Everywhere that we ate in Madrid was amazing. I had never before experienced a trip where every meal was one that I could (and would) eat again and again. So, despite only having been to the city once, I feel pretty qualified to write you up some recommendations if you too want to visit the capital.
I have breakfast, brunch and dinner and some possible snack locations in this lineup, so fingers crossed there will be something for everyone. Obviously, every single place that I want to tell you about offered some fab gluten free food, yet another bonus!
Shall we start with snacks? I’m asking this as a question but you don’t really get a choice, sorry. I mentioned the San Miguel Market in my previous post, and I raved about it, so I won’t repeat myself here and bore you.
Instead, I’ll just tell you that the market is home to tapas-sized dishes of near enough every cuisine, so you can build a fancy meal or treat yourself to a mid-sightseeing snack and drink. Like I said, something for everyone.
Also, the market is absolutely gorgeous and the atmosphere is one that just cannot be missed. Even if you’re not hungry, I still think you should visit. It’s definitely on my to-do list for my next trip to Madrid, which I am desperate to take already.
Second on the snacklist (which is definitely a play on The Blacklist, my current favourite Netflix series which I highly recommend to you and really hope isn’t just available in Spain), is Celicioso gluten free bakery. Or, as I like to call it, heaven.
Absolutely everything served at Celicioso is gluten free, and it’s not just a bakery, either, which I didn’t realise until sat in front of a menu. On this trip we did just try the cakes (read: A LOT of cake), but if I ever return the pasta dishes sound amazing.
The building itself is gorgeous, and huge, the staff are so friendly and the food was delicious. And quite possibly, or sadly depending on how you look at it, unbeatable. We had to try two cakes each. We didn’t manage to finish them, but we gave it a good go and it was beyond worth it.
My choices included a strawberry cheesecake (I have missed cheesecakes more than anything since being diagnosed), and a chocolate extravaganza cupcake. I will admit that the cheesecake was marginally better than the cupcake, and I wish I had eaten it first so it could have been the one I finished. However, both were beautiful; not at all dry or dense like a lot of gluten free desserts can be.
My housemate highly recommends the red velvet cupcake and the chocolate and raspberry cake to you, too. We chose well.
Wondering where to head for breakfast? I can tell you. Pum Pum Café. It’s in Lavapiés, which is where we stayed and yet another seriously cool place that I could not rave about more to you. You know a place is good when there’s a queue outside, especially when it’s a queue that just keeps on growing despite the pouring rain, and the queue for Pum Pum Café did just that.
The fantastic reviews for this cafe were not exaggerating, it was fab. We both went for a dish off of the brunch menu: the Shakshuka (mine came with some delicious gluten free bread that tasted seriously like focaccia), which is baked eggs, tomatoes, onions and feta, perfectly seasoned and served in a little dish. Delicious. And I can tell you that it goes fabulously with a mimosa. For such a busy restaurant, the service was commendable, which is always nice too.
If you’re feeling like more of a chocolate based breakfast, rather than the healthier option above, go to Maestro Churrero. I had never had gluten free churros, I didn’t even know they were a thing if I’m honest. They do exist, though, and they are wonderful, as I found. Maestro Churrero offer every ‘type’ of churro imaginable: chunky ones filled with chocolate, skinny ones to dip in chocolate, and colourful ones in the shape of Pickachu too. I was blown away and got a few funny looks from the amount of photos I was taking, I may have gotten a little overexcited.
Last up, dinner. We went for Emma y Julia, a very gluten free friendly, little Italian place near Plaza Mayor, so very central, and also pretty close to some lovely cocktail bars.
Emma y Julia’s gluten free menu excited me massively, because they offer a gluten free lasagna, which I hadn’t had in forever. It was hot, cheesy goodness in a baking dish and I can imagine that I will be dreaming about it for a while. I also highly recommend the white chocolate mousse if you have space for dessert. This was our first meal in Madrid and it was a resounding success.
Food wise, Madrid was one of the best places I think I have ever travelled to. There were so, so many options available to me which is quite rare. I hope this post helps any of you who are thinking of travelling to Madrid, or just that you enjoyed reading about my foodie finds.