Nearly all German people speak English these days, so when traveling to Germany you should have no problems explaining you have celiac disease and must only have gluten-free foods. Many restaurants will offer you a menu in English and their web sites offer a language choice and quite often gluten-free dishes, if not then just ask, they will be very helpful.
When shopping or eating out, there are two words to remember, look for and avoid buying them or eating them. These two words are weizen (wheat) and mehl (flour). However, if you want to buy gluten-free cakes, biscuits, or bread, then the stores you will want to seek out are the following:
- Reformhaus – There is a network of around 3,000 stores throughout Germany.
- DM Stores - Offers a good selection of gluten-free foods.
- Alnatura – Has a great selection of gluten-free foods, so you should never have to go without a snack.
German Restaurants With Gluten-Free Menus
If you want to eat Italian, Chinese, or Indian there are many options to choose from that offer gluten-free dishes. Of course being in Germany you have many German restaurants serving typical German meals, including veal, steaks, chicken, soups, with lots of salads. Just make sure they don’t add lots of sauces! Always keep it simple and you will not go wrong.
In Berlin there is a sumptuous riverside restaurant, it is the Spindler & Klatt, located at Kopenickerstrasse 16 – 17, Berlin (Tel: 30.69566775). This is one of Berlins most fashionable haunts. During the day the restaurant, in a converted warehouse, offers great food and the sheer spendour of the building, will leave a lasting impression on you. The menu is in German and English. But the restaurant changes after 23 hours, it’s dance floor opens, with hard hitting music, played by DJ’s, if you enjoy late night loud music, its the place to finish up at.
Another good restaurant is The Remake, at Grosse Hamburger Strasse 52, Berlin, (Tel:30.20054102). At first glance from the street, the restaurant has a rather ramshackle facade, but behind it is one of Berlin’s best restaurants. The menu is available in English and shows a huge range of meals from around the world so select carefully and remember to re-state that your foods must be gluten free.
If you wish to try a typical German Beer Garden, then go to Joe’s Wirtshaus Zum Lowen, at Hardenbergstrasse 29, Berlin (Tel: 30.2621020). In the summer months the restaurant has an open air Beer Garden, which seats 400 people, with draught beer and a large variety of German dishes, many gluten free. The menu is available in English and even has a section of meals, for under 10 Euros and they are very generous German portions.
If you are interested in learning more, my next post, Germany Part 2, will feature several more exciting restaurants with gluten-free menus!