Castles, medieval buildings, tin toys, chufella, and sausage galore – if any of these things sound appealing to you, you should book the next flight to Nuremberg, Germany! Nuremberg is in Northern Bavaria, and Dan (@guywithamap) and I spent a long weekend there a couple of years ago. Dan and I spent our days in Nuremberg touring the Nuremberg Castle, visiting the toy museum (to this day, the Toy Museum in Nuremberg is my favorite museum EVER), exploring the house of Albrecht Durer and the Fembohaus Museum, and wandering the streets of the city. We also visited the court where the Nuremberg trials took place and the Documentation Center, both of which were highly informative and well done, but very somber. It was very cold in the city during our stay, with the occasional flurry and lots of wind – this left us craving warm, carb-y food…Out of all of the places I’ve traveled, I found Nuremberg to be perhaps the most challenging for gluten free dining. The restaurants that I outline below – while I confirmed that they are all still open – seem to still be just about the only gluten free options in Nuremberg. You’d do fine self-catering here, as they have a number of health food shops with lots of gluten free products, but if you want to primarily eat out, I’d probably cap it at a long weekend.
Gluten Free Accommodations
Five Reasons Hostel: Since we visited Germany while I was a student, we chose to stay in a hostel. I have had a number of hostel experiences, many of them pretty negative, but Five Reasons was phenomenal. This hostel is much more like a hotel, but at the cost of a hostel – hard to beat! Our room was spacious – we had a city view, a big bed with a soft duvet, and even a breakfast table. The only downside was that we did not have a private bathroom. While Five Reasons doesn’t offer anything that is specifically gluten free, I felt like they still deserved a shout out for the incredible value and quality of the rooms. They also serve cappuccinos in the morning, which (very oddly) stand out as some of the best cappuccinos Dan and I have ever had. We self-catered our breakfast in our room each day – we bought Chufella at a local health store, which is basically Nutella with Tiger Nuts, and spread it on some rice cakes. Easy and yummy!
Gluten Free Restaurants
Literaturehaus is the perfect place for a meal on a chilly day (or any day, really!). The inside is cluttered in an endearing way, filled with tons of books (fitting) and varying tables and chairs. While their website does not provide a link to their menu, they note that they offer gluten free dishes and have at least one gluten free pastry a day. When we went, we had warm gluten free rolls, gluten free sausage and potato soup, and gluten free chocolate mousse. The entire meal was delicious, and although there was a language barrier while ordering and trying to communicate my allergy, I had no reaction at all and felt like I was understood in the end. Highly recommend!
My Thai – Beware!
When searching for gluten free options in Nuremberg, My Thai seemed like one of the most promising options – they note on their menu that they can make anything gluten free on request, and I read a number of positive reviews online. We ordered two noodle dishes, and while they were both super yummy, my stomach felt pretty upset when we got back to the hostel. I can’t say with 100% certainty that it was a gluten reaction, but it felt like it was probably a case of significant cross contamination. If you are gluten intolerant, this may work for you, but I would not recommend it if you have celiac disease.
Okay, so this place is clearly a tourist trap, but it’s also kind of awesome… it’s the biggest sausage restaurant in the world, and it just looks so quintessentially German. Dan and I really wanted to try German food while in Germany, and Bratwurst Roslein was the best option (well, it was the only option). I printed out a German Celiac card before taking the trip, and showed the card to the waiter before ordering. It seemed like they must get asked about gluten free pretty frequently, because they did not seem confused at all. They served us sausages and boiled potatoes, and it was absolutely delicious. I was a little confused why the sauerkraut and warm potato salad weren’t gluten free (they said we could not have it), but hey – I’ll take what I can get. We came here two nights in a row because it was enjoyable, German, and I had no celiac reaction.
If you find yourself in Nuremberg, go to Soul Food! This was our favorite find of the entire trip. When we were there, it was a teeny tiny café with a little bit of cozy seating, but it looks like they have since upgraded to a larger space with lots more seating (yahoo!). Every single thing that they serve is gluten free and low carb (and DELICIOUS!). On our second day in Nuremberg, we stopped in here for lunch. We weren’t too hungry, so we just got an assortment of muffins. We got a gluten free carrot cheesecake muffin, a gluten free peanut butter and jelly muffin, and a gluten free blueberry muffin. They were all wonderful, and while we were eating, we noticed a little menu on the table that indicated that they serve a more substantial lunch service. We made a note to come back the next day – and I’m so glad we did! On our second day at Soul Food, we each had a waffle. Dan had a pulled pork waffle and I had a ham and cheese waffle, and we finished with some tasty peanut butter shortbread treat. I had no reaction to anything, the environment was cozy and comfortable, and best of all, the food was outstanding. Cannot recommend highly enough!
Well, that’s it for Nuremberg! Unlike some other destinations (London! Italy!), I would not travel to Nuremberg solely for the food, but it is well worth visiting for the city itself. It’s beautiful, the transportation is clean and efficient, and it truly feels like you are stepping into the past when you are in Old Town. While there are not a ton of gluten free options in the city, there are certainly enough to get you through a few days of dining out, and it would be a wonderful short getaway (or part of a larger Germany vacation!).