Gluten-Free Galicia, Spain

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Updated in December 2023, first published in January 2021

My Galician adventure began back in 2015 when I met my Spanish boyfriend here in the UK. But the gluten-free spirited research and experience in Galicia has helped us both see his homeland from a very different angle since 2020. Having now travelled there for our engagement as well as honeymoon, I am happy to share my experiences of this authentically Spanish area with you, dear reader.

Where is Galicia?

Galicia is an autonomous community of Spain and historic nationality under Spanish law. Located in the northwest Iberian Peninsula, they take a lot of pride in their local seafood-focused cuisine and the Galician language. Portugal borders it to the south, the Spanish autonomous communities of Castile and León and Asturias to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Cantabrian Sea to the north. Galicia has over 1,660 km (1,030 mi) of coastline, including its offshore islands and islets.

Galicia is exposed to the Atlantic winds and low-pressure systems, which provides plenty of rainfall for most of the year. The summers are the coolest of Spain’s major urban areas, but likewise, it has very mild winters for its latitude.

Jump to: Santiago de Compostela

Jump to: A Coruña

Jump to: Outes

Jump to: Ourense

Jump to: Vilagarcía de Arousa

Flying to and from Galicia on a gluten-free diet

On board a Vueling plane

Since the last time I took a Vueling flight, they have upped their game in the gluten free food section. You can find the menu with some decent options on their website which I won’t link to as it is updated every now and then and might lead you nowhere. But below you can see some examples from their in-flight magazine (in 2023). Excuse the glare, the lighting on a plane is not the best.

At A Coruña airport

Although the airport is not far from town, it is good to know that there’s some options available in case you have absolutely nothing to eat. There’s a café right when walk in to the airport as well as at the departure gate where you can have some snacks that are gluten-free. Click the image to view it larger.

The capital of Galicia – Santiago de Compostela

The city has its origin in the shrine of Saint James the Great, now known as the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. It is the destination of the Way of St. James (or Camino de Santiago), a leading Catholic pilgrimage route since the 9th century. As my other half is from this beautiful part of the world, he wanted me to experience the ambience at the cathedral square being the final destination of the pilgrimage. It felt truly spiritual as applaud after applaud welcomed finishers by other pilgrims no matter the length of the route. One day I would like to walk the Camino myself.

Gluten-free in Santiago de Compostela

As the years go by, it seems there is more and more awareness around the necessity of gluten free food for people with Coeliac Disease (my now husband sounds like a broken record when he says: “Ella es celíaca” that translates to “she is coeliac” and people sometimes make jokes of the misfortune). I mean I don’t identify as coeliac but I might make myself a t-shirt saying Ella es celíaca. Jokes aside, here’s some advice on places to eat.

Hotels with breakfast included

On our first trip to Santiago we stayed one night in a hotel called Hesperia Santiago Peregrino. I don’t have enough good words to say about the breakfast and service at this hotel. If my praise ever reached the people working at the hotel, one of the servers happened to be a fellow coeliac in a managerial position so he made me feel extra safe. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of the breakfast. But it consisted of the usual Spanish items such as bread, cured ham, cheese, some sweet cakes (magdalenas), fresh fruit, coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. It was delicious.

Here’s a view from the hotel’s poolside.

I managed to complement my gluten-free Galicia experience in 2021 as I was lucky enough to travel to Santiago de Compostela in late 2021. Little did I know that this trip is going to change my life forever as this is when we got engaged. We stayed for two nights in a 5-star hotel called Hotel Palacio del Carmen where the staff went above and beyond to meet the needs of a coeliac with utter respect and great choice. They were extremely nice and the room even nicer. If I could, I would give them more than 5 stars. Here’s the breakfast in pictures.

For our honeymoon in 2023, we cruised around Galicia staying for one night in a lovely small hotel with a huge character called A Tafona do Peregrino, located close to the heart of the city. Gluten-free breakfast was decent, and below you can see how it looked like. I can’t get over how nice the banana yoghurt is.

Gluten-free lunch options

For lunch, we have spent money in an amazing place called Petiscos. They have some traditional, very nice, tasty and well presented dishes also offering gluten-free bread on the side. Because what’s a Spanish meal without bread, right? See images below.

Our amazing lunch choice in 2023 was the Tapas Petiscos do Cardeal. Have a look at the delicious food we consumed sitting next to a group of pilgrims who had some very interesting stories to tell about their freshly completed pilgrimage.

Gluten-free bakery

Much to our amazement, when taking a walk around the vast and colourful market of Santiago de Compostela, we found a little gluten-free bakery stall. It’s called Primicias Raíña and its located at the Praza de Abastos plaza.

A Coruña

A Coruña is the second most populated city and the second most populated municipality in the autonomous community. It’s a busy port located on a large gulf on the Atlantic Ocean.

Here is a lovely view from the surrounding park of the Tower of Hercules (Torre de Hercules in Spanish). It’s a National Monument of Spain and the oldest lighthouse in use in the world today.

Tower of Hercules
Torre de Hercules, A Coruña

For me, the most appealing thing about A Coruña is how much character and style the city has. The developers take into consideration the everyday necessities of its citizens while making its public areas visually pleasing. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they created an extra lane for runners between the 13 km long promenade and the road. As a result, people felt safe while attending to their usual everyday tasks. Below you’ll find a gallery of images taken in A Coruña in 2023.

Gluten-free in A Coruña

As for gluten-free food, it seems to me, that A Coruña is not as friendly as bigger cities such as Madrid. But things are getting better every year as demand is growing there too.

Screenshot at a Burger King self-serve machine

The big chains: McDonalds and Burger King offer gluten free options in Galicia as well. As proof, here’s a screenshot from a Burger King restaurant in A Coruña. I have only tried Burger King in Alicante airport because I didn’t have any other option at the time and it wasn’t too nice. For the sake of trying it, I had McDonald’s in Madrid a few years ago and it was alright. Nevertheless there’s so much good local food to consume instead. The big chains are a safe option to be aware of in an emergency hunger situation though.

Hotel with breakfast included

We don’t normally stay in hotels there and as we were on our honeymoon, we booked the high end NH Collection A Coruña Finisterre for a few nights. The service and amenities were just outstanding throughout or stay, breakfast with gluten-free options as well. I can thoroughly recommend it.

Gluten-free bakeries

During our first trip, we found a very nice little bakery shop called Clunia Panem. You can order or buy a selection of gluten-free bakes there. They order from their main bakery in Madrid once or twice a week, so you need to ask exactly when the goods come in as they sell out pretty fast. The bread and special bakes are not cheap as for any gluten-free food but they are so worth it.

A fairly new discovery for me is the amazing Amaranto Concept Store in the heart of the shopping area. It is a fully gluten-free coffee shop with loads of lunch options too. The food not only tastes great but you’ll feel 100% safe and the interior looks absolutely fantastic with some balcony seating as well.

The kiss of ice cream

Every time I go to A Coruña, I try to pop by a (locally) famous ice cream place called Bico de Xeado, which basically in translation means “the kiss of ice cream” and it really is that. The dairy is locally sourced from happy cows and all flavours are gluten free. When you ask for a gluten free scone, they take extra care when handling your order, using separate scoops and fresh ice cream buckets so there’s absolutely no risk of cross contamination. My favourite flavour is pistachio and the best place to enjoy it, is next to the scenic harbour. This is the reason one of the pictures is just an empty wrapper as the ice cream started melting straight away and I had to eat it, soz.

Eating out in A Coruña

It is fairly difficult to find gluten-free options in restaurants in A Coruña but there’s a few where they are really switched on about cross contamination etc. We haven’t found too many authentic options but there’s always pizza and burgers, right?

Gluten-free churros

Around the topic of gluten-free Galicia, I want to mainly point out two things – churros and pulpo. To my other half, they are the two things he would probably have every day if he could. As a newly diagnosed coeliac, it was a challenge to find gluten-free churros. But we did find them as you can see from the image included. This is with a lovely family-owned business in the city centre called Churreria Oriental. And you guessed it right, one of the family members has been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. The address of the cafeteria is: Rúa Federico Tapia, 25, 15005 A Coruña.

Churros no gluten

Pulpo aka octopus

Pulpo (octopus in English) is the synonym of Galicia, this is how much the coastal nation loves this particular seafood. But it has become rather a delicacy nowadays due to overfishing. Eating pulpo has not become only heavier on the wallet but also made me feel a little bit guilty. But I recommend trying it being a naturally gluten-free dish, cooked the traditional way called pulpo á feira. Not entirely sure it was free from cross-contamination but the staff were friendly and understanding of the struggles. My other half speaking Spanish and explaining my delicate situation, they brought us new cutlery as they got covered in flour from bread. A Pulpeira De Melide is the name of the popular place where we enjoyed the pulpo with potatoes and padrón peppers. See my recipe for pulpo á feira for making it at home.

Pizza – take-away or eat in

Also something very enjoyable is to eat take-away pizza at the harbour. We had ours from a restaurant called Cambalache – right next to the Praza de María Pita, the main city plaza, named after the town’s heroine María Pita. It was not at all expensive for too quite large pizzas but there is less choice for anyone on a gluten free diet. If you’re reading this and crave a pizza now, you can make a delicious pizza at home using this gluten-free pizza base recipe.

Gluten-free burgers

I also enjoyed a lovely gluten-free gourmet burger in A Coruña at a restaurant called La Sastrería Burguer Taberna where they offer a gluten-free option for every food item on the menu. All ingredients are fresh and locally sourced. My chicken burger also contained the creamy and smoky San Simon cheese which I have really grown to love over the past few years.

And in 2023, we discovered La Pepita, another amazing restaurant where almost all menu items can be made gluten-free. I was absolutely blown away with my salmon burger but it could also be because we were starving.

Gluten-free in Outes

Outes is a small municipality in the province of A Coruña. If in the area, pay a visit to the fully gluten-free restaurant called Casa Amanda that was once again opened by somebody who has Coeliac Disease. I didn’t take pictures as I was starving by the time the food arrived and tucked right in to my steak and fries.

Gluten-free in Ourense

As we enjoyed my future mother-in-law’s naturally gluten-free delicious cooking near Ourense, we only really had to find a good local bakery that served gluten-free bread. And we found that in Celi Dulce where everything is gluten free. A coeliac’s paradise, which recently also expanded to Vigo. I loved their Barra Pan Castañas (chestnut bread), various empanadas and some sweet produce. One of them is pictured here. Highly recommended.

Vilagarcía de Arousa

One of the most beautiful areas I have ever visited, Vilagarcía de Arousa and Illa de Arousa in the Pontevedra province were our main destinations during our honeymoon in 2023. Vilagarcía de Arousa is quite a quiet town although a seaside resort that is the largest on the southerly coast of the Ria de Arousa. There’s a busy marina with a long promenade and a number of cafés and bars. It relies on seafood and boatbuilding as main export articles.

Illa de Arousa is an island located not far from Vilagarcía, in the heart of the Ria de Arousa. It houses the Carreirón Natural Park, which is listed as a special protection zone for herons among other birds inhabiting the island. I went for a swim in the ocean (in October) and I saw some crabs and herrings at the bottom of the sea which was a first for me and absolutely blew me away as I loved it.

Gluten free in Vilagarcía de Arousa

We stayed in an amazing hotel with a pool called Hotel Carril, where the food was amazing once again, both breakfast and dinner with plenty of choice for anyone gluten free. We gave local cuisine a try and it was delicious.

Gluten-free shopping

In addition to the vast selection of tasty local fruit and vegetables, it is a lot easier to find gluten-free products in the supermarkets. The selection is good and labelling clear in most cases. My number one choice to shop for us coeliacs is the famous Spanish family-owned Mercadona. Created after a member of the founding family was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, there is a whole line of gluten-free products available in their shops at affordable prices.

Some of my favourite gluten free products include Schär gnocchi (which I haven’t seen in the UK), Almendro protein bars, Mercadona rosemary crackers and travel size Mercadona gazpacho, perfect to take as a snack to the beach. See pictures below.

Gluten-free beer

Since my diagnosis, I hadn’t had a beer until my trip to Spain in 2020. And I used to love a Guinness or two before that. Estrella Galicia is a famous pale lager, manufactured in A Coruña considered as the star of Galicia, hence the name. Alongside its gluten-free version called Estrella Galicia Cerveza Especial Sin Gluten, it is sold in almost every supermarket and restaurant. In order to fully get into the the “gluten-free Galicia” spirit, I had to try it. I did it multiple times – on its own, with my lunch, on a hike, on the beach. Every time it tasted amazing. But wait there, there’s competition in the form of other not local brands such as Daura, Mahou and Cruzcampo, and they all taste nice.


As seen from the above, a lot of gluten-free businesses start with a personal need and a huge gap in the market. I think there’s a lot to be done in raising awareness of the importance of gluten-free food for some of us, so it would be less of a struggle, anywhere in the world. I really feel that it sometimes simply comes down to asking if there are gluten-free options available, so the more people ask, the more it will create demand. But in general, Spain is fantastic for us coeliacs, just some areas maybe not so great but definitely worth exploring with plenty of research and preparation.

Let me know if you have been to Galicia thanks to my suggestions by emailing me at

PS, all the links in this article are added for information purposes only, and may have been removed/altered from the time they were added. As it’s only me working on the website as a hobby, I don’t check every single link as often as I would like to. So please be careful when clicking on any of the links. If you notice any broken ones, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via Thank you.