This information is intended to help coeliacs visiting Portugal and is based on our experience in responding to inquiries.
We hope it will prove helpful for you and, if you think of other useful information to include, please let us know. Thank you all!
You can buy gluten free (GF) products in several supermarkets like “Continente”, “Auchan”, “Pingo Doce”, “El Corte Inglês”, “Intermarché”, “Aldi”, “Lidl”, “Mercadona”, “Supermercados Apolónia (in Algarve) and through some online stores. We also have a nationwide network of health shops like “Celeiro” and some pharmacies that sell GF products. See here the points of sale in Portugal where you can get GF products.
Specific gluten free products are universally identified with the symbol of the cut stem. There are some products that already indicate “gluten free” (in Portuguese is: isento de glúten) like yogurt flavours, ham, cheese, others. You can also find the internacional symbol – Crossed Grain Trademark (CGT), on supermarket products as a way to identify what is gluten free. See all portuguese licence brands using the CGT here. Intermarché, Continente, Pingo Doce and Auchan are supermarkets with a lot of naturally gluten free products of their own brands.
Likewise, if a product has gluten in their composition, it is mandatory that the allergen wheat, rye, barley or oats, is identified in bold in ingredient list of the product. Some products also have the warning “May contain traces of gluten” (in Portuguese is: “Pode conter vestígios de glúten”).
Some 4 and 5 stars hotels serve gluten free breakfast since contacted in advance to request the menu.
In Portugal we have some establishments offering gluten-free menus. See it here the places that are certified by APC.
The Portuguese gastronomy is full of gluten free plates. Although that, the usual GF dining rules should apply when eating out in Portugal. To be sure of what you are eating, inform the waiter that you cannot eat certain grains. State that you have celiac disease and for health reasons (and not for choice), you cannot eat “trigo, cevada e centeio”. Say that you can eat “meat, fish, eggs, legumes, fresh potatoes, simple white rice, vegetables and fruits” (“carne, peixe, ovos, leguminosas, batata, arroz branco simples, vegetais e frutas”). Portuguese restaurants serve several grilled dishes along with potatoes, vegetables, and rice, so it should not be difficult to find suitable food. Just be careful with fried food (the oil may be contaminated by other food), rice (it may be prepared with stock) and potatoes chips (some commercial ones may contain traces of gluten).
At the bottom of this page is an explanation of acceptable and unacceptable grains and their derivatives that you can print out and show in the hotels, waiters, chefs and anyone else who may be involved in preparing your foods. In restaurants, insist that the waiter ask in the kitchen how the foods are prepared. Do not accept the waiter’s immediate answer that the foods are OK. The statement below should be useful in communicating your needs.
If you would feel more comfortable bringing your own GF foods to Portugal, you may do so. We have no information to indicate that this would be a problem as you enter the country. If you experience a problem bringing food into Portugal, please let us know.
If you need assistance regarding gluten free products, you may call our mobile number on +351 918 139 511, or our office number +351 21 753 01 93, or by facebook.
Please feel free to use this statement to explain what you can and cannot eat:
“Por questões de saúde eu não posso comer nada que contenha glúten na sua composição, nomeadamente farinha e derivados de trigo, centeio, cevada e aveia.
O meu corpo não tolera este tipo de farináceos (MESMO EM QUANTIDADES MÍNIMAS TAIS COMO MIGALHAS), como tal, não me sirva refeições que contenham estas farinhas ou seus derivados.
Na prática, NÃO POSSO COMER NADA que contenha pão (incluindo broa de milho), pão ralado, bolacha, batatas pré-fritas, massas, farinheira e alheira, alimentos que sejam fritos no mesmo óleo que os salgados e também não posso comer molhos que sejam confecionados com farinha de trigo, cerveja, mostarda, molho de soja, molho inglês.
POSSO COMER milho, arroz e seus derivados, tapioca e mandioca, batata, soja, feijão, grão, ervilhas, lentilhas, fruta fresca, legumes, leite, iogurte, manteiga, grelhados e confeções simples de: carne, peixe, ovos, marisco (sem delícias do mar).
Obrigado por ter em atenção às minhas necessidades de saúde e por me informar e preparar comida que eu posso tolerar. Em caso de dúvida não me sirva a refeição ou contacte as Nutricionistas da Associação Portuguesa de Celíacos (+351 91 813 95 11)”.
You can download this statement here.
The only forbidden Portuguese ingredients for celiac that you should look out for on the packaging are:
- Wheat and variants: Triticale, Spelt, Kamut, … |Trigo e variantes: Triticale, Espelta, Kamut, …
- Rye | Centeio
- Oat | Aveia (if you can’t eat it)
- Barley | Cevada
- Cereals | Cereais
- Starch from banned cereals | Amido dos cereais proibidos
- Starch (without indicating source) | Amido (sem indicar origem)
- Modified Starch (without indicating source) | Amido Modificado (sem indicar origem)
- Vegetable protein (without indicating source) | Proteína vegetal (sem indicar origem)
- Dietary fibre (without indicating source) | Fibras alimentares (sem indicar origem)
- Malt and Malt Syrup | Malte e Xarope de Malte
- Malt Extract | Extracto de Malte
- Additives E-14XX | Aditivos E-14XX
For more information please contact.
See below general information about tourism in Portugal.
We hope you enjoy your stay in Portugal.