Dietary Restrictions: 2007
Eating in Europe is sightseeing for your tastebuds. Deciphering the menu is half the fun! But some travelers have special needs when it comes to food: vegan, diabetic, low-salt, gluten-sensitive, lactose-intolerant, nut and other allergies, etc. Any tips for those with special diet concerns in Europe?
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vegetarian & vegan option in Rome
delicious innovative vegetarian & vegan choices can be found at Il Margutta, close to the Spanish Steps, check out www.ilmargutta.it (I would definitely go back!)
Annapolis, MD USA Wed 12/05/2007
Indian Restaurants in Old Nice
If you are vegetarian and traveling in Nice, France...and perhaps are feeling secretly tired of cheese omelettes, salads, and crepes...maybe craving lentils?...there are two Indian restaurants in Old Nice that are both excellent, with many vegetarian options. Incidently, the waitstaff also were very friendly and spoke perfect English, making us feel a little sheepish as we stuggled with the French. Sorry to say we don't remember the names of the restaurants, but they were both very close to the Fennochio's Gelato in Old Town Nice...!
Seattle, WA USA Thu 10/04/2007
Vegan in Slovakia
Vegan food is making inroads into carnivore country-Eastern Europe. The Hotel Secon in Humenne, Slovakia had vegan (soy based) foods available on the menu!
Bothell, WA USA Thu 09/27/2007
celiac restaurants in Ireland
I am taking a tour of Ireland this coming summer, and contacted the coeliac society of Ireland for a list of gluten-free restaurants. They were very accomodating, sent me an extensive list of restaurants and places to find gluten-free groceries. They can be contacted at:firstname.lastname@example.org
West Lafayette, In. USA Thu 09/13/2007
Gluten free Italy
I found it's quite easy to get GREAT gluten free food in Italy. Just visit the website of A.I.C. Associazione Italiana Celiachia, the Italian celiac association.
They have a list of restaurants that went through special training for making gluten free food. I only ate at these restaurants and never had any troubles. It was a real a pleasure eating in Italy - I had gluten free bread, gluten free pasta, even gluten free pie. It was simply awesome.
Washington, DC USA Mon 07/16/2007
soya milk in Italy
Soya mik is easy to find now in Italy - I don't understand why the previous poster was unable to source it. I was in Italy last summer and found it not only in natural-food shops but also in supermarkets, especially the Co-op supermarkets that are very well stocked. I was mostly in Perugia this past time, but have also found it in Rome and elsewhere. It tastes fine, and is the same colour as soya milk elsewhere in Europe and North America.
I'm not vegan, but I'm lactose-intolerant, and was pleased to find that some geletarias now make soya, rice or other non dairy-based gelati.
Montréal , Québec Fri 06/08/2007
Vegan in Italy
I just returned from a fabulous 3 week holiday in Italy. Cheeseless pizza is everywhere (pizza marinara, though one place I requested it replied "We only have REAL pizza, with cheese", but what did they know? They were Pakistani. Suffice it to say, we didn't eat there because they were facecious (and their pizza was swimming with cheese). Anyway, so I ate alot of Pizza Marinara. The best pizza I had was the first night in Rome at a place called Pianetta Pizza. The pizza on my last full day in Rome last week was also pretty tasty because they used a wood burning oven. It was located sort of by the Vatican.
It is next to impossible to find tofu, soy sauce & soy milk. A friend of mine who lived in Italy for 3 years said that Italians tend to not like integrating food from other cultures into the mix, and this might explain why it is so hard to find these things. We saw only two chinese restaurants the whole time we were there.
I know soy milk exists there, because our veg B&B had it in Rome (as well as soy yogurt), but when we were in Tuscany, the grocery store (Ipercoop in Montevarchi) had some weird granulated soy lecithin-type stuff that claimed could be used as soy milk, but I could never get it to work for me. It tasted OK, but it was brown and had a funky texture to it so I just gave up after a couple of unsuccessful attempts. There is a cute little natural market in Lucca that had some breaded tofu patties and lots of organic fruits & veggies. The patties were OK, but given the opportunity to make my own from scratch, they probably would have tasted much better than the stuff from the freezer section.
If you have a villa or apartment and it is equipped with a blender (neither of the two we stayed in were), you can make your own dairy-free milk from water and either blanched (plain) almonds or raw cashews. I had orange juice on my corn flakes one morning, but it was kind of disgusting, so I gave up on cereal. It would have been nice if I could find something like Cream Of Wheat or Oatmeal since I never eat those with milk (just natural sugar or agave nectar), but the closest I came was polenta. I had that for breakfast on a couple of occasions, as well as a lot of potatoes, prepared in various ways (but not baked or broiled-our apartments didn't have ovens either)
If you are going to utilize grocery stores, be advised that they are always closed on Sundays and most of them close before 9 pm the rest of the week. We arrived late on Saturday night in Montevarchi on our way up to our villa in Montefianali and if we hadn't done some grocery shopping then, we would have had to survive on coffee with salt, pepper, basil, & hot pepper flakes for two days, as the Monday following Easter was also a holiday and practically everything was closed, including the grocery store. Some restaurants/cafes were open, but not many.
Some places, like Blue Gelateria near Trevi Fountain in Rome and a place I didn't get the name of in Sorrento offer soy & rice gelato. Sorbetti is available in some places, but it isn't always vegan, so you may want to ask. The typical sorbetto flavor is lemon, but some places also offer other fruit flavors such as strawberry, pineapple, & melon.
In Manarola in the Cinque Terre, there is a cute little place called Siamo Alla Frutta that offers fresh juices, fruit smoothies, and almond milk. They are only open between 9 am - 1 pm though and closed on Tuesdays. We never made it there to try it though as it was closed when we discovered it and we didn't make it back to Manarola while in Cinque Terre :(
SLC, UT USA Wed 04/25/2007
vegan in Italy
Vegan in Italy... looks fairly easy based on Happy Cow - http://www.happycow.net/europe/italy/index.html The only semi-problem city I see is Venice. Guess that is the place you'd have to ask for the cheeseless pizza and survive off of local fruits. There are vegan and vegetarian societies in Italy. http://www.viverevegan.org/ http://www.veganitalia.com/modules/news/ http://www.vegetariani.it/vegetariani/indices/15.html This man created vegan cat food in Italy called AMI - http://www.ghezzo.org/articles.php?&artclCat=stop http://www.veganriot.it/ Also Italy is ahead of the US in animal protection laws. In fact it is illegal in Italy to have goldfish in bowls (must be 10 gallon or more depending on size of fish) illegal to not walk your dog at least 3 times a day, illegal to display animals (dead or alive) in shop windows, illegal to kill or hurt healthy stray animals. Etc.. etc.. Yes, these are new laws. Passed in 2005.
Kearneysville, WV USA Mon 04/16/2007
Listing of vegetarian and vegan beers
Jen from SLC, mentioned the use of isinglass in beer and wine. I was not aware of this, so thanks for making a vegetarian beer lover aware! I did some checking about the use of isinglass in beer and came across this fantastic website with a compiled listing of non-vegetarian, vegetarian and vegan beers, with documentation to back up the findings. This website and its information was compiled by Geraint Paul Bevan, a research assistant and doctoral candidate at the University of Glasgow.
Here is the link: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/geraint.bevan/Vegetarian_beers.html
Thanks to Geraint Paul Bevan for the research! I hope this informs some fellow vegetarians and beer lovers!
Oklahoma City, OK USA Mon 04/02/2007
To start off with the last couple of posts have been helpful but I'm still going to throw this out there. Am allergic to casein so anything that was made with any dairy product is out. I'm planning on backpacking for a couple months this fall in Central Europe. Germany, Holland, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria and Slovakia. I've heard that meals in this region can be heavy on the dairy, true? I'm not a complete vegan, I eat Chicken but is eating vegan going to be my safest option? I only speak and read English and French so I won't be able to read all the food labels. I'm currently living in London so I know I can get by here, but am very nervous about my trip right now. Oh what about Portugal? Am heading there for a week in 2 weeks. Thanks for any information.
London, UK Mon 03/26/2007
Vegan in the UK & Italy
I traveled to the UK a few years ago and found it was fairly easy to find vegan food. London was a snap, because most everywhere you go has vegetarian options and a lot of those could easily be adapted to be vegan by just leaving out the dairy. In London, we ate at a place called The Texas Embassy. Though not vegetarian,they had vegetarian options and were able to accommodate my vegan needs. It's a Mexican restaurant (probably the only Mexican place in the entire country!)-it was next to all the other real embassies, kind of by the National Museum. Most of the convenience shops had premade food on the go, many offered hummus & falafel and crisps and things like that. We spent a week in Lancaster and there was an awesome vegetarian cafe called Whale Tail. I found it on www.vegdining.com. It wasn't in the most open area, so if you didn't know about it, you wouldn't have found it-we found it accidentally when we weren't actively looking for it. I think we ate there 4 or 5 times because we knew we could get vegan food there.It is a combination health food store & restaurant, with the restaurant upstairs. There is a really fantastic health food store over by the train stop closest to Kew Gardens.We didn't get in to see the gardens (got there too late & they were closed).I don't remember what it was called, but next time we go to London, we will definitely go back. One thing that I loved about the UK is that things that aren't vegan in the US are vegan there, like Starburst & Skittles. In the US, both contain gelatin. In the UK, they don't-pectin replaces the gelatin and therefore is vegan. Because of the Mad Cow scare there, I guess they took out animal-derived ingredients and replaced them with vegetable based ones wherever they could.
We are going to Italy in a few weeks and being vegan, I was concerned because people have been telling me that vegetarianism (particularly veganism) hasn't really caught on in Italy. Vegetarianism is considered strange, but they will try to accommodate you the best they can. It is getting better though. You should also be aware that often times, Italians don't consider broths and pancetta and other cured meats to be meat, so you have to be very specific about dietary restrictions when ordering. If you are going to Rome, there is a vegetarian B&B there, http://www.bedandbreakfastbio.com/en/servizi.asp & has fairly reasonable rates (60 euro a night in March, 70 for April for a double room).They can do vegan there too. There is another vegetarian B&B about an hour east of Rome, but they charge 20% extra to make something vegan for you (so we areen't staying there-I can understand charging more to add extra stuff, but you shouldn't have to pay extra to leave something off).
I found both by doing a Google search and typing in "vegan Italy". I found there is a gelateria near Trevvi Fountain called Blu Gelato and they have soy gelato avialble. I read that many places will offer sorbets and soy gelato too.I do plan to seek out health food stores and markets while in more remote places in Italy where they are unlikely to have a good selection of vegan options (or even understand what vegan is).I have been taking italian lessons and am studying food words in particular so I can explain better about dietary restrictions and not get too frustrated.
SLC, UT USA Sat 03/03/2007
Watch out for Guinness and other alcoholic beverages. Because alcoholic beverages are not required to list their ingredients, something innocent like beer or wine may throw unaware vegan traveler's into a spin. Guinness contains isinglass, derived from fish swim bladders. Isinglass is used as a clearing agent in both beer & some wine. Organic wines are generally OK, but check with your server and/or merchant/manufacturer.
SLC, UT USA Sat 03/03/2007
vegan in Ireland
i will be traveling to Ireland for a spring break trip scheduled during a class i am taking. most of the meals will be set up by the tour guide we are going through (EF tours) but we are on our own for lunch. here is the problem, i am vegan for moral and health reasons. is there anything special i should watch out for while in Ireland? do they try to sneak animal products into everything like in the U.S.? are there any other vegans that have been to Ireland that would like to give me some advice about eating in Ireland as a vegan?
New Concord, OH USA Fri 02/02/2007
Vegetarian and Dairy Free in London
London has many wonderful ethnic restaurants that serve outstanding vegetarian and dairy-free foods. I personally enjoy Indian and Pakistani cuisine. There is also a chain of noodle shops that offer outstanding meatless meals. Ethnic is your best bet as a vegetarian since many classic English dishes do feature meat or fish. Ethnic restaurants also offer good values if you are on a budget. I am also lactose-intolerant. I find it helpful to pack tablets just in case I do want to enjoy ice cream or other dairy food.
Mary Ann Rondinella
Littleton, CO USA Wed 01/17/2007
A Vegitarian and Lactard Walk into (a London) bar
Hi there -- My niece and I are going to London this Spring. She's a vegetarian and I'm a lactard (lactose intolerant). Could anyone share a couple of restaurants and "health food" stores we can utilize? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
TACOMA, WA USA Thu 01/04/2007