Gluten Free Amsterdam

Amsterdam

The first stop on our Northern Lights Rally (a 5000 mile drive from Scotland to Estonia) was Amsterdam. As we arrived early on the ferry from Newcastle we had the whole day to spend with our Dutch friends and they were an extremely helpful source for finding out where I could buy gluten free food.

Dutch friends made us delicious gluten free lunch and dinner in their apartment and finding safe things to buy was easy as Albert Heijn, one of the most popular supermarkets in the Netherlands, labels all of their own brand products which are gluten free. Products such as yoghurts and biscuits which are gluten free carry the symbol but even products that are naturally gluten like eggs and cheese also carry the symbol. It was nice to walk around the store and know that everything I was putting into my basket was gluten free! (or gluten vrij as they say in the Netherlands) Albert Heijn’s website provides a list of all gluten free products the store has to offer. It’s in Dutch but may be helpful for gluten free travellers who wish to find out what kind of things they can buy in the Netherlands. A few other local supermarkets we looked at also had varying degrees of gluten free labelling. Celiac awareness is pretty high here so finding safe food to prepare at home or a safe restaurant at which to eat out isn’t too difficult.

Gluten Free labelling

Tasty Dutch fig jam

For lunch we went to the local cheese store to buy a huge chunk of Dutch cheese and a few cuts of roast beef and ham. This was all fresh and naturally gluten free without any added nonsense. I used rice cakes as a base and also tried some delicious fig jam for a taste of the sweet after the savoury.

Dinner was home made pumpkin soup and salad with a mustard dressing – delicious and 100% gluten free! Dessert was marzipan biscuits, also from Albertheijn. My friends buy them regularly and hadn’t realised that they were gluten free until I came to visit. These delicious naturally gluten free treats are made of almonds and rice flour.

Lunch in Amsterdam

Pumpkin soup and salad

We didn’t have time to eat out in Amsterdam on this trip but our Dutch friends showed us a website where we could find a list of suitable places to eat gluten free. It’s in Dutch but you can use a translation tool.

This is another great site where you can search, in English, for places to eat in the city which cater for gluten free diets. If you go into advanced search, under ‘diets’ you can search by gluten free. Be sure to scroll down to read the fantastic recommendations for eating out that fellow gluten free travellers have added to this post!

If you are planning a gluten free trip to the Netherlands, the Dutch Celiac Association is a great resource for up-to-date information on living and travelling as a celiac in the Netherlands.

Have you travelled gluten free to Amsterdam? What and where did you eat?

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Comments

  • Ingrid Holzman

    Feb 5th, 2011

    Thanks for the information. I am of Dutch descent and will be visiting relatives in Amsterdam this summer. The last time we were there 3 years ago, I had not been diagnosed with my gluten sensitivity. I don’t have Celiac’s, but due to severe IBS caused by gluten, I need to eat gf. I am wondering if you were able to locate the website for suitable places to eat? That would be incredibly helpful! Albert Heijn has great products and I will be checking Dirk van de Broek as well since both are near my cousin’s home.
    Thanks!
    Ingrid

  • Hey Ingrid, I’m not sure how good your Dutch is but this is a good site for finding gf restaurants.
    http://www.glutenvrijeten.nl/

    This is another great site. You can search for places in English. If you go into advanced search, under ‘diets’ you can find gluten free.
    http://en.dinnersite.nl/zoeken/uitgebreid/

    Hope this helps!

  • Hi, thank you so much for this post!

    I run a gluten-free dining guide in Portland called GlutenFreePDX.com.

    I’m of Dutch descent, going to do my graduate studies in Amsterdam this fall. Since I don’t know the language, it’s a bit intimidating, but I appreciate you doing some of the legwork for finding gluten-free resources.

    Thanks again!

  • @Ben, I’m glad I could help. I hope you have a wonderful time in Amsterdam. It’s such as amazing city! I’m going to be back in San Francisco for a while come May and my boyfriend and I may head to Portland at some point. If we do I’ll have to give you a shout 🙂

  • Very helpful thank you so much. I will be travelling soon to Amsterdam or Copenhagen and had a look here and there. Me and my daughter are celiac so…thank you again!

  • I just got back from Amsterdam this week. It was an amazing trip — what a great place! As far as GF food goes, I thought I should add my experience in case anyone else does a search on GF and Amsterdam and finds this site.

    I didn’t find anything at the local Albert Heijn’s or at any of the AH To Go stores. The AH To Go have sushi, but the current fad of “crispy” and Japanese mayo on everything means that most sushi is not safe. However there is a supermarket at Schiphol airport(visible from the Meeting Place) that has a full rack of GF items. I bought a divinely delicious Consenza vanilla buttercake there and some croissants.

    I also found GF products at a health store called De Tuinen which has several locations in Amsterdam (check out Google maps). I really liked the Schar Ciabatta Rustica bread rolls and the Le Poole croissants. There was a small GF selection at 114 Ferdinand Bolstraat (just south of the west end of Albert Cuyp market), but the selection at 11 Kalverstraat (just south of Dam Square) was much better. I wish I had filled my suitcase with these products before I came home!

    As far as food goes, I was disappointed that most of the fries places also sold breaded products so the fryer was not GF, however we did find one place on a small side street (near the west entrance to the Kalvertoren shopping mall at Kalverstraat 212) that only had fries. The fries were wonderful! How to choose from so many sauces? (I tried the curried ketchup.) However, Indian (rice, curries…) and Italian (grilled meat …) restaurants were everywhere.

    The cafeteria in the Van Gogh museum had great salads and a yummy creme caramel. The cafeteria on the 7th floor of the library is great too (we went for the view) where they grilled my salmon right in front of me. If only we had such civilized libraries here! If you go for more than 3 days, buy the museumkaart and not the Amsterdam pass. Much cheaper and we could pop into the Van Gogh museum as often as we liked, even just to use the cafeteria or the washrooms. We walked everywhere and only used the tram on one day, but we stayed near the center of Prinsengracht so everything was walkable. So many nice cafes where you can stop and rest and have a coffee. Even the Häagen-Daz place in Rembrandtplein only has table service (no eating on the run!)

  • Thanks for sharing, Wendy! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip 🙂 I’m surprised you didn’t find any gluten free products at Albert Heijn’s. The two I shopped at in the centre of Amsterdam has tonnes of gluten free goodies.

    That’s brilliant that a supermarket at the airport has a store with a bunch of gluten free products..how fantastic!

  • Thanks so much for this post! I’m heading to Amsterdam this weekend and this is great info!

  • Also you could use this site for finding restaurants in Amsterdam that should be able to support a glutenfree diet. http://www.eet.nu/amsterdam/glutenvrij

    Also concering Albert Heijn, only large stores will have a gluten free selections. Especially in cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht the selection might be limited because stores may be slightly smaller. AH to Go will never have Gluten Free products as far as I know.

  • I keep giving your website to all my friends – it’s a great resource! I am already using it to plan a trip to Iceland.

    I just wanted to add one more option — there is a Dutch franchise called “Bagels and Beans” (http://www.bagelsbeans.nl) in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities (look under “Winkels” to see locations) or use Google maps. They sell a plain GF bagel. The GF bagels are kept in a freezer, so don’t go expecting to pick something up in a hurry. You can check out their English menu at http://www.bagelsbeans.nl/uk_menu.html . It was lovely to have a casual and economical option instead of needing to order a full sit-down meal.

    They also would have let me order a bag of a few bagels to take with me. But by the time I thought of it we were ready to go, and I didn’t have time for them to cook frozen bagels.

    I can personally recommend the chive cream cheese bagel with avocado, lettuce and tomato.

  • Thank you, Wendy! And thank you for the gluten-free bagel option – this sounds fantastic 🙂

  • Hi! I’ve just got back from a weekend in Amsterdam, and as a recently diagnosed self-confessed sweet-tooth coeliac, I thought I should add my experience.

    I agree that Albert Heijn is great in labelling what’s gluten free! Although the local stores (which are everywhere) are obviously more limited. But I was able to pick up some chocolate and biscuits to keep my energy up as we walked around the city.

    Even better though was Bio Markt which actually had a separate section on gluten free products, which included bread, cereal, pasta, biscuits (including custard creams and bourbons!) and other snacks. Had I known, I wouldn’t have bought all my cereal and bread over with me from the UK.

    I’ve found eating out the hardest, whether in the UK or abroad since being diagnosed. I’d brought my own bread so usually bought some meat to have a sandwich for lunch, but when I did go to a restaurant, most did omlettes which were a safe bet for lunchtimes, especially once I’d printed out a little card which explained what coeliac is and what they need to do to avoid contamination (http://www.celiactravel.com/cards/). I tended to explain in English first (as everyone is so friendly and most luckily speak English so well) but then handed them the card too.

    In the evenings, the first restaurant we went to was a bit limited – I could only have salmon with salad, but they were extremely friendly and helpful, and even gave us a discount as I couldn’t have the chips or the sauce, which was half the meal! The next night, we went to Next Door restaurant (http://www.hotelcornerhouse.nl/restaurant.htm) which is part of a hotel and is right in the city centre. The waiters were again very friendly and even the chef came to talk through the options. It turned out that once again, I could only have the meat and salad (chicken this time) without the chips or usual sauce, but this time the chef prepared a special sauce just for me which was flourless.

    The third night was at Restaurant Szmulewicz which was just off Rebrandt Square (http://www.szmulewicz.nl/index.html). The staff were, once again!, super friendly and there were at least four gluten-free options on the menu and they all totally understood what coeliac was. This was a real special treat after a weekend of omlettes, meat and salad, as I had a lovely thai curry.

    I didn’t attempt any puddings, but instead took to having the odd chocolate bar. It’s a shame not to have tried more Dutch delicacies, but don’t forget all their wonderful cheese! I brought back a wedge of their pesto cheese which I’d recommend.

    One point – beware of the hot chocolate. I had two ‘bad’ ones, which didn’t affect me too awfully, but still. If in doubt, say no.

    Enjoy Amsterdam, it’s a lovely city and full of very friendly and welcoming people, and importantly, some very nice gluten free food 🙂

    Anna

  • Oh, final tip… they also sell Eat Natural bars everywhere, which I love and are all gluten free.

  • Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, Anna! It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I love Eat Natural bars too! They are the gluten free snack in the UK that I miss most. Great to hear they are available in Amsterdam too 🙂

  • Hi Laura,

    Nice to read your gluten-free experience in Amsterdam. I didn’t travel to Amsterdam, but I’m living in Amsterdam. All my gluten-free tips you can find on http://www.glutenfreeamsterdam.com. Maybe a handy tip if you ever visit Amsterdam again.

  • Check http://glutenfreeamsterdam.blogspot.nl/ when you want to go to Amsterdam!

  • Hi Laura, thank you so much for your wonderful posts, I just booked a hotel in Paris near the gluten free patisserie thanks to your tip! My daughter (10) is celiac and we live in Amsterdam. Few nice restaurant tips were you can eat gluten free are:
    1. http://www.cradam.nl/ nice industrial design (ask for their special menu with all the allergy information)
    2. http://spaghetteria-pastabar.nl/ (2 locations, one in Amsterdam East and the other in West, ask for their glutenfree pasta dishes)
    3. http://www.deitaliaan.com/ for gluten free pizza in very charming street, though the kitchen is not gluten free, they have a separate oven, and we never had any problems.
    4. Gluten free pancakes and icecream: http://diciotto.nl/over-ons/(their son is celiac).
    5. And at the bio snack bar you can get gluten free French fries and typical Dutch kroketten: http://www.natuurlijksmullen.nl/
    Also, a gluten free shop just opened in Amsterdam East: http://www.glutenvrijewinkelamsterdam.nl/
    Hope this is of any help! Muriel

  • Thanks so much, Muriel!! This is SO helpful!! 😀

  • We are planning a family trip to The Netherlands and one of my kids has Celiac. Thank you so much for all the practical information in your post and all the additional comments.
    I have copied everything down and have opened up all the websites to check out!

  • Muriel–I would love to be able to email you, as we are preparing for a trip to Amsterdam soon (for the tulips in April) and I am celiac / coeliac.

    Wendy–thank you for all your tips, I would love to know what hotel you stayed at that was so close to everything and if you would recommend it?

  • I have found great GF restaurant in the center of Amsterdam, called Cafe Piazza with large choice of GF starters, pastas and delicious desserts. They have also GF beer Estrella Damm.
    I was very surprised when the waiter knew everything about preparation of GF dishes.

    here is the website: http://www.cafepiazza.nl

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