Introducing Allergy Explorer

Allergy Explorer Gluten Free Site

Some time ago I had a thought in my brain box, a thought which I first believed to be quite simple.  Why can’t it be easier for me to travel around the world and find out where I can eat?  Surely you just have a website listing all the places that are Gluten Free right?  Is it that difficult to do?

So, irritated that that things were not the way I wanted them to be, I embarked upon teaching myself web development and set about building a solution to this problem.  Along the way, I realised there are a few more problems that were irritating me (not that I get irritated often).  How about when a new Gluten Free restaurant opens here in Berlin and I only find out about it 6 months later?  How terrible is that!  A whole 6 months I could have been stuffing my face and I didn’t even know it was there!  Nightmare.  Then, what happens when the kind folks at Dr Schär release a tasty new bread?  At the moment, the only way I can find out about this is by memorising their entire range and then, when I’m out bumbling around in gluten free shops, hope that I notice the new package.

The result of all this irritation, pondering, problem solving and fiendish amounts of hard work is Allergy Explorer.  My little digital baby that I am giving a (slightly premature) birth today.

The basic idea is that anybody can list a new business on the site, restaurants, cafes, shops, bakeries etc.  Then, as a community, we can visit, check the food out and then ‘Confirm’ the place as actually being gluten free.  I don’t know about you, but I’d certainly feel happier about eating in a restaurant that 40 other gluten affiliated people have already eaten in.  It’s preferable to just trusting that the staff do actually know what they’re talking about.

While the site is still a little baby and is a little rough around the edges, I’m only launching for Germany here on this blog.  We’re eventually going to expand to cover all of Europe, USA and other countries with multiple languages.  Imagine that, being able to get on a plane and know exactly where you can eat without spending days and days researching!

My hope is that you will all be able to help me build up a community, use the site, post a few reviews for places you have been and, if you’re feeling generous, post a little feedback.

Click to see Allergy Explorer for Berlin

Cafe Review – Princess Cheesecake

glutenfrei princess cheesecake berlin

When I heard that the cafe ‘Princess Cheesecake’ was offering Gluten Free treats I giggled like a little school girl.  I am going to eat Gluten Free Cheesecake!!!  Amazing news.  Yes, it is one of the easier cakes to make gluten free, but it’s also a freaking Cheesecake.  I rushed down there immediately.

glutenfrei princess cheesecake berlin

I ran in and quickly glanced over all of the cake options on display.  They all looked absolutely amazing but none had a gluten free label on them!!  How could this be!  I sat down at a table in despair and checked the menu.

gluten free menu princess cheesecake

On special order.  Damn!  But, after a quick chat with the friendly staff, they assured me they did have a Gluten Free cake in the back.  Joy!  I asked them to bring me a slice as soon as they could.

gluten free cake princess cheesecake berlin

Now, whilst not what I’d call a cheesecake, it was rather delicious indeed and close enough to satiate me.  I’m going to guess that the gluten free option they have changes, so you may not get the same cake, but I hope you do.

glutenfrei princess cheesecake inside

Inside, the place is a little small with limited seating.  So, especially in winter, you may have to wait for a seat.

gluten free princess cheesecake berlin outside

In conclusion, if you’re nearby, it’s worth walking past to see if they have seats and what the gluten free cake on offer is.  Although, whether it’s worth a trip just to go there is another matter, I’ve tried a few times and been unable to get a seat.

Click the banner below to see all the details of this restaurant on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.

Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany

Cafe Review – Ohlala Take 2

gluten free ohlala berlin

I realised, whilst sat eating a lovely gluten free brunch one afternoon, that it was about time I posted an updated review of Ohlala in Friedrichshain.  When I first reviewed them back in 2012 they’d only just started offering gluten free food and, to be honest, their selection was not the greatest.  Fortunately, this is now the future (2014) and things have improved greatly!  First off, they now run a gluten free vegan brunch EVERY Saturday and Sunday!  How amazing is that! (very)

gluten free vegan brunch ohlala

Now, granted, I chose a bit of a mismatch selection for my first brunch plate.  I just piled as much as I could onto the plate so you, my dear readers, would have a little view of everything (honestly, I wasn’t just trying a little of everything and stuffing my face).  The quality and selection has rather improved since my first visit.  Especially the little tiny cupcakes, they are amazing.  It’s still worth getting there early (or late) as there are limited seats and the food gets snapped up pretty quick.  Fortunately though the seating situation has improved some.

gluten free ohlala inside

Look, lots of places to sit and eat as much as is humanly possible!  Now, onto their new Gluten Free selection of cakes.

glutenfrei ohlala desserts

The one on the left (Tresor I think) is rather ridiculous and should definitely be eaten, although you may not be able to eat anything else for the rest of the day or week.

glutenfrei torte ohlala berlin

I’m pretty sure that says “Perverse Chocolate Cake”, which is delightful.

gluten free vegan cake ohlala berlin

So much cake!

The big advantage is that they always have these little fellas on offer.

gluten free quiche berlin ohlala

Glorious!  You can drop by anytime, eat a quiche and stuff your face with sweet treats.  Happiness indeed.

Plus, they also offer a deal with Salad/Soup for an extra €2.50.

gluten free menu ohlala berlin

In conclusion, if you haven’t visited here yet, you’re probably a bit loopy and you need to resolve this issue.  Get down there now!

Click the banner below to see all the details of this restaurant on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.

Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany

Restaurant Review – FBI Eatery

gluten free berlin fbi eatery

It’s tough to write for a gluten free blog when you’ve written far too many restaurant reviews.  There are only so many ways you can say “they serve food, it is good, you should go!”.  It is especially hard when the restaurant you’re reviewing is just a down to earth regular lunch place.  Nothing fancy, not the most amazing food, just quick, simple and cheap.  But I guess that is what you want from a gluten free meal sometimes (at lunch probably).  Especially when you’re a tourist wandering around Potsdammer Platz, which, fortunately, is where the FBI Eatery is situated.

glutenfrei FBI eatery menu

This is about the total of their menu.  Nice and simple and well labelled.  The little L G and V symbols denote Lactose Free, Gluten Free and Vegan.  Luckily for us, there are quite a few G’s splattered around.  On my visit I plumped for a Chicken in Mango Coconut sauce (I’m a sucker for fruit and meat combos).

gluten free fbi eatery meal

Well, look at that.  It looks pretty good right?  Well, yeah, it was good, good enough at least.  It was exactly what you want from a €6.50 lunch, healthy-ish and tasty.  The only disconcerting aspect is that my green tea came as you see here.  Not a tea bag in sight, but it tasted good so I can’t complain.

The staff were a little non-plussed at my gluten free confirmation questions, but assured me that everything marked as gluten free was gluten free.  I had the option of choosing the toppings on my meal, so that made things a little better.  Still, a little more certainty would have helped.  It can be hard to tell whether staff isn’t giving your questions the weight you think they deserve because they’ve heard them many times and know everything is gluten free, or whether they just don’t care.

The only downside of the place is that it can get rather busy with the local business lunchtime crowd.

glutenfrei fbi eatery berlin

In conclusion, if you’re at Potsdammer Platz and are looking for a local meal option, it is worth a visit (there is practically nothing else nearby that I would consider safe).  Although this is the kind of place where you take the gluten free aspect of the food into your own hands, I wouldn’t rely on the staff alone.  It’s probably worth trying to avoid the rush around 12 to 1 too.  They are open every day 11am until 7pm, take note, they are CLOSED in the evening.

Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany

Cafe Review – Erste Sahne OTIVM

gluten free erste sahne otivm berlin

I do not make it down to Neukölln often enough these days, partially due to my laziness but also due to the fact that there are so many good gluten free places around Berlin.  There are just so many options that do not require 40 minutes of traveling.  That being said, the enticement of something new, and the nearby excellent Tempelhof former airport/Park, was enough to drag myself down to Erste Sahne OTIVM (I’m not sure why they write the last part in caps, but I feel like I should write it so too).

The first thing to greet you when walking in is a rather nice splattering of menus on the wall.  Just look at all that eis!  All the milk free and egg free options are listed and all was gluten free on my visit (although, I’d definitely recommend double checking with the staff when you visit).  It’s all homemade so you can feel a little safer in the fact that they know what they’re talking about.

gluten free erste sahne otivm ice cream

But, I didn’t come here for Ice Cream (well, at least not initially, more on that later).  I came here to stuff my face with delicious Italian treats.  First things though, just how many options did I have?  What kind of treats could I devour?

gluten free erste sahne otivm torte caprisa

Oooo, look!

gluten free erste sahne otivm cake


gluten free erste sahne otivm cookies

I do love blue berries!

gluten free erste sahne otivm

But, cherries are where my heart are so I popped for one of these.

glutenfrei erste sahne otivm

Look at it, just sitting there waiting to be consumed.  It was very good indeed.  Especially as I’m kind of sick of super sweet gluten free cakes and cookies (I guess there is a downside to having lots of gluten free cafes in Berlin).  It was just the right level of sweetness, as in, more of a 60% dark chocolate than a milk chocolate.

But, they do also have a rather delicious looking display of cakes.  I haven’t tried any myself yet (and I’m not exactly sure how many of these options were Gluten Free, possibly 1 or 2) but I have complete faith that they will be equally delicious.

gluten free erste sahne otivm cakes

The place itself is a little on the smaller side and there are not many seats, but it is rather lovely.

gluten free erste sahne otivm berlin inside

Plus, they usually have a wall of little treats and goodies to buy!

gluten free erste sahne otivm treats

You may now be thinking “oh yes, that looks magical, I can’t wait to be there.  But wait, you promised me Ice Cream!!”, so yes, they also have Ice Cream.  But not just your usual milk laden or soy based ice cream.  They have olive oil ice cream.  Now, you may first think that olive oil and ice cream do not work together, but you should just flick yourself in the face for such a thought.  It’s possibly the best ice cream I have had in Berlin (well, the chocolate one I had was) and you should most definitely get down there and give it a try.

glutenfrei erste sahne otivm berlin

In conclusion, should you visit?  YES.  Should you visit multiple times so that you can sample the cakes, cookies, ice cream and all the other gluten free treats? YES, RIGHT NOW!  It’s the first time in a while where I’ve visited a gluten free cafe and found something new, interesting and delicious.  Plus, if it’s moderately nice weather, go and visit the tempelhof park, it’s just around the corner.

Click the banner below to see all the details of this restaurant on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.

Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany

Bakery Review – Jute Backerei Preview

gluten free jute bakery berlin

I am so unbelievably excited this month.  Why you may ask?  Well, when I am traveling the world and I have a choice between a few cities, I’ll invariably pick the one with the best Gluten Free options.  If that city has a dedicated Gluten Free bakery, then I’m already there.  But, get this, we’re going to have our very own Gluten Free bakery here in Berlin!

To give you an idea of my level of excitement, this pre-review is being written before they even open.

But, it does include a little substance as they have been selling their bread (plus buns and a rather delicious apple cake) as a preview before they open on the 27th September.  Upon hearing this, I ran over immediately and bought myself a little something (I did try the apple cake, but it obviously did not survive long enough for a photo).

glutenfrei jute backerei berlin brot


gluten free jute bakery bread

Yes, it is good.  While it’s probably not my absolute favourite Gluten Free loaf I’ve had (my English sensibilities prefer lighter and fluffier bread) it’s pretty high up there.  Although, they do have a lighter white loaf which I shall be sampling soon indeed.

So, yes, they’re not open yet, but yes, you should definitely go down there right now.  Tell them how much you love them for opening a Gluten Free bakery and spend all the money you have right then and there.

Plus, attend their opening party on the 27th.

Click the banner below to see all the details of this restaurant on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.

Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany

The Allergy and Free From Show in Berlin

the allergy and free from show berlin messe

Update 17 June – If you’re in London (or would like to take a trip there), as a thank you for this blog post, you can all get yourself some free tickets by clicking here!!  Yes, you should definitely go.

Around two and a half years ago, a slightly more naive glutenfrei Berlin blogger went to the Gruene Woche exhibition at the messe (click here to see that post).  During those days there was very little quality gluten free food on offer here in Berlin and I had hoped that the halls would be full of international gluten free food producers showing off their wares and organising distribution in the German market.  Alas, I was very disappointed and went back home to sulk and look longingly at pictures of Genius gluten free bread on the internet.

But, it is now 2014 and the German gluten free food producers have stepped up their game.  The likes of Schär and Schnitzer are really producing some great options, a world away from the ‘compressed sand in brick form’ bread I was buying here back in 2008.  Still, things could be better and, thankfully, it looks like they may be improving as in January next year we’re going to have our very own Allergy trade show here in Berlin!  Yes, think of it, a giant hall filled up with food to purchase that you CAN EAT!!!  Hopefully lots of international producers will be there showing off their products along side all the German producers we love (and possibly some of them we dislike too).

The show has been running for a few years in London, you can see an overview of their 2013 show here, and it looks to be very successful.  There are over 200 exhibitors there this year along with cooking classes, talks and events for kids.  Here’s hoping we can get the same treatment.

You can buy day and weekend tickets on their site, although they will only be available to purchase in the autumn, these also include access to the Vdelicious show and the International Green Week itself!

I literally cannot wait.  My only concern is how empty my bank account will be and how giant my belly will become.

Allergy and Free From Show Berlin Website

June 2014 Update

Here’s an update on the various tips and such that I have received over the past few months.  Some are unverified so please check yourself before stuffing goodies into your face :

  • Cafe Tayas - Gluten Free cakes are listed as available on their facebook page.
  • Dean and David – The list on their menu which items have gluten and lactose.
  • Chén Chè Tea House – Nothing listed on their site but I’ve had a few tips that they can accommodate us gluten free types.
  • Steinecke – If you haven’t managed to see all of their posters and flyers, they’re now offering gluten free bread.  Although you have to order fairly far in advance.
  • Burrito Baby – They can make their meals gluten free, but their gluten free burritos come in a kind of ‘assemble yourself’ way.
  • TV Tower Restaurant Alexanderplatz – They list on their menu which items are gluten free and lactose free.
  • Tassen Kuchen – They have been known to offer gluten free pancakes on the weekend, check before visiting though.
  • Chay Viet – Had a tip that their menu lists what is gluten free.
  • FBI Eatery – They list on their menu what is gluten free and lactose free.
  • ErsteSahne Otivm – Had a tip that their ice cream and semifreddi is gluten free.
  • Mio Matto – Vegan restaurant that has gluten free Pizza also, above the Veganz supermarket.

Restaurant Review – Suzette Crêperie

Glutenfrei Berlin Suzette

Being English and having suffered from a stereotypical ‘scoffing at all things French’ upbringing, I don’t think I’d ever even heard of a galette until I found out that I was Gluten Intolerant.  I had assumed that all things crepe like were made from wheat flour, that’s what europe uses in everything right?  Well, nope.  Turns out galettes are usually naturally gluten free from Buckwheat flour (I’m sure there are many crappy version with a buckwheat/actual wheat combo though) so it’s only the cross contamination you have to worry about.

So, when I heard a new galette place had opened nearby and that their menu actually mentions the gluten free-ness of their galettes, I was very happy and rushed round.  The place is nice and perfectly French enough, just look at the menu.

gluten free suzetteC’est magnifique!  Well, yes, that is a Tintin book, but the menu is inside there.  Trust me.

glutenfrei menu suzetteLook, there it is! With it’s own little glutenfrei logo in the top right.

gluten free galette berlin

I’ve been there a few times now and I honestly can’t remember which particular delight this one was, but I can definitely remember that it was rather delicious.  I’ve had a few galettes over the past few years and this was easily my favourite, it’s just so crispy and crunchy!  I was getting into the whole French mood so I ordered this too.

gluten free berlin suzetteAlthough there is also gluten free cider available.

glutenfrei cidre suzette berlin

Look, there it is in some bottles, just sitting on a shelf for all to see.

gluten free creperie berlin

The street that it is on is pretty nice for a walk down.  There’s even a Macaroon shop, a little further towards Eberswalder Str U-Bahn, called Mon Plaisir with gluten free macaroons and cookies!

In conclusion, go for a lunch, it’s good.  Nothing more.

glutenfrei crepiere suzette

Click the banner below to see all the details of this restaurant on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.
Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany

Cafe Review – Glory Whole

gluten free cake berlin glory whole

I am a big fan of an establishment with a slightly silly name, maybe it’s just my inner child but I just find it a bit more comforting than your regular trope.  The basis for this, I believe, is that if I was to open a cafe myself, I would give it a silly name, so these are people like me.  So, one day, I found myself walking down Oderburger Strasse and chuckled when I saw the name Glory Whole, so I immediately walked in.  I did my usual “scan through the cake display in the vain hope that something will say gluten free and then accepting the fact that life is not so grand” routine, when, bugger me, if a gluten free cake was just there in front of my eyes.

Glutenfrei glory whole

I asked the staff, in slight disbelief, if it was in fact completely gluten free, and they said yes!  Well, that was a turn up.  But, before we get down in the gluten free goodness of that cake.  A little about the place itself.


Look at it, it’s a lovely little basement type place, all cosy and warm.  Perhaps better for a chilly day inside, but in the summer time there’s the expansive Oderburger Strasse to sit on.

gluten free glory whole berlin

There are no gluten free beers, or anything much else gluten free for that matter.  One surprise per place is enough I think though.  Still, it is definitely a good place to retreat to if there is any rain or such nonsense outside.

glutenfrei cake glory whole

Now, the cake itself.

gluten free carrot cake berlin glory whole

Look at it.  All moist, crumbly and tasty.  The texture is nice and unique and the flavour is great.

In conclusion, should you try out the glory whole?  Yes, I would highly recommend that you do, you’ll enjoy the tasty delights it contains.

glory whole berlin glutenfrei mohn haselnuss

Click the banner below to see all the details of this restaurant on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.
Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany