has lots of indoor seating and sets up tables outside on warmer days so you can watch the world going by while you feast. WARNING: As Pastel et Sarrasin deals with non gluten free flour in its kitchen as well, the company warns that traces in the preparation area are a possibility but they take as much care as is possible to avoid that by keeping the gluten free batter away from the rest and cleaning the pans before use.

Where?
75 Rue du Taur
31000 Toulouse

Silex & Fourchette

Are you both gluten and lactose free? Then Silex & Fourchette must be your first stop in the city. This is the first “paleo” restaurant I have seen in continental Europe, so imagine my excitement, especially as paleo food is all naturally gluten free! Silex & Fourchette serves lunch five days a week and has a monthly Sunday brunch for only €18, which includes a lot of food, so check the company website to see if brunch falls on your weekend! The most photographed and ordered item here is undoubtedly the paleo burger, which comes with sweet potato fries and is definitely worth a try! Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Where?
138 Grande Rue Saint-Michel
31400 Toulouse

Aux Douces Heures

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While not an obvious gluten free spot, Aux Douces Heures is the perfect place to stop for a coffee and a rest while you are whizzing around Toulouse. The regular menu at this French tea room is not gluten free, but the team at Aux Douces Heures make sure to always have at least two freshly baked gluten free sweet treats to accompany your coffee or tea for a pick-me-up. The cakes are kept separately from the rest of the restaurant’s offerings and are usually displayed in the window next to a welcoming gluten free sign. The chocolate tart makes a regular appearance and is deliciously rich. Closed on Mondays.

Where?
9bis Rue des Lois
31000 Toulouse

Shopping

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Supermarkets in France have come a long way in the past few years, and that includes smaller city branches. The two biggest supermarket chains in Toulouse are Carrefour and Monoprix, both of which have several stores across the city, so you are never too far from gluten free snacks or necessities. I was able to find gluten free bread, pasta and cookies in all shops I went into so check the company website for your nearest store and stock up!

Amsterdam: The Gluten Free Suitcase Guide

If canals, culture and good gluten free food are your thing then you will not be disappointed by Amsterdam. Every time I venture to the Dutch capital I count myself lucky, not least because of the spiffing public transport which allows me to hop from gluten free destination to gluten free destination with relative ease. Feast your eyes upon the diverse options in my guide which I have pulled together after several trips to this gem of a city! From traditional Dutch fare to vegan Italian delicacies – Amsterdam has it, so eet smakelijk!

Mastino V

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Vegans and gluten free eaters alike will rejoice when they realise that coming to Amsterdam can include delicious, wood fired pizza. The team behind De Pijp’s trendy Mastino pizzeria decided to open Amsterdam’s first 100% gluten free and vegan restaurant in 2017, when they noticed a gap in the market. Mastino V serves up pizza to-go or eat-in in a completely no frills environment, with 12 tantalising options on the menu to choose from. I can highly recommend the “Love” pizza, which features a sensational vegan pesto. Closed on Mondays.

Where?
Bilderdijkstraat 192 H
1053 LE Amsterdam

Luza’s Caffeine Club

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Forever searching for the perfect sandwich, I was delighted to come across Luza’s – a new gluten free friendly café – on my most recent trip to Amsterdam. This gorgeously quaint café will serve you Parisian vibes with your sandwiches and tea and is the perfect place to enjoy a quiet moment in the Dutch capital. While most sandwiches can be made on homemade gluten free bread, you may wish to try one of the gluten free quiche options, which alongside a number of free from cakes are proudly displayed in the café window. All food is prepared in an open kitchen in the corner of the restaurant and could not be fresher!

Where?
Van Woustraat 47
1074 AC Amsterdam

DeLepel

Another fairly new addition to the gluten free scene, DeLepel’s mission is simple: serve authentic Italian gelato to the masses in a 100% worry-free zone. Gelateria owner Massimo opened up shop in De Pijp just last year and produces all-natural ice cream which can be served in either a cup or gluten free cone. Yes you read right! Even better, not a single ingredient containing gluten is present on the premises so ice cream fans can eat in peace without worrying about cross contamination, which is a fear in so many ice cream shops across the globe. Pick from up to 24 different gelato and dairy free sorbet flavours and be sure to look out for the six weekly special flavours. Not in the mood for ice cream? No problem – Massimo even offers freshly-made tiramisu and other chilled desserts to customers. Closed on Mondays.

Where?
Ceintuurbaan 320
1072 GP Amsterdam

Stroom

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In case you fancy a brunch or a sandwich on delicious, homemade gluten free bread you should definitely head to Stroom. Located in the De Pijp area, this Brooklyn style coffee shop come sandwich bar has one of the most gluten free friendly menus in Amsterdam. Almost all sandwiches can be prepared on free from bread, including toasties, which can be paired with a variety of soups too. Perfect spot for a lazy or working lunch.

Where?
Ferdinand Bolstraat 151
1072 LH Amsterdam

Loetje

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Famous Dutch steak restaurant Loetje knows its stuff when it comes to gluten free dining, and lists all allergens in its clearly marked and accessible menu. As this eatery is known for its meat, staff will urge you to try the traditional Dutch beef steak, which comes swimming in a rich and delectable gluten free gravy. French fries, naturally, are the perfect accompaniment to this meat fiesta, and here they are fried in their own oil to avoid any risk of cross contamination with other fried items served onsite. Vegetarians needn’t shy away however as they will be catered for too. Loetje now has several locations across the city but my favourite is listed below.

Where?
Ferdinand Bolstraat 188A
1072 LV Amsterdam

The Meets

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Another new spot to add to your De Pijp list, The Meets is a gluten free, vegan haven with plenty of free from options which not only are delicious but healthy too. It’s the perfect spot for breakfast or lunch with incredibly allergy-aware staff who triple check everything for you according to your allergy or dietary requirement. Take your pick from the clearly labelled menu from a selection of soups, salads and wraps or if you’re feeling something sweet opt for a vegan twix bar and wash it down with a beautifully instagrammable turmeric latte.

Where?
Cornelius Troostplein 3,
1072 JJ Amsterdam

Puri Mas

Many say that the Netherlands is responsible for introducing Indonesian cuisine to northern Europe. For that reason alone, no one should miss out on a proper Indonesian culinary experience when they’re in Amsterdam, even the gluten free crowd. Puri Mas is located in the centre of the city and immediately feels like a fine dining restaurant as soon as you step in. The staff are wonderfully accommodating and take allergies seriously. Given the style in many Indonesian restaurants is sharing plates, I was naturally nervous. However, say you’re gluten free, and the chef will prepare almost single dish without any gluten containing ingredients. I was able to share with the entire group and felt like a regular diner. Puri Mas serves up a mixture of meat, fish and vegetable dishes which are all fragrant and perfectly seasoned and needs to be shouted about!

Where?
Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 37-41
1017 NG Amsterdam

Pancakes Amsterdam

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With three Amsterdam locations, gluten free tourists won’t have to skip the quintessentially Dutch pancake experience when they are in town! Here, most pancakes on the menu – both sweet and savoury – can be made using the house gluten free batter, which is buckwheat-based. Gluten free pancakes are prepped in separate pans, according to staff, and so risk of cross contamination is very low. I can never resist a savoury pancake when I am here and often leave no room for dessert so sharing is highly recommended! Get ready to queue – Pancakes Amsterdam is highly popular with gluten free and non gluten free patrons alike!

Where?
Berenstraat 38
1016 GH Amsterdam

Prins Hendrikkade 48
1012 AC Amsterdam

Prinsengracht 277
1016 GW Amsterdam

Omelegg

Never have I seen such an homage to eggs! Omelegg (if you hadn’t guessed from the name) serves up everything egg-based and has a humongous menu to boot. While this institution of a restaurant does not have any gluten free bread, the omelettes are so generously sized that you won’t miss it. Just about every omelette combination can be served with delightfully dressed mixed leaves on the side instead of toast to make a delicious breakfast, brunch or lunch. The restaurant also serves Shakshuka and fry ups for those egg fans wanting something a little different to the traditional fare. Luckily for us, Omelegg has two locations. Go early to avoid disappointment!

Where?
Ferdinand Bolstraat 143
1072 LH Amsterdam

Nieuwebrugsteeg 24
1012 AC Amsterdam

La Viña Experience

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La Vina Experience has become a staple for coeliacs in Amsterdam. It labels itself as a Spanish and Mediterranean style restaurant but most diners going may not in fact realise that the majority of dishes are gluten free. Owner and restaurant sommelier Jacqueline is a coeliac herself and so naturally wanted to cater to the free from crowd and provide them with a comfortable and elegant dining experience. Make sure you try the hot spinach dip with gluten free toast to start and then tuck into the freshly grilled squid or Spanish smoked BBQ ribs with frites and plenty of Dutch mayonnaise.

Where?
Maasstraat 72
1078 HL Amsterdam

Cafe Piazza

In case you’re in the mood for pasta, Cafe Piazza has a number of delicious options on its gluten free menu. Sit down and mention you are gluten free and a long list will be reeled off by staff – something which made me feel immediately at ease in this modest Nieuwmarkt eatery. As well as fresh starters and main dishes starring different types of meat and fish, gluten free diners can tuck into a rustic lasagne or a simple spaghetti with homemade pesto sauce, to name but a few of the heavenly carb-loaded options. Save room for dessert – chocolate lovers won’t want to skip the Tartufo Nero.

Where?
Kloveniersburgwal 5
1011 JT Amsterdam

Vapiano

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Sometimes all you need is a chain to get your pizza fix. International restaurant group Vapiano does exactly what it says on the tin – fast, cheap and tasty pizza in a number of locations across the city. Gluten free pizzas are cooked separately and on their own special foil tray to avoid cross contamination and can be enjoyed straight out of the box with a decently priced glass of wine onsite or taken to go for those not wanting to sit in the middle of the hustle and bustle. For your closest restaurant, check out the company website.

McDonald’sIMG_0204Yes, Amsterdam is one of the few cities that offer the Mcdonald’s experience to gluten free visitors and I can confirm it is fantastic. Most classic burgers can be made on a fluffy, sesame seed gluten free bun, served with the classic french fries which I can’t seem to get enough of. If you don’t want to miss out on the more quintessentially Dutch food options during your stay in the city, save this indulgent stop for your route home and enjoy at the Amsterdam Schipol Airport branch. For your closest restaurant, use the online store locator.

Haesje Claes

Typical Dutch cuisine is known for being hearty, warming and often laced with wheat flour. At one of Amsterdam’s oldest restaurants Haesje Claes however, gluten free folk needn’t feel left out – there is a whole menu for you! From a selection of naturally gluten free fresh fish starter plates to filling stews and fried dishes – this canal side restaurant has it all! I asked the waitress what she recommended last time I went and was not disappointed. I started off my meal with some salted herring, smoked salmon and a gluten free beer, before moving on to a Stamppot stew loaded with meatballs, sausage and bacon. Those wanting lighter fare can opt for pan fried fish if they need to ensure room is left for gluten free dessert pancakes!

Where?
Spuistraat 275
1012 VR Amsterdam

Bagels and Beans

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This long-standing Netherlands chain became accessible to gluten free diners a few years ago when it introduced a gluten free bagel. Bagels and Beans now make breakfast or lunch as a gluten free tourist incredibly easy. Stop by and choose from a number of cream-cheese flavours or more sandwich-like fillings, all of which can be prepared on a toasted gluten free bagel. With over 20 locations in Amsterdam, how can you go wrong? Use the online store locator to find your nearest branch.

Shopping

De Glutenvrije Winkel

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Not only is Oostpoort’s gluten free hot spot De Gluten Vrije Winkel your one stop destination for every single gluten free pantry or frozen item you might ever want, it also offers fresh cakes, bread and amazing sandwiches you can eat in or take away, with a number of dairy free options. Owner Nadia has been passionate about bringing the best of gluten free to her customers ever since her son was diagnosed a coeliac. Wonderful family business which I already can’t wait to visit again! Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Where?
Pretoriusstraat 37
1092 EZ Amsterdam

Meanwhile, general supermarkets in Amsterdam are often fantastic for gluten free options, with the wonderful Albert Heijn firmly in the lead. Here you can stock up on an array of gluten free pantry items, including gluten free caramel waffles or Stroopwafels, which I highly recommend you fill your suitcase with on the way home!

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Marqt, meanwhile, is home to a vast array of gluten free and organic products, including more widely available goods from labels like Schar and Genius. Don’t forget to pick up a packet of chocolate-covered gluten free waffles here by Damhert Nutrition!

 

Lisbon: The Gluten Free Suitcase Guide

The sun always seems to be shining on Portugal’s hilly capital, which is not only one of the world’s oldest cities, but one of the richest when it comes to culture, nightlife and good food. However, as the home of the Pasteis de Nata – or custard tarts – Lisbon can, at first, seem impenetrable for a gluten free traveller. I can assure you that this is most certainly not the case. While so much of Portuguese cuisine is naturally gluten free, a lot of restaurants and producers have gone out of their way to prove that they are moving with the times and catering to gluten free diners specifically. Here’s hoping this guide convinces you to book those flights you’ve been considering!

Pastelaria Zarzuela

If you arrive hungry and in need of breakfast, lunch or a sweet treat, Zarzuela should be your first destination. Located in the hilly and historical Bairro Alto district, this bar and bakery is Lisbon’s most well-known gluten free spot, known for its cross-contamination awareness and Pasteis de Nata! The bakery also produces gluten filled treats but keeps them strictly separate from the gluten free items, in separate and clearly marked display cases. As well as the vast array of cakes, pastries and sweets, patrons can sit down and tuck into a gluten free toasted or fresh sandwich, pasta dishes and homemade gluten free pizzas. All go perfectly with a bottle of Daura Damm beer so pull up a chair! Closed on Tuesdays.

Where?
R. Barnadino Costa 21-23
1200-052 Lisbon

Brown’s Hotel Group and Restaurants

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If you’re looking for gorgeous accommodation which offers a great gluten free breakfast and access to a bar, look no further than the Brown’s Hotel Group. I had the pleasure of staying at the group’s central location for a whole week and realised that the gluten free bread there was second to none. Put a call in to the hotel prior to your arrival and they will ensure you are provided with the crustiest and warmest of bread baskets each morning. The rolls are heated in an oven away from the toasters used for regular bread so there is no chance of cross contamination. The breakfast buffet has an ample selection of cured meats, cheeses and fresh fruit as well as eggs, bacon and gluten free cereal upon request.

Where?
Rua da Assunção nº75
1100-042 Lisbon

Rua dos Sapateiros 73
1100-579 Lisbon

Rua da Vitória 88
1100-619 Lisbon

Time Out Market Lisboa

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Foodies from near and far will rejoice when they step inside the recently refurbished Mercado da Ribeira market, which in 2014 was taken over by travel guide publisher Time Out. The market is now home to a multitude of upmarket food stalls, which in many cases are headed up by top Lisbon chefs and offer wine pairing to compliment the dishes on offer. Seafood dominates the agenda here, which makes sense given the market’s close proximity to the river bank. The only problem inside the Time Out Market is that there is too much choice, with many of the stalls listing the GF options clearly on their billboard-style menus. I personally recommend you start your market journey with a glass of the chilled Vinho Verde of the day at Manteigaria Silva and wander over to top chef Alexandre Silva’s kitchen for the black rice with sauteed scallops and seaweed or some hearty and fresh Bacalao atop a bed of spinach. If you’re not stuffed, snack on some freshly sliced ham from various vendors or an ice cream from Santini, where the staff will show you a gluten free allergen chart and open a new barrel of ice cream before serving you to avoid cross contamination.

Where?
Av. 24 de Julho 49
1200-479 Lisbon

Flower Power

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A true hidden gem in the Bairro Alto district, Flower Power is a flower and art shop turned restaurant which prides itself on using only the freshest ingredients. You’ll find a number of traditional Portuguese dishes on the menu, including the most delicious baked bacalao and on the dessert menu: one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever had, made up of lots of layers of thin chewy meringue. The waiting staff here go above and beyond to tend to anyone with a dietary requirement and you’ll enjoy your meal surrounded by beautiful art – what more could you ask for?

Where?
Calçada do Combro 2
1200-086 Lisbon

Nicolau Lisboa

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Arguably the most Instagrammed cafe in Lisbon, Nicolau’s pastel colours and organic menu offerings draw in patrons from all over the world. You will undoubtedly have to wait for a table here but the gluten free crepiocas are worth the wait. They are clearly marked on the menu as gluten free, as well as the buckwheat pancakes and a selection of cakes. It’s a good idea to mention your dietary requirements upon arrival regardless as the hustle and bustle in this cafe is non stop. There are two additional locations in Lisbon – Amelia and Basilio – but their gluten free options are more limited so it’s definitely worth paying Nicolau a visit!

Where?
R. São Nicolau 17
1100-547 Lisbon

McDonald’s

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While people may not set out to eat McDonald’s in a place as gastronomically rich as Lisbon, sometimes it will just happen. With numerous locations across the city, McDonald’s is a goldmine for gluten free patrons desperate to get their hands on some nostalgic and coeliac-safe junk food. Portugal offers a gluten free bun as a substitute on every single hamburger with the exception of the deep fried chicken and fish fillets. As always, the classic french fries are safe and fried in their own separate fryer so a complete meal of indulgence is possible! McDonald’s in Portugal also offers a number of gluten free extras including soups and salads. Those of you craving something sweet can enjoy a gluten free cone for your ice cream after your meal. A selection of locations are listed below.

Where?
Centro Comercial Continente de Lojas 008
Av. Nações Unidas 1-4
1600 Lisbon

Praça Alvalade 14A-15D
1700-000 Lisbon

Aeroporto de Lisboa
Alameda das Comunidades Portuguesas
1700-008 Lisbon

La Trattoria

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It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, at some point during my travels I will crave what has got to be my favourite cuisine – Italian. While Lisbon may be peppered with Italian restaurants, the one that really goes out of its way to cater to the gluten free community is tucked away in the hills of the Campo de Ourique neighbourhood. Say you’re gluten free at La Trattoria and you’ll be immediately presented with the most wonderful of bread baskets, featuring ciabatta, breadsticks, olives and truffle ricotta dip. This restaurant has an extensive gluten free menu which includes a Melanzane Alla Parmigiana starter which could win awards – so crispy and cheesy, surrounded by bubbling tomato sauce and a crispy side salad for extra freshness. Choose from a number of sensational pasta dishes for your main or hearty meat and fish options and expect to leave stuffed and happy!

Where?
R. Artilharia 79
1250-038 Lisbon

A Marisqueira Do Lis

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Seafood lovers will not want to miss out on a night indulging in langoustines and fresh clams at this traditional Marisqueira. This no frills restaurant is permanently full of locals and seems to not have been inundated with tourists despite its delicious offerings. Choose from an array of naturally gluten free fresh shellfish and prepare to be amazed at the vast platters that then arrive at your table. The portions make it perfect for sharing and the ideal prep for drinks later on. Patrons should be prepared to wait for tables if arriving after 9pm but I promise it will be worth it! Closed on Tuesdays.

Where?
Av. Alm. Reis 27B
1150-008 Lisbon

Sacramento do Chiado

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If by now you haven’t had enough bacalao or codfish, I recommend you head straight to Sacramento do Chiado where the best Carpaccio de Bacalao of your life awaits. Order this to start and enjoy it solo or with some of the fresh gluten free bread that the restaurant brings upon request. While the decor may be garish, with deep reds and faux crystal chandeliers, you’ll want to stay at this contemporary Portuguese eatery for mains and desserts. The steaks are particularly good here, as are the traditional fried potatoes and vegetable sides. Incredibly accommodating staff made the experience all the more enjoyable.

Where?
Calçada Sacramento 40 a 46
1200-394

Restaurante Conqvistador

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What could possibly be better than taking in one of Lisbon’s most historic sites while enjoying a meal? Restaurante Conqvistador is located high up in the hilltop neighbourhood of Castelo, which is home to the medieval Sao Jorge castle. Have a seat outside on the tables set up on the cobblestone street or inside the tiled restaurant and start with a plate of freshly sauteed king prawns and some marinated olives. While this restaurant would not seem an obvious choice for the allergy or coeliac crowd, it cooks up a number of Portuguese specials daily that are again, naturally free from gluten. The veal in jus is a house speciality and comes complete with a fried egg and flash fried potatoes that are so thin they are essentially crisps – perfect for soaking up the moisture of the leftover sauce. Absolutely worth the hike!

Where?
Tv. de São Bartolomeu 12
1100-078 Lisbon

Bomjardin

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Last but not least, Bomjardin is a must-visit for the meat eaters out there. The concept of this old and historical eatery is simple – spit roasted chicken with piri piri seasoning and an array of sides. Do not dwell too long on the extensive menu because chicken is what this place does best. Choose your size and your piping hot plates will be with you in a flash. The fries are entirely safe for coeliacs and will be quickly topped up should you require more. The salads are large and also a good sharer to add green to your beautiful beige meal, which can be enjoyed al fresco or indoors. Order a bottle of Vinho Verde and enjoy!

Where?
Tv. de Santo Antão 11
1150-312 Lisbon

Nosolo Italia

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This Italian restaurant is located on the water edge with a wonderful view of the old port – Belem. You’ll be handed a gluten free menu upon arrival when you state your requirements from which you can choose a number of pasta dishes or pizza. One thing to note about this restaurant is that it is by no means a 100% gluten free kitchen so while the staff try their hardest to keep gluten free items separate, there is a risk of cross contamination. I enjoyed a lasagne (a rarity!) at Nosolo Italia and had only a great experience. The wine list is pretty decent too!

Where?
Avenida Brasília, 202, Santa Maria de Belém
1400-038 Lisbon

Shopping

Lisbon is home to multiple supermarkets, the larger ones of which are incredibly well stocked when it comes to gluten free snacks. Jumbo Pao de Acucar in the Amoireras Shopping Centre should be your one-stop-shop while you’re in Lisbon, with a reasonably priced and eclectic gluten free range. Be prepared to leave with multiple bags and stock for your Gluten Free Suitcase on the way home! Also check out Pingo Doce stores, dotted around the city for their Sem Gluten range.