Germany: Gluten-free Oktoberfest
When thinking of Oktoberfest, two things pop into mind: beer and pretzels. Which is GREAT unless you're gluten free. Fear not, I spent three days in the land of wheat beer and bread and survived. I will note that many restaurants didn't quite understand when I mentioned gluten, even though gluten is the same word in both languages. Most places, it took a few head tilts and a few more waiters called over to clear things up. But the restaurants that did understand were very accomedating. Here's what I did to stay clear and some delicious GF restaurants that I found (thanks TripAdvisor!).
This is an amazing little pizza joint on the right side of the river, not too far from the city centre. The place is small and crowded, but for good reason. The pizza is SO delicious. Almost every option can be made gluten free. The crust is as close as it gets to the real thing, crispy with a soft inside. And to top it off, gluten-free beer!
It took us a while to get here (20 minutes on public transport), but it was worth the trek. The restaurant is in a little suburb outside the city centre, and after stepping off the train you got a totally different vibe than walking around Munich. Less tourists, less dirndls, less chaos. For a Monday night, there was a good few people eating. The inside was cozy and intimate, then out back the restaurant extended to a huge beer garden that was closed on Monday, but I can only imagine how packed it would be on the weekends. It was here that I finally got to safely order traditional Bavarian food that I had been watching everyone else eat the entire weekend. The waitress brought me a full-gluten free menu which almost matched the length of the regular menu. To start I got the Pancake soup (German version of chicken noodle soup) and for my meal, Sausage and Sauerkraut. I ate it ALL and could have had more. Tip: make reservations.
Inside the Beer Tents: Luckily, I had a German-speaking friend with me to help navigate in this department. The beer halls are crazy and chaotic and difficult to attract the attention of servers. But they do serve wine, and in some tents Prosecco! White wine in German is "Weißwein", pronounced "Vice-vine). I was sure to eat before going to Oktoberfest because the food there is, I'm assuming, not gluten-free.