Amsterdam: discovering gluten-free restaurants thanks to a Dutch celiac friend!
Once we passed the French capital city, looking at the Eiffel Tower from the highway, we decided to stop to eat lunch in a service area. We were still in France and, as expected, we did not find anything gluten free. Neither in the restaurant nor at the gas station.
As always when we make a long trip, we make the “just in case” purchase, so the fact of not finding gluten-free food in the French service area was not a problem. We took out another package of pork loin from the one Isa brings from Cuenca, a sausage package, some olives and some gluten free bread and we made a picnic with the products that we had brought from Spain.
After a few hours, we crossed Belgium, we arrived in Holland. It was the second time I was in this country. I had been working in Roermond for a year, but there the gluten-free experience was not as good as in Amsterdam. We’ll explain you now.
There was a lot of traffic on the highway and it took longer than we expected to get to our destination. But we were already there! We had dreamed about going to that city for more than two years. In fact, one of the first gifts that Isa gave me was the Holland guide. Now we could use it!
We left everything in the apartment we had rented and, as usual, before visiting the city we went directly to search all the gluten-free restaurants in Amsterdam we had on the list.
One of the first gluten-free restaurants in Amsterdam that we located was the Bagels & Beans. There are several in the city. The type of restaurant reminded us a lot of the Mugg & Beans of Johannesburg and Durban. Not only because the name resembled (a little), but because, as Maartje had warned us, in case we would go there, we had to make sure that the waiter would have taken good note that our bagel had to be gluten free. Apparently, accidents were quite common there… As we did not want accidents, and we had many other options, we discarded that restaurant! In addition, the bagel is originally from Poland, so we will look for gluten-free bagels when we visit that country. Even so, we put it in case one of you wants to go and try them, because – as Maartje told us – if you explain it well, there should not be any problems. At the Mugg & Bean in South Africa nothing happened to us and the risk of cross contamination was, for sure, much higher there than here.
By the way, Maartje is a celiac girl from Utrecht that we met last summer in Alicante. Thanks to her we found many restaurants that we had not located through the gluten-free applications that we use to prepare our trips around the world.
Then, while dodging bicycles, scooters and trams while trying not to hit any pedestrian – yes yes, it is horrible to walk through Amsterdam – we continued walking until we arrived at the Anne Frank house. Unlike Spain, I’d say that in The Netherlands, priorities go in that order: bicycles or trams (I do not know which one would fit first), scooters, cars and pedestrians.
Right next to the house, we happened to find one of the Amsterdam Pancakes. There are also several in the city. Another is next to the Central Train Station.
We had not bought an entrance to see the Anne Frank house, neither would we had the opportunity to do so, since you have to buy them through their website and they were sold out long time ago… When we entered the Pancakes restaurant, it was eight o’clock in the afternoon and they were already closing. We could only ask if they had gluten-free pancakes. When they said yes, we decided to eat there the next day, after the first free tour.
Suddenly, we noticed the fatigue and, instead of continuing to look for gluten-free restaurants in Amsterdam open later than 8pm, we decided to go back to the apartment and prepare dinner with the products of the “just in case” purchase.
The next day, we ate a bowl of gluten-free cereals with milk and we went to take the train to get back to the center. The Free tour started from Dam Place, where there is the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and the National Monument, among others.
We didn’t really like the tour… the guide was very unfriendly and was very rude with the people… anyway! At the end of the tour, without looking at the time, we went to the Pancakes Amsterdam restaurant on Prinsengracht 277, next to the Anne Frank House.
This is a somewhat peculiar restaurant, since it claims to be “cash free” but you have to pay 50 cents to go to the bathroom. We do not know if it is only in that one because it is right next to the House of Anne Frank and it is always full of tourists, or if in others the same thing happens. They have no change! So safe the 50 cents coins very well, since in other places of Holland you will also need them if you have to go to the bathroom.
As in many restaurants that offer gluten and gluten-free dishes (sometimes, regardless of whether they are certified or not), they told us that they could not guarantee the absence of 100% cross-contamination. It is a risk that we have to run sometimes! If not always…
When the waiter came, we explained that we are celiac and began the odyssey of oats again. As in Carcassonne, they did not understand us… not even using Google Translate. In the end we told him to take the phone to the kitchen with the translation to ask directly to the cook. Once cleared, we started looking at the pancakes.
After a while, another waitress came to tell us that they could only make gluten free pancakes in Dutch-style and that “we could not eat the number 8, since the apple crumbles contained gluten”. The dough was made with buckwheat.
We ordered a gluten-free pancake each. Isabel ordered gluten-free pancake with bacon, cheese and an extra smoked chicken. I ordered a gluten free pancake of cooked ham and goat cheese. When they brought the gluten free pancakes, we saw that there was a purple dot. This is the identifier of “gluten-free pancake”. They were quite good, but the presentation and the amount of ingredients (apart from the dough) was a little bit disappointing. We like it more in the Creps Barcelona. When we finished, we ordered the menu again to look for another gluten free pancake for dessert. We wanted chocolate! But we could not take it because they told us that the chocolate cream contained gluten… so we asked for the bill and we went to find one of the gluten free pastries Maartje had recommended to us. Before ending this restaurant, above all, insist on gluten-free and make sure you can eat all the ingredients of the gluten-free pancake you have ordered.
You can see the pictures of the trip here.
Other gluten free restaurants in Amsterdam are:
- Bagels & Beans:
- Waterlooplein 2.
- Raadhuisstrat 18.
- Keizersgracht 504.
- Roetersstraat 2a.
- De Clercqstraat 22.
- IJdok 29.
- Haarlemmerdijk 122.
- Ferdinand Bolstraat 70.
- Van Baerlestraat 40.
- Ruyschstraat 52.
- Van Haalstraat 613.
- Overtoom 306.
- Veemkade 368.
- Willem de Zwijgerlaan 161.
- Spaarndammerstraat 149a.
- Hay más pero están muy lejos del centro.
- Pancakes Amsterdam:
- Prins Hendrik kade 48.
- Berenstraat 38.
- Prinsengracht 277.
- Piqniq at Lindengracht 59.
- Farm Meerzicht at Koenenkade 56.
- Jaan Hanzenstraat 32.
- Van Woustraat 123.
- Pertoriusstraat 72A.
- Hard Rock Café at Max Euweplein 57.
- Haesje Claes at Spuistraat 273.
- Le Pain Quotidien at Spuistraat 266.
- La Cubanita at Binnen Bantammerstraat 9.
Other gluten free bakeries in Amsterdam are:
- Luza’s Caffeine Club.
- Cotton Cake.
- Bakerir Metzonder.
BY CLICKING ON THE MAP OF GLUTEN FREE RESTAURANTS YOU FILL SEE ALL RESTAURANTS WE DESCRIBED IN THIS POST LOCATED IN THE MAP OF GLUTEN-FREE PLACES:
AND HERE WE LEAVE THE CELIAC TRAVEL CARD IN DUTCH:
P.S.: Please keep in mind that in this blog I share my trips, anecdotes and experiences about gluten free travel around the world. It is possible that, in any of my trips, I go to some restaurant not trained by the associations where the risk of being contaminated with gluten exists. I kindly ask you to also take into account that the list of references can change. Please, always double check before eating in the restaurants we recommend. Thank you very much!
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