Belgium: Gluten-free Brussels and Bruges
Overview: Belgium was a surprisingly easy country to navigate gluten-free wise. All it took was a bit of planning (thanks tripadvisor) and some questionable recall from high school French.
Pros: Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. Mussels were amazing, fries were amazing.
Cons: Couldn't find gluten free Belgium waffles ANYWHERE. Seriously, there are thousands of waffle shops and no one has gluten free. Also beer.
This place takes the cake for my favourite restaurant in Belgium. And by no surprise, it's rated as the #1 restaurant in Bruges by Tripadvisor! Bruges is a tiny town about an hour train ride from Brussels. It's a must for anyone visiting Brussels. In fact, Shaun and I didn't care for Brussels much, but would definitely return to Bruges! That's Toast is a tiny cafe located a few hundred meters beyond the big tourist square. The place was full on a Sunday afternoon in February, so I would assume you normally need to book ahead any other time of year. Everything except one item on the menu could be made gluten free! They were very accommodating for diary as well. I got the nutella french toast! The closest thing i could find to Belgium waffle while i was there. Pics are drool-worthy. and it tasted even better than it looked!!
The only dinner that we ate out (other nights we cooked in our airbnb!) was to this place! I love finding tiny restaurants that only seat 20 people like this one, because you know that food HAS to be good for them to stay in business. I also find that the service at these places is so much better than large restaurants, especially when it comes to allergies! I found this place when searching for gluten free options in Brussels and it did not disappoint! Menu was clearly labeled with gluten free options and vegan options. For my starter I had courgette wrapped goat cheese with this amazing sweet onion relish. so good! for my meal i wanted to order the vegan pumpkin lasagne, but they were all out, so i went with the beef ribs. They were delicious. The atmosphere was so nice. Would 10/10 recommend this place! Also recommend getting a reservation because all 20 seats were packed.
CHOCOLATE: Laurent Gerbaud
As far as gluten free and good tasting chocolate go, this is the spot to visit!! All ingredients and allergies were listed on the counter. We tried 7 different chocolates at this place, along with coffee. Amazing flavors, would 10/10 recommend! (pic to right)
other: You'll find thousands of chocolate shops along the streets in both brussels and bruges. most of the places make their chocolate right there, and know exactly is in each one. and they are all incredible!! Although I was sure to ask about gluten ingredients, I knew, especially with language barrier, that cross-contamination was totally possible for most of the chocolate shops that we visited. But no stomach-aches from me meant that everything was fine. Recommendation: always ask, don't trust that no gluten ingredients mean no gluten.
Meh. Go to this place for the food, not the service (staff was rude). A popular spot off the side streets of the Grand-place, from the outside this restaurant looks like a tiny cafe but the inside is huge!! Monday afternoon and every seat was packed, we were ushered to the second floor. We were told to come here to try the brussels traditonal mussels and frites. There were so many options to choose from, we settled for splitting the mussels-gratin.
SO GOOD. Like just look at them! These were the traditional moules-gratins, which are mussels covered in olive oil, Parmesan, nutmeg, and herbs. The frites/fries on the otherhand, were only okay. I was expecting something much better because of all the hype! As far as gluten-free goes, I wouldn't recommend this place. Menus were not labeled, I'm not quite sure that these items, while not containing gluten ingredients, weren't subject to cross contamination. Our waiter did not speak much english and was rather short with us regarding the subject. I bet you could find mussels that taste just as nice with more attention to service in another place.