So many of you seemed to be in Croatia this summer (seriously, Instagram was awash with the most delicious cerulean blue water!), that we decided to tap Jess of @glutenfreepicks on the shoulder and ask if she fancied writing us a guide to her favourite gluten free places!
So here it is: Jess’s guide to Pula, Croatia for the coeliac traveller…
“My name’s Jess, I’m 19 years old and I was diagnosed with coeliac disease when I was 17. I have always felt stressed about going on holiday, especially abroad but ever since I discovered Pula, it’s made me so much more comfortable with travelling.
I absolutely adore this place and thought I would share with you some of the amazing food I experienced and enjoyed over the 12 days I spent in Pula.
I stayed at the Park Plaza Verudela, an amazing location right by the sea with stunning views, a relaxing atmosphere, lovely staff and - most importantly - great food.
We travelled from Southend Airport which was actually surprisingly good for gluten free. We went to Lakers for lunch, I had fried egg, bacon, mushrooms, beans and tomatoes.
There was also a Costa at the airport and I got the watermelon refresher and a dark chocolate and sea salt Kind bar.
Easy Jet were also surprisingly good for gluten free snacks. This included; Moma Porridge, Kabbuto Noodles, Love Corn, Corkers Crisps, Real Olive Co olives, Candy Kittens and Joe & Seph’s Popcorn and a gluten free chocolate brownie.
But onto the best bit: the restaurants I visited whilst staying in Park Plaza Verudela
The jewel of Pula, Pizzeria Jupiter is tucked away behind a few back streets and you would only know about it if you were a local (or on the hunt for star rated gluten free pizza like me). I went here two years ago and it was better than I remembered. The staff were fast moving and polite for such a busy restaurant, something you don’t often get in London.
I had a really different kind of pizza, basically a carbonara on a pizza (trust me it sounds weird but it was so delicious).
This restaurant did gluten free pasta and pasta sauces. I had the Napolitana sauce and on another visit I tried the spaghetti Bolognese sauce. I haven’t tasted such a fresh bowl of pasta for a long time and I would love to recreate the recipe.
(Picture 10 Napolitana Pasta)
We ate here most nights and I thought they were excellent for allergies. They listed every single ingredient in front of the meals on the buffet and on the menu outside too. This put my mind at rest because I knew exactly what I could and couldn’t eat. Plus most nights I filled up a big bowl of salad and had a bowl of fruit as well. Below are some of the meals / puddings I had which included : Hamburger stuffed with cheese, potatoes, rice, carrots and broccoli with salad and an Istrian themed night of baked salmon, artichoke risotto, potatoes, almonds, sautéed spinach, tomatoes, carrots and sweet corn.
Restaurant and Bar Oliva
The views from Restaurant Oliva are spectacular which makes it such a nice place to sit at any time of day, the food is amazing, the vibe is really chilled and they have such nice, friendly staff. The two meals pictured are chicken, rice and grilled vegetables and on the right is a mozzarella salad.
They also did the best Ice Cream I have ever tasted on the main plaza (I think I had ice cream almost every day ... which is kind of a bad look but my excuse was I was on holiday) This flavour was the watermelon flavour but there are lots of flavours to choose from , even a vegan ice cream which I thought was pretty great.
I packed loads of gluten free food to take with me but I needn’t have worried so much because the supermarket has a ton of gluten free food to choose from, including bread, cereals and snacks. I would say my favourite thing that I found in the supermarket (with a bit of patience) was gluten free wafers.
And that was everything on my trip! I would really recommend visiting here and always remember to face your fears about travelling with coeliac. I cant believe coeliac disease could’ve stopped me from seeing Pula, and I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to fully enjoy it!”
Jess, thank you so much for sharing your favourite gluten free friendly places in Pula, Croatia! I can’t wait to finally visit there one day!
If you want to share your favourite gluten-free finds from your latest holiday, or want to share your favourite spots in your home town for the gluten intolerant amongst us, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!