Planning on visiting the food haven that is Donostia-San Sebastian but worried about whether you’ll be able to eat gluten free? I’ve got plenty of coeliac friendly tips and recommendations in my gluten free San Sebastian guide to get you kick started.

While it wasn’t especially easy to find safe gluten free options on San Sebastian, with a bit of research (and some bad Spanish) I ate a tonne of delicious food and thankfully experienced no glutenings on our trip.

I’ve got gluten free (coeliac friendly) pinchos, ice cream, fast food and restaurant options for you in this gluten free San Sebastian guide. So, with a bit of planning, you can be a happy coeliac foodie exploring this glorious city.

Gluten Free Food in Spain

Spain is generally a good place for coeliac holidaymakers. Supermarkets are really well stocked, with big gluten free sections (also look out for extra products on the shelves), making self catering a doddle. Even the small Carrefour Express in the city had a good range of gluten free.

We tended to have breakfast at home, plus lots of beach picnics, then would eat out in the evening. However there were also some incredible products we found that I HAD to try, like these croquettes and calamari rings. We thought the calamari might be a bit rubbish but they were SO GOOD.

Eating out is completely doable, it just takes a bit of research and patience. I’ve got some specific recommendations for you below, but there are bound to be dozens more places that can cater for coeliacs.

There’s a really great Instagram account run by a local coeliac in Donostia-San Sebastian @donosstia_singluten. It’s in Spanish, but you can sort of work out some of the tips Miriam is sharing.

What if I Don’t Speak Spanish?

If you don’t speak Spanish, print out a couple of copies if this Spanish language coeliac card. I find it super useful to be able to show to restaurant staff, rather than having to give them my phone to read it.

I didn’t get a chance to print one out this time, so had to muddle through with my bad Spanish. Generally I would tell them I am coeliac and ask for if they had gluten free options. Then I would ask if they were free from contamination. It was a rustic approach, but conveyed the message well and helped me find the safe places amongst the not-so-safe ones.

Laura’s rustic Spanish phrases

Sorry to all fluent Spanish speakers out there – please do get in touch ( if you can correct this:

  • Sin gluten = gluten free
  • Soy celiaco/a (celiaco if you are male, celiaca if you are female) = I am coeliac
  • Sin contaminación? = my very rustic was of asking them about cross contamintion, literally “without contamination?”

But I also found quite a lot of people spoke good English, so that was very helpful.

Gluten Free San Sebastian Guide

Below you’ll find full details of the places we tried in person, found them suitable for coeliacs and with a good gluten free offering. Please always double check when you visit these locations, as in hospitality menus and processes can change rapidly. If you visit and find they are no longer suitable please do let me know!

Where to Get Gluten Free Pinchos in San Sebastian


When we first walked into Gandarias, which was heaving with people and incredibly popular, I thought there was no way they’d be able to cater for coeliacs. However an Instagram friend had reassured me they did gluten free croquettas so I was determined to find out.

On the wall I noticed they had marked up the gluten free choices on the menu, which was quite reassuring, but then I spoke to a nice staff member who really helped. He gave me a small coeliac menu and confirmed to me that everything on it could be prepared safely without cross contamination.

I placed my order and was given a little buzzer – we grabbed a standing table outside and once it buzzed I went straight back to my original server (he was insistent I come back to him so he could keep my items safe). Wowie, what an amazing selection! We had gluten free ham croquettes, a duck breast brochette, shrimp brochette, scallops, risotto and vegetables with egg yolk. All was delicious.

They also gave us some pretty terrible gluten free bread (better than nothing I guess!), but honestly most of the places we visited on this trip had really bad bread. Although always cooked safely in dedicated packaging.

Mendaur Berria

With standing tables outside, this is another great spot for a quick bite. We sat inside (to keep our kids occupied with colouring books) and got a selection of “raciones”, which are larger sharing portions of tapas and pinchos.

At first I struggled with not being able to speak Spanish but then a lovely waitress who could speak English appeared. There were plenty of gluten free options and all could be prepared safely.

We had some yummy patatas bravas, tomato salad, ceviche and risotto. The wine here was great (and cheap!) too. The gluten free bread was so hilarious rock hard not even Sebi (my 2 year old who is a determined bread eater) could get through it – he is rarely defeated by food!

Other Pichos Places to Try:

Some of the top recommendations I had received were closed when we visited (as they are only open on certain days of the week), so you might like to explore them yourselves:

We tried visiting a few other pinchos places I had seen recommended, but the staff told me they could not cater safely for coeliacs. So processes may have changed since other people visited.

However, if you are only gluten intolerant and aren’t affected by cross contamination you may want to try:

  • La Cepa de Bernardo – I asked and they didn’t seem to have any idea about having gluten free options. Then eventually told me I could have a couple of dishes, but I didn’t feel confident.
  • Sirimiri Gastroleku – they have a gluten free menu here but the server said they were no good for coeliacs.
  • Atari Gastroleku – same as above, gluten free options but cross contamination issues.


We didn’t go for any sit down meals as we preferred roaming, but here are some places you might like to try, which were recommended to me:

  • Tedone Jatetxea – absolutely kicking myself that my research only turned this place up after our visit – it’s fully gluten and lactose free! Well, hopefully some of you can enjoy it instead and send me photos of what I missed :)
  • Arzak – with 3 michelin stars, this is one of the top restaurants in the world and thankfully they can cater for coeliacs!
  • La Rebotika – a Spanish coeliac society accredited restaurant
  • Igeldo Jatetxea – a basque restaurant on the harbourside, with deep fried calamari and other dishes that are gluten free and suitable for coeliacs – I was gutted we didn’t make it here
  • Bodegon Alejandro – Michelin-starred rated and able to cater for coeliacs
  • Restaurante Muxumartin – we passed and it’s a lovely calm looking restaurant that I’ve seen reviewed positively by coeliacs
  • Raviolina – an Italian restaurant that has gluten free options including pasta, there are tonnes of positive coeliac reviews on Google about this place
  • Maiatza – gets some rave reviews from coeliacs for brunch, lunch and dinner in the city centre
  • Kofradia – Itsas Etxea – reviewed as having coeliac friendly gluten free options
  • Ikaitz – another michelin starred restaurant that can cater for coeliacs

Ice Cream

I rarely get ice cream from ice cream parlours as cross contamination is rife. HOWEVER we found an absolute gem of a place in San Sebastian. Dave ordered Sebi a gluten free cone (to keep me safe from his crumbs) and the process blew my mind…I immediately ordered my own:

Carlos Arribas

One of the best gluten free ice creams I’ve ever had! Firstly, they have a wonderful coeliac friendly process, washing their hands, using clean scoops and scooping from fresh tubs underneath the main ones – I could not fault it, the guy was so careful and thorough.

Then let’s talk about the cones – WOW! They reminded me of those Caprice wafer biscuits, with lots of thin layers of crispy wafer, so delicious. And the gelato here is excellent, I would have gone every day but we only discovered this spot on our last evening. You MUST visit!

Fast Food

Because I know San Sebastian is a foodie haven, but sometimes you just want to grab something mega quick!

Miss Patatas

My kids had a gluten free hot dog and chips from this little spot and it was fab (I sampled the goods!). All their chips are gluten free, the sauces are clearly labelled to show which are gluten free and they have gluten free sausages and buns.

The lovely lady serving told me it’s all coeliac safe and the fryers are only used for the chips. And those chips mmmmm MMMM so crispy and delicious!


That’s right, McDonalds in Spain has gluten free options that are accredited by the Spanish coeliac society! From a variety of burgers and chips to gluten free beer, it’s a great fast food option.

The Final Word

I hope you find this gluten free San Sebastian guide help for your trip. As I mentioned at the beginning, restaurants do change rapidly so please ALWAYS ask your own questions and send me an update if somewhere is not longer safe. You can email me at or pop me a message on Instagram @myglutenfreeguide.

For more travel guide goodness and tasty recipes, please do stick around! Here’s some reading you might enjoy:

Happy Travels! Laura xxx