Dietary Restrictions: 2008
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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Lactose intolerance - Italy.
Bring plenty of Lactaid (lactase enzyme supplement) pills. With all the cheese and ice cream you will need them. In Italy they are very difficult to find and if you find them they are very expensive, 35 euro for 60 pills.
Sunnyvale , CA USA Sat 11/29/2008
Gluten Free Prague, Krakow and Berlin
I just visited Prague, Krakow and Berlin on a Gluten Free diet. Again, I had little difficulty finding food to eat. Poland was quite easy lots of beans and meat and potato...I will admit that I did not venture out to eat in Prague, I stuck to grocery store finds. Rice cakes are readily available in all stores and I found that cream cheese and meat on a rice cake was a filling meal. I had a lot of fresh fruit and veggies and along with the snacks I brought from home and I was happy. Berlin was great...I love German food and find it easy to eat in Germany and stick to GF food. There is an amazing GF brand in Germany called Schar...such a treat! And available at all the health food stores (usually found in major train stations) and some products at supermarkets as well. Cheers!
Tacoma, WA USA Mon 11/03/2008
Vegan/Vegetarian in Italy
I just returned yesterday from Florence Italy and enjoyed the food very much. As a vegan because of food intolerance, I was concerned about finding enough places to eat - but it was easy! Tuscan soup, tomato everything and yes, even vegan pizza and fresh pasta with marinara (tomato) sauce! Enjoy. Here is one favorite outside Siena in Montalcino called Il Grappolo Blu - the owner was most accommodating!
Lynnwood, WA USA Wed 10/08/2008
Vegetarian (possibly Vegan) restaurant in Prague
In Prague, Czech Republic, there is an awesome vegetarian "restaurant" (cafeteria style). If my memory serves me, I think it was vegan. Either way, the food was delicious, and I returned there everyday during my week in Prague. Later I met another American who was studying at the University, and she ate there everyday, even though she wasn't a vegetarian! I think they have 2 locations in Prague, one very close to the old town square. Here's the links:
Country Life - vegetariŠnskŠ restaurace Melantrichova 15 (a street very near Old Town Square) http://www.countrylife.cz/index.php?id=120
Link on same page, describing location and hours. http://www.countrylife.cz/index.php?id=120
The Country Life company has organic health food stores, and other restaurants in Prague, and (I think) also in Brno. Review: http://www.expats.cz/prague/czech/prague-restaurants/countrylife/
Czech diet is very meat heavy, so this is a welcome and delicious alternative for those of us who don't eat meat.
San Antonio, TX USA Thu 08/14/2008
Gluten Free Britain
Gluten-free Best of Britain May 2008 My 17 year-old celiac son and I found eating a delight on our tour. The meals included in the tour were at restaurants that stressed high quality fresh food and were not wheat based meals. A few substitutions made the meals gf and arrangements were handled beautifully by our guide, Roy. We found most servers knew what gf meant and were very helpful in finding out what was safe on the menu. We found gf fish and chips in the Lake District at Windebrowe Chippy on Windebrowe Ave off Penrith Rd in a residential neighborhood about 15 min walk for our B & B. They serve gf on Tuesdays 11:45-1:30 and 4:30-8:30 and promise a website coming soon.In London on Leicester Square, the Mermaids Tail also served gf fish and chips available any time. The Starbuck's, Costa coffee shops and the Cafe Ritazza chain all had at least one gf baked goodie available. Try the Starbuck's GF Belgian Chocolate cake we found in most Starbucks or the Summer Valencia Orange cake we had in Nottinghill. Look for the FREE FROM aisle in the grocery stores: Waitrose(Hexham and Bath) is the best grocery store source for gf breads and baked goods. We liked Dietary Specials Sweet Breakfast rolls and Multi-Seeded Rustic rolls. The Antoinette Savitt french rolls were also good and kept near the regular bread aisle instead of the free from shelf. We had picnic lunches using the rolls and local cheeses and salads from Marks and Spencer many days. Tesco had good english muffins. Sainsburys in Edinburgh had a really tasty Double Chocolate cake. Eat Natural Bars are gf fruit and nut bars for quick energy snacks. We found them in most free from aisles, at Boot's pharmacies,and the health food stores(Holland & Barrett in Victoria Station mall). For crisps(aka potato chips) Kettle Chips, Tyrell's and Piper's were all labeled for coeliacs. The Mark's and Spencers were not. We bought a resusable shopping bag from Waitrose and carried our gf supplies with us on the bus to supplement picnic lunches, snacks and breakfasts. Wagamama had a 7 page special diets menu that had one page all gf. We loved the Chicken Itame and ate at both the Tower location and the one near the British Museum. Best experience was at the Fox Inn at Broadwell 30 minute walk from Stow-on-the-Wold. Carol is a celiac and has the best gf Chocolate Fudge Sponge with custard, not to mention many wonderful gf entree choices. Another treat in the Cotswolds is the Cream Tea Room in Stow. Alison Johnson has freshly baked gf items daily in a pretty little tea room on Sheep St. There is also an organic food store across the street from the Old Stocks Hotel for snacks. In Keswick, the West View is a very gf friendly B & B where gf bread is on hand for toast. We found the food service people more knowledgable and the food more clearly labeled than home and the abundance of fresh salads and fruit, local cheeses and clearly marked deli meats in places like Marks and Spencer and Pret-a-manger made gf eating much easier than we are used to. The availablity of stuffed jacket potatoes also helps. Just be sure the baked beans are thickened with cornstarch(maize flour) and not wheat. We didn't find any, but were warned there are some out there. Also ask about shredded cheeses that might have wheat starch. Being gluten free also meant we were shopping with the locals, interacting with store managers, restaurant managers, servers and finding them all interested, kind and willing to help: A great way to meet and talk to the locals. So don't stay home afraid of gf travel, get out there and eat!
Sugar Grove, Ohio USA Mon 06/30/2008
RE: Vegan in Italy. . .Cheeseless pizza is everywhere (pizza marinara) suggestion is very intriquing. I have in recent years spent several months each year (My base is Freiburg im Breisgau and my son manages a Swiss company). No idea what marinaara is - but am checking it out.
Incidently the World Vegetarian Congress is scheduled for late July in Leipzig. Hope to be there if I can find a decent place to stay without spending a fortune. Visit http://www.ivu.org/
GERHARDT AKA GERY
Madison, WI and Freiburg im Breisgau
Gerhardt J. Steinke
Madison, WI USA Sat 05/17/2008
Vegetarian Florence, Paris
I am greatly enjoying Vegetus in Florence, via Del Leone 53/r, 055 214722. Not expensive, good food, and free wireless!
In Paris I found Le Portager du Marais, 22 rue Rambueau (near Pompidou). More of a nice place to have dinner than a cafe to hang out in though.
las Cruces, NM USA Tue 05/13/2008
Gluten Free Italy
I found that eating gluten free was easy in Italy, I did not get sick once in 10 days! There is good awareness of gluten in Italy so all I had to do was tell the wait staff that I would get sick and they helped me out. I also found that just about every place had some kind of roasted chicken and potato meal on the menu so I knew I couldn't go wrong with that! On a side note, there are gluten free restaurant cards in many languages available at http://www.celiactravel.com/restaurant-cards.html for free! I printed them and had them laminated and they have helped in all the languages I have printed them in!
Tacoma, WA USA Wed 05/07/2008
West London - A Veggie Delight!
A few pointers for meat-free travellers heading to London:
- MacDonald's in the UK usually sell veggie burgers as part of their standard menu
- The west London suburbs of Southall, Hounslow and Wembley (all easily accessible by train/metro/local bus) contain a wealth of pure vegetarian or veg-friendly Indian eateries with very reasonable prices
- Brick Lane in East London is known as 'Curry Mile'. A number of its establishments will cater for veggies
- Don't miss the all-day buffet (£6) at Govinda's restaurant at 9 Soho Street, just off Oxford St!
- Sikh temples all over the UK usually offer (ALL) visitors a hot vegetarian meal for free or for a very small donation. No preaching or attempts to convert you either! Cool!!
London, England Wed 04/23/2008
Re: Vegetarian/Vegan in Paris
Spent Thanksgiving 2007 in Paris with my wife. I highly recommend Happycow.com for finding veggie restaurants abroad, especially bigger cities. Paris can be extremely tough if you don't plan ahead, particularly with the heavy reliance on ham and cheese.
I can't say enough about the restaurant Le Potager du Marais in Paris. Wonderful food, great atmosphere, you will love it. We had our Thanksgiving meal at Le Grenier de Notre Dame which was also very nice.
Something I've started doing as a veggie/vegan traveller whenever possible is to base our hotel near veggie restaurants. Happycow lists the addresses, and you can just google that along with possible hotel addresses to get an idea of how close they are. Looking back, I would have done this in Paris instead of walking 45 minutes to any of the veggie restaurants or having to take 2 trains.
Baltimore, MD USA Wed 04/02/2008
Vego/Vegan in London & Berlin
I was just in London and read in a "Veggie & Organic London" book before I left about a chain of vegan Asian buffet restaurants run by Buddhists of some sort. Not only does this sound awesome, but it was! It was so, so wonderful to go to a restaurant and be able to eat every single thing they had to offer. The restaurants go by different names, and to be perfectly honest, I don't remember the name of the one I went to (it was on Oxford St. almost directly south of the British Museum). But they all have a sandwich-board advertising vegan Thai & Chinese food outside. I also grabbed snacks at Alara Wholefoods on Marchmont St. a few times because it was near my hostel.
Additionally, I thought I'd throw in that it is very easy to eat vegetarian (and probably vegan) here in Berlin! Berlin is home to many, many more East Asian and Turkish restaurants than German. So please don't let thoughts of wurst scare you. Can't speak for the rest of Germany, though.
Berlin, Sat 03/29/2008
Vegetarian food in Paris
It's very difficult to find vegetarian meals in Paris. Plan on eating a lot of salads, cheese and bread in restaurants--and dessert, of course.
New York, NY USA Sun 03/23/2008
How much for a decent veggie meal?
How much does a decent vegetarian meal for two cost in Rome, Florence, Venice, Interlaken, Paris, Amsterdam and London?
Please include the currency you are talking about.
San Diego, CA USA Sun 02/17/2008