Tag Archives: Spain

Gluten Free Madrid

Again, I looked up a ton of different options for Madrid. For just a few days I had two breakfast places, some tapas places and dinner places so that we would have a wide range of choices and some backups in case places were closed or didn’t exist. Unfortunately like we discovered in Barcelona, sometimes places are closed when they say they will be open… or in the case of two different places in Madrid, they just didn’t exist anymore, even when they had been written about less than a year ago, had working websites and Google had no indications that they were permanently closed.


OH!CELIA bakery: This place ended up not existing. It was not a big deal because it was a short walk from the next place.
Celicioso: Gluten free bakery with sit down option. We had the lasagna for breakfast as well because we were really hungry for just cupcakes and cake, but it was just reheated in the microwave.


El Arrozal: Unfortunately, this place was also closed permanently, but luckily Bar el Taller was close by, so we ended up eating there instead.

La Crêp’: This was a crepe place that opened only around 2pm on Sunday. It was such a cold overcast day and all we wanted to do was go in somewhere warm to eat, but when the place opened up it was so cold inside. Spain is not made for cold weather! The food was very nice and I didn’t have any gluten reactions later. I ordered a mushroom and cheese crepe and later on a dessert crepe as well.

Bar el Taller: I loved this place! We arrived here because El Arrozal did not exist, which was frustrating that two of the places we tried to eat at on Saturday no longer existed, but I was really happy to find out that pretty much all the tapas at this place were gluten free and they even had gluten free beer, which has been very hard to find in restaurants on trips. I ordered two because I was so pleased and we all stuffed ourselves silly. 🙂

Mozzarella stack from Bar e Taller above.  Shrimp carpaccio below. Delicious!!

Complimentary strawberry dessert. Mmm.

Salad from a place near Kay’s brother below. In a pinch, we could do gluten free just by asking them to take care about certain ingredients and ordering the typical gluten-free salad with meat.

Overall, I wasn’t that worried about GF in Madrid. Spain is actually pretty good about celiac disease and they have a lot of options that you wouldn’t find in Germany, for example.

If you go, don’t miss out on the Serrano ham or the Iberian ham!


Mid-March my friend Grace visited Spain from NYC. Since we graduated design school together we have made an effort meet each other usually in NYC or Columbus, but Grace has also come to Zurich a couple times and when she started planning her Spain trip, she immediately asked me if I could meet her for a weekend. We had last seen each other in Baltimore last summer for a friend’s wedding.

Weekend trips in Europe are one of my favourite ways to meet with family and friends in Europe because I get to see and experience a new place as well. I had been to Madrid before, but Kay had not and his brother is actually living there at the moment, so we were planning on taking a trip this year to visit him anyway.

While it was 26ºC the weekend before we came, it did cool down to almost the same temperature at home around 14ºC, but it was sunny at least!

Language was funny. Kay’s brother is fluent in Spanish, so he did most of the talking to waiters. Kay and his brother obviously spoke Swiss German and any time I talked to Kay’s brother alone, I also used German, but with Grace we all spoke English. She also understood some Spanish, so the whole table was a mix of Spanish, German and English at times.

Selfie time! Some of the only time I get photos with my friends… but no selfie sticks for this girl. 🙂


The Palacio de Cristal, which doesn’t really hold up to the Franklin Park Conservatory in my eyes. It had a really creepy art installation in it when we visited.

Streets of Madrid.

The Almudena Cathedral, which was closed when we visited.

Royal Palace of Madrid below.

The train station where Grace left from, filled with trees!

Kay also managed to get us into the business lounge on the way back, so we could fill up a bit on snacks before our flight home.

Overall it was a great weekend. We walked a TON and although it was overcast and much windier and colder on Sunday, we ate well and enjoyed the time.

Do you ever meet old friends in new places?

Gluten Free Barcelona

September has been another busy month with a long weekend the first week and now two wedding weekends in a row. Kay has a week more holiday than me, so we always try to go away the weekend in September when I get a local holiday for work.

Tickets that weekend were surprisingly expensive everywhere, so instead of going to Venice as I really hoped, we ended up booking a flight to leave for Barcelona on Friday at 10:30pm and arrive back home the following Monday evening.

Here’s a little teaser of our trip:

We had a great time enjoying some sun for once!

Kay was in charge of activity planning while I researched food and he cheekily asked his Spanish colleague to give him a city-guide and thought his work was done. So since neither of us had looked up transportation passes or info about attractions, we didn’t realize that instead of buying a 3-day transportation pass, we could have gotten a combination museum/attraction pass that we usually like to get when we do city trips. We also didn’t realize that booking tickets ahead of time to Sagrada Familia is almost a must and we didn’t realize the 3-day card started at 11:30pm counts 11:30pm to midnight as one day, and we couldn’t use it on Monday anymore. Darn you, Barcelona!

Overall it really was just a chilled weekend going to different Gaudi sights, churches and stopping here and there for sangria in between eating tasty food with wine. I was in heaven!

Sagrada Familia was out of this world. We ended up booking tickets online on Sunday for Monday and it was a really special experience to see a church of this caliber during the construction process. You can really appreciate how much work and money truly goes into buildings like this!

I again did my research about where to eat gluten free, complete with maps, directions and opening hours of several restaurants. Allergy Chef was a very helpful website!  I always over prepare and pick out 3X as many restaurants as we need, which was good because Baci D’Angelo Patisserie, the bakery we tried to go to on the first Saturday was closed… and both of us were quite hungry as we made our way to Copasetic instead.

Copasetic turned out to be ah-mazing.

The man running the restaurant was extremely friendly and helpful, with a great sense of humour. He told us that the chef eats gluten free, so I felt really safe ordering food and the food was delicious!

The options were great too. They offered English, French and Greek combo breakfasts with gluten free bread, pancakes, crepes (!) and more, often with organic ingredients.

We ordered combo breakfasts the first day and split a crepe because we were so hungry. It was a ton of food, as the guy warned, but sooo scrumptious! Seriously, I want to go eat there every weekend!

On Sunday we went back again and I ordered a savory crepe for my main and we split pancakes. They were some of the best gluten free pancakes I’ve ever had!

I would have even gone there for dinner, but we thought we should try to find some traditional tapas places. We ended up going to Bar Ramón on Saturday night because it was close to our hotel, but the tapas were kind of disappointing, especially when they said the ones we ordered would be gluten free and they came with a big bowl of bread.

We weren’t full, so we headed to Lolita Tapería and really enjoyed finishing the night there. It was such a fun little diner and the staff were very friendly.

On Sunday we went to Tapeo for dinner. It seemed a bit touristy to us, but I also didn’t care because they were very good about the gluten free food there as well.

We finished out the weekend going to Allium for breakfast on Monday, partly because Copasetic was closed, but the breakfast was not as celiac friendly as I had hoped and the partially uncooked eggs kind of made me feel sick all day.

After we saw Sagrada Familia on Sunday, I was starving and really wanted to find one of the Conesa sandwich locations I’d marked on the map. It was the kind of local food joint I would not expect to be able to eat at and Kay was worried about it when we went because they made sandwiches and looked like they all were toasted on the same grill, but they had a special grill for the gluten-free sandwiches (yay!) and I could even have some side dishes like brava, fried potatoes.

Conesa did not disappoint! It was a yes, yes, YES. It was such comforting greasy food that I really miss when salad is the only gluten-free dish on the menu.

We finished out the day sitting in a plaça enjoying one last pitcher of sangria. I would go again, maybe when Sagrada Familia is finally finished so I can see it in all its glory. 🙂