Amsterdam is a beautiful city full of canals, bicycles and pancakes and thanks to a good deal on the Eurostar, Paul and I found ourselves spending a week over Easter 2022 in The Netherlands. With Paul’s birthday falling over this same week, we headed to Amsterdam the weekend after Easter to join friends and celebrate.
We had previously only been to Amsterdam for less than 24 hours, due to an unplanned stopover on the way home from Thailand in 2008. We got stuck in Bangkok for a week when protesters took over and effectively closed the airport. It was extremely stressful, especially when you’re meant to be back at work and in the end we said we would take the first flight to Europe if it was quicker than waiting for a flight to London and that’s how we ended up in Amsterdam in December with only summer clothes! We paid for an EasyJet flight home the next day, but had a few hours in the city to buy coats, eat pancakes and visit the Anne Frank House.
There are quite a few blogs on eating gluten free in Amsterdam, so I was keen to head there and try out the best gluten free finds that the city has to offer and see a lot more than we could on our unintentional stopover. However, a lot of the gluten free options seem to have closed during the pandemic so it was actually more difficult than many city breaks that I have been on in Europe and more difficult than other guides had led me to believe particularly for evening meals.
How to get there: London to Amsterdam via Eurostar
We travelled to Amsterdam by Eurostar which is now a direct 4 hour train from London. We bought the tickets whilst it was a sale period so it wasn’t much more to upgrade to standard premier where the seats are bigger and you get food and drinks provided.
It’s a nicer experience overall but the gluten free food especially the main meal on the way home was awful, so I wouldn’t recommend upgrading for the food especially if there’s a lot of difference in the price.
Where to Stay: Crown Plaza South Amsterdam
Hotels are crazy expensive in Amsterdam over Easter and Air B and B choices seemed limited so don’t get here for a budget break just because you’ve found a good flight or Eurostar deal. We often opt for cheap hotels like the Ibis on city breaks, but even that was £200 a night for a small double, no breakfast and a non refundable rate. It turns out I don’t like the Ibis so much as the budget travel it gives us without using hostels.
Instead, we found rooms at The Crown Plaza South for £150 a night for a king sized double, breakfast and a cancellation policy of paying the cost of a one night stay. However, it is further out of the city but as it is located near a metro station, a Albert Heijn supermarket (and a branch of Pancakes Amsterdam!) we decided for a three night stay this was a much better value option and we were very glad that we made this decision.
The hotel breakfast buffet had a selection of gluten free granolas with gluten free yoghurt and everything was labelled with allergens so it was easy to have plates of meats and cheese. I added to this with some gluten free croissants that I bought!
If you’re booking in advance and have more options than us Wheatless Wanderlust also has a great guide on where to stay in Amsterdam.
Craft Amsterdam Coffee and Pastry – 100% Gluten Free
Craft coffee was not somewhere on my radar from reading blogs on Amsterdam, and was instead recommended by locals and I’m so glad they did. It was amazing. This is absolutely my top recommendation for a trip to Amsterdam, with limited opening hours make sure you work out a way to fit this into your schedule whilst it’s open! It currently opens at 10-4 Wednesday to Saturday.
I’ve been to quite a few gluten free bakeries on my travels and this has to be one of my absolute favourite finds ever. It sells coffee, croissants and cream cakes and honestly they were incredible. I had an almond croissant still warm whilst we took a pedalo around the canals of the city and it was flaky and perfect! I also took a chocolate one that was still edible the next day. The coffee was also excellent (confirmed by my friends!)
Bagels and Beans is regularly recommended for gluten free options in Amsterdam. I’m always wary of places like this offering gluten free options but they were really helpful and I choose to order the smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel which was good but I would probably stick to a basic cream cheese bagel next time as there wasn’t much smoked salmon, but lots of lettuce and capers. They have many branches in Amsterdam and in The Netherlands making it a really convenient stop for breakfast or lunch,
The Cold Pressed Juicery – 100% GF and Dairy Free
If you’re looking for healthier options whilst in Amsterdam, think juices, smoothies and salads then check out one of the locations of Cold Pressed Juicery which are all gluten free. There are a few locations which are all open in the morning, but do check the opening hours if you’re looking for lunch.
Pancakes Amsterdam is an absolute must visit when in the city. With a few branches in the Amsterdam, including near Central Station, Zuidas right near our hotel and Westermarkt near the Anne Frank House they were in convenient locations. However, do check opening times. Central station was closed during our trip and Zuidas was only open 9-3 on Fridays and Saturdays.
It is however another must visit with a gluten free and vegan menu.
I had the bacon, mushroom, onion and cheese and it was delicious. I was so happy to be able to have pancakes with everyone else!
Bloem Eten and Drinken -100% GF and Vegan
A gluten free and vegan restaurant in Amsterdam that we didn’t try as it’s not as Centrally located as some other recommendations, but definitely one worth checking out especially if you’re also dairy free or vegan, or if you are visiting the zoo.
It is closed on Mondays, opens 5-10pm Tuesdays, 12-10pm Wednesday to Saturday and 12-5 on Sundays at the time of writing this post according to their website.
Croque Madame – 100% GF
We tried to go to Croque Madame just before the Eurostar for me to pick up some takeaway for my journey home as it’s located fairly closed to Amsterdam Central Station. However, it’s one of the first gluten free cafes that I’ve ever visited that doesn’t do takeaway. They also don’t have many tables as it’s a small cafe and turned the couple in front of us away so make sure you allow enough time if you want to visit. We did get a coffee and cheesecake brownie to takeaway though!
It shows online as opening until 8pm so could be a great option for an early dinner too.
An indoor food market that you should check out is Foodhallen that was actually recommended by my brother before I then read about it on Wheatless Wanderlust’s blog. There are lots of street food for everyone to choose from with less options for gluten-free, but somewhere that is worth it for the experience. It’s open 12-12 daily.
A couple of places that I messaged had gluten free options but I either wasn’t convinced by their answers on cross contamination or they weren’t confident that they could cater safely due to the nature of the kitchens at Foodhallen.
I ate at Fento that Matt recommended in the blog post and it also advertised gluten free options. I had the sweet potato nachos and it was huge! I opted not to have the cashew crema as it noted on the blog that it’s made from oat milk so I substituted it for guacamole (but I did later see that the oat milk they used contained gluten free oats which I can tolerate). I didn’t regret the guacamole though!
Not traditional Dutch food but McDonald’s is a must in Europe if you’re coeliac. In the Netherlands you can get a gluten free hamburger, cheeseburger or quarter pounder at selected branches. I didn’t have one in Amsterdam but I did during my week in the country and I enjoyed every bite! I was told in the branch that I visited that just the burgers were gluten free, but I had messages on Instagram when I posted this that the fries are too. I think they may be naturally gluten free whereas they certify the burgers.
Mr Plaenty – 100% gluten free and vegan
It didn’t work with our schedule but I did have Mr Plaenty on my list of options with plant based gluten free arepas found from 10:30 – 17:00 every Saturday at Ten Katemarkt.
We ate at Vapiano in Den Haag. They have gluten free pizza and pasta. I had the gluten free pepperoni pizza, the staff understood cross contamination and the pizza came out in the foil tray that it has been cooked in. It has quite a casual vibe and opens daily at midday so could be a lunch option. If you eat one pizza in Amsterdam though make it Lou Lou Pizza and if you’re travelling outside of Amsterdam save McDonalds and Vapiano for easy eats in smaller towns.
An Italian restaurant with a gluten free menu is Cafe Piazza. It looks great and is open daily 3 – 11pm.
We had De Italiaan on our list as an option that looks fantastic for gluten free and they cook their gluten free pizzas in a dedicated oven. However, we didn’t visit as we ate at Lou Lou pizza instead as this was the most frequently recommended restaurant by local bloggers. Online De Italiaan shows as being open for evenings only except weekends, and closed on Mondays.
When searching for gluten free options Desa comes up for an Indonesian meal, and I also saw in Wheatless Wanderlusts updated blog that this is in the same location as previously recommended Puri Mas so could be worth checking out to see what safe options they have. I have read mixed information online as to whether this is totally gluten free.
Alex recommends Loetje for steaks in Amsterdam on her blog The Glutenfree Suitcase. Make sure you book in advance as it was fully booked for the Saturday night so we didn’t eat here.
Lou Lou pizza wasn’t on my radar at all from reading blog posts and my research but was recommended to me on Instagram. It does look like they are a new edition to the menu though.
The pizza was amazing, and so were the normal ones. Paul and my friends have not stopped raving about their pizzas since (although admittedly we had spent the afternoon drinking in the sun!) They only open in the evenings so make sure you plan this in for one of your evening meals! I would 100% go back if I returned to Amsterdam.
Mastino pizza had a regular pizza restaurant called Mastino before going on to open a gluten free and vegan restaurant Mastino V in a second location which had a great reputation amongst the gluten free community. Sadly during the pandemic this second location has closed, but if you need just dairy free or vegan Mastino has turned completely vegan but it doesn’t reference having gluten free options on the website.
My friend came across Pho 91 when we were searching for gluten free dinner options. Pho and Vietnamese food is often a good go to for me as a back up option when travelling as pho very rarely contains gluten. Even in a busy shopping mall food hall in Macau that was a gluten free nightmare I managed to get a bowl of pho!
Pho 91 was a small but busy restaurant and we had a good meal here of summer rolls and pho. My friends raved about the crispy cauliflower starter but that sadly wasn’t gluten free. It wasn’t Dutch cuisine, or the best pho I’ve ever had but it meant we didn’t have to get another Italian meal or struggle to eat out. There was a buzz to the atmosphere as it was busy but the service was pretty awful – the staff were slow and busy chatting and gave off the impression that they didn’t want to be there with having to serve or clean tables being an inconvenience to them.
The restaurant is closed on Mondays, and opens 5-9pm Tuesday to Thursday and 12-10pm Friday to Sunday.
Bakeries, Treats and Snacks
Croque Madame – 100% GF
The cafe always gets good reviews so it’s a shame I couldn’t try it and it’s on my list should I return to the city. I did however get a slice of the cheesecake brownie which I would say was more of a chocolate cake than a fudgy brownie and didn’t have much flavour of raspberry but that could have just been for decoration. I was still very glad of it on the train when everyone else got kitkats with their drinks!
Once I’d ordered gluten free croissants and coffee from Craft Amsterdam I spotted another counter at the back of the coffee shop filled with cream pastries. Honestly you have to go here.
Places selling gluten free fries are all over Amsterdam, with so many places frying them separately. Chipsy King and Manneken pis are two chains that I saw frequently recommended. I thought I visited Manneken Pis but I actually visited a restaurant next door, which also sold fries that were fried separately (and again proves why you have to ask everywhere you go, even if you think you are somewhere safe).
Muiz Gelato Artigianale– 100% Gluten Free
This 100% gluten free gelateria sadly opened just after my visit otherwise I definitely would have visited. The gelato that Alex had on her trip just after mine looked amazing.
I had Sue Bites saved in my Google maps, and happened to be passing as we needed to find a toilet after a lot of walking around Amsterdam. As we were nearby we popped in and they had a customer toilet so we bought a gluten free and vegan raw slice in exchange. I ordered the key lime pie slice which was zesty and very good. This type of slice will never beat cake in my opinion but if you’re looking for a gluten free and vegan treat in Amsterdam this is the place for you.
I also bought a ginger cookie, that although a crunchy cookie rather than soft and chewy it had a lovely warning ginger flavour to it.
Albert Heijn has varying levels of gluten free options depending on the size of the store. However, many we saw in Amsterdam were smaller supermarkets with a couple of shelves of essential gluten free products in the medicine aisle.
Stroopwafels and paprika curvies are a couple of must finds. I bought some cheap own brand cornflakes for breakfast that were fine but the bread and cake I bought were awful!
‘The Gluten Free Store’ that should be a must visit when in Amsterdam! Sadly I couldn’t get the opening times to work for our itinerary.
Blog Posts on Amsterdam
These are the restaurants listed in blogs that we found to be permanently closed:
- De Lepel – icecream parlour
- Haesje Claes – Dutch cuisine
- La Vina – Spanish cuisine
- Puri Mas – Indonesian cuisine
- Mastino V – 100% gluten free pizza
- Vurger – Burger Bar
- Openings hours were also limited for many others so plan ahead if you can
Not Coeliac Safe
I contacted The Pancake Bakery as they had gluten free poffertjes on the menu but they said they didn’t recommend them for those with coeliac due to all the flour they use in their kitchen and shared equipment. I have seen it recommended frequently on Facebook groups but I chose not to eat here.
Tips for Amsterdam
- Book hotels in advance as that may help the prices but we did not regret staying a bit further out and being near a metro station
- We bought three day metro cards as we were staying slightly out of the centre
- Make sure you book the Anne Frank House in advance
- If you’re travelling for a three day long weekend try and go for the Friday rather than Monday as lots of restaurants close on Mondays.
- We visited the Heineken Museum which I enjoyed more than I thought I would, even if it did mean having coke rather than a beer at the end!
We had a fantastic ten days in The Netherlands, ending in Amsterdam. We travelled around the country but if you don’t wish to drive, you can easily add extra days to your itinerary and do day trips by train from Amsterdam. I will post blogs on what we did for the ten days, with gluten free tips soon.
In the meantime, Happy travels with no gluten!
Note: Writing a gluten free travel blog is a passion project of mine but the website has an annual subscription cost so it actually costs me money to run. If you find my guides helpful please consider buying me a virtual coffee through my kofi link to help me run this free resource for gluten free travel. Thank you!