The Anonymous Widower

The Problems Of Eating On The Move For A Coeliac In Germany

Just because I’m a coeliac, it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to eat gluten-free food on the move.

In the UK, there are a lot of options.

I can get gluten-free bars like EatNakd or Eat Natural in many places.

At stations, there is usually a good choice at Marks and Spencer of various snacks, which often include sandwiches.

There is also the coffee chains, like Starbucks, where I can usually find a bite of something.

And on top of that most pubs can probably rustle up something to go with half of decent cider or a glass of wine.

But in Germany, I found little to eat on the move.

As I returned from Ulm, I was very hungry, as I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. But there was nothing obvious at the station.  So I looked at this vending machine.

Vending Machine At Ulm Station

Vending Machine At Ulm Station

I got a bag of crisps, which at least said they were glutenfrei.

Note though there is only one flavour in the machine and they were paprika.  But I was so hungry, that I ate three packets.

Back in Munich, I had time to kill, as the sleeper to Paris didn’t leave until 22:50.

I should have done the sensible thing and go to the pizza restaurant, but I thought that I’d find something. I did and it was this salad.

A Revolting Salad At Munich Station

A Revolting Salad At Munich Station

It was one of the most revolting I’ve ever tried to eat. Especially, as the only implements were my fingers. The picture doesn’t really do justice to the salad and especially the cheese and ham mixture on the top.  Alternative layers of revolting cheese and ham had been sandwiched together and sliced up.  In the end I gave up and put it in a bin.

I should have been entitled as I was on a First Class sleeper, to use of the DB Lounge. But after installing myself there at about 20:50, I was promptly turfed out, as it shuts at 21:00.  So I was left to fend for myself in the cold for nearly two hours.

Incidentally, I could have gone back to the hotel and its warm bar, but there had been an altercation in the subway linking the station to the city centre, so I had to stay put.

It was then, that I met half a dozen Watford supporters on a stag do. They were trying to buy a sausage without bread from a fast food stall and not getting much joy, as apparently, it was against the rules. They were just getting fed up with their restricted diet of beer, bread and sausage.

I had been in Germany for two days, and I’d never found anything acceptable to eat on the move.

If it hadn’t been for the wonderful pizza, I might have starved. I can’t live by coffee with two sugars alone.

I think the rule is you must plan, where you are going to eat. Germany doesn’t seem to be like the UK, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium and France.

On the other hand, I tried to plan at Ulm and that didn’t work out! Years ago, I didn’t plan in Berlin, but the hotel was good and sorted out two of the best gluten-free restaurants I ever went to with C.

April 16, 2013 - Posted by | Food, Transport | , , ,


  1. I have always heard that Germany was friendly for gluten free folks. Thanks for setting the record straight!
    P.S. I’m envious of how easy it seems to be to eat in the UK…the US is getting better but is still behind.

    Comment by stilllearning2b | April 16, 2013 | Reply

    • Some parts might be. The difference in the UK, is that we have chains of cafes that make sure they do a gluten-free option. Even Pizza Hut does! And then there’s all the Indian and Italian restaurants, who know what to do. The general knowledge about gluten in the general population is also getting higher. In North America, the problem is that a lot of chefs think wheat flour must go in everything! I suspect that chains find gluten-free profitable here. I do know one chain, which has told me that in some places, they sell a high proportion of gluten free meals and in others hardly any at all.

      How is proper Mexican cooking in the US? A Mexican friend says it should be naturally gluten free.

      Comment by AnonW | April 16, 2013 | Reply

      • Mexican is my go-to. Luckily, I love it (grew up in Texas). Usually the only gluten-laden item is flour tortillas but it is easy to sub corn tortillas in their place. Pizza is becoming more common, yet we only have one chain currently offering a GF version. Overall, Italian is the most difficult for me, especially because I don’t eat meat. I’m usually stuck with some sad looking iceburg lettuce:(

        Comment by stilllearning2b | April 16, 2013

  2. Domino does GF here! With Italians, just get the pronounciation of celicachai correct. It’s Italian for coeliac!

    Comment by AnonW | April 16, 2013 | Reply

  3. […] my experiences in Germany on finding gluten-free food, I can’t help having a small titter at this story from the […]

    Pingback by Schadenfreude Sandwiches « The Anonymous Widower | April 18, 2013 | Reply

  4. […] see foods I can eat on sale on the platform. Note the Eat Nakd bars. This was just what I needed at Ulm, when I was kept alive by some awful paprika flavoured […]

    Pingback by A Vending Machine With Healthy Foods « The Anonymous Widower | November 5, 2013 | Reply

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