Exploring Europe’s National Dishes

April 10, 2019

When travelling abroad and discovering new places, part of the experience is sampling local cuisines. However, if you follow a healthy or restricted lifestyle, sometimes it can be difficult to find healthy options on holiday.
We have researched different European cities to find healthier alternatives to the national dishes, and  discovered places which provide a delicious menu for those with food intolerances. We hope that our recommendations inspire you to travel without being held back by food worries.







This trendy city is full of tasty, healthy cafes, complete with cacti, crate furniture and Instagrammable food. If the national dish of Stamppot isn’t your thing (mashed vegetables and potato  with smoky sausages) then there are plenty of healthier alternatives in the city of canals. Below is a list of our recommendations for places to eat in Amsterdam:


Paulus Potterstraat 30A, 1071, DA Amsterdam


Priding itself on health and well-being, Blushing serves a menu full of nutritious, fresh food full of colour and flavour. Acai powder milkshakes, cold pressed juices, buckwheat pancakes and ample gluten free or vegan options, this is a great alternative to traditional Netherlands cuisine.


Coffee and Coconuts

Ceintuurbaan 282-284, 1072GK Amsterdam


Coffee and Coconuts is a buzzing café in the heart of Amsterdam, serving locally sourced, organic breakfast and lunch dishes, delicious coffee and juices, surrounded by linen sofas and hanging plants.


Juice by Nature

Warmoesstraat 108, 1012 JJ Amsterdam


Vitamin shots, smoothie bowls, guilt-free treats and cold pressed juices; Juice By Nature is described as a health sanctuary café and juice bar in the centre of Amsterdam.


The Avocado Show

Daniel Stalpertstraat 61 HS, 1072 XB Amsterdam


This is the first avocado restaurant in the world, providing a menu full of avocado variations from nachos and burgers to poke bowls and pancakes. There’s something for everyone – unless you don’t like avocados.


Meatless District

Bilderdijkstraat 65-67, 1053 KM Amsterdam, Netherlands

Van Woustraat 189, 1074 AM Amsterdam, Netherlands


Meatless District is a 100% plant based restaurant serving coffee, cocktails, lunch, dinner, snacks and weekend breakfasts in two locations in Amsterdam.



Bigos, the national dish of Poland, is chopped meat with sauerkraut and shredded cabbage. While this may tickle some people’s taste buds, it’s not for everyone. Luckily there are a variety of cafes and restaurants in the Polish city with menus that boast vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. Pestka Organic Bistro is described as an ‘oasis of healthy eating’, specialising in organic, sustainable Polish and European food with ingredients sourced from local small-scale farms and groceries. Below is a list of our recommendations for places to eat in Warsaw:

Pestka Organic Bistro

Śródmieście Południowe, 05-077 Warsaw, Poland

Described as an ‘oasis of healthy eating’, this bistro specialises in organic, sustainable Polish and European food with ingredients sourced from local small-scale operations.


Veg Deli

Powiśle, 05-077 Warsaw, Poland


This deli boasts colourful, tasty, aromatic vegetarian, vegan and gluten free dishes.



ul Stolarska 11, 31-043 Krakow


This juice bar guarantees fresh, healthy juice, designed to help you slow down and enjoy time a little more.



Spain is famous for its beautiful streets lined with restaurants serving fresh paella. With the rice-based dish having on average 660 calories, this isn’t always the healthiest dinner to be eating whilst on holiday. There are lots of other options however, including La Hummuseria which is a vegetarian restaurant located in the heart of Madrid. The Israeli owners have dedicated their menu to their first love, humous, serving fresh Middle Eastern vegetarian cuisine centred around the chickpea dip. Below is a list of our recommendations for places to eat in Madrid:



Calle de Hortaleza, 3, 28004 Madrid, Spain


A gluten free bakery in the heart of Madrid, Caliscioso is hugely popular amongst locals and sells all kinds of delicious Spanish pastries and cakes from freshly baked bread to peanut butter cupcakes.

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Taberna La Concha

Cava Baja, 7, 28005 Madrid, Spain


This restaurant tucked away in Madrid’s bar district serves traditional Spanish tapas but has a whole tasty gluten-free menu available, designed specifically so that celiacs can still enjoy Spanish delicacies.


Raw Coco Green Bar

Calle del General Pardiñas 21, 28001 Madrid


Claiming to be the first shop in Spain to sell cold-pressed juices, Raw Coco Green Bar is focused on serving healthy, organic drinks and snacks.


La Hummuseria

Calle Hernán Cortés 8, 28004 Madrid


A vegetarian restaurant located in the heart of Madrid, the Israeli owners have dedicated their menu to their first love, humous, serving fresh Middle Eastern vegetarian cuisine centred around the chickpea dip.


El Huerto de Lucas

Calle San Lucas, 13 28004 Madrid


This small health-food market and courtyard café provides a menu full of eco-friendly, creative organic dishes that have been made with the environment in mind.




Carbonade falamande is Belgium’s national dish, and to those who aren’t familiar with the delicacy, it comprises of beef and onion stewed in a beer-based sauce. For something a little more on the healthier side, we would recommend Fourchette a Bicylette. There’ll be something here to suit all food lovers. Below is a list of our recommendations for places to eat in Brussels:

Henri and Agnes

48 Rue Véronèse, Brussels, Belgium

Only organic, seasonal products are used here so the menu varies from day-to-day. Tasty vegetables are guaranteed as well as a great spot for a healthy lunch.



4-6 Rue Bon Secours, Brussels, Belgium


Breakfast is served all day here with healthy and nutritious dishes, followed by lunch on weekends including dishes from Japanese comfort food to naan breads and Mexican tacos.


Il Viliero

Rue Général Leman 15, 1040 Etterbeek, Belgium


This restaurant provides an entire menu of gluten-free pizzas and pastas, as well as a number of dairy-free Italian dishes.



Rue de l’Aqueduc, 95, 1050 Bruxelles


TAN boasts a new cuisine, using techniques that cook ingredients below 100 degrees to serve a completely new eating experience of sustainable, healthy food.


Fourchette A Bicyclette

Lang-Levenstraat 46, 1050 Elsene, België


Nearly all dishes here, made from organic and fresh ingredients, are served in jars or bowls full of colourful variations, with a grocery store attached next door.



When visiting the capital of Germany, the variety of sausage-based dishes can become overwhelming. Bratwurst is the national dish and comprises of a sausage – you can usually pick from a variety of flavours and fillings – tucked into a bread bun and drizzled with ketchup and mustard. A fancy hot dog, this snack weighs in at 390 calories so for those wanting to lose some pounds this year, it’s probably not the best option. There are, however, lots of healthy cafes in the city, including Liquid Garden whichsells organic smoothies and juices.. Below is a list of our recommendations for places to eat in Berlin:


No. 58 Speiserei

Weisestraße 58, Berlin


This trendy spot in Berlin is perfect for gluten-free customers to enjoy a delicious brunch or lunch with the weekly menu centred around two different types of open sandwiches, as well as eggs, soup, yoghurt and fresh bread.



Pflugerstrasse 25, 12047, Berlin


Gluten free rice bowls, salads and dosas with traditional masala, Chutnify offers a break from Berlin sausages and fries, offering healthy South Indian street food with vegan options.


Liquid Garden

Stargarder Strasse 72, 10437 Berlin


This juice bar in Berlin sells organic smoothies and juices made from fresh fruit and vegetables and poured into compostable cups or returnable bottles. The pulp leftover is then used to make gluten free bread for sandwiches.


Restlos Gluecklich

Donaustraße 15, 12043 Berlin


Twice a week, the team visit 10 local farms and organic supermarkets to source fruit and veg that have been discarded because they look odd or aren’t the right shape to sell. The day’s menu is then created by chefs with a fine dining background, around the food they’ve sourced that would have otherwise been discarded.



Chausseestraße 2,10115 Berlin


Promoting sustainable, conscious food culture, MOMO provides a buffet of tasty vegetarian and vegan dumplings made from locally sourced ecological agriculture, with the restaurant running on 100% green energy too.



We hope we’ve inspired you to still travel to your dream destinations without being held back by worries of where to eat. We’ve found multiple options in cities across Europe and plotted them on the maps above, to suit gluten-free, lactose intolerant, vegan and vegetarian diets Plus, with Instagram setting food trends across the globe, you’ll be sure to find healthy alternatives worth a photo.

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