Italy, Portland, Prague, Thailand, United Kingdom

Top 5 Gluten-Free Globetrotter Meals Across the Globe (So Far)

I have a very long list of places I want to travel to, but I also have a wonderful list of places I have been where I’ve eaten some wonderful gluten-free meals. Here is my top 5 list of gluten-free meals across the globe so far.

1. Pasta in Italy. It was less about the food and more about the location and circumstance. I was within walking distance of the Vatican in Italy, sitting at an outdoor table, sipping on wine and eating gluten-free pasta. I was so happy to find a safe, gluten-free friendly restaurant in Italy. This was the first of many gluten-free pasta dishes I ate while in Italy. I highly recommend Italy to any Celiac for a vacation.

La Soffitta Renovatio Ristorante
Piazza del Risorgimento 46/A, 00192
Roma, Italia

Gluten-free pasta at La Soffitta Renovatio Ristorante
Gluten-free pasta at La Soffitta Renovatio Ristorante
Cucina senza glutine! (Food without gluten)


2. Cooking class and 5-course meal at Baan Thai Cookery School. When I first made a reservation for this class, I had someone from my hotel explain in Thai that I needed to have a shellfish-free and gluten-free meal. The school said this would not be a problem. This 4-hour-class started with a pick-up at my guest house in Chiang Mai, Thailand where I met fellow classmates from around the globe. We walked to the local market to buy Thai vegetables to prepare with our meal. For each course, we moved from the dining table back into the kitchen. It was so much fun to learn about traditional Thai meals, ingredients, and meal preparation and then enjoy your meal with others. We took home a recipe book and I went back to the market to buy the traditional Thai spices we used in our meals. This was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon learning about Thai cuisine and meeting friends from around the world, while eating a safe gluten-free meal.

Baan Thai Cookery School
11 Rachadamnern Rd.
Soi 5 T.Sriphoom A.Muang
Chiangmai 50200 Thailand

Me in the kitchen of Thai Cooking School
Me in the kitchen of Thai Cooking School
Amazing selection of fresh produce in Chiang Mai, Thailand market


3. Patacones in Portland. El Pilon is a food truck in Portland featuring traditional Colombian food. The truck is almost entirely gluten-free and event has GF icons on their menu. My favorites include beef empanadas, pan de yucca, and patacones with aji. Seriously, the patacones are one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten in my life!

El Pilon
SW 2nd and Oak Street
Portland, Oregon

Lunch from El Pilon: patacones with chicken, empanada, and pao de queijo

4. High Tea in Edinburgh. My mom and I went to Wales and Scotland in October 2013. Before our trip, we decided we wanted to have a traditional British afternoon tea during our trip. My mom found the Scotsman Hotel who could provide a 100% gluten-free high tea. Finger sandwiches, scones, cookies, and cakes, plus unlimited pots of tea made for a perfect gluten-free high tea. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon in Edinburgh.

Scotsman Hotel
20 North Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Gluten-free high-tea at the Scotsman Hotel

5. Schnitzel and Beer in Prague. Schnitzel is a traditional, Czech dish that is deep-fried MEAT. With a little research, I knew that Švejk Restaurant U Karla (read my review) served gluten-free schnitzel and beer. I met up with a student from TravBuddy who was also in Prague at the same time as me and we had a lovely dinner sharing stories from around the globe. I was so excited to eat a traditional Czech gluten-free meal that I went back to this restaurant a second time before I left Prague.

Švejk Restaurant U Karla
Křemencova 7, 110 00 Praha 1,
Prague, Czech Republic

Small photo, big flavor. Gluten-free schnitzel at Švejk Restaurant U Karla
Beef goulash with roasted sausage, onions, homemade gluten free dumplings
United Kingdom

Guest Post: Gluten-Free in Nottingham

When I was doing my research for my Wales and Scotland trip in the fall, I connected with Sam via Twitter. Sam is the owner of Gluten-Free Nottingham, a business that supplies high-quality, handmade, gluten-free food to people in the UK. Here is today’s guest post from Sam about all things gluten-free in Nottingham, England. 

Gluten-Free in Nottingham, England

Twitter: @glutenfreenotts

Hello, I’m Sam and I live in Nottingham, England.  I run my own business making fresh handmade food for Coeliacs.  To make life simple I named my business Gluten Free Food Nottingham – does what it says on the tin.  I set up my business in August 2012 after discovering I was Coeliac in Summer 2011.  I was really disappointed with the food that I could find in the supermarkets so I decided that I would do something about it.  Through my business I sell baked goods such as cakes and quiches to shops, delis and the public, I also provide catering and run pop up restaurants at different venues around the city.  I am very fortunate to be able to do this and it is just the best thing making someone smile when they realise that they can eat anything on the stalls that I run or anything on the menu at the pop up restaurant nights.  The service is very unique to the area and I pride myself on being able to provide great tasting food that not only the Coeliac enjoys but everyone else at the party too.

Even though I cook a lot myself it is always nice to have a break from this.  The number of venues in Nottingham that cater gluten free are growing all the time.  There’s plenty of choice in and around the city.  All the following are places that I have been to and eaten at safely and would happily recommend:

The Manor
Nottingham Road Beeston, Nottingham NG9 6DN
The Manor offers a brilliant gluten free pub grub menu and at great value.  There’s a really good range across all three courses, expect hunters chicken, fish goujons, burgers and tasty desserts.  The owner and staff are super friendly and provide a great service.

La Rock
4 Bridge St, Sandiacre, Nottingham NG10 5QT
For fine dining head to La Rock in Sandiacre.   Pretty much everything on the menu will be gluten free.  A recent meal included wood pigeon for starters, venison for main and my very own gluten and dairy free dessert that they rustled up just for me.

The Griffins Head
Moor Rd, Papplewick, Nottingham NG15 8EN
Heading north away from the city in a little village is the Griffins Head, a traditional local pub which has extended in to restaurant with a brilliant menu for Coeliacs.  A wide menu is on offer.

Alley Cafe
Cannon Ct, Longrow West, Nottingham NG1 6JE
The Alley Cafe is the cities long standing vegan bar.  They have a range of gluten free snacks such as GF vegan burgers and cakes.  Good for a chilled out drink with friends too. 

Hartley’s Coffee & Sandwich Bar
21 Carlton Street, Hockley, Nottingham. NG1 1NL–blog.html
Hartley’s is a family run business in the heart of the city, open daily they offer gluten, egg and dairy free options on their menus.  Dawn the owner is gluten, egg and dairy free, her and husband Kevin train all the staff in preparing the food safely.  Great for sandwiches, a slice of cake or an all day breakfast with GF sausages.

12 Angel Row, Nottingham NG1 6HL
Chain restaurant Nando’s has one of the best system I have discovered so far for serving customers with allergies and intolerances.  Go in and tell them you are Coeliac and they will provide you with a menu that has every food that they sell and the ingredients and allergens for each of them.  Go to Nando’s if you want chicken and fries or a vegetarian option.

D’s Pop Up Kitchen
Dena makes beautiful vegan food that is gluten and wheat free too. Search her on Facebook to find where her next event will be.

Green Revolution
Vegan Takeaway service – call 44(0)7974 507 097
The fantastic Hanna Garcez provides a vegan and raw food takeaway service direct to your door.  With advance warning she can cater for multiple intolerances.  Not least my demands for Gluten Free, Oat Free and Maize Free food.

Rectory Road Fish Bar
Rectory Road, West Bridgford.  NG2
Every Monday evening until 8.30pm Rectory Road Chippy offers Gluten Free fish and chips. Also try out the mushy peas, the homemade fishcakes and the battered sausages too.

Oriental Pearl
42-44 Bridgford Rd, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 6AP
This is a stylish Chinese Restaurant that uses locally sourced produce and has a separate gluten free menu.

12 Low Pavement, Nottingham NG1 7DL
Chain restaturant serving beautiful Italian food.  A good selection for GF 

Find my gluten free cakes in the following places:

Deli No. 8 – 8 Gordon Road, West Bridgford,Nottingham.  NG2 5LN

Cafe 118 – 118 Burton Road, Carlton. Nottingham.  NG4 3GP

Taste – Clumber Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham.  NG2 6DP

The Ned Ludd – 27 Friar Lane, Nottingham.  NG1 6DA  

Hartley’s – 21 Carlton Street, Hockley, Nottingham.  NG1 1NL  

Eats n Treats – 43 Nottingham Road, Eastwood, Nottingham.  NG16 2DH

The Deli @ Radcliffe – 29 Station Terrace, Radcliffe on Trent, Nottinghamshire. NG12 2AH

United Kingdom

Gluten-Free in Wales and Scotland Highlights

Me on the way down after hiking to the top of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh

I spent a ten great days with my mother traveling around Wales and Scotland. I did my homework before the trip, connected with tons of very helpful people via social media, and navigated my way through half of the United Kingdom without any problems. I have lots of gluten-free friends to report back on but here are some of my highlights.

  • Being greeted with a complimentary box of gluten-free cupcakes, cakes, and even potato crisps (chips to us Americans) courtesy of The City Bakehouse, owned by The Allergy Free Bakery, in Cardiff, Wales . We connected via Twitter and when Jo, the owner, learned I would be in Cardiff on the day her shop was closed, she made sure to deliver a package to my hotel for me. If this isn’t an example of Welsh generosity and hospitality, I don’t know what is.
  • Cardiff. We had no idea what to expect since I don’t know anyone that’s been to Wales. My mom and I loved it there! I would definitely go back to Wales to see more of this beautiful country. Why people limit themselves to Ireland and England is beyond me. Go to Wales!!
  • Finding a gluten-free chocolate lava cake at My Home Bakery in Glasgow after sadly discovering Peter’s West End was closed for the day for a film shoot and I would not be able to eat any gluten-free onion rings. Peter’s, think you can send some to NYC? 🙂
  • Marks and Spencers Food Hall. My mom and I LOVED M&S so much that I think we went almost every day. Convenient pre-packaged food, “free from” line, pastries (for my mom), and pre-made gluten-free sandwiches. What’s not to love?
  • Gluten-free afternoon tea at the Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh. Three delicious tiers of gluten-free amazingness
  • The weather. Ok, this might sound totally crazy but out of 10 days we only had 1 day of slight drizzle. Other than that the weather in both Wales and Scotland was great for us. I think this is a UK miracle. Thank you weather gods.
  • Gluten-free labeling laws in the United Kingdom made it very easy to find “free from” (gluten-free food) without worry. Let’s hope the US labeling laws are this good.
  • Climbing to the top of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh for sweeping views of the city and water. Gorgeous. Do it!

It was great to travel with my mom. She is a very easy travel companion and is always on the hunt for gluten-free food for me. What more can you ask for in a travel buddy. We had a wonderful time and lots of great memories. I hope to have my gluten-free city guides up soon. Stay tuned!

Mom and I at the Last Drop pub in Edinburgh. Me enjoying a Winter Pimm’s
Europe, general, United Kingdom

Twitter Planning for Gluten-Free Dining in the UK

I find Twitter to be an awesome resource for planning gluten-free meals while both at home and abroad. All you have to do is Tweet where you are going and that you want to eat gluten-free and someone is bound to tweet you back. Here’s an example:

I sent a similar Tweet when look for places to eat in Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Twitter did not disappoint. I got a number of responses for each city that helped me put together a map of places to eat while in the UK. I also connected with a few restaurants and cafe owners who were eager for me to come in and try their gluten-free food while I am in the UK. While I cannot go everywhere, I am going to do my best to eat safely, and obviously 100% gluten-free, while overseas.

A special thanks to these fine Tweeters who gave me some awesome gluten-free tips:











Thank you all!
Readers, have you ever used Twitter to help plan your trip?