This blog post was originally posted on March 18, 2014 and was updated on August 12, 2018.
When it comes to eating gluten free in Madrid, the city’s restaurants, bars, and supermarkets are already ahead of the curve.
The Madrid Association of Celiacs and Gluten Sensitive People has been certifying the city’s restaurants as celiac-friendly since the 1990s. And with more than 80 establishments on their list, there are plenty of options for diving into Spanish cuisine worry-free.
Eating gluten free in Madrid does not mean you have to miss out on the best of typical Spanish cuisine! Many of the most delicious and most traditional tapas in Madrid are naturally gluten free, such as tortilla de patatas (an egg and potato omelet) and huevos rotos con jamón (fried potatoes topped with over easy eggs and slices of cured Iberian ham).
Eating sin gluten in Madrid is totally doable if you know where to go. While many places in Madrid are celiac-friendly, it’s always a good idea to talk with the waiter before ordering to ensure your meal comes completely gluten free. Here are some of our top picks for where to eat gluten free in Madrid.
Phrases for Eating Gluten Free in Madrid
Please note: though awareness of gluten-free dining is on the rise in Spain, do proceed with caution! Cross-contamination is a concern in many of the small, traditional kitchens across the country, so we always recommend that those with an allergy or celiac disease consult directly with the restaurants before ordering. Here are some useful phrases in Spanish from the Federación de Asociaciones de Celiacos de España:
- Enfermedad celiaca = celiac disease
- Yo soy celiaco/a = I’m coeliac
- No puedo comer productos que tengan como ingrediente: trigo, centeno, cebada o avena = I cannot eat things that contain wheat, rye, barley or oats.
- Libre de gluten = gluten-free
- Almidón de trigo = wheat starch
- Soy celiaco/a y debo seguir una dieta sin gluten = I’m coeliac and must follow a gluten-free diet
- ¿Esta comida contiene trigo, centeno, cebada o avena? = Does this dish contain wheat, rye, barley, or oats?
- Puedo comer alimentos que contengan arroz, patatas, verduras y frutas, huevos, queso, leche y pescado = I can eat dishes with rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, eggs, cheese, milk, and fish.
- Sin salsa por favor = No sauce please!
- Gracias por tu ayuda = Thank you for your help!
Whether you’re in need of a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or a perfect loaf of gluten-free bread, Madrid’s bakeries are a haven of pastries, coffee and chatter. Only a handful of the city’s panaderías and pastelerías have jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon, but those that have are definitely doing it right!
- Celicioso: Perhaps the most famous (and most delicious) spot for those eating gluten free in Madrid, Celicioso (Calle Hortaleza, 3) has a display case packed with all kinds of celiac-friendly treats. Enjoy a chocolate peanut butter cupcake in the cafe or grab a loaf of bread to go! Everything made here is 100% gluten free.
- Sana Locura: Not only does Sana Locura (Calle del Gral Oraá, 49) sell 12 kinds of gluten-free bread—they also have pizza, sandwiches, gluten-free beer, and amazing pastries. You can choose anything on the menu and enjoy it without worrying about traces of gluten, because there aren’t any!
- Leon the Baker: Leon the Baker (Calle Conde Duque, 19) is out to prove that artisan bread, baked fresh daily, can be gluten free without sacrificing on flavor. They recommend calling ahead to reserve your loaf, as they do sell out!
A huge part of Spanish culture is meeting up with friends to tomar algo, or have something to eat or drink. That something, more often than not, is a nice, cold beer. Gluten-free travelers don’t have to miss out on this cultural experience in Madrid! Here are some great bars that serve up beer that is gluten free in Madrid:
- Cervecería San Julián: North of the city center in the Chamberí district you’ll find Cervecería San Julián (Calle Alberto Aguilera, 30). This neighborhood bar offers gluten-free beers, as well as gluten-free bread for burgers and sandwiches.
- La Tape: La Tape is a craft beer bar in Malasaña (Calle de San Bernardo, 88) with six gluten-free beers and a killer gluten-free food menu to boot.
- Bee Beer: Home of craft beers and cheeses in the Chueca neighborhood, Bee Beer (Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 30) has a rotating selection of gluten-free beers.
- El Pedal: Their terrace (Calle Argumosa, 33) is the perfect spot to enjoy a beer on a sunny day in the Lavapiés neighborhood. Even when they don’t have a gluten-free beer on tap, they always have bottled options!
No trip to Madrid is complete without an evening of tapas, or hopping from bar to bar and eating small plates of delectable Spanish food. You can find naturally gluten-free options like the tortilla and huevos rotos mentioned above at just about every tapas bar. But if you’re looking for something specifically and certifiably gluten free in Madrid, head to these places:
- Taberna La Concha: This tiny tavern is easy to miss among the bar-packed Cava Baja street in Madrid’s La Latina barrio, but it’s one that gluten-free travelers (and everyone else!) should definitely visit. La Concha (Calle Cava Baja, 7) has a special gluten-free menu full of traditional Spanish tapas specially crafted for celiacs!
- Bar Lambuzo: A charming Spanish family from Cádiz serves up Andalusian specialties at Bar Lambuzo (Calle de las Conchas, 9). If you indicate you are gluten free, they will give you multiple options for enjoying a true evening of tapas.
- Bar Méntrida: A super traditional spot in the Chamberí neighborhood, Bar Méntrida (Plaza de Olavide, 3) has an almost completely gluten-free menu of typical tapas. Their terrace in the bustling Plaza de Olavide is the real charm of the place, so make sure to come on a sunny day!
If you’re in the mood for a sit-down dining experience, pop into one of the many delicious options for gluten-free restaurants in Madrid.
- Emma y Julia: This Italian spot on Cava Baja (Calle Cava Baja, 19), just down the road from Taberna La Concha, has delicious gluten-free pizza and pasta, as well as homemade desserts.
- Kint: Located inside the Mercado Vallehermoso, Kint (Calle de Vallehermoso, 36) offers seasonal dishes prepared with ingredients from the market—and everything is completely gluten free!
- Da Nicola: Another great Italian restaurant, this one in Malasaña, Da Nicola (Plaza Mostenses, 11) has a separate gluten-free menu with lots of options, and gluten-free beer.
- El Arrozal: If you are looking for gluten-free paella in Madrid, El Arrozal (Calle Segovia, 13) is your place. They even have a separate gluten-free kitchen where they make some of the best gluten-free baguettes in town!
Almost all of Madrid’s grocery stores offer at least a few gluten-free items. In many cases, though, they aren’t very clearly labeled and can be tough to spot, especially if your Spanish is shaky. The stores below make shopping gluten free in Madrid easy!
- El Corte Inglés: Wherever you are, you’re never far from a Corte Inglés, and their grocery store section has a good selection of gluten-free crackers, bread, frozen pizzas and more.
- Mercadona: Another supermarket, all of the Hacendado brand items (Mercadona’s store brand) have been specifically tested for gluten and those which are completely gluten free are marked with a sin gluten label.
- Herbolarios Doemi Market: The Herbolarios Doemi Market (Calle de Carranza, 3) is great for ecologically-produced items. It has a large sin gluten section with everything from gluten-free pastas to gluten-free versions of Madrid’s famous pastries like rosquillas (anis-flavored doughnuts).
While we definitely recommend directing your taste buds to the awesome options above, if you’re in a pinch these chain restaurants in Madrid also have gluten-free options and can be found all over the city:
- Telepizza (Domino’s-style pizza)
- Rodilla (sandwiches)
- VIPS (array of both Spanish and diner-style dishes)