It’s been just over seven months (!!) since my partner and I moved to Amsterdam. And besides the headaches of setting up a new apartment – contracts in Dutch are no joke! – and the joys of meeting new friends, the best part about living in a new city has undoubtedly been trying all the restaurants possible… in the name of research, that is! Here are my top favorite restaurants and stores for tucking into and stocking up on delicious gluten free goods:
Breakfast & Lunch
Le Pain Quotidien (featured image)
Despite being a bakery, the LPQ chain is committed to providing gluten free options (marked on their menu) and a safe gluten free experience to its customers. The staff is generally been knowledgeable; I’ve eaten there many times without getting sick, despite the fact that they are a bakery and there is a risk of cross-contamination as a result. If you specify that you’re allergic they will be sure to prepare your food specifically for you rather that using pre-prepared ingredients, which helps limit the risk of exposure to gluten. The menu changes seasonally but always has a good number of gluten free options to enjoy (including gluten free bread).
This hipster cafe is almost always packed – and for good reason! Their hearty sandwiches, salads and soups are delicious. It’s easy to find vegetarian options here as well, though vegan selections are more limited. Gluten free options are clearly marked on the menu and gluten free bread is available upon request. Note: At the time this article was written the staff was struggling with their salads: a gluten-containing grain is added to all salads, but has been left off of the ingredients on the menu. If you want a salad, just be sure to ask for it without grain and they can make it for you!
COTTONCAKE is a clothing store cafe hybrid that manages to successfully execute both areas of business. Not only are the lattes and baked goods dreamy (also, they’re ALL gluten free), but their selection of womenswear and accessories is forever a temptation. While their menu is small, most of it is gluten free, and gluten free bread is available (at the time of writing this post I have not yet tried the bread, though I’ve been told it’s “beautiful” – can’t wait to go back soon!). They also make sure to have at least one vegan baked good option per day.
Jacketz is a potato spot specializing in stuffed baked potatoes and has almost nothing gluten-containing on the menu. Their portions are the stuff of legends (though they struggle managing the ratio of stuffing to potato with their incredibly oversized potatoes!), and the potatoes are hearty and warming. Definitely a great option for cold weather lunches and dinners! Vegetarian options are available.
Having never been to Vietnam, I have no idea how authentic Bo Nam’s Vietnamese cuisine is. However, I can 100% vouch for its deliciousness! Nothing that goes into their fryer contains wheat, so the fried rolls are also gluten free, which is uncommon and appreciated! Staff knowledge about the menu varies, so don’t be surprised if you find your server changing once you say you’re gluten free. Additionally, the wait times both for a table and for your food can be pretty ridiculous, so make a reservation and avoid sitting in the middle room if it at all possible (they seem to forget it exists!). All that said, Bo Nam is still worth a try! My go to? The spicy salmon wrapped in a banana leaf – it’s absolutely delicious!
M&M (as I call it), has become my favorite go-to spot when I want to eat a nice meal with wheat-eaters. The food is delicious – try the curry mussels! – and they absolutely understand how to handle food for individuals with celiac. Most of their menu is gluten free by default. As such, they don’t mark gluten free items on their menu. Their staff are very knowledgeable and will let you know which one or two items can’t be made gluten free. They do offer gluten free bread but it’s the usual bland sliced stuff. Overall though, the food is magical. They even have a dedicated fryer! Pro tip: sit outside in the garden patio area if it’s warm and let the city blur into the background for a while. Ahhh….
La Vina is a lovely, mellow spot tucked away toward Amsterdam South that’s perfect for both dinner and wine. Their gluten free rolls are good, and most of the menu is gluten free without needing to be modified. The best thing on their menu is hands down their chocolate lava cake (YES to being gloriously gluten free!). It takes 15-20 minutes to prepare but it’s well worth the wait!
Indonesian food is a bit of a cult favorite here in Amsterdam and BLAUW doesn’t disappoint. RESTAURANT BLAUW makes sharing easy and fun with meals that come with boatloads (I mean that literally, given the little boat-shaped tureens!) of sides and rices – almost all of which are gluten free and celiac safe. Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time, as both locations book out in advance.
If you’re feeling ready to splurge, head to the Midtown Grill for an amazing dinner. Meat eaters will delight, however they have a lot of hearty sides that are vegetarian and can be put together for a solid meal, as well as an offering of grilled veggies as a vegan entree. The best part? They have a dedicated fryer, which means that Amsterdam’s famous fries can be enjoyed by all!
While it’s not the most authentic tasting (yes, I am a Mexican food snob), La Margarita has a lively, fun environment and is an easy option if you’re in the central part of the city (which is where most tourists are). The fryer is not dedicated, however if you let them know that you have an allergy they’ll pan fry chips especially for you! The staff are warm, welcoming and overall knowledgeable about celiac needs, and the patio upstairs provides seating just above one of the city’s famed canals.
On The Go
Gluten Free Stroopwaffles at Albert Cuypmarkt
If you’re afraid of missing out on the iconic Dutch cookie, you’re in luck! One amazing market stand sells pre-packaged gluten free stroopwaffles, baked in a dedicated gluten free kitchen.
They may not be fresh, but they are fun to try, especially if you’r
e looking for a bit more of the Dutch experience.
TCPJ is a 100% vegan and gluten free store that sells raw wraps, salads, juices, power balls, various treats and, in non-summer months, soups. The soups are hands down the best thing on the menu, though all of it is fresh and tasty. Be prepared to pay for the quality – and be sure to get there early, as they sell out almost daily!
Miscellaneous + Supermarkets
Luza’s is a cafe with an upscale, sophisticated vibe. Gluten free baked goods are plentiful and are kept in a separate display case to prevent cross-contamination. While Luza’s treats aren’t my favorite, they make this list because of their dedication not only to gluten free goodies, but to low sugar treats as well.
Albert Heijn – Van Baerlestraat location
One of the largest supermarkets in the city, this particular AH has a wide variety of gluten free goods for sale. This is an ideal spot if you’re heading out for a picnic and need to grab some supplies, or if you’ve chosen to stay with friends or an airbnb and need to grab some gluten free supplies. Pastas, wraps, breads, chips, baked goods, baking supplies and cereals can all be found, both in a designation section of the supermarket, and throughout other areas (unmarked), as well.
Known for its vitamins and supplements, H&B also carries a decent range of gluten free products in each of its branches in the city. Similar to Albert Heijn, a range of cereals, cookies and breads are carried, as well as Bounce Balls and various gluten free protein and snack bars.
This bio chain carries a smaller selection of gluten fre
e goods than either of the two supermarkets listed above, but emphasizes organic, healthy options.
Special Mention: Haesje Claes
Haesje Claes makes the list not because I love their food, but because they aim to provide a traditional Dutch dining experience. The menu is filled with hearty dishes, many of which can be done gluten free, and they restaurant provides Schar gluten free rolls upon request. If you’re looking to try a few new foods while in Amsterdam (stampot, anyone?!), this is the place for you!
Have you spent time visiting or living in Amsterdam? What were your favorite gluten free/gluten free friendly spots?! I’d love to hear your highlights and tips!