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Jan 26, 2014 09:15 AM

Gluten free friendly near Hotel Arts?

Hi guys - my wife and I (wife is gluten free and hates fish) will be arriving in Barcelona next Monday after a long plane, train, and automobile adventure from the US. Staying at the Hotel Arts, looking for an easy but good meal Monday night. We'll be tired, hungry, and she'll probably be cranky. We don't speak a lick of Spanish, much less Catalan. Looks like the restaurants at the hotel get relatively poor reviews. I'm thinking hopping in a cab and going somewhere close. We are doing the Aborigens tour Tuesday morning, so I'm hoping to get more recommendations for the rest of the week there, but I'm at a loss for Monday night. Thanks!

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  1. My wife is celiac but had no problems at all in Spain. Every place we ate was careful to prepare her gluten-free foods, including some excellent breads.

    There are a thread on GF dining in Barcelona ...

    As for Monday, when most places are closed, here's another thread that mentions a lot of options that are open.

    We ate at Alkimia on Monday, it's near the Sagrada Familia so not too close to the Marina where your hotel is, but maybe a 10 euro cab ride, or less via subway. This is a Michelin one star, so considered one of the better places. Some of the other places mentioned in the thread, especially the seafood places, are closer to your hotel.

    If you want one Spanish phrase to tell them of your wife's celiac try "mi esposa tiene la enfermedad celĂ­aca" => my wife has celiac disease. To learn how to pronounce it go to a speech synthesizer site and enter it ... for example If you can't remember it, I wouldn't worry much, just find one waiter who speaks English and they'll understand.

    My wife thought the Spanish restaurants were much more gluten-friendly than those in the USA or France, so try to reassure your wife that she'll be fine.

    3 Replies
      1. re: timarland

        One more tip ... since you're doing a tour later with Aborigens I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you emailed them and asked for their advice for Monday.

        Maybe do some research here (there were several promising places mentioned in the 'Monday' thread) and pick a few options, then ask Aborigens what they think of those choices.

        1. re: willyum

          Willyum - great minds think alike! I did just that after I posted here, and got a reply almost immediately from Cesc, who will be our 'personal foodie advisor'. He recommended Bar Angel, which is only five minutes from our hotel by cab.

          Thanks again!

    1. True that there is not much around Hotel Arts. Monday is not a problem since many are open Mondays. If you are willing to stroll to Bar Angel (good) in lower El Born, then there are plenty of choices nearby. Just to start are La Vinya del Senyor (excellent wines by the glass and simple tapas with outside sitting), Euskal Etxea, El Xampanyet, Bar de PLA. A branch of the excellent and inexpensive marisquerias, La Paradeta, is on c/Comercial; open at 8:30pm and gets busy right after. And good desserts at Bar Bubo; Also Pastisseria Hoffman if you are in El Born before 8pm.
      Also there are good places in Barceloneta such as El Vaso de Oro, La Cova Fumada (tapas and sitdown) both open throughout the day which is a convenient for you as you might want to eat early (also to avoid the crowd). Another very good simple no frill sit down is Can Mano but it is closed between lunch and dinner service (4 to 8pm).
      Save restaurants such as Alkimia for another evening when you are not jet lagged. Not for the weary traveler as dinner doesn't start until around 9pm and can last until midnight.
      As previous posts, gluten free is not a big problem; just be let the staff know. Restaurant/tapas-pinxto bar, bread might be difficult as I don't remember any that has gluten free bread.

      1 Reply
      1. re: PBSF

        Thanks PBSF! Cesc from Aborigens suggested Bar Angel, so I think we may just head there - but we'll certainly keep these in mind.