Tips for Gluten-Free Travel (Part Two)
We're picking up from where we left off last week with Matt from Wheatless Wanderlust. Read on to find out about three gluten-free travel destinations you won't want to miss, two tools to pack for a less stressful trip, and one secret that will help you travel anywhere in the world!
3 Amazing Gluten-Free Travel Destinations
From my experience, Portland is the best gluten-free city in the United States. There are five dedicated gluten-free bakeries, three dedicated gluten-free breweries, countless other dedicated gluten-free restaurants, and a cider/coffee scene that rivals any other city in the world. If you’re anxious about traveling after a Celiac Disease diagnosis, I’d encourage you to start with a trip to Portland where you’ll be surrounded by many amazing, safe options.
- New Cascadia Traditional for Pizza Night (Thurs - Sat)
- Kyra’s Bakeshop’s for decadent cupcakes
- Petunia’s Pies and Pastries for gluten-free + vegan donuts (weekends only)
- Tacovore PDX for 100% gluten-free tacos
- Gluten-free beer at Groundbreaker Brewing Co.
Read my full gluten-free Portland city guide here.
I can hear exactly what you’re thinking: Italy? The world capital of pizza and pasta? You can’t be serious. Rome is an amazing place to visit in its own right with so much incredible history and culture you can feel as you wander the torchlit streets at night. But it also happens to be an amazing gluten-free destination too. I’ve found the food culture in Rome is inclusive, rather than exclusive. In Rome, it’s about making sure you can eat it all.
There are several dedicated gluten-free restaurants and bakeries, along with four 100% gluten-free gelato shops—yes, even the cones are gluten-free. Many restaurants have entirely separate kitchens to accommodate people with Celiac Disease and ensure they can safely partake in the food culture that makes Italy a culinary delight.
- A Gelato a day from either Grom, Fatamorgana, or Fiocco di Neve - all 100% gluten-free, including the cones.
- Pizza from Mama Eat - they have a whole separate gluten-free kitchen.
- Risotto at Risotteria Melotti (100% gluten-free)
Read my full gluten-free Rome city guide here.
Until recently, Denver wasn’t on my list of the best gluten-free cities to visit. But after multiple trips, including a longer stay, it has risen in the ranks to sit at number three, toppling NYC to take home the bronze medal of gluten-free deliciousness.
Denver is the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, and like Portland, is home to a thriving small business culture and is full of foodies. Dedicated gluten-free spots have sprung up like wildfire over the past five years or so. The surrounding area, including Boulder, CO, is also full of delectable gluten-free eats, from a local 100% gluten-free brewery, to fish and chips, to tasty tacos, and more.
- Venezuelan-style arepas at Quiero Arepas (100% gluten-free)
- 100% gluten-free brunch at River and Roads Coffee (get the breakfast fries, you won’t regret it)
- 100% gluten-free beer at Holidaily Brewing Company
Read my full gluten-free Denver city guide here.
2 Tools to Pack for a Less Stressful Trip
Use a Gluten-Free Restaurant Card to Handle Language Barrier
Perhaps the most anxiety-inducing part about traveling somewhere new is navigating a language barrier. It can be hard enough to communicate my dietary needs in English, let alone in an unfamiliar language.
Enter gluten-free restaurant cards! Gluten-free restaurant cards are essentially a phrase you can either print out or save on your phone which say something that boils down to “I need to eat gluten-free, here’s what that means.”
I’d recommend investing in a card that mentions cross-contamination, like shared fryers for example. It’ll cost you about $10, but it’s more than worth it to have the option to pull it out when you need it to make sure you get a safe gluten-free meal. I get my gluten-free restaurant cards from Jodi at Legal Nomads.
Toaster bags are a lifesaver because they make it easy to make a quick meal like a sandwich for lunch or toast to go with your eggs in the morning. They’re a little sleeve that you can put your bread in before popping it into the toaster that will prevent cross-contact with gluten and allow you to use shared toasters. The bags I use I found on Amazon.
1 Secret That Will Help You Travel Anywhere in the World
Be Willing and Have the Resources to Cook for Yourself
If you or your travel companions are able and willing to cook for yourselves, you can travel anywhere in the world. If you’re not finding any gluten-free restaurants you feel comfortable with, all you need is access to a kitchen and a trip to the local grocery store or market.
Before your trip, make sure to book a place with a kitchen. Ideally, you want a kitchen with a refrigerator and a stove. Unfortunately, that is not something that you find at most hotels, so you might find yourself looking at apartment rentals. Make sure to add grocery stores near your accommodations to your handy Google Map.
When you arrive, head to the local market on your first day to grab some staples, like eggs, fruits and vegetables, cheese, and rice (it totally depends on where you are traveling), that you can make in the kitchen at your place.
I hope these tips and resources I’ve shared are helpful as you plan your own gluten-free travel experience! Please feel free to reach out and follow along with me at @wheatless_wanderlust on Instagram. Cheers!