Europe, Spain

Guest Post: Gluten-Free Travel in Spain

Maria Roglieri, PhD. has written for Gluten-Free Globetrotter before when she shared her tips for traveling gluten-free. Today’s guest post is about gluten-free travel in Spain which coincides with the launch of her newest book, The Gluten-Free Guide to Spain.

Palacio Real in Madrid (S. Amatangelo)
Palacio Real in Madrid (S. Amatangelo)


Hello everyone, my name is Maria.  I live in New York, and I travel a lot for work and pleasure to lovely European cities like London, Paris, Rome, and Madrid!  We all know that traveling in Europe is great fun but can be somewhat stressful for us as celiacs. We always need to be careful about what we eat, and we need to be able to ask particular questions of restaurant staff in foreign languages.  Luckily, as a professor of Romance Languages, I can maneuver my way around restaurants in English, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan.

I recently went to Spain to visit good friends who were living in Madrid and Barcelona and to do research for my latest book, The Gluten-Free Guide to Spain. My friends had started looking for gluten-free restaurants for me even before I arrived, and had a list of places ready for me. We had a great time going to these places and exploring the gluten-free scene in Spain.

I loved my trip to Spain because of the museums, the beautiful landscape and sea, the friendship, and especially the gluten-free food! If you haven’t visited Spain  you must go!  Fall is a great time to go, and the airfares are lower than in summer. The crowds are smaller and the weather is mild. Some of the best museums in the world are in Madrid (the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofia) and Barcelona ( Museu Nacional D’ Art De Catalunya ). You could spend days and days in these museums enjoying their treasures, but you must also checkout the amazing Sacra Famiglia of Gaudi, as well as the beautiful thirteenth-century Gothic cathedral, La Seu, both in Barcelona.

If you are a musician like me, you will love Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica! Its beauty is unforgettable and entirely different from the Paris Opera House or Milan’s La Scala.

You can also enjoy a walk through Madrid to see the gorgeous Royal Palace, the beautiful Retiro Park (Parque del Retiro), and the sixteenth-century Puerta del Sol (Sun’s Gate) which marks the center of Spain. Or you can catch a flamenco dance performance at the Corral de la Moreria. Inside of Palau de la Musica in Barcelona

There are plenty of things to do and to see in Spain. And the good news is that at every turn I found establishments that were actively catering to the gluten-free community! Thanks to the efforts of the many Spanish celiac societies and the restauranteurs themselves, there are thousands of restaurants all over Spain that will be happy to serve you a delicious gluten-free meal! Here are a few places you will enjoy when you go:


The hotels Radisson Blu Madrid Prado (Calle Moratín 52,, and The Westin Palace (Plaza de las Cortes, 7, have a special celiac menu.

 El Pescador is a great seafood restaurant on Calle Jose Ortega y Gasset 75 (tel.914021290, They have many GF options and they speak English. You should make a reservation as this is a very popular restaurant.

El Espejo is a nice outdoor café and indoor restaurant with an international cuisine. In Centro, it is on Paseo de Recoletos 31 (tel. 913082347, The ambience is very pleasant and the staff is very accommodating.

Da Nicola Gran Via is an Italian restaurant that has a GF menu and is in Centro at Plaza Mostenses, 11 (Gran Via) ( , tel. 915422574). These guys are serious about gluten-free with delicious fish, meat, pasta, pizza and desserts.


The hotel Apolo (Avinguda del Parallel, 57-59, tel. 8887418931, has a special celiac menu.

Ca L’Isidre is a Catalan restaurant on Les Flors 12 (, tel. 934411139).  They even have gluten-free bread and they speak English.

Go for delicious tapas to Quimet-Quimet on Poeta Cabanyes 25, Poblo Sec in El Raval (tel. 934423142). Don’t forget to enjoy a nice gluten-free Spanish beer while you’re at it! (Try Estrella’s Daura brand). Editor Note: Daura is a “gluten removed” beer and might not be suitable for all gluten-free drinkers. 

Finally, the Mediterranean Restaurant La Luna on Carrero Sant Bonaventura (tel. 933424479, has a special menu for celiacs since they work with the Spanish celiac society.

Enjoy your trip to Spain, and stay as long as you possibly can! The people, the landscape, the culture and the gluten-free food are wonderful!


Part of Gaudi's Sacra Familia in Barcelona
Part of Gaudi’s Sacra Familia in Barcelona

About Maria of The Gluten-Free Guides:
Maria is a professor of Romance Languages at St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York. She is a celiac and author/editor of the series, The Gluten-Free Guides (see The series currently includes: The Gluten-Free Guide to Spain, The Gluten-Free Guide to Italy, The Gluten-Free Guide to France, The Gluten-Free Guide to New York, and The Gluten-Free Guide to Washington, D.C. She lectures regularly and writes for magazines and blogs worldwide on gluten-free living and travel. She also coaches newly-diagnosed celiacs. She is a member of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America, The Celiac Sprue Association USA, and the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group.

6 thoughts on “Guest Post: Gluten-Free Travel in Spain”

  1. Hola
    Soy española y celiaca, si necesitáis información de Restaurantes y hoteles donde ofrecen comida para celiacos perdéis consultarla gratuitamente en

    En Madrid yo os recomiendo:
    Da Nicola, restaurante italiano esta en el centro de Madrid en Gran Via, Plza de los Monstenses
    Vips tienen varios en Madrid
    Ginos comida italiana, tienen varios restaurantes en Madrid
    Tommy Mel´s es comida americana, tienen varios restaurantes en Madrid
    Celicioso, Pasteleria 100 % sin gluten, en c/ Fuencarral esquina Gran Via
    El arrozal, para tomarse una buena paella, su hijo es celiaco, comeréis sin problemas, esta en la zona de la latina
    De tapas podéis ir por la latina a la Taberna la Concha
    Mc Donals tienen hamburguesas sin gluten por todo Madrid

    En Barcelona os recomiendo Il piccolo focone

    Los platos típicos españoles que podréis consumir sin problemas porque no llevan gluten son:
    Jamón Serrano
    Tortilla de patata

    Decir que no os pongan pan

  2. Hi Erin,
    I just discovered your blog. So helpful! My wife was diagnosed with celiac disease not too long ago and my daughter has a food allergy to milk and peanuts. Traveling is not the easiest thing to do.

    Last month we were in Barcelona and we discovered this website: where you can make online reservations to restaurants trained to cater people with food allergies and intolerances. We were able to try local cuisine without worrying about our dietary restrictions. At the restaurant, the chef knew we were coming and prepared a special menu for us. It was the best restaurant experience we ever had!

    I thought it would be interesting to share.

    Thank you again for your website!


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