Barcelona - A Gluten Free Friendly City

February 21, 2011

Beautiful Barcelona!
Sometimes when I'm at home and in my own environment I kind of forget I have coeliac. That's because I'm in my own element. I have my foods around me, I can cook on my own will or even go shopping if I need too.

So going on trips and holidays isn’t that easy for me, especially since I’m not that fond of any meat besides chicken. And when I go on holiday, boy do I feel the wrath of coeliac -- especially in countries where most workers at restaurants don't speak English. Even though I print out coeliac travel cards, most don't understand what it actually is. I try not to get frustrated, but it’s hard.

I recently went on a business trip to Barcelona.  On a whole, people at restaurants there are more aware of coeliac disease than other foreign countries I’ve been to. I gave my coeliac card to restaurants staff and most seemed to know.
Chicken a slice of cheese and side salad

Here’s a recap of my meals out in Barcelona, Spain.

One night we went to the Hard Rock Cafe in Barcelona. They actually had a list called "Platos No Gluten" (plates without gluten). Needless to say, there isn’t much on the list, so I ended up having a piece of chicken, with cheese on it and a side salad. Surprisingly the honey mustard and blue cheese dressing were gluten free. So I said just chuck it on the side! But at least they know what coeliac is and what they were dealing with. The meal was good, but it was really annoying that nothing but a piece of meat was gluten free.

Roasted Vegetable Paella
The best restaurant I went to is La Fonda Del Port Olimpic. They were so fantastic and aware of it!. They even had pasta dishes, and at the bottom of the menu said "We have pasta for celiacs." Which made it helpful. I had the traditional roasted vegetable paella. It was delicious! And I did not feel sick the next day. They ensured me they only used oil and spices in making the paella. Later that week, I went back to the restaurant with colleagues from work, as I was I craving pasta. I ate it and was ok. 

I’d rate Barcelona as a fairly gluten friendly city. A lot of their chips and snacks also have "Sin Gluten" written on it. Meaning no gluten! So they are aware! Which makes it a lot easier.


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