Earlier this month, I spent five GORGEOUS days in Barcelona. Not only did we see so much of the city including the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Montjuïc Castle, La Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter and more, we also found plenty of fantastic gluten-free food.
Finding gluten-free food in Barcelona…
It seemed to me that there was a lot of awareness about gluten-free food, but the choices weren’t always abundant. We found some places that offered gluten-free beer and bread (usually for around a €1 or €1.50 supplement), yet only one or two menu options to go with them.
I would definitely recommend doing your research in advance of your trip to find places that can provide you with a good choice of sin gluten (or sense gluten in Catalan) options. Hopefully this post can help you out!
Here’s my round-up of the top places for gluten-free food in this fabulous city.
We struck so lucky with our Airbnb apartment, which was located on Carre Poeta Cabanyes in Poble Sec, right next to Carre de Blai which is lined with lots of authentic, little tapas and pintxos bars. Pintxos are small snacks, served on bread and they are EVERYWHERE in Barcelona. Most places serving pintxos had nothing GF to offer and so we had to go elsewhere after our glass of wine, but we struck lucky on Carrer de Blai just two minutes from our apartment when we found La Esquinita De Blai.
Our lovely, friendly waiter informed us of the few GF things on the menu – patatas bravas without the sauce (we had it served on the side for everyone else), garlic prawns, and chicken skewers – AND said that any of the pinxtos I wanted could be served on gluten-free bread! It’s the only place we found offering this, and that’s why we went back three times…
Find La Esquinita De Blai on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/laEsquinitadeBlai
La Fonda was one of the first places we went to, on our second day in the city. This is one of the places I mentioned in my intro – they have (really good, separately packaged) gluten-free bread available for a small supplement and Daura Damm gluten-free beer, yet there was only one or two menu options that were GF. However, they were super accommodating and made up a special gluten-free, crustacean-free, chicken and vegetable paella on request to accommodate both mine and my mum’s dietary requirements! The atmosphere is lovely, the food is good – but like all the good places in Barcelona that get this busy the service is rather slow. Though when you’re relaxing on holiday and have a beer to enjoy, that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
Find out more about La Fonda on their website here: www.grupandilana.com/en/restaurants/la-fonda-restaurant
After a morning wandering through the modernist neighbourhood on a Free Walking Tour of Antoni Gaudí’s works, we wanted to grab some lunch before going into the Sagrada Familia. After Googling nearby gluten-free options, we discovered Le Coq & The Burg and their gluten-free burgers. It was so easy to order – they give you a paper menu, you tick what you want, then hand it into your server. I went for the Luciana burger with aubergine, sun-dried tomatoes, rocket and parmesan. It looked great, tasted DELICIOUS, and the fries are gluten-free too.
Find Le Coq & The Burg on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/lecoqandtheburg
There are two different Ziryab in Barcelona which are part of the same family – one is a shisha bar that does AMAZING cocktails and the other is a fusion tapas bar that does amazing food! We went to both in one evening, and both were fantastic. At the shisha bar we indulged in an ice-pipe with a fruity blend along with daiquiris, old-fashioneds and posh G&Ts. At the tapas bar everything that was gluten-free was clearly marked GF on menu and there was plenty of choice. So much choice that collectively we indulged in grilled halloumi wrapped in cured ham; halloumi and pesto; marinated chicken brochette; patates de las casa; honey and sesame aubergine slices; and more! It was a fantastic feast, the atmosphere was awesome, the staff were friendly. I think this was probably my favourite meal of the holiday.
Check out the Ziryab menu here: bit.ly/ziryab-barcelona-menu
While on most days we ate brunch at our Airbnb apartment, on a couple of occasions we ventured out. From the look of Milk’s menu, it appeared they’d be able to provide at least a couple of sense gluten options. When we got there I asked, and I was in luck! The chorizo and spinach hash I had my eye on was GF when it wasn’t served with bread. Mind you, the portions were so generous I wouldn’t have needed the bread anyway. Filling, hearty, and immensely tasty with a perfectly poached egg on top – what’s not to love about this dish? What’s more, the atmosphere was cosy and the staff lovely. A great placed for a relaxed brunch.
Read more about Milk at their website: www.milkbarcelona.com
If you love food you’ll be in heaven at Barcelona’s famous La Boqueria market. Not only will you find stalls overflowing with fresh fruit, fresh seafood, cured meats, cheeses, sweets, and more, there are also loads of little bars you can sit at end enjoy nibbles, meals, and a glass of wine or few.
It’s always busy here, but on our second lap one morning we managed to find four bar stools for some breakfast! I spotted scrambled eggs with prawns and vegetables on the menu and confirmed that it was sense gluten without toast. Again, the serving was so generous that the bread wasn’t misses. I absolutely loved it here, relaxing with a coffee while the city bustled around me. If I lived in Barcelona, you’d never pull me away.
Find out more about La Boqueria on their website here: www.boqueria.info
I know this is Spain, not Italy, but I couldn’t resist the appeal of a 100% gluten-free pizza restaurant. At Messie Sin Gluten absolutely everything on the menu is gluten-free so everyone had to have a gluten-free pizza. I snaffled a bit of everything (Gluten-Free Blogger’s Prerogative) and they were all SO good. The pizza base was a proper, stone-baked crust that definitely appeared hand-made – hands-down it was one of the best GF pizzas I’ve ever had. Everyone else said they’d never have even noticed the difference between these and wheat bases. I also ordered a mozzarella and tomato salad (my favourite) on the side along with a Daura Marzen gluten-free beer. Perfect. Make sure you get the right Messie Pizza though – there’s a gluten one too!
Find out more about Messie Sin Gluten on their website: www.messiepizza.es/messie-sin-gluten
When you Google gluten-free places in Barcelona, La Lluna is one of the most popular recommendations. It’s lovely place close to Plaça de Catalunya that offers a great value two or three course set menu. Everything that was entirely GF or available as a GF option was clearly marked, they served proper, crusty gluten-free bread and had GF beer on the menu too. I chose the two course set menu, starting with a lentil stew topped with feta cheese, followed by duck confit with potato gratin. Granted, it didn’t photograph well but the stew was delicious! The sauce the duck was cooked in was gorgeous and the meat just fell off the bone. Served with GF bread and a glass of white wine, I thought €15.40 was brilliant value! Oh, and I also nicked a bit of the boyfriend’s fantastic beef carpaccio…
Find out more about La Lluna here: lallunarestaurant.com
Have you been to Barcelona? Share your gluten-free tips in the comments below, they’ll be much appreciated for the next time I visit!
Words and pictures by Alice Reeves