Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is a bustling, cosmopolitan city with a romantic flair.
Tango dancers, soccer games, and a good asado are just a few things that embody the Argentine culture. It’s one of the most visited cities in South America. You’ll find a recent trend growing in popularity among the restaurant scene in Buenos Aires— eating gluten free!
1 in 100 Argentines has celiac disease, and as such the need for gluten-free products, restaurants, and cafes has popularized.
The National Program of Food Controls, a branch of the Argentine government, established a logo to appear on gluten-free foods. Known as “Sin T.A.C.C.”, it stands for “Sin trigo, avena, cebada, centeno” – “Without wheat, oats, barley, rye”. This is what to look for and ask for when in Argentina, and there are plenty of options!
Argentina has a history of receiving immigrants from all over the world. You can find so many different types of food and restaurants here due to the city’s multicultural background.
There are a number of gluten-free restaurants in Buenos Aires that have great food and lots of delicious dishes to try!
GOUT Gluten Free
GOUT Gluten Free is a gluten-free cafe and bakery with cakes, pastries, and awesome gluten-free versions of a milanesa, a local sandwich with ham and cheese. The milanesas come with roasted potatoes and a drink of your choice!
Sintaxis is also a highly recommended 100% gluten-free restaurant with items you can also take home.
They are a wonderful choice for a nice sit down meal. At Sintaxis they bring gluten-free bread to your table, which is such a treat! Try their empanadas – gluten-free, of course!
Celigourmet is another dedicated gluten-free facility, offering cakes, pastries, and more.
Their salads are popular as well as their homemade bread. You can buy gluten-free staples here to take back to your accommodation and cook yourself.
Despacho de Sabores has similar offerings and is also 100% gluten-free! Vichenzo has gluten-free pastas and ravioli that you can take home and cook too!
With all the choices of dedicated gluten-free facilities offering such delicious baked goods, it may be difficult to choose! You can always bring back items to your accommodation to have with tea or coffee. Or, you can have a coffee around town.
There are plenty of coffee shops in Buenos Aires, like Dorina Coffee.
They offer gluten-free toast and marmalade for you to have with tea or coffee. At Cocelia, you can enjoy a cappuccino with a gluten-free pastry, made from a dedicated gluten-free bakery! Argentines love their coffee, and usually have it with something sweet.
To get the most out of your time in Buenos Aires, be sure to visit some wonderful sites that explore Argentina’s history, local culture, and city life.
Check out the San Telmo market on Sunday afternoon for artisan craftsmanship, street vendors, and leather jewelry. Make a trip over to La Boca neighborhood to see colorful homes, art and spontaneous tango.
You can also visit the rose garden of Palermo and enjoy the fabulous outdoor spaces available to the public. Relive history as you stand in front of La Casa Rosada in Plaza de Mayo, where the Argentine President lives. Political demonstrations have taken place in the square for decades.
For dinner, try La Querencia for an excellent gluten-free menu offering appetizers, main courses, snacks like empanadas, and desserts. They also have gluten-free pasta and a dedicated cooking area for gluten-free food preparation.
If you are missing home, and would rather a burger, try Kary’s Burger Bar. It’s small burger joint that offers enormous cheeseburgers on gluten-free buns and fries that are celiac safe. Don’t be surprised to find an egg on your burger. Argentines are big on adding fried eggs to lots of dishes!
At the grocery store, you’ll find plenty of gluten-free snacks.
There is a dedicated aisle or section in Coto, one of Argentina’s supermarket chains. Gullón makes gluten-free rice cakes, cookies, and sweets that are reasonably priced and tasty. Dos Hermanos makes rice based chips including cheese puffs that are Sin T.A.C.C. – check for the label on the front of the bag!
For dessert, Freddo is an ice cream shop with multiple locations around Buenos Aires.
Say you are Sin T.A.C.C. at the counter and you’ll be given a copy of their allergen list. Specific flavors that are safe will be indicated, and they will clean the ice cream scoops and open new tubs to prevent cross-contamination as well. Try the dulce de leche flavor – a true Argentine favorite!
For an authentic Argentine experience, visit a parrilla, a grill, for some late night asado – barbecue!
If you can, try going with a local. They will know exactly what to order and can communicate your dietary restrictions in Spanish as well. There are loads of parrillas all over Buenos Aires, and each person will have their favorite one!
Most asados are gluten-free naturally. They roast a variety of meats with spices and often serve them with potatoes, garlic herb butter, and more! Be brave and try something outside your comfort zone, like blood sausage or intestines (they are tasty!) or stick to the classics of beef and chorizo.
With a glass of local wine in your hand, you’ll be speaking Spanish and living as a gluten-free Argentine in no time!
Jennifer Fitzpatrick was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009. Follow her gluten-free travels & more on Instagram @jefinner589 or her website www.thenomadicfitzpatricks.com.