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Gluten Free Eating in Restaurants and Cafes

Make use of the Gluten Free CeliacTravel.com Restaurant Cards (Free!).

Be vigilant. Restaurant staff are a varied bunch, and even with the best explanations and use of the card, mistakes can be made. On one occasion a request for a plain side salad with no dressing appeared from the kitchen with a lovely topping of crispy croutons. An apologetic waiter took the salad away to be replaced, however the same salad re-appeared, with the croutons picked off the top, (given away by bread-crumbs on the lettuce leaves). A highly embarrassed waiter took the salad away and prepared a fresh one himself.

Tip generously when you are given good service, as this will encourage similar behaviour in the future. Your requests for gluten free food give restaurant staff the opportunity to give their customers that extra special attention and tips are usually where their wages come from.

If it is a special occasion, consider calling the restaurant before hand and discussing the menu options with the chef. A favourite restaurant in Scotland always ensures there are gluten free choices for each course. Imagine my delight when offered the desert choice of chocolate roulade, fresh berry pavlova, or lemon parfait!

Email us with your stories, good or bad. We would especially like to know about celiac-savvy restaurants in your area, wherever in the World you live!

Gluten Free Backpacking and Hosteling for Celiacs / Coeliacs

Consider taking a small cool box or bag with you. From experience, the inconvenience of the extra luggage is far out-weighed by having a safe food to eat, when you want it. Most back-packer or hostel type accommodation have freezers so you can re-freeze the ice-pack overnight.

Make use of each country’s Celiac Society as they can usually provide you with a list of specialist suppliers and sometimes restaurants.

Some country’s Celiac Society produce lists of the gluten free food found in regular supermarkets. DO NOT rely on ingredient lists on the food item, as each country has different rules and regulations about what has to be listed. Learned this the hard way after being very sick from an apparently safe pate. Phoned the Customer Care Line and found it was 3% wheat-flour, which they did not have to list!

Behave like a squirrel! (Not the bit about climbing up high trees!) Stock up on dry goods (pasta, biscuits, crackers, stock cubes) when you find a good supply. Some countries are better than others regarding availability and price of gluten free food, so sometimes it pays to carry a few extra pounds of safe food.

Onto Gluten Free Travel Tips Part 3: Gluten-Free Snacks

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