Gluten Free Overview:
In my review…
Copasetic: gluten free hamburgers, crepes, sandwiches, cakes… need I say more? Menu
La Lluna: Three course meals with TONS of gluten free options marked on the starter, entrée, AND dessert menus!
Arlequino Gelato: fabulous gelato in a central location!
Gluten Free Fail: Kabab Ghar (they don't seem to have a website) has gluten free, but not very tasty, paella!
I missed, but you shouldn’t…
Pasteleria Jansana Gluten Free: word on the street is, Jansana has gluten free open-faced sandwiches, quiches, doughnuts, and croissants!
Messie Sin Gluten: gluten free pizza, pasta, and salads right in central Barcelona!
Bar La Castanya: Mediterranean tapas with a twist, and the majority of the menu is gluten free!
Barcelona, Barcelona, Barcelona – one weekend was certainly not enough! With its sunny weather, fabulous architecture (I’m looking at you, Gaudi!), and bustling nightlife, Barcelona would be worth visiting even if you had to survive off protein bars and salad the entire time. Luckily, you don’t have to (and let’s be real… could I actually survive off anything that is just made of lettuce, even for two days?).
When we first arrived in Barcelona, we were absolutely STARVING! Since I was traveling with a group of friends (none of whom are gluten free), I felt bad making everyone walk to one of the places I’d researched, so we simply walked across the street to a little restaurant with outside tables called Kabab Ghar and took a gamble. One of my friends spoke very good Spanish, so she was able to ask the waiter whether or not the Paella had gluten in it. He said it did not, so I took a bit of a risk and ordered it. While I did not get sick, this was one of the grossest meals I can remember — the chicken in the Paella was purple on the inside and when you cut into it, weird juices spilled out. I was pretty disappointed that this was my first meal in Barcelona, and I wasn’t able to eat very much of it.
After we ate (or nibbled at) our very late lunch, we took the metro to Park Guell and explored, took in the architecture, and enjoyed the city views. It had started to drizzle a bit, but at least it did not get too chilly. By the time we got back to our hostel after the park, it had stopped raining and we were starting to get hungry again. One of the restaurants I had come across while researching gluten free options in Barcelona was Copasetic, and it was about a 15 minute walk from where we were staying. We made our way there, and the restaurant had a WONDERFUL ambiance. It was decorated to look like a traditional Barcelona bodega, with curved ceilings and exposed bricks. The menu had all the gluten free options labeled (which was almost the whole menu!). I ordered a DELICIOUS chicken sandwich with sauerkraut, radishes, and bacon on a soft gluten free bun. It came with a potato and a salad. Even better than the delicious sandwich was the dessert – it’s rare that I get any dessert options as a Celiac, let alone options I’m excited about! My friend and I split a red velvet crepe, which was warm and filled with melty Nutella topped with Mascarpone. This crepe was absolutely sensational! I still dream about that crepe to this day. It definitely made up for the paella disaster. After dinner we were all exhausted after a day of exploring and walking around Barcelona, so we went to bed around 11 pm.
The next morning, we hit up lots of Barcelona tourist spots (Sacrada Familia is a must-see!), enjoyed cappuccinos on a patio and people-watched, and had heaping servings of gelato in place of lunch (it was hot, okay!?). I got salted caramel and Nutella for my two flavors, and both were delicious! We got it from a little gelato shop right called Arlequino by the entrance to the Sacrada Familia.
After enjoying our gelato, we walked to Las Ramblas, the famous touristy street. It was only about a 10 minute walk from where we were staying. The street was very busy and crowded with tourists. Down the middle of the street there is a walking area that has little craft booths towards the end and lots of souvenir places and food stalls in the center. There is also a food market called Borough Market that is right off Las Ramblas, which had a ton of different cuisines. I didn’t get anything because I wasn’t sure what had gluten in it, but my friends got some Spanish pastry things.
After spending a long time wandering down Las Ramblas, we headed back to rest before dinner. My friend and I decided to go to a restaurant I had read about called La Lluna, which was off Las Ramblas.
It was down a little side alleyway — I never would have stumbled upon it on my own! This restaurant was another winner — I was thoroughly impressed with every aspect of the meal and experience. It is a little bit pricey compare to some of the other options I’d seen in Barcelona (the meal was 15 euros), but the price is for a three-course meal. Their entire menu was labeled with gluten free markings (everything but two menu items was gluten free), and they even went so far as to have a note at the bottom that said “Gluten Free marked menu items are safe for Coeliacs”. They brought us out complimentary champagne when we got there (we still don’t know why!) and they brought out warm gluten free bread that actually had crispy crust and a soft inside. For my starter, I got gluten
free homemade gazpacho (which was great with the bread!). For my
entree, I got gluten free rump steak with cilau mayonnaise and potatoes, and for my dessert I got gluten free cheesecake with cinnamon crumbles and berries.
My friend got creme brulee, which was also labeled gluten free, and we split each dessert. All three courses of this meal were fabulous, the champagne was a welcome surprise, and the service was phenomenal. I would highly recommend La Lluna for a gluten free, celiac-safe meal while in Barcelona.
After we headed out of La Lluna, we went to a small bar called L’Ovella Negra, which we had heard about through someone who had studied abroad in Barcelona. It was also down a small alleyway, and the walls were all made of stone and wood paneling. It was very cool. We each got a glass of sangria, which of course (and thank goodness!) was gluten free.
Unfortunately, since my trip to Barcelona was so short, these were the only restaurants I got to try! However, in the time since I’ve been home, I’ve learned of even more amazing gluten free options in Barcelona that I outlined at the top of this post. If Barcelona isn’t on your gluten free bucket list already, trust me – it should be!