Ghent is a gem of a city. To be quite honest we only stayed here as it was the perfect base location for day trips to Bruges, Antwerp and Brussels. With a small baby in tow we didn’t want to have to move cities every night. Leaving it to our last day in Belgium to actually explore Ghent itself, it turned out to be one of our favourite cities of the trip. A huge castle, plenty of waterways and historic cobbled streets make this a very charming place for a walk around. There are some cool modern touches too – a huge alley of gloriously colourful graffiti and plenty of sunny squares where you can sit and drink a gluten free Belgian beer or three.
Gluten Free Ghent
We found gluten free Ghent to be much more coeliac-friendly than some of the other Belgian cities. Bruges, for example, was surprisingly tricky. I am sure there were many other gluten free spots to be discovered, but below I have featured a few of the places we discovered. For a coeliac-safe lunch, my top recommendation is Le Botaniste.
Our lunch spot of choice, Le Botaniste’s menu is almost fully gluten free. There was only one pasta dish that isn’t and they use separate utensils to serve it, hence you don’t need to worry about cross-contamination. The menu is plant-based and the food was delicious. Pick and mix salad bowls, curries and dips with gluten free crackers. The location itself is utterly beautiful too. A huge chandelier and bright sky-lit dining area.
This cafe makes a big effort to prevent cross-contamination, although as per any mixed facility these days they do declare a small risk of in on their menu. The menu is clearly marked up to show which dishes are gluten free, plus they have gluten free bread and gluten free pasta available.
A sandwich shop chain that we spotted in a few locations across the main Belgian cities. They have various gluten free options, including cakes and sandwiches. They did have some gluten free cakes too but I felt there was too much of a cross contamination risk (they were displayed and served alongside regular cakes).
A very cool cafe with a beautiful outdoor courtyard. We spotted gluten free, lactose free pancakes on their menu but it was full when we visited. It is worth checking out but I cannot attest as to whether those pancakes are coeliac-safe.
A Belgian beer pub with hundreds of different beers, including some gluten free varieties (seven when we visited – various Mongozo and Brunehaut varieties). It is set in a nice square so bag yourself a spot in the sunshine and drink up.
Not tried and tested by us, but I read some positive reviews from other coeliacs who have eaten here. They have gluten free bread, pasta and beer available, plus gluten free cake on the dessert menu.
We spotted that this Italian restaurant next to our Air BnB offered gluten free pasta and it looked like a lovely spot to eat. Quite small and cosy.
Another place offering gluten free pasta, this time for quick lunchtime takeaways.
Holland & Barrett
Spotted in Ghent! They sold lots of gluten free products here, in case you are looking to get some picnic supplies in the centre of town. Larger supermarkets also had a good range of gluten free.
Have fun exploring gluten free Ghent and do get in touch if you have any coeliac-friendly additions to the guide. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further gluten free travel guides for European cities, check out the following: