The Costa Del Sol is a great option if you’re looking for sun, sea and shedloads of gluten free options!
We enjoyed a fantastic week there so I thought I’d share some of the excellent free from finds we discovered.
We stayed at the Hotel Palmasol which can be found directly behind Benalmádena’s stunning marina, and just a short walk from the long sandy beach.
We were staying half board and, if we’re honest, weren’t expecting too much from the food and thought we may eat out a few nights. However we were very pleasantly surprised!
There was a good selection on the buffet each night, and each dish had a little card next to it with the gluten free logo on for those which were coeliac safe! Thankfully there was always loads of choice for gf including freshly grilled fish and meat every night, different types of veg and potatoes and a salad bar.
However, what really blew me away with the hotel was breakfast. Each morning there was a big bowl with sealed gluten free items including mini baguettes, muffins, and doughtnuts!!
One of the waiter chaps showed me a microwave which could be used to freshen up the gf treats which made them taste freshly baked. So every morning I enjoyed a baguette and doughnuts with jam, absolutely superb way to start the day.
FAMA Tapas Bar
We had a great first full day of the holiday by chilling by the pool, hitting the beach and eating tapas! When in Spain right?
Good old TripAdviser came up with FAMA Tapas Bar just a short walk along the beach from the hotel so we headed there for lunch. It did not disappoint! The staff were super friendly and fully clued up on coeliac and cross contamination, and there was a wide variety of tasty gf options.
We went for nachos, chicken skewers, the ‘Italian Job’ which was a stack of tomato, mozzarella, aubergine and orange, roasted peppers and all washed down with a gluten free San Miguel. ‘Olé’! As the locals probably say.
Metro Italian Ristorante
When in Spain, go for Italian! The only night we did indulge and eat away from the hotel was for our usual Wednesday date night. We went to Metro Italian Ristorante at the beautiful Benalmádena marina as again I’d seen some good reviews on TripAdviser.
There were plenty of dishes marked gf but unfortunately the pizzas weren’t coeliac safe due to being cooked in the same oven as the normal people pizzas. Instead though I went for a pasta dish with chorizo and tomato which was super tasty. Rachael went for a gluten filled pizza which she also enjoyed.
For dessert we shared an amazing gf chocolate brownie which we destroyed quicker than you can say ciao! Despite the disappointment about the lack of pizza it was still a lovely meal and great experience.
We enjoyed an excellent day trip to Malaga on the Monday of our holiday. After a stroll around the cathedral quarter and a tour of the Picasso Museum (I concluded he was one freaky guy), we headed for lunch at Byoko.
We went for a sharing platter of buckwheat blinis, is it just me or does anyone else have to google whether buckwheat is definitely gluten free every single time, even when you know full well it is?! Anyway pretty much the entire menu was gf so I needn’t have worried.
We went for Malaga goats cheese, red pepper and caramelised onion, along with Iberian ham, Parmesan cheese and tomato sauce as the toppings and they were amazing!
Apparently they do gf crepes for breakfast too so if I’m ever back in Malaga I definitely need to check those out.
We hit Giolatto for dessert after our lunch out and it was excellent!
They had some kind of award for gluten free and I can see why. They had a dedicated gluten free section with four different flavours away from the main counter. And to top it off they had gf cones which were tasty and didn’t disintegrate the moment you took a bite.
I went for the chocolate flavour which was by far the best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever tasted! So creamy and chocolatey, absolutely dreamy. The only downside was that it was so hot in Málaga that it started melting instantly. But don’t worry I managed to save that bit that looks like it’s about to fall off!
And finally, no trip to Spain would be complete without sampling the fabled gluten free McDonald’s! Having grown up with Coeliac Disease I had never been able to eat a McDonald’s burger before.
Thanks to the 29 year wait I thought it would be rude not to go straight in with the daddy of all McDonald’s burgers, the Big Mac. I can confirm it was worth the wait!
The gf bread bun was decent, nice and soft and didn’t fall apart. And you probably don’t need me to tell you that the combination of burger, cheese, lettuce and Big Mac sauce is a sure-fire winner.
Hopefully we won’t have to wait 29 years before gluten free MacDonald’s in the UK becomes a thing..