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Gluten Free in Barcelona? No Worries!

by: Ali Diehl, Barcelona Intern

Although I'm a bread lover, one of my roommates here in Barcelona is severely gluten intolerant and definitely had her reservations about coming abroad. Prior to arrival, she was anxiously expecting a semester filled with salads and not being able to eat out at restaurants.

Over the months, I’ve noticed that the Spanish are more familiar with gluten-free diets and Celiac than many other countries. When eating out, the phrases “soy celíaco” or “no puedo comer gluten/harina de trigo” -- which translates to “I cannot eat gluten/wheat flour” -- will usually elicit understanding from servers.

The other good news about gluten intolerance in Spain is the high involvement of rice, eggs, and potatoes in the Spanish diet. Many traditional Spanish foods such as Paella, Spanish Omelette, and Patatas Bravas are naturally gluten free. Fresh produce is readily available, as are delicious meats and seafood.

My roommate and I received a big shock on our first trip to the grocery store together. Wandering around, we ran straight into a large section filled with gluten free variations of pastas, crackers, and cereals.  We were shocked in the most pleasant way possible. While not every supermaket in Barcelona is friendly to our Celiac friends, there are many stores that pride themselves in their gluten free offerings.

A great resource for eating out is allergychef.es, where you can make online reservations restaurants trained for people with food allergies and intolerance. This includes both gluten and lactose intolerances. I also compiled a quick list of the most delicious, gluten-free-friendly places in Barcelona, but there are more and more popping up every day. Get out and explore for yourself!

Best Supermarkets: El Corte Inglés, Día, Veritas, Bonpreu

Best Bocadillos/Sandwiches: conesa, cucamonas

Best Brunch: Copasetic

Best Bakery: Baci d’Angelo, Reykjavic Bakery

Best Restaurant: Flax and Kale, La Lluna

Comments:

Cheyenne Hodur, Drake University

Happy Backpackers

Bogi is a great guide. She was everything you could want in a guide plus more. She was fun, cool, and the best part- knowledgeable. She really made the trip great. We got to the hostel late and she was able to rearrange our schedule so everyone could go caving. After caving we were picked up by Bogi (thank goodness because figuring out Hungarian public transportation is really hard if you don't speak Hungarian). WSA made sure to include super cool things- caving, thermal baths, bus tickets, escape games and the hostel. I would definitely do this trip again. Bogi was fun and flexible, we didn't have to stick to a tight schedule and we were able to do things that we wanted to do like the Liberty Statue. She is great, WSA is lucky to have her.

Cheyenne Hodur, Drake University ~ AIFS Richmond, Spring 2015

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