One restuarant in Edinburgh that I’ve visited a few times is Cafe Andaluz in Edinburgh. This is a Spanish Tapas bar and has a large menu with lots of gluten free items on it. To make it really simple they mark gluten free items with “GF”. It’s common to feel a little deprived while dining out on a gluten free diet as often you’ll find a huge menu whittled down to just a few items that are gluten free, but at Cafe Andaluz there are a LOT of choices, so the only problem you’ll have is deciding what to choose from the wide selection.
Good Gluten Free Selection on the Menu
A few items that I’ve tried over the last few months and really enjoyed are:
- Patatas bravas (spicy potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce & alioli)
- Ensalada Marroqui (roasted sweet potato, parsnip and chickpea salad)
- Carne de Res Picante (delicious spicy beef with manchego cheese and chorizo dressing on a bed of rocket)
- Gambas Pil Pil (hot peeled prawns with olive oil,chillies and garlic)
- Vieiras Con Serrano (scallops with basil creamed leeks and Serrano Ham)
- Lubina con Salsa de Mango (grilled fillet of seabass with a mango and sweet pepper salsa)
Other gluten free dishes include mussels in a cream and white wine sauce, serrano ham with chorizo and manchego cheese, chicken breast with paprika and yoghurt, chorizo in a red wine sauce, paella and a few more.
As you can see you won’t feel deprived from this list!
If you have not been to a tapas bar before, the idea is simply to choose a few dishes per person and share them. The dishes are typically the same size as a starter and you’d probably share between 5 & 8 dishes between two people depending on how hungry you are.
Most of the tapas range in price from £4-7 and you can also get a special price for 3 tapas dishes and a dessert.
The ambiance of Cafe Andaluz is very pleasant – tiled walls and floors, colourful cushions, laterns and traditional Spanish pottery on the walls. It can be pretty busy at peak times so be sure to book in advance if you are going there.
I’ve been there at least 5 times over the last few months and never felt ill, so I can only assume that they are very careful in the kitchen with cross contamination.
If I had to pick any negative points, the main ones would be:
- No “GF” marked on the desserts menu (although the creme brulee and the merangue desserts are gluten free)
- Some of the staff have problems understanding English – twice I’ve been offered bread just a minute after telling the waiter or waitress that I am on a gluten free diet! If it wasn’t for the GF symbols on the menu I would have felt very uncomfortable about this.
- Tapas brought all at once – in a traditional tapas bar the dishes are brought to you as they are ready, whereas in Cafe Andaluz they are brought all at once (often when there is not enough room on the table).
Despite these points I’ve always had a very enjoyable gluten free meal at Cafe Andaluz and I’d recommend it to anyone who is on a Gluten Free diet.
If you live in Glasgow, there is also a Cafe Andaluz in Glasgow city centre.