Eating Gluten-free can be challenging – especially when on holidays!
Let me make it a little easier with this great guide on where to eat gluten-free in Barcelona!
Whether you are a diagnosed Coeliac (an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine) or for health / lifestyle reasons try to avoid it – it can be a challenge sometimes to find tasty food and breads that don’t make you want to say to hell with it, pass me the bread basket!… but it’s not impossible! And especially when trying to be Gluten Free in Barcelona.
NO one wants to pass up or miss out on eating and drinking all of the best the city has to offer – especially on holidays! But don’t worry – as always we have you covered! We have the low down on where to get some of the best GF bites around!
I don’t know any coeliac who doesn’t get that pang of dread when they are faced with the prospect of a trip away somewhere as fantastic for delicious food, such as Barcelona. I was diagnosed with coeliac disease over 10 years ago – much to my dismay, therefore, I myself have experienced that first hand! However, once I educated myself on what I could and could not eat it became a lot simpler to manage. That is not to say that I still don’t walk past bakeries with a heavy heart and an urge to savage down some croissants or freshly baked bread – because believe me that is a regular occurrence! But overall there are so many options when you have to be gluten-free in Barcelona, so you don’t feel hard done by on the most part.
So what can you eat? Naturally gluten-free foods… your new best friends!
We are very lucky that there is a huge array of naturally occurring gluten-free foods, like meat, seafood, rice, eggs & beans etc. These are the main ingredient for many popular tapas that you will find on menus in restaurants all over Barcelona & El Born & Gotico.
Even just a few that pop out is, of course, typical Paellas (seafood or meat varieties) Spanish omelettes (tortilla española or tortilla de patatas – eggs, potatoes and onions) And of course, the staple Barcelona offering of Potato Bravas (a cubed style fried potatoes with delicious aioli & salsa sauces) possibly the most asked for dish in any tapa bar! The list is endless – from seafood tapas (Gambas mmmm) to meatballs in tomato sauce (Boles de Picolat) Just make sure your server is aware of your allergy so you don’t get caught out unaware with any sneaky gluten elements hiding in your tapas!
So, yes I know that is also a lot of other delicious tapas that unfortunately you do have to stay away from. Sorry I hate to be the bearer of bad news – but we have to be realistic here! Things like calamari (which are usually fried in flour/breadcrumb mix) pinxtos – which are chunky slices of bread topped with an array of meat/seafood/veggie topping are all definitely of limits. BUT have no fear – before you start descending into a foodie doom & gloom – I have some great news. There are tones of places that will give you your gluten-free fix – and not sacrificing any taste!
Yeyyyy! Welcome to eating gluten-free in Barcelona. Where no food intolerance is left un-noticed and there are a plethora of great places to choose from regardless what type of food you are craving! Most restaurants also have a range of gluten-free beer options too – and if not, well, of course, there is always cava!!
“soy celíaco” (or “celíaca” if you’re a woman), which you can follow up with a “no puedo comer gluten/harina de trigo” (“I can’t eat gluten/wheat flour”). Most waiters in Barcelona will know exactly what you mean & that you are serious with this line thrown in before you order!… if in doubt – say it again to make sure they understand – or be prepared to be gluttened!
El Born, Barcelona – 08003
El Cafe Blue Project – Born, Carrer de Princesa, 57, 08003
This is a very cool cafe in the Born neighborhood, with a huge range of gluten-free tasty bites and even cakes (horaaah) but also raw and vegan eats too. Healthy & Delicious!
Teresa’s Juicery – Born, Carrer de L’Argenteria, 31, 08003
This place is such a great little find for cold-pressed juices, healthy salads and an array of healthy snacks and drinks! One of the best places if you are looking to go gluten-free in Barcelona!
Picnic – Born, 1 Carrer del Comerc, 08003
Yeyyyy it’s brunch!! And a Gluten-free brunch in Barcelona at that!! Their Mexican eggs are to die for! Trust me!
La Vietnamita – Born – Carrer Comerc, 17, 08003
Great food in a funky location. The staff are great and the vibe is trendy & cool. Try their noodle bowls or ceviche rolls. The choice is endless! And of course, all served with rice noodles – perfect! Vietnamese food at its finest in the heart of El Born.
Llamber – Born, Carrer de la Fusina, 5, 08003
This is a great little place just to the side of the Born Culture Centre and is a great spot for some great gluten-free choices. Beautifully served dishes with creativity & serious style. Also have some tables in the sun right outside to enjoy a glass of cava while you wait. I love the Homemade foie gras terrine with textured corn! Mmm!
Taco Alto – Born, Portal Nou, 62, 08003
Super taco place where every one of their signature items can be made gluten-free! Horaah for this super spot – they even have gluten-free beers and do take away. They are small and pack a punch – pick a few different concoctions of your choice & a few beers & hit the park with friends. Perfect Sunny Sunday afternoon sorted!
Origins – Born, Calle Ramon I Cajal, 12, 08003
A lovely place nestled into the side streets behind The Passeig Del Born. Soak up the atmosphere of the beautiful medieval-style area while choosing from a range of gluten-free, vegan and organic dishes that never disappoint.
Barrio Gotic, Barcelona – 08002
L’Antic Bocoi Del Gòtic – Barrio Gotic, Baixada de Viladecols, 3 08002
A beautiful restaurant for longer dinners & lunches. Serving a great mix of Catalan dishes and beautiful gluten free bread so you won’t miss out! Great service & staff in a lovely part of the area.
La lluna – Barrio Gotico ,Carrer de Santa Anna, 20, 08002
A great restaurant which offers some of the finest produce around. They work from 9 different set menus which are usually around €15 / person and also has gluten-free options – perfect!! Even their pastries are made with almond flour – perfect! Make sure to head to here if you have a special occasion – it never disappoints!
Conesa – Barrio Gotic, Libreteria 1 (Placa Sant Jaume) 08002
You may think that there was a problem with your order and you were given a normal sandwich and not a gluten-free variety… because it is THAT good!! But have no fear, Conesa does on-the-go sandwiches with certified gluten-free bread! Try the classic llom i pernil (pork loin and ham) or the botifarra negra (black pudding) and onions are incredible. This place is a must go! Be careful though on busy times of the year or festival days it has been known to have a queue that stretches around the Placa – so expect to wait!
Barcelona Centre – Further Afield
Copasetic – Carrer Diputació, n. 55 (left L’Eixample district)
This isn’t in the Born or Gotic area but it is definitely worth the extra walk! Besides, you will get to walk off some of the incredible food on offer here. It is definitely one of the best places for Gluten Free in Barcelona. Creative flair & yummy offerings.
Messie Pizza – Sin Gluten – Carrer de Siracusa, 15, 08012 Barcelona (Gracia District)
Pizza Pizza Pizza and over 20 gluten free beers!! Need we say more?!… Go here!!
Of course, I could go on all day there are so many great places that have a huge variety to allow you to eat gluten-free in Barcelona! But the one great thing about all restaurants in Barcelona is really how accommodating they are. Furthermore, if you explain that you need gluten free they will no doubt, try their best to help you out.
If you want to go somewhere that perhaps doesn’t have gluten free bread/burger buns etc don’t worry! Bring your own! I do it all of the time when eating out with friends and the staff are well used to people bringing their gluten free bread of choice and they will also toast it for you etc. Although, if you are a strict coeliac – make sure to be careful in relation to cross contamination!
Furthermore, there are a few different Barcelona supermarkets that have a wide selection of gluten-free products, but the best is definitely the Veritas stores. Here you can stock up on everything from bread to cereal and treats! Perfect to grab and go some gluten-free or lactose-free items. Furthermore, they even have baby food & products all eco-friendly etc.
For some gluten-free inspiration just check out Trip Advisors list for some alternates in the area!
And of course – don’t forget if you want to really experience life as a hungry local you can join one of the Devour food tours. All of the food tastings on the tour can be made gluten free / adapted for coeliac so don’t let avoiding gluten ruin the opportunity to enjoy a Barcelona Food Tour – gluten free!
Don’t forget to drop me a line if you have anywhere to add to the list or of course check out some of the other blogs for some of my top suggestions for cocktail bars and markets! Whatever you eat and wherever you go – most importantly enjoy it!
Love & Gambas,