Oak and Ice

oak and ice berlin gluten free

It seems that 2016 shall be known as the year of the good gluten free ice cream, although this may be mostly due to me personally eating a lot more of it this summer.  But there are a few new standouts and Oak and Ice on Schönhauser Allee is definitely one of them with a much higher quality of ice cream than usual.

First off, the place is gorgeous and around 5000 times better that other ice cream places in terms of seating and comfort.

oak and ice gluten free ice cream berlin

I’d actually go far as to say it’s more of a cafe than an ice cream parlour.

They have a pretty great selection of ice creams, although at the moment they’ve stopped labelling which are gluten free.  I’m not sure why they’ve done this, but they do say that their sorbets are all gluten free but only after asking will you be told that the other ice creams are all gluten free apart from one (the oreo cookie one on my visits).  This is a little worrying as you’re completely relying on the staff behind the counter to really know what they’re doing and as we’ve mentioned before, most people do not.  Add to this that almost every time I have been, I’ve asked if the ice cream is gluten free, ordered and then been offered the ice cream in a cone.  Suffice to say a little labelling and staff training would go a long long way here.

To be honest though, I wouldn’t be giving them a hard time if they were not offering things like this.

glutenfrei eis berlin oak and ice

Yes, the signs are somewhat hard to read, but that’s a gluten free ice cream sandwich written right there.  So, on my first visit, I ordered one, because what else would you do?

gluten free ice cream sandwich berlin oak and ice

Honestly, it wasn’t that great.  The cookies are from Jute Backerei next door and they’re good as British style biscuits but not really the american chewy cookie that you need for an ice cream sandwich.  They’re just very very dense.

But, on the bright side, the Marscapone and Fig ice cream within was absolutely amazing.

gluten free ice cream in bowl oak and ice berlin

Not to mention the salted caramel varieties (they are ridiculously good).  Even their plain ol’ regular boring just vanilla is out of this world.

They do have a cake selection too, but I’ve only seen one or two gluten free options there.

oak and ice gluten free cakes berlin

All of the cake options I’ve seen are from Jute Backerei also.

In conclusion, definitely go and visit, their ice cream is simply the best I’ve had in the entire city.  But be careful, double check and ask them to cater more to gluten free people.

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Cafe Review – Charlies Asian Bakery

The Berlin of 2016 is thankfully quite different to the Berlin of 2009 that I moved to. Back then you were lucky if you could find a lone slice of gluten free cake anywhere in the city and people were very proud to tell you that there was no MSG in their food when you asked about gluten. But, this new state of affairs is not without it’s problems. Gluten Free has become so popular that many places are now offering it, with not all of them being quite sure what gluten free actually is. The idea that you just change out regular bread for gluten free bread and everything is spiffy is quite prevalent and people are quite shocked that things such as mustard and soy sauce can have gluten in them.

glutenfrei charlies asian bakery berlin

Today, I’m reviewing Charlies Asian Bakery in Kruezberg.  They are thankfully a little bit in the middle of these two extremes and advertise themselves as a gluten free place. They do seem to be quite knowledgeable about it and have a pretty good range of gluten free meals and cakes. But there was a small problem, more on that later.

gluten free charlies asian bakery berlin

First off, the place itself is lovely.  All that Berlin decor of old furniture, warm lights and comfort, perfect.  When you walk in, you’ll be presented with this display on the counter.

gluten free charlies asian bakery buns and rolls

Lots of gluten free!  Then you might notice this menu.

charlies asian bakery gluten free menu

Even more gluten free!  Then if you take a look over at the cake display cake, you may pop. So much choice!

gluten free charlies asian bakery cakes

So, you may be wondering.  What was with my rant on the state of gluten free here in Berlin all about?  Well, I decided to order the Banh Bao and look what arrived.

gluten free rice bun charlies asian bakery

Yes, that does look amazing, you are correct, it was delicious.  The problem was that little dish in the top right.  Soy Sauce and not of the gluten free variety.  Now, even though the rice bun is advertised as being gluten free and that I asked for a gluten free rice bun, it still arrived with the soy sauce.  I only avoided eating it as I double checked (always, always, always double check).  If this was a meal that you could specify to be gluten free as an option, I could understand, but it is specifically being sold as gluten free.  The staff were helpful enough to check on both of the sauces for me, but still, it’s rather worrying.

Plus, there’s the fact that they could spend an extra 50 cents and buy gluten free soy sauce and only use that in the whole place.  But what can you do.

Now, the complaining over.  It could, after all, have been a simple mistake or lack of training of their staff.  The food itself was actually pretty great and I have been a few times now and never suffered a reaction.  Plus, the cakes, oh my, the cakes are simply amazing.

glutenfrei torte charlies asian bakery berlin

This is perhaps my new favourite gluten free cake in Berlin.

gluten free cake charlies asian bakery

This was was pretty awesome too.  There is absolutely nothing to complain about in the cake department.

Plus, they have some rather good drinks from ManuTeeFaktur there.

Tuareg Mint charlies asian bakery berlin

In conclusion, should you go?  Yes, they may have made a mistake, but this is par for the course in Berlin these days and we all have to be vigilant.  I’m pretty sure they will improve when more of us visit and point these things out.  The food is well worth the trip and any hassles.

gluten free charlies asian bakery cafe

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Cafe Review – No58 Speiserei

Lunch.  It’s one of those meals that I really struggle with here in Berlin.  Burgers, Pizzas, Pastas and other such giant big evening meals are pretty easy to come by these days.  But what about a lighter lunch, a sandwich perhaps?  Or even, how about a soup that is definitely gluten free? (I’ve been burned once to often in places that have used ingredients containing wheat starch)

So when I find a place that serves smaller lunches at a reasonable price, I’m happy.  When that place is lovely inside with a nice relaxed atmosphere, I’m even happier.  When the food is fresh, healthy and tasty, I’m even happier.  Then when the place also has a wee little dog to play with too, I’m ecstatic.  Granted, the last one may be more of a personal preference (I am quite the dog person), but you get the idea, No58 Speiserei is great.

No58 Speiserei Berlin gluten free

It is only a short walk from Bodinstrasse and not too far from Tempelhof Park (great for a digesting walk after).  Inside you’ll find a cosy little place with lovely wooden tables.

no58 speiserei berlin glutenfrei

A weekly menu full of the food they are serving at the moment (oh, how I do love a changing menu)

no58 speiserei weekly menu gluten free

Not to mention all the cakes that they have out front.

no58 speiserei gluten free counter

This one was perhaps the best cake I’ve ever eaten (ok, it may not be, but I forgot about all other cakes whilst eating it)

glutenfrei torte no58 speiserei

Plus the fact that they have gluten free beer.  Yes, not strictly a lunch drink, but hey, they have it and that’s such a rare occurrence that you just have to drink one.  It’s allowed.

no58 speiserei glutenfrei beer

I have been there quite a few times now and I’ve never been disappointed in the food (well, ok, the vegan gluten free cheese cake I tried once was a little lacking, but that is a pretty difficult thing to make both vegan and gluten free).  Mostly they have these amazing open top sandwiches.  Just take a look!

no58 speiserei gluten free sandwich

no58 speiserei glutenfrei stulle

Along with soups and a larger dish, this one is Ratatouille.

gluten free Ratatouille no58 speiserei berlin

And this one is a rather amazing Lime-Coconut Rice with beans and a peanut sauce.  So Delicious!

no58 speiserei gluten free peanut coconut curry

So, in conclusion, you should definitely go and visit, often.  The shear joy at being able to go every week and find a new dish that I can eat, plus a new cake, is just amazing.  So far I’ve never had a bad meal there and never had a reaction to any of the food.  Although it is worth pointing out that, when confirming a dish is gluten free, I have been asked “Is rice gluten free?”.  Which, whilst a fair question in most circumstances, is not when you are serving gluten free food.  It makes me worry that if they don’t know that rice is gluten free, what else are they missing when making the meals?  I think this was just a one off oversight though (it was a Friday after all) and as I have never had a reaction to their food and knowing that they take care in the kitchen, I personally am not concerned.

It is a little busy on the weekends so I’d arrive early if you can.  Overall, I’m pretty sure it will become one of your favourite gluten free lunch places.

Plus, whilst you’re there, give little Loki a scratch on the head from me.

loki

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Cafe Review – Eat Performance Bistro Ritterstrasse

gluten free restaurant eat performance berlin

Before I moved to the great city of Berlin, I had absolutely no idea what a Paleo diet was.  In my rather small and parochial hometown we were rather unlikely to ever hear about the concept of a Paleo restaurant, never-mind getting one.  Then back in 2010, Sauvage happened.  Out of the blue I found a diet that just happened to completely align with my various aliments and allergies.  Perfection!  Since then we’ve  had a second Sauvage with their delicious breakfasts.  And up until recently the pair were the only 100% completely gluten free restaurants in the city.  Thankfully though, Paleo is a rather popular diet, and we did not have to wait too long until the second opened up, Eat Performance.

Now, before we start on the review proper.  I have to warn you the place is a little hard to find.  To start, this is the view of the main entrance from the road.

eat performance glutenfrei berlin

Not your average entrance to a cafe/restaurant.  I walked right past on the first attempt and it took me a while before I even noticed the sign on the right of the picture.  But, get a little closer and you’ll see this.

eat performance gluten free sign

Well, at least I know I’m walking in the right direction (although, I have been back and the banner thing wasn’t there).  Inside the (rather lovely) courtyard, you find the actual bistro!

eat performance berlin gluten free bistro

Not the easiest to find.  But certainly not the hardest.

Before I went, I had no idea what to expect from them.  Was this to be fine dining a’la Sauvage?  Well, probably not with the bistro title.  But, you never know!  Inside, it’s rather nice, if a little sparse, and there’s plenty of room.

eat performance glutenfrei bistro

The menu gives you a pretty good run down of what they offer.  ALL GLUTEN FREE!!

eat performance gluten free menu

EGGS! BURGERS! SANDWICHES! Oh my.

Plus, there are plenty of little treats to buy.

gluten free snacks eat performance berlin

 

gluten free muesli eat performance berlin

 

gluten free chia pudding eat performance berlin

I ordered myself just a sandwich (well, it’s not like I get to do that often) and my friend ordered the baked eggs.  Now, it’s at this point I had my first disappointment, the sandwich was not something made to order, not something which came with a side salad or such.  But, it was one of the pre-made sandwiches from the fridge, albeit heated.

gluten free sandwich eat performance berlin

It was a surprise.  But I think more due to my expectations.  My feeling is that there’s a part of the  menu that is aimed more at the working quick lunch crowd and the rest (burgers and such) is more aimed towards sitting in.  This isn’t a problem really though.  Infact it’s great, if I worked nearby it would be a miracle.  It’s what you’d get from a regular lunch bistro, like a normal gluten person.

But, the sandwich was roast beef, and how on earth could I turn that down.

gluten free sandwich eat performance berlin

Yum!  It’s not the best sandwich I’ve ever had (it’s no Friedman’s Lunch in New York), but the bread was rather good.  I’d probably say it’s my favourite bread I’ve had in Berlin (including Jüte, the gluten free bakery), but then, I am a fan of chestnut bread anyway.

The baked egg dish looked a little better than my sandwich, and from my friends reactions, tasted rather good too.

eat performance gluten free baked eggs

Their smoothies are great and I had myself a beetroot filled one.  (I can’t stop stuffing my face with beetroot, I may have a problem).

eat performance glutenfrei smoothie

I have visited once since then and tried one of their burgers.  Look at it.

gluten free burger eat performance berlin

Easily, very easily, the best gluten free burger I have had in Berlin.  I would highly recommend you go and try one.

The only other downside is that their service is rather slow.  It was pretty empty on both of my visits and the food took quite some time to arrive.  If it was busy, I would be concerned.  Hopefully this is just growing pains and they will improve soon.

In conclusion.  Yes, go and eat there, even if just for the burger or the delights of buying a quick takeout sandwich/salad like a normal person.

eat performance berlin

Ps. they do have a second location in Schöneberg which I’ve yet to visit.  I’d expect it to be just as good though.
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Cafe Review – Feinkost Fraktion

gluten free berlin feinkost fraktion

I sometimes have quite a mix of emotions in my brainbox when it comes to finding new gluten free places.  I’ll be walking around the streets, as I’m oft to do, looking at all the menus in the cafes and restaurants.  Just waiting and wishing to see a glimpse of the magic word, “Glutenfrei”.  Although, this is mostly a fruitless exercise, even with things improving in Berlin.  I simply already know most of the gluten free places in the city.  But occasionally, very rarely, I’ll find one.  This is just how I stumbled upon Feinkost Fraktion one day, pure blind luck.

This now leads me to the aforementioned emotional maelstrom.  I am extremely happy on one side, “Wow, a new place!!”, but on the other side I’m annoyed that I haven’t found the place earlier.  Especially when that place is amazing and within walking distance of my apartment, plus it has probably been there for months without my knowledge.  This is something I am hoping to fix with Allergy Explorer soon, but we’re not quite there yet.  So, I’m left with extreme happiness tinged with lots of annoyance and frustration.

But, enough waffling about the inside of my head.  You’re here to read about what food you can stuff into your face.  Well, take a look at this.  It’s what first grabbed my attention.

glutenfrei berlin fenkost fraktion

Much of Gluten Free!

Inside, things get better, just take a look at these menus.

glutenfrei menu berlin feinkost fraktion

glutenfrei menu berlin feinkost fraktion

Lots of glutenfrei’s all over the place!  Plus, pretty normal prices!  A definite surprise in the world of vegan and gluten free food.  I have visited a few times now and I’m sad to say that they don’t always have everything in (I’ve yet to sample their quiche), but to be fair, they’re probably not getting a huge amount of gluten free traffic yet (fix this by going there now and telling them how much you love them and their gluten free food) (well, after reading the rest of the review of course).

Inside it’s kind of a combination shop/cafe with only ten seats at the time of writing this (plus a few outside if it’s warm enough).

gluten free shop feinkost fraktion

The shop (and the cafe to be fair) is mostly focussed on Vegan food, so don’t expect to find a huge amount of gluten free products to buy.

But, do expect to buy a lot of food.  Just look at it.

gluten free wrap feinkost fraktion

Yum!  Now, you’re obliviously thinking ‘oh my, that looks rather good’, well, it’s even better than you’re currently thinking it is.

gluten free vegan burger feinkost fraktion berlin

And look at that burger.  It looks like a ‘normal’ burger!  Plus, their Maniok fries are absolutely amazing! (screw regular potatoes and their inherent boringness)

gluten free pancakes berlin feinkost fraktion

Actual pancakes! Yum.

gluten free cake feinkost fraktion

Plus, cake, of course.  Happiness.

The only downside is that they are still learning the art of gluten free.  For example, I’ll often be served a non-gluten free biscotti type thing with my tea, even though everything I ordered was gluten free (to be fair, this does happen a lot here in Berlin).  I’ve asked about their kitchen safety and I have been assured that they do their best to avoid cross contamination, although it was one of those conversations that you get in Germany, where you get the impression that the person you’re speaking to doesn’t really understand the seriousness of what you’re asking.  So, if you’re a celiac or have a very sensitive intolerance, I’d recommend having a conversation with them first and stressing the importance of avoiding cross contamination.  Although, I should point out that I have never had any reaction there, not even a slight one, and I’m definitely on the more sensitive side.

I’d expect this to improve with time, the staff/owners are very friendly and nice and I believe they genuinely want to provide good gluten free food that is safe for us all to eat.

In conclusion.  This is perhaps my favourite gluten free place in Berlin at the moment (pushing Suzette to a close second place, but only due to their lovely cheese and my lactose intolerance).  Their food is fresh, very good and reasonably priced and you have a large selection of varied dishes you can order.  There are not many places you can say that about in Berlin.  GO and visit NOW!

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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.

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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

Yum!

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.

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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

YUM!

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.

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Cafe Review – Glory Whole


gluten free cake berlin glory whole

 

As of May 2015 Glory Whole has closed its doors 😦

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.

IMG_1901

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

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Cafe Review – Cafe Vux – Take 2

gluten free cafe vux

Some time ago (3 years) I reviewed the original Cafe Vux on Richardstraße.  Back in those days I was just simply amazed that there was a cafe in Berlin which stocked gluten free cakes on a permanent basis!  Thankfully the gluten free life in Berlin is not so grim anymore.  Due to this though, there have been far more local gluten free cafes to visit and I had not made it down to the new Cafe Vux location (or even known about it for some time).  I remedied this not so long ago (well, a few months ago, but who’s counting).  First impressions, the new location on Wipperstraße is not quite as nice as the previous one.

glutenfrei cafe vux

I mean, it’s not terrible but the last place had a more homely, smaller quaint charm to it.  The new place does not feel too different to any other cafe in Berlin.  Which is not fault of theirs really, they just had set a higher bar in their last location.

gluten free cafe vux inside

The other downside is that they do not mark which of their cakes are gluten free and which are not.  They’re all just mixed in the display case and you have to rely on the member of staff knowing which is which.  A very bad practice in my experience unless you are very good at training all of your staff to the same level (most places are not).  Again, this was ok a few years ago when glutenfrei was a rarity, these days, it’s a little careless.

glutenfrei cheese cake cafe vux

I plumped for this lime and coconut cheesecake, as a combination it sounded rather good.

gluten free cheese cake cafe vux

A couple of minutes later and I had this.  Turns out I was correct and it was pretty damn good, nice and rich and tasty.  The base was a little thin and soggy, but it is gluten free, so what can you do.

In conclusion, if you live nearby or are passing, I’d pop in for a visit.  But with the vast wealth of other gluten free cafe’s in Berlin these days and the lack of labelling, there’s nothing here special enough to recommended it as a must.

glutenfrei cafe vux inside

 

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

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