Since going Gluten free a few months ago I’ve found it really difficult to eat out. I pretty much stopped going out for dinner (apart from Nandos because I love chicken) as I was nervous about being that person. That person with allergies. That person the waiter hates because they have to get the manager to talk to you. It’s all very awkward, very embarrassing and very… well, I just hate it. I hate walking into a restaurant like “hello I am allergic to nuts and gluten”.
When we were planning our trip to Barcelona it dawned on me, quite heavily, that I couldn’t just eat anywhere anymore. Not only was I going to have to plan an itinerary of sights to see but also of places I could eat. Google is the best when it comes to stressful times and I spent quite some time sorting through websites and blogs finding somewhere I could eat. I eventually found some great looking places to eat in Barcelona but not that many reviews on them.
So with that, I thought I’d throw my two cents in and give a little review of the gluten free places I ate at, in Barcelona.
Breakfast here is another level. Eggs, pancakes, cakes…. yes, cake for breakfast. We visited this place twice for breakfast during the 4 days we were away. The first time we both had scrambled eggs, ham and bacon – it was delicious. We followed this breakfast with cake. I’m not even ashamed to say that! When in Rome and all that… (although we were in Barcelona). The red velvet cake and lemon meringue pie were to die for. The velvet cake was moist and the lemon meringue was sweet with a chewy oat like base. I’ve never tasted anything so amazing that was gluten and lactose free. I miss it already.
On visit two I decided to get the pancakes to mix it up a little. I picked two toppings of ice cream and fruit. It was nice… however the pancakes themselves were cinnamon flavoured which I felt didn’t really compliment the dish and wasn’t mentioned on the menu. I ended up eating it all separately as my taste buds didn’t really enjoy cinnamon, vanilla ice cream and fruit all at once.
We ordered another slice of the lemon migraine (told ya it was good!) and also a slice of the cheesecake that was INSANE. By far the best desserts I’ve ever had. I’m still dreaming of them. There’s no flavour lost in this place! Turns out gluten free food doesn’t always have to be crap.
This isn’t a restaurant that’s sold as gluten free but they’re totally down with the gluten free life. They can advise you what’s gluten free on the menu without any hesitation or needing to get a manager. We started off with some non gluten free tapas (mainly for Matt, but I picked at the chorizo – oops) and ordered a seafood paella to share. Paella is “naturally gluten free” but I checked in anyway and the waitress confirmed it was. I’d not really had paella before and this was really a night for Matt to eat everything he wanted – but I actually thought it was a great dish. I ate about half of it and even tried mussels (won’t recommend them it’s like putting your mouth in the sea). The restaurant is right off Las Ramblas and is VERY cool. If you want paella, a few drinks and a cool vibe, go there.
From the outside you wouldn’t think this sandwich shop had much to offer in terms of gluten free but oh boy, you’d be surprised. You can have pretty much the entire menu of sandwiches (it’s basically panini bread) in gluten free. There’s only 2-3 options that they can’t make gluten free. We went there 3 times – no joke. It was yum! First time we went we had a breakfast of a ham and cheese panini. Second time we had a Frankfurt hotdog (still in a panini bun) and third time we had a burger in a panini. It was delicious and pretty fun that they could turn everything into a panini sandwich. This was a gem to go to when we wanted a quick bite on the go as it’s in the gothic quarter. We had it good on the weekdays when we popped by with no wait and a choice of seats but on the Saturday the line was in the street. So great to see business booming but I was sad to have to wait (I was starving!). On that day we did manage to somehow bag the window seat though – hooray!
I’m saving the best to last. We also made two visits during our stay to Gut and frankly I could have eaten there every night. The food was the most incredible food I’ve ever had. The menu has lots of gluten free options, vegetarian options, meat options and etc. So much variety. Both nights I had the gluten free version of the chicken mango curry, because on the second visit I just knew I couldn’t leave without having it again. For starter we had the gluten free version of chapati and vegetarian dips. I literally cannot put into words how delicious they were. On the second visit we ordered extra chapati with our starters so we could wipe the dip bowls clean. We may have looked greedy but we wanted to have every last drop of those vegetarian dips. Matt had the burger and wedges one night and then next night he had a sea food dish of shrimp with mushrooms and artichokes – with a side of wedges. We both highly rate this place. It’s such a zen and peaceful environment and the staff are lovely. I will miss the food now I’m home!
When being gluten free in another city, you have to plan. We found on our research that a lot of the places were kind of out of the way but we made the effort to go there so that we (mainly me) could eat with the relief that we know the restaurant is fit for a gluten free diet.
We do wish we’d planned the food a little better. In terms of our route there (why walked far when we could have got the metro…) and the night we booked a table – we should have tied it in when we were in the area. But at the same time, we didn’t care about the long walks out of the way when the food was as good as it was. It was worth it.
I recommend all of these gluten free places and if you’re going to Gut or Ultramarinos, be sure to book in advance. I used a free app called The Fork to make my life easy.
Check out vlog 1 of 2 of our trip to Barcelona, here.