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Gluten Free In Lisbon

by Katie Bucknell

Lisbon is a city of trams, colourful buildings, hilly streets and lots and lots of food. When someone says Portugal, most people instantly think of the traditional custard tart. Now as a coeliac, this was definitely not on my agenda. I had accepted a custard tart simply wouldn’t be possible. Little did I know I would be able to find something gluten free, that tasted as good as the real thing. Check out my gluten free finds from our weekend in Lisbon:

Zarzuela Pastelaria
Not only did this bakery / restaurant do gluten free custard tarts, but an abundance of gluten free pastries. The best selection I had ever seen or tasted. All kept in a seperate glass counter to avoid any cross contamination. This was the best find of our trip. I had a GF crossiant, a bricohe bun topped with coconut, a flat almond pastry and of course the portugese tart. It was AMAZING. Cripsy, flakey and held together when eating. I would go back to Lisbon again just to come here. They also offered gluten free pastas and pizzas for lunch or dinner – it was a coeliac’s heaven!

Time Out Market
You must head to the time out market just for the experience if nothing else. A huge hall lined with exceptional food stalls, with wine and beer stands taking centre stage. You can also purchase fresh fruit, veg and flowers from the market during the day. Open until 2am, this is also a great late night spot where you can eat and drink your way around the different cuisines. Whilst it may not be obvious on appearance, as it is a fairly trendy and touristy spot, most places are very clear on what is gluten free if you simply ask.  I headed to the ‘Asian Lab’ and had gluten free pad thai! They make it with rice noodles and tamarind instead of soy so it is totally GF. Other gluten free stalls include fresh steaks, seafood, chicken, ice creams & more!

Restaurant Lautasco
While there was no specific gluten free items on the menu and we chose this restaurant we chose simply for the location (it was hidden in a backstreet under a canopy of trees and had acoustic guitar playing in the corner!) they ended up doing a great range of fresh meats and salads. I went for a delicious salad which they adapted to remove the croutons and add extra toppings (like avocado, my favourite). All round a good experience, perfect for lunch and definitely hit the spot.

I don’t have the most extensive list from this trip as we were only there for a couple of days, however, I found a lot of the food in Lisbon to be naturally gluten free, with lots of fresh meats and salads in particular. I didn’t spot a lot of specific gluten free products in the supermarkets themselves, so I wouldn’t rely on this if you are self catering – perhaps bring your own GF pasta or bread with you, which I often do if we are cooking in for ourselves on holiday.

As I say in every travel post, make sure you have either printed a gluten free card or have downloaded the GF Card App before your travels – I always find this so useful when communicating with waiters about Coeliac Disease and cross contamination, the app allows you to pick any language you need so they can simply read the card and will know exactly what you are talking about.

Where shall I travel next!?


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