Our rally (5000 miles from Scotland to Estonia in a Â£100 Ford Escort!)Â took us through the entirety of Norway and what an amazingly beautiful country it is. We spent time in Oslo, Trondheim, Fauske, Tromso and Nordkapp. I’m happy to report that Norway was very celiac friendly. Awareness and abundance of safe products is high so if you are headed to Norway you shouldn’t have any problems finding restaurants at which to enjoy a gluten free meal or grocery stores at which to buy safe, gluten free products.
OSLOÂ has lots of celiac friendly places to offer travellers. I saw plenty of restaurants serving naturally gluten free options such as sushi but there are many eateries offering specifically celiac friendly, gluten free options too.
Peppes Pizza is a pizza chain which can be found throughout Norway and they offer gluten free pizza. Regular pizza here is Â£25-30 and gluten free varieties cost a few bucks more depending on which toppings you would like so it’s pretty expensive but it’s fairly normal for Oslo. If you order gluten free pizza here it comes with a little ‘gluten free’ sticker saying who is the kitchen made it and that this specific person was responsible for making it safe and cross contamination free. How fantastic! Egon Restaurant is another Norwegian pizza chain which offers gluten free pizza. Gluten free pizza costs an additionalÂ Â£4.
Bakefri is a 100% gluten free bakery in Oslo located on Kirkegata 15. Their menu includes various delicious sounding breads, rolls, crisp breads, cookies and cakes. They also serve a few breakfast and lunch dishes to takeaway.
Kaffebrenneriet is a chain of coffee shops which can be found around Norway and they offer gluten free cupcakes!
We found a smallÂ cafe/store calledÂ Deli De Luca (Torggata 8-10)Â which didn’t really look as though it would serve gluten free food but went in to check just in case. I was very happy to discover they had 3 different gluten free (Glutenfri)Â curries for take-away…tikka masala, vindaloo and chilli chicken. The price was 20kr(Â£2) per 100gÂ and came with free rice soÂ we ordered 2 boxes which came to 100krÂ (Â£10) for dinner for two…delicious! You know a country is celiac friendly when you randomly walk into a little deli and they have gluten free options. I later discovered that Deli De Luca has around 20 locations around Norway!
FAUSKE is a small town just north of where the Arctic Circle begins.Â There weren’t many supermarketsÂ open when we arrived but we did find a Spar not far from Fauske Camping, where we we staying for the night. The supermarket was small and my Norwegian was non existent so again I was looking for something naturally gluten free and safe for me to eat. They stocked various gluten free bread and cracker options – great to see that gluten free goodies are to found in lots of supermarkets! They also had a decent looking salad bar and decided this would probably be my best optionÂ after 8pmÂ in a wee town like this. Not wishing to risk the dressings I bought a tub of natural yoghurt to dress the salad.Â Being Norway it cost around Â£10 for a medium bowl of salad and some yoghurt but I enjoyed eating it in our wee mountain chalet in the midst of the Arctic Circle!
Waking upÂ in chilly Fauske, we went toÂ discover what some of the other supermarkets had to offer in the way of gluten free products. We visited ICA, which can be found all over Norway, where they have a section dedicated to gluten free (gluten fritt)Â products similar to what can be found in the UK…cereals, breads, flours, mixes, biscuits, pasta and snacks. CO-OP also had a similar section whilst REMA 100, another huge chain supermarket, didn’t have a specific section like ICA and CO-OP but stocked some gluten free products (mostly baking products) on the shelves next to similar normal foods.
TROMSO is often referred to as ‘The Gateway to theÂ Arctic’ and this medium sized Norwegian town hosts a few restaurants which do gluten free options. Peppes Pizza can be found here, as can Egon Restaurant, which alsoÂ serves gluten free pizza. Nice one on the gluten free pizza options, Norway! Again local supermarkets here offered various naturally gluten free and celiac friendly options so making and cooking dinner to eat in our wee chalet was simple.
Our accommodation in Tromso was Tromso Motel and Camping which again includedÂ a buffetÂ breakfast. In the morning I asked whether they had any yoghurt or gluten free bread but they said they didn’t. To be fair I didn’t contact them ahead of time to ask as I wasn’t aware that breakfast was included here so perhaps they would have bought something gluten free in if I had prepared them. I drank a few glassesÂ of the apple and orange juice, whichÂ was the only safe part of the buffet, and then munched on my gluten free cereal (which I had brought with me) and milk in the carÂ once we got on the road…who knew cereal couldÂ taste ever better than usual when eaten from a paper coffee cup!
NORDKAPP is amazingly beautiful but very small and therefore not the kind of town where you can easily find somewhere to eat late on in the evening nevermind something gluten free. Again we headed for the local supermarket and this time found delicious tiger prawns to eat with our salad and yoghurt…tasty and healthy! Breakfast at our HI Hostel wasn’t the best but the woman who worked there was very sweet. When I had asked on checking in whether they had anything gluten free for breakfast, she had gone in search of gluten free bread. Unfortunately being aÂ tiny town this was nowhere to be found. She bought rice cakes for me instead but unfortunately there wasn’t much I could eat with them as it was a selection ofÂ mostly processed looking meats.Â There was yoghurt but only flavoured stuff and I couldn’t be sure of the ingredients.Â IÂ ate my rice cakes with jam, aÂ boiled egg and some juicy orange slices. Not the most exciting of breakfasts but I have to give them points for trying.
Overall I found Norway to be very celiac friendly. Almost all of the stores I visited had a gluten free section, many of the hostels stocked gluten free bread or rice cakes for celiac travellers and many restaurants had gluten free signage on their menus. Awareness of gluten free and celiac disease is pretty high here. Most Norwegians I spoke to were very familiar with it and had at least some understanding of what I could and couldn’t eat.
Have you travelled gluten free to Norway? Where and what did you eat?