Gluten Free Vegan on the Costa del Sol & Beyond

Chiringuito beach bar La Inopia in Torre de Benagalbón

 

If you’re gluten free & vegan and travelling round Andalusia wondering where you’ll be able to eat, these are my recommendations for getting the best out of your visit without having to go hungry.  🙂

If you’re visiting Spanish restaurants and don’t know what food you can order, check out my post on vegetarian Spanish food.

Where to Eat if You’re Gluten Free & Vegan on the Costa del Sol & Beyond?


I’ve lived inland from the Costa del Sole for many years but in the past I never used to explore eating out on the coast. Now I’ve started to venture out more to check out the eating possibilities for you fellow gluten free vegans.

This is my hand-picked favourites as opposed to a complete list and I’m sure there are other good restaurants which I haven’t included here. But these are ones that I can recommend to you.

TOP PICK – La Libélula in Fuengirola


Head to Fuengirola for my favourite vegan restaurant of all time, La Libélula. It isn’t so easy to find so I suggest you use Google to get there.

The staff and service is really friendly, polite and helpful. They have a fresh food policy so everything tastes amazing and I love the atmosphere. It’s a place where you can enjoy the ambiance, appreciate the service, love the food and savour the moment.

This restaurant has loads of options on the menu, and I mean LOADS.

The the food’s original, tasty & great. Apart from the huge menu which includes all sorts of unusual things plus creative salads, hummus, moussaka, vegan burgers and lots lots more, there are also exotic homemade drinks like the hibiscus in the photo above.

It’s divinely yummy!

We decided to order a taster for starters while we waited for our meal so we ordered one tapa of soya on sticks between us and wow, they may be small but they have huge flavour.

Soya on sticks served with vegan sauce

 

Take a look at our main dishes too. . . Yummm. And the presentation’s beautiful.

I had the rice wrap stuffed with sautéed vegetables and rice noodles and served with peanut sauce.

Rice wrap stuffed with vegetables and rice noodles

 

My mum opted for the tempeh skewers served with grandma’s potatoes and vegan mayonnaise (yellow from turmeric).

Chickpea tempeh on skewers

 

My husband isn’t actually a vegan and he also loves the food here. He went for the American Cheese burger and said it was absolutely delicious.

Vegan American cheese burger in La Libelula restaurant

 

There are so many options on the menu it’s actually quite difficult to decide what to eat, and they also have a menu del día which means you pay one price for a starter, main course and a desert. The menu del día changes daily so you’ll never get bored of this restaurant.

Good value for money, great variety, this one gets the top pick from me.

Address: Calle Cataluña, Calle Espínar, esquina, 29640 Fuengirola,  Málaga. Telephone: 951 35 36 08

Organic Market & Food – Marbella


Organic market vegan restaurant in Marbella

 

In Marbella, in a convenient location & easy to find opposite the Marbella club, the Organic Market & Food is & on the right if you were driving out of Marbella in direction to Puerto Banus.

There are a few parking  spaces just outside as well as a large car park to the side. This busy place is a feast for the eyes! The salad counter at the entrance and the organic vegetables on sale as you come in give a wonderfully vibrant colour.

The food was ok here, though we did order one dish that really wasn’t very tasty. I had the Mexican bowl and it was fine but not out of this world. There was nothing wrong with the Mexican bowl, it just lacked that  bit of originality.

Even so, I would go back again just to enjoy the place, the colours, the choice on the menu and the look of those wonderful take-out salads – which I didn’t try!

If you’ve never tried yucca chips, I can recommend them. I liked them a lot. But they’re very chip-like!

Not cheap, but what would you expect if you’re dining out in Marbella? Overall worth a visit.

Address: Centro Comercial Expo 14, Av. Bulevar Príncipe Alfonso de Hohenlohe, s/n, 29602 Marbella, Málaga. Telephone: 952 92 52 76

Origen Organic – San Pedro de Alcántara


Our next stop is San Pedro de Alcántara and here, tucked away in the centre you’ll find Origen Organic.

Origen organic restauran

 

This restaurant, which is Mexican influenced, is focussed on organic as opposed to vegetarian, but there are loads of vegan and gluten free options.

I had the spinach falafels, which were tasty, and the various flavoured hummus dips with crudités. The hummus was a bit disappointing because it wasn’t very hummus-y, very thin and not much hummus flavour – but it was nice if it hadn’t been called hummus.

The food was very well presented and attractive to look at.

A non-pretentious restaurant with a huge menu to choose from. At the time of writing the drinks were quite expensive compared to the food prices. They have gluten free and organic beers but again they come in at a comparatively high price.

Stop here for a tasty lunch and friendly service.

Address: Calle Nueva, 20, 29670 San Pedro Alcántara, Málaga.

Telephone: 952 78 38 79

The Wala Room – Torremolinos


Heading down the coast from Malaga you’ll come to Torremolinos and hidden away just off the beach front there’s a little vegan/raw restaurant run by a couple who put passion into their food creations.

The portions are small but the taste is big. The menu’s also quite limited and definitely more for someone who’s already familiar with vegan-raw style eating, though there is a vegan burger on the menu which a non-vegetarian will enjoy.

They stock gluten free beer and most of the menu is gluten free. They’re also very helpful when asked about gluten in the dishes.

Come here for a quirky taste of something different.

Address: Calle la Toja, 1, 29620 Torremolinos, Málaga. Tel: 665 67 21 07

La Fabrica – Antequera


You really shouldn’t visit the Costa del Sol without taking a trip inland, so why not head off to visit El Torcal national park, followed by lunch in Antequera?

Antequera is a quaint small city with lots of churches and one main fort that sits up on the hill overlooking the city. There are plenty of bars in the centre of Antequera but none of them (to my knowledge) cater for vegan/vegetarian, gluten free dining.

So after wandering through the streets, go back to your car and head off to the poligono (industrial estate) to find La Fabrica.

La Fabrica restaurant in Antequera

 

Here you’ll find 3 restaurants in one. In the centre of the photo you can see the traditional Spanish bar, serving tapas, raciones and menu del día. On the left is the Iberian Grill, and Tranoi is name of the Italian restaurant which is located inside.

You can sit in any of the three restaurants and order from all of the menus so bring your omnivore friends along too.

There isn’t loads of choice but there is a lovely kale salad for vegans. Be sure to tell them you’re gluten free.

Edit: Since writing this post, La Fabrica has taken the vegan kale salad off the menu so the only options now are the standard Spanish salad or the vegetable grill.

Kale salad in La Fabrica Antequera

 

There’s also the typical menu del día which can offer a mixed or tomato salad followed by chips if you explain that you’re gluten free and vegetarian.

Also on the menu is the vegetable grill, which was way more attractive than in most places and according to my brother, was very tasty.

One time I visited they had run out of the kale salad so I asked them to make me up a special one with whatever they had and they came back with the most delicious and imaginative avocado salad ever!

All in all, La Fabrica isn’t geared towards gluten free vegan/vegetarian but they do have a couple of options that you don’t find on standard Spanish menus in this area. And most importantly, they’re happy to help.

Great authentic atmosphere, excellent value for money & tasty salads but limited choice.

Address: Avenida Principal, 11 Polígono Industrial de Antequera, 29200 Antequera, Málaga                                                                                                                              tel: 952 84 65 48

Potatoo – Malaga City


Heading back to the coast, we visit Malaga city.

There are lots of options for eating vegan and gluten free in Malaga but this is one of my favourites because you can sit outside in the park under the shade of the trees and enjoy the atmosphere.

Potattoo in Malaga

 

There are only a few tables and all tended to by one person. They serve Yummmmmmmmy potatoes. I ordered the vegan potato and my daughter, who’s vegetarian but not vegan, ordered the Caprese potato. Both of them were absolutely un-fault-able.

 

Potatoo’s located next to an open air stage where concerts are held in the summer evenings. I haven’t been there when there’s music playing, but it must be pretty cool to sit and listen to the music with a delicious jacket potato in front of you.

You can’t beat Potattoo for value for money or for better jacket potatoes. Find it in the park in central Malaga.

Address: Paseo del Parque, Málaga

tel: 952 11 73 64

East of Malaga


Heading east of Málaga we come to one of the coast’s best kept secrets. In the small beach town of Torre de Benagalbón you have the most wonderful beach area that doesn’t get so crowded and is hardly visited by tourists other than Spanish people on holiday.

La Inopia Chiringuito


La Inopia beach bar in Torre de Benagalbón

 

Here on the quiet lovely beach you’ll find the chiringuito (beach bar) called La Inopia.

La Inopia decided to be a bit different to all the other chiringuitos, which all seem to be pretty similar in what they offer (and usually a nightmare for vegan, gluten free eating).

At last there’s a chiringuito that thinks outside the box. 🙂

It’s so welcome and exciting to be able to join in the chiringuito culture as a gluten free vegan!

There are quite a few options if you’re vegetarian and not gluten intolerant. For a vegan with gluten issues there are less. I ordered the delicious hummus, plus a tomato & onion salad.

Hummus at Chiringuito La Inopia
Delicious hummus served with carrot sticks

The tomato salad was made from what tasted like tomatoes fresh from the vegetable garden. Yummy.

Tomato salad at Chiringuito La Inopia
Really fresh & tasty tomato & onion salad

It’s so nice to find a chiringuito where I can eat and enjoy the food! The tomato salad was fresh & tasty, the hummus divine and yes, I risked a few chips to try and they were excellent too.

Note: the kitchen advised that although the chips are fried in their own fryer, they are next to the normal fryer so if you’re celiac there could be some cross contamination.

For a vegetarian with no gluten issues there’s also falafel in a wrap, fried aubergine with honey, gazpacho, egg & chips and more.

Tip!

After your lovely meal in La Inopia hop next door to the neighbouring Marina Playa to chill out and enjoy a fruit smoothy. I had fresh watermelon & melon made with water (i.e. not milk) and it was soooo delicious.

After lunch they play Salsa music. So you’re sitting right on the beach, just chilling out and soaking up the atmosphere; what more could anyone ask for?

Chiringuito Marina Playa

 

Address: La Inopia, Paseo Marítimo Virgen del Carmen, s/n, 29738 Torre de Benagalbón,

tel: Málaga 657 68 84 81

 

La Joya – Nerja


Heading further east to Nerja, hidden on the back street between the Balcón de Europa and Burriana you’ll find the restaurant La Joya.

La Joya restaurant, Nerja

 

The menu is mixed so meat eaters can also order but vegans and gluten free eaters are completely included with plenty of options on the menu, including a gluten free brownie for dessert.

We ordered the hummus for two for starters, which came with lovely long sticks of carrots and tasted great, followed by the red curry.

When the main course came, I did think it was a bit on the small side generally and it was also lacking in noodles as there were just a few at the bottom of the dish. My curry (pictured above) was ok size-wise, but my sister’s portion was tiny, which seemed a bit strange.

My daughter ordered the vegetarian burger and she said it was absolutely delicious. Again though, you need to order something on the side as it won’t fill you up on it’s own, I doubt.

The wine was delicious and it’s a nice restaurant to spend the evening with a quality dinner. Recommended. 🙂

Address: Calle Huertos, 54, 29780 Nerja, Málaga                                                Telephone: 951 25 85 40

If you have any questions or thoughts on being a gluten free vegan on the Costa del Sol & beyond please leave me a comment and I’ll be very happy to get back to you.

Or also if you own a restaurant where vegan, gluten free diners can get something nice to eat and you’d like me to check it out so you can be included on this page, please get in touch!

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