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.
GLUTEN-FREE IN SPAIN
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.
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:
El Pescador is a great seafood restaurant on Calle Jose Ortega y Gasset 75 (tel.914021290, www.masqueriaelpescador.com). 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, www.restauranteelespejo.com). 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) (www.danicola.es , 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, www.solmelia.com) has a special celiac menu.
Ca L’Isidre is a Catalan restaurant on Les Flors 12 (www.calisdre.com, 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, www.lallunarestaurant.com) 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!
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 www.theglutenfreeguides.com). 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.