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Gluten free travel in Beijing, China

China is not the easiest place to travel as a celiac. Here are some tips for getting gluten free food from a celiac who lived there.

I lived in Beijing for 5 years, 3 as a celiac. It is a struggle for anyone to find gluten free options - I gave up eating out at Chinese restaurants - however, there are more imported foodstuffs you can get you hands on if you know where to go:

1. Jenny Loo - ask any foreigner living in Beijing and they will know this supermarket specializing in inported foodstuffs. I have found a lot of Australian brands here including arrowhead mills grits, gluten free cereals (limited) and occassionally gluten free chocolate. From time to time they have shipments in of gluten free tortilla chips and also rice crackers. Located across the CBD, including Chao Yang West Gate, Sanlitun, & Li Du areas.

2. April Gourmet - similar to Jenny Loos. The one in the Park Avenue complex stocks gluten free gummy bears / snakes imported from Australia. Gluten free crisps/ chips (organic) and cereal bars with honey / macademia nuts.

3. Lo Hao organic store - There are several of these including one at Lucky Street, Chao Yang and one in Shun Yi. They have been known to stock (although not all the time)- gluten free corn chips, gluten free pasta, and gluten free fruit / cereal bars.

The restaurant that I relied on to accommodate me mostly was L’Isola - in Sanlitun in the Pacific Century Place. They could do a sea bass, or mozzarella salad and the maitre D always spoke to the (open) kitchen to make sure they knew it was me.

If anyone wants more tips on being gluten free in China - please email me. essie russell@hotmail.com

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