10 Gluten-Free Travel Pitfalls

10 Gluten-Free Travel Pitfalls

10 Gluten-Free Travel Pitfalls

10 Gluten-Free Travel Pitfalls

Are gluten-free restaurants and eateries simple to come by while traveling? A list of some of the best and worst nations for celiacs and gluten-free food consumption is available here.

It’s important to research whether or not your selected location has a decent selection of gluten-free foods before planning a large vacation or traveling anyplace with gluten sensitivity, intolerance, or allergy.


I have celiac disease and, as a result, am unable to consume gluten in any form. In order for me to travel, I must either consume gluten-free cuisine or prepare for myself (which is really an excellent way to save money while on vacation).

Some of the locations I’ve seen in all my years of travel have been a dream come true for gluten-free eaters.



There are other places where adhering to a gluten-free diet proved difficult.

If I was going to stay in a hostel or an Airbnb, I needed to be sure that I could prepare my own meals there.



While traveling, there were several occasions when I chose to have an RXBar, Lara Bar or a GoMacro bar that I had packed from home instead of a normal snack bar.

However, although these foods from home may not have the vibrant colors and exotic tastes of the locations I visit, they are reliable and satisfying in an emergency situation.

One of the main reasons for traveling is to be able to explore other cultures and foods.

It may be quite difficult for anybody who has a gluten allergy or gluten sensitivity.

After much deliberation, here is the list of areas where celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is easiest to travel, as well as the regions where it is the most difficult (where you may need a backpack full of the snack bars mentioned above).



Countdown to the start of the game

Watermelon and veggie kebabs are being grilled on a barbecue grill. In a silver bowl on a white plate with black chopsticks, white rice noodles and lettuce slivers are served.


My ideal destination, Mexico, was such a reality for me that I almost lived off of tacos.

As well as delicious corn-based food, there are a variety of other non-taco options to sample in Mexico.

There was so much gluten-free cuisine available in the local Mexican restaurants that I didn’t have to prepare much (and I love to cook!).

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I’ll tell you why I adore Mexico so much now that I’ve been there twice. Being in Mexico allows me to order a delicious dish from an authentic restaurant and know that I won’t have to ask for any changes or substitutes to the meal.



Here are some of my favorite Mexican dishes:

al pastor tacos

These tacos are cooked using corn tortillas (it’s a good idea to double-check since tacos may also be made with wheat tortillas on rare occasions) and include pork and pineapple.

They’re usually served with raw onions and cilantro. They’re usually devoid of dairy as well.


Have you tried an enchilada before? Enchiladas are maize tortillas soaked in salsa with a chicken, beef, or cheese filling.

I generally top it up with a dash of spicy sauce. In fact, I always use spicy sauce.

Chilaquiles I had never heard of chilaquiles before moving to the United States.

Chilaquiles are strips of corn tortillas in a salsa bath (a dream come true!) that I ‘found’ in Mexico. with a topping of either chicken or cheese

I could live off a plate of these, and they’d be a lot of fun to make at home.

Canasta tacos (canasta tacos)

Sure, they’re tacos, but tacos de canasta are a specialty that’s hard to come by in the United States.

They’re little tacos that wait all day in a ‘canasta,’ or basket, until they’re sold.

Typically, they are served from breakfast until after noon, or until the vendor’s stock of tacos de canasta is depleted.

Because they’re sitting in a basket and the seller isn’t in a real kitchen, they’re frequently served cold. These little tacos are usually filled with potato, beans, or meat by a tacos de canasta seller.


The tamale is another Mexican dish that I like. Tamales are maize flour tortillas stuffed with chicken, beef, or cheese and cooked in large leaves.

You’ll need to ask the seller what the filling is, so knowing some Spanish or utilizing Google Translate will come in handy!



In Asia, Vietnam is the most accessible destination for gluten-free travelers (I think).

When planning a vacation to Vietnam, think about what you can eat rather than what you can’t.

If you’re a celiac or gluten-intolerant traveler, behold the pho noodle, which will get you through Vietnam. It’s a good thing pho is gluten-free and very wonderful, since I could eat it three times a day if I wanted to, which I nearly did in Vietnam.



A girl in a flowery tank top lifts flat rice pho noodles out of a pho broth with black chopsticks. In a white dish with silver tons, a bed of green lettuce, diced pineapple, and shredded carrots
If you’re a gluten-free tourist who enjoys pho (note that getting vegan pho is difficult since most broths are beef-based), you’re in luck because you can get it from any restaurant in Hanoi, for example, and the taste will never be the same. It’s a pho-business!



There are many different varieties of noodles in Vietnam, the home of noodles, with some made of rice, others of mung bean (glass noodles), and some of wheat (the ones that look more yellow).

You may get pho noodles (flat rice noodles) and vermicelli (round tubular thin rice noodles), as well as larger ‘bun’ noodles. Rice noodles will always be the whitest, and since they are simply comprised of rice and water, they are fully gluten-free.



On a white plate, white vermicelli noodles are coiled on black chopsticks and hoisted over a silver bowl. Over a wooden table, a girl’s hand with black chopsticks and a mouthful of vermicelli rice noodles.


Soy sauce will still be your adversary in Vietnam, but fish sauce is quite OK! I performed a lot of study and came up with the following:

ga pho (chicken pho)
bo pho (beef pho)
Bun bo (cold beef bun noodles) and bun cha (rice pork bun noodles). It’s still up for debate how it’s created, although few traditional recipes call for soy sauce.)

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Estonia is a pleasant destination to visit, and English is widely spoken across the country’s cities.

While Estonian cuisine is based on wheat and rye breads, meat and game, dairy products, and cold-water fish, I was pleased to see that many new coffee shops and cafés, as well as restaurants, in Tallinn (the capital city), have a highly health-first attitude.

It was amazing that asking for anything vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free was so common. There are a slew of new healthy eateries in town, all serving farm-to-table delights and contemporary twists on traditional Estonian fare.

Here are a few restaurants where the staff speaks excellent English and vegans and gluten-free eaters are welcome:

Puudel is a must

In a wonderful vintage setting, known for gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan, vegetarian, and health cuisine. Although the WiFi was not very powerful, it was also laptop-friendly.

August for Kohvik
This café has wonderful decor and might be a little noisy, but it offers a healthy cuisine with smoothies, omelets, porridge, and salads. Allergen information is shown on each and every item.

You’ll be sold on this farm-to-table, health-conscious diner with a tiny health food shop inside after just one glance at their culinary images. Every item is labeled as vegan, gluten-free, or lactose-free so you don’t have to worry about what you’re eating.



When visiting Israel, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that restaurant waitstaff are quite knowledgeable with food allergies and intolerances.

Perhaps it’s because Jews (including me) are famously intolerant to stuff, yet many Israeli cuisine are naturally gluten-free.



Cucumber salad is taken from a large white dish by a girl with silver tongs. Red strawberries with green leafy tips, large and fresh.
There’s shawarma, for starters, which is my absolute favorite. Shawarma is lamb, beef, or shawarma that is cooked on a revolving rotisserie. You may sometimes request a “mix,” which is a combination of the restaurant’s recognized kinds. If you order ‘chips,’ you’re getting French fries, but you may specify whether you want them fried alone.



Have you ever dreamed of being in Israeli salad heaven? You can get an entire buffet of pickled vegetable toppings at most shawarma and falafel restaurants… all included in the price.

In an Israeli market, a Hebrew-written blackboard sign stands amid mangos and dragon fruits. Cut cucumbers, fresh hummus with chickpeas, sliced tomatoes, and Israeli salads are served on a wooden table.


In Tel Aviv, try one of these gluten-free restaurants:

Sheinkin of Shawarma





At a market, peaches are piled high in wooden crates. A market in Israel Ireland with white burlap sacks of almonds and pistachios.
The fact that almost everyone speaks English is one of the nicest things about going in Ireland (not everyone, but most).

Although Irish cuisine is not naturally gluten-free, the fact that Ireland is a northern European nation that is tolerant to food allergies made travel considerably simpler. But wait, there’s more! — Ireland now has certified menus that disclose 14 or more allergies, and restaurants may indicate which meals on a menu contain specific allergens if they desire. This is fantastic for someone who avoids gluten, dairy, and soy.

While this was not Irish cuisine, it was excellent, and I felt certain that everything I was eating was gluten-free.


Colombian travel is both educational and thrilling, which is why I’ve been three times, the last time for two months (with Remote Year). Let us begin by discussing Colombian fruit. It’s always gluten-free, and it’s fantastic.


Yellow dragon fruits, or pitahayas, in a teal wooden box Pineapples for sale in a little painted blue wooden truck. Clementines and little oranges for sale at a market, one half-opened.
Despite the fact that no one in Colombia had ever heard of gluten, I was able to explain to them that I was allergic to ‘productos de trigo’ (wheat products) and that I only ate rice and corn-based meals. On my third trip to Colombia, I discovered that empanadas may be made entirely of maize (wonderful… but please inquire in Spanish).



In the Cartagena region, try ceviche or other simple seafood dishes like grilled fish, while in Medellin, order the famous ‘bandeja paisa,’ which includes avocado, grilled plantains, white rice, a fried egg, sausage (eat at your own risk), a thin piece of steak or chicken (depending on which bandeja you ordered), and an arepa, which is a dry corn-cake (gluten-free for sure!). Colombia’s national hot cake is composed entirely of maize. Make arepa pizza at home if you want to be as inventive as I was.

Eat at:



El Trompo is a modern Colombian restaurant that draws on a wide range of local ingredients.

Mondongo’s resembles a Colombian restaurant, serving paisa-style Colombian comfort cuisine.

Tacos from a nefarious Taqueria. Tacos. Tacos. Gluten-free!

Medellin Selina Hostel
Backpacker favorites from Colombia and Israel.

Healthy meals in El Poblado at Shanti Cocina Vital

Burdo is an ultra-trendy restaurant and bar with a fantastic brunch and friendly service (I had tacos with corn tortillas and everything!). GLUTEN-FREE



In a set dinner of three pork tacos, a girl squeezes a lime slice onto one. Cocktail served over ice in a mason jar with a rim of salt and a celery stalk on the table
Sri Lanka is an island nation in the Indian Ocean.
Traveling in Sri Lanka is such a pleasant surprise, since many people are unfamiliar with the country.

Sri Lankan food, which I had never heard of until sampling it with a friend in Manhattan, turns out to be rice-heavy, which is ideal for gluten-free people. I definitely suggest this gluten-free destination!

Rice and coconut oil are used in most Sri Lankan dishes (great for lactose intolerance). Coconut milk and coconut oil are used in the preparation of curries that are served with rice. ‘String hoppers’ (flat rice-noodle pancakes) and ‘pittu’ are two delightful additions (rice flour mixed with coconut and served in a conical shape).

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