Giuseppe, one of my dearest friend, is celiac. It's a quite growing disease but it's still not easy to find many restaurants where you can have a great gluten free dinner without worrying too much about what's inside your dish. A good tip is to always ask the waiter if they serve "piatti senza glutine" but many places will just offer you a green salad or boiled rice.
After a lot of attempts, these are my five best restaurants in Bologna that offer gluten free dishes (i'd like to add the 5th, Zenzero Bistrot, but I've talked too many times about it, so Nadia forgive me this time).
Sea bass tartare (with apricots, green chili peppers, thyme and red pepper from Madagascar)
It's one of the restaurant I usually suggest when tourists ask me where to have great Italian food in an intimate and romantic location. Italian cuisine with different influences and attention to the ingredients like pasta (Benedetto Cavalieri), balsamic vinegar tradizionale of Modena or Parmigiano Reggiano. They prepare some dishes with rice flour just for celiacs and serve gluten free pasta with the same sauces of the standard menu, trying to cook it avoiding contamination. They also offer crackers instead of bread so you can really enjoy a full dinner without worrying, like "at home".
Tel: 051 522522
Address: Via San Rocco, 16, 40122 Bologna
Roasted octopus, a typical greek fish dish ideal for celiacs
If you're in Italy you probably want to taste Italian cuisine but our cuisine is mostly based on pasta, bread and pizza so it's not a bad idea to look around for other cuisines. For example Bologna has a huge greek community which expresses itself in a couple of amazing greek restaurants like Delogo or To Steki. There you can try many fish and meat dishes with rice or a greek salad which is one of my favorite summer's dinner preparation, so a great dinner with lot of gluten-free choices. Reservation is a must.
To come back to Italian tradition you can always finish your dinner with one of the best gelato in Bologna ;)
Tel: 051 245734
Address: Via Zaccherini Alvisi, 19, 40138 Bologna
Gluten free tagliatelle with bolognese ragù
Both our Classic Bologna food tour and Modena food tour fit great for celiacs, but Osteria Broccaindosso is the demonstration that you can eat great gluten free bolognese pasta. It's a popular Osteria in Bologna, famous amongst locals for its "dessert trolley": for 13€ you can order this trolley full of all their desserts and eat as much as you like (three of them are gluten free). But I recently found out that they really know how to make celiacs comfortable at dinner. They offer a gluten free version of tagliatelle al ragù (12€) and provide crackers if you order ham or other cured meat or cheese. Also portions are generous and the antipasti and second courses, like tagliata are really well made. Booking is recommended because the place is small and well known.
Tel: 051 234153
Address: Via Broccaindosso, 7, 40125 Bologna
Just in front of the new entrance of the railway station and near the awesome Trattoria di Via Serra, stands the first real Japanese restaurant of Bologna. In fact you can find hundreds of former Chinese restaurants converted to the "all you can eat sushi mania", but I'm not interested in that. Yuzuya is owned by Tsuruko and Takako, two Japanese ladies who want to share their knowledge of their food culture. So not only sushi, but also okonomiyaki, miso soups, takoyaki, ramen, tofu salad and lot of daily meal with selected ingredients.
Tel: 051 0415021
Address: Via Nicolò dall’Arca, 1/I-L 40129 Bologna
[Photos: Klearchos Kapoutsis, Jessica Spengler]