You´re in Spain, one of the world´s best places to try delicious Mediterranean food and tapas. Every region has its own specialities and you can´t wait to get started. But wait…you have a food allergy?
If you´re gluten intolerant or celiac, these opportunities (that should be the best part of your holiday) can fill you will dread, and a feeling that you can´t join in. As a gluten intolerant person myself living in Madrid, I know this struggle too well. It can be all too easy to just go for the standard American style restaurant, but this does not have to be your only option. If you want to eat truly authentic Spanish food, here is a list of the best restaurants and tapas bars in Madrid (that also happen to be gluten free friendly).
Before we start, it´s worth pointing out that some of these restaurants and cafes have signed a gluten free agreement with the ´Association for Celiac and Gluten Sensitive persons in Madrid´ (Asociación de Celiacos y Sensibles al Gluten- ACySG), and others just have helpful staff that are really happy to talk to the kitchen. Often in Spain, the attitude of the waiter and restaurant policy can greatly aid, or impede, your success at finding a great meal.
Here are 4 of the best gluten free, authentic and friendly places to eat in Madrid.
C/ Velazquez, 57. 28001 Madrid
Tel: 91 435 06 04
Lateral is one of my favourite restaurants in Madrid, and this is not only because they can adapt their menus for Celiacs and give you gluten free bread sticks (barritas de pan). The cosmopolitan (yet very Spanish) atmosphere here is great for lunch, or dinner with drinks. They have a great selection of traditional tapas, as well as salad, cheese, meat and fish dishes. My favourite restaurant is the one on Calle Velazquez, as on Friday and Saturday nights it gets jam packed with Madrileños getting ready to enjoy their night, standing at the bar balancing a tapa plate in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.
C/Tutor, 37. 28008 Madrid
Tel: 91 452 95 52
Casa Mono is a cool, stylish restaurant in the west of the city in Arguelles, that has a mix of modern decor with a wild west twist. Their menu officially offers products for celiacs (one of the few restaurants in Madrid that do) , and their restaurant has a main seating area, terrace, bar and an upstairs cocktail bar. Furthermore, they boast a great selection of wines, from vino tinto (Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorato, Bierzo, Tierra de Castilla y Tierra Alta) and vino blanco (Rueda, Rías Baixas, Terra Alta y Tierra de Castilla), to vino rosado, sparkling wine and dessert wine.
Pº de la Castellana, 38. Madrid
Tel: 91 575 51 12
Chef Pedro Larumbe´s reputation precedes him in Spain, and he needs little introduction to Spaniards. His newly renovated restaurant ´El 38 de Larumbe´ in Paseo de la Castellana (Madrid´s business quarter) has a restaurant that opens for lunch and dinner sittings, as well as a non-stop bar lounge/bistro. It is the former which has a menu with gluten free options, which the well-dressed and helpful waiters will be ready to help you with. They also offer a fixed menu of 4 courses, with wine and dessert included, for 57,00€.
Augusto Figueroa 24, 3ªplanta. 28004, Madrid
Tel: 91 330 02 94
This quirky, hip restaurant sits on the roof terrace of the San Antón market in the district of Chueca, often signalled the gay district of Madrid. With a beautiful cocktail bar outside and a terrace with butterfly prints and mismatched colourful chairs, this restaurant has a distinctly creative vibe. The restaurant has a small but varied selection of food, from cheeses, fish, meats and vegetables, as well as 2 desserts especially for celiacs: chocolate mousse with red berries, and a chilled passion fruit parfait. Their wine selection includes red, white rosé and sparkling, and they also have a wide selection of delicious sweet, sour and fruity and cocktails. Perfect for a weekday lunch or an evening tête-à-tête.
If you´re also interested in international food, such as Italian pizza, pasta or American (because sometimes, that´s just what you need) check out the websites for VIPS, Nebraska, Rodilla, Da Nicola, Telepizza, and Tommy Mel´s for gluten free menus throughout Madrid.
You can also find more information about eating gluten free in Madrid and Spain at ´La Federación de Asociaciones de Celiacos de España- FACE´ (The Federation of Celiac Associations in Spain): http://www.celiacos.org (in Spanish), as well as the Madrid Association: https://www.celiacosmadrid.org (in Spanish and English).
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