Vienna and Bratislava are said to be the world’s two closest capital cities, situated just 40 miles apart. Being a bit of a geography geek, I’m not entirely sure about this stat – would Rome and the Vatican not be closer? In any case, it would be rude not to take the opportunity to speed down the Danube on a hydrofoil capable of reaching a top speed of 70 km/h to have lunch in Bratislava’s beautiful old town.
In advance of my trip I’d contacted Milos at the Slovakian Coeliac Society and he had very kindly provided me with some suggestions on where to eat and shop in Slovakia. Visitors to Slovakia should take a look at Milos’ website. A keen traveller himself, Milos has been running Slovakia’s only website about Coeliac disease since 2002. At the time of writing this blog post, the website is in Slovak language but Milos is thinking of adding an English language section as my email for info was the fourth he’d received that week from English speakers looking to visit Slovakia. Alternatively, you can use the translate function in Google Chrome and other browsers to translate from Slovakian into English.
Milos advised that a Slovakian restaurant chain, Pizza Mizza, had recently started serving gluten free pasta. I checked their website and was impressed to find the menu in 4 languages (including English) with a very extensive allergen breakdown for each dish.
There are 5 branches of Pizza Mizza in Bratislava and a further 2 in other parts of the country. We visited the restaurant at Tobrucká 5 which is just out of Bratislava’s old town and a couple of blocks north of the hydrofoil terminal.
The decor of the restaurant reminded me of Zizzi’s which much the same clientele; a mix of young families, couples and groups of young professionals lunching together.
We were given menus in English. I think this may possibly be the most detailed allergy menu I have ever seen anywhere. This is even more impressive since this is a mainstream restaurant which also caters for those with allergies, rather than a restaurant whose purpose is to cater specifically for allergies.
In the photo above you can see 14 allergens listed and numbered. Against each dish on the menu, the allergens it contained were written. Note that gluten is listed as “cereals”. Curiously, number 13 is “Indian beet”. I’m not sure what this is or whether something has been lost in translation.
Pizza Mizza offers a great selection of different pasta dishes which are served with gluten free pasta. I chose the Farfalle al Prosciutto Crudo.
I found it quite difficult to believe the gluten free pasta I had was gluten free, it tasted so good. I asked Mr D to try it and even asked the waiter twice if it really was gluten free. It was.
At the end of the meal I asked the waiter which brand of gluten free pasta they used. He brought me out the box and the farfalle was made by Schar. Pizza Mizza offer 4 types of gluten free pasta; spaghetti, farfalle, tagliatelle and penne.
I highly recommend a trip to explore Bratislava. If you’re in Vienna, a trip down the Danube is a highly enjoyable experience.
Address: Tobrucká 5, Bratislava, Slovakia (and 6 other locations in Slovakia)
Cost: Under EUR 30 for lunch for two people including drinks
Rating: 8.5 / 10 – Great choice of gluten free pasta dishes, generous portions and a very detailed menu listing various allergens