Dan and I went to Lagos this summer and had an wonderful week of chilling in the sun, reading and drinking cocktails, and more adventurous activities like coastal hikes and surfing! Of course I was also on a mission to find the best gluten free Lagos Portugal food to share with all of you. Luckily, Lagos did not disappoint!
In this gluten free Lagos Portugal guide I am sharing grocery stores, the hotel we stayed at which was perfect for being gluten free, our favorite restaurants and cafes, and even a gluten free McDonald’s! As always, just scroll to the bottom of the post for your downloadable gluten free map to Lagos Portugal.
Gluten Free Lagos Portugal: Where to Stay
Regular readers know that I believe where you stay is very important for celiac and gluten intolerant travelers! Staying in a gluten free friendly environment will put you on the right path for having a great trip.
In Lagos, we stayed at Bura Surfhouse and I have a full review of our experience here. We stayed in the studio apartment which came with a private kitchen area and refrigerator. Bura is only a few minutes walk from the grocery store which has a huge variety of gluten free options (including takeaway salads, gluten free pasta, bread, cakes, cookies, and more). Bura also runs ‘family’ dinners 3-5 times per week. I chatted with the chef beforehand and he was able to make gluten free options for me in a safe and cross-contamination free way! In fact, the best meal we had was the Piri Piri Chicken BBQ and this entire meal was 100% gluten free for everyone!
Gluten Free Lagos Portugal: Grocery Stores
This is the best grocery store in Lagos in terms of gluten free finds. It is about a 10 minute walk from the old town, however it is just around the corner from Bura Surfhouse making it very convenient for people staying there. Here you will find a huge gluten free section with gluten free bread, pasta, cakes, pastries, cookies, and more. Be careful as some of the gluten free items are intermixed with organic/vegan items which are not necessarily gluten free, so double check the label before you buy.
Lugar da Pedra Alçada – Ameijeira Verde, 8600-546 Lagos, Portugal
Gluten Free Lagos Portugal: Portuguese Restaurants
Casa de Pasto o Ze
Casa de Pasto o Ze came recommended from another Celiac (thanks Zoe!). It is a family owned joint on the water front, serving traditional Portuguese food. In particular, they have many seafood dishes and based on reviews the swordfish is their most popular. I decided to spring for the swordfish and it was worth it… flaky and rich and perfect! However, note that the staff here are not fluent in English, but the owner is so sweet and so overly concerned with the experience of her diners. She was kind of hovering around us as we ate the way my Grandma does! I used a gluten free translation card from Legal Nomads (more details at the bottom of the post!) which was 100% necessary here, and enabled me to eat some of the best food of our trip! If you only stop at one gluten free Lagos Portugal restaurant, make it Casa de Pasto o Ze.
We did not go to Don Sebastiao on this trip but it is high on the list for next time and was recommended to me by other Celiacs. Don Sebastiao is on the Michelin list for this area and is known as the best restaurant in Lagos. Here you can find naturally gluten free items such as seafood or meat-based Portuguese dishes. This is another place that the gluten free translation card would come in handy! Note that it is on a higher price scale than other options.
Gluten Free Lagos Portugal: Cafes
Lagos has a lovely little cafe scene… you know the kind of very instagrammable, cutesy places with a healthy focus. These were the three best for gluten free options (we ate at all of them!).
Goji Lounge Cafe
Goji Lounge Cafe is the absolute cutest cafe in Lagos and it has lots of gluten free options to boot. Gluten free items are listed on the menu and you have a huge variety of choices. Dan and I shared a Caprese salad which was so fresh and nutritious, and we each had a smoothie. I would definitely return to Goji Lounge Cafe.
Goldig Cafe & Takeaway
Goldig Cafe & Takeaway is an adorable cafe also located in Lagos old town, featuring health-focused foods and many gluten free items. You can even buy a loaf of home made gluten free bread here! Just be sure to check ahead of time as their hours tend to change.
Sweet & Temptation
Sweet & Temptation is another cafe, located in the same courtyard as Goji Lounge Cafe, so you can always head to this area and then decide which you are in the mood for! Sweet & Temptation may not have as much hip ‘aesthetic’ as Goji or Goldig, but it does have something very special… gluten free crepes! Yes, you can actually order gluten free crepes made on a separate surface here. I loved my crepe but wish I had ordered more toppings!
Gluten Free Lagos Portugal: Other Restaurants
There are many other restaurants for the gluten free Lagos Portugal traveler… Below are some of our favorites! We went to all of these except for Ol Bastards, for reasons which I describe below.
Obviously first I have to mention the Lagos McDonald’s!!! As some of you might be aware, various countries in Europe offer gluten free McDonald’s. There are strict cross-contamination rules that come along with this. The buns are sourced from Schar and the burgers come wrapped separately. So when I discovered that there are gluten free McDonald’s in Lagos Portugal, of course we had to go. The McDonald’s in Lagos is a bit of a trek (20-30 minute walk) out of the city centre. But a gluten free traveler has gotta do what she’s gotta do, right? I wasn’t going to come all the way to Portugal and let a 20 minute walk prevent me from eating McDonald’s (much to Dan’s chagrin). If you look on the Lagos McDonald’s TripAdvisor page, the number of horrible reviews is actually laughable. The poor place has a 1.5 star rating, with reviews like ‘horosso’ and ‘worse McD of all time’… So we were a bit nervous but to be honest the place was completely fine, clean, and reasonably timed service. I’m not sure what all those reviews are about!
Pomo is an Italian style restaurant in Lagos old town. They have a couple places to eat in but are mainly a takeaway restaurant. You can mix and match various sauces with noodles and the good news is… they have gluten free pasta! Additionally, the staff has a good understanding of Celiac and cross contamination practices.
Kisa Real Italian Food
Kisa is another Italian restaurant in Lagos, and it seems that (as counterintuitive as it might be) Italian food is usually the best bet when traveling gluten free! Kisa has a fun surfer vibe and a very trendy interior. They offer lots of gluten free options such as pasta and pizza! Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to eat here for dinner, but I did stop by and get one of their gluten free brownies as a takeaway. They have various house made gluten free cakes daily.
Nah Nah Bah Burgers
Nah Nah Bah once won the award for #1 burger place in the world! And they are certainly still reaping the popularity from that. Obviously their focus is on burgers, and you will find a huge array of burgers (all with very… inappropriate innuendos. See below). They do not offer gluten free buns, but the burger patties themselves are gluten free so I was able to get a ‘Rude Boy’ burger without the bun. To be honest the burger and toppings were so filling I didn’t mind not having a bun!
Beats & Burritos
At Beats & Burritos you will find Mexican style burritos in a fun environment. They do not offer gluten free or corn-based burrito wraps, but you can order a ‘burrito bowl’ without the wrap! It is a great option for gluten free Lagos Portugal travelers who want something simple.
Ol’ Bastard’s is a trendy British-style restaurant in Lagos Portugal. They claim to offer gluten free fish and chips, and you will find lots of fabulous reviews online about how good this is. However, be warned that the corn battered fish and chips are fried in the same oil as gluten containing foods. Therefore, they are not suitable for Celiacs but may be appropriate for some people who are gluten intolerant. Ultimately it is up to each person to make decisions regarding their own health, and Ol’ Bastard’s is very open about their fish and chips not being suitable for Celiacs. I did not eat at Ol’ Bastard’s because of this but I just wanted to put the information out there.
Other tips for traveling gluten free in Lagos Portugal
Purchase a gluten free translation card
I used a gluten free restaurant card from Legal Nomads during our trip. Jodi from Legal Nomads is Celiac herself, and has worked with Portuguese speakers to create a translated card that explains Celiac, cross contamination, and what you can and can’t eat. This card was honestly a life saver for me. It is especially useful for more ‘local’ finds where the chefs and restaurant owners may not be fluent in English. Buy your Portuguese Celiac translation card here.
Bring food to surf lessons and on hikes
This one may be a bit obvious but be sure to bring your own food if you go on hikes or on a surf lesson. Just go to Intermarche and grab some food to bring!
Gluten Free Lagos Portugal Map
As always, here is a map of the gluten free Lagos Portugal restaurants, hotel, and destinations. You can download this map for your own use if you have the Google Maps app, and use it without data/wifi wherever you are!
I hope this post helps anyone traveling to Lagos Portugal on a gluten free diet. There are lots of options for gluten free travelers if you look around. I highly recommend buying that gluten free translation card to open up even more options for yourself!
Happy eating and happy travels!
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