The jury is still out on whether gluten intolerance is just a fad or a legitimate health concern. It seems every other week there is a new report arguing one way or the other, presenting the latest research as fact. Whatever your view, it can’t be denied that an increasing number of people are seeking out gluten-free products, and are feeling better and more energised for it. Whilst one might not expect Madrid to be a global trendsetter in many ways, it might be surprising to learn that the capital has long been at the forefront of the gluten-free movement, even before it became trendy.
The Madrid Association of Celiacs and Gluten Sensitive People has been regulating restaurants and bakeries in Madrid and advising chefs and diners alike for at least 20 years now. The helpful association provides an extensive directory, listing an array of places which provide gluten-free products in the capital, and here is a short list of some of Madrid’s most popular.
This twin restaurant chain is the go-to place for those in Madrid on a gluten-free diet. At Da Nicola, they have an entire gluten-free menu which includes handmade pasta, bread, and desserts. Try the popular gluten-free lasagna or vegetarian lasagna, washed down with a gluten-free beer. (Plaza Mostenses, 11, 28015)
Bar el Taller
This is a charming bar in the Ventas area of Madrid. Bar el Taller is a great place to eat some gluten-free tostas (grilled sandwiches), croquettes, and a wide variety of typical tapas. A spacious beer garden and terrace make this an excellent location for a summer gluten-free beer too. (Calle de la Virgen del Val, 56, 28027)
Those who are following a gluten-free diet probably miss bread and other bakery treats most of all. Travellers will be pleased to know that Celioso is a bakery in which every item is gluten-free! A huge selection of artisanal bread and loaves, cakes, biscuits, sandwiches, and mouthwateringly soft croissants, will keep you coming back for more. American travellers in particular, seek out the American style cookies and carrot cake. (Calle de Hortaleza, 3, 28004)
El 38 de Larumbe
Lovers of fine dining also won’t be disappointed in Madrid – one of Spain’s top chefs, Pedro Larumbe, caters for gluten intolerance in his classy restaurant El 38 de Larumbe. Try a 6-course tasting menu, which includes a full gluten-free option, for €57. (Paseo de la Castellana, 38, 28046)