Being Gluten Free... & What We Did In...Jaén, Spain

We didn't see or do as much in Jaén, so I combined the food and tourism part into one post. Jaén is not a typical tourism location, but we were in southern Spain to visit friends who happened to be teaching English here. In between our escapades to other cities, we took a major sleep in day and saw a few things around Jaén. Although there were a couple cool things to see, this wouldn't necessarily be a city you would sidetrack to get to, in my opinion.

What I ate

For basic information and tips for traveling gluten free in Spain HERE.

Bar Bomborombillos

Pintor Carmelo Palomino, 12 Jaén, Spain 23004

Ok, I might have lied above. This gluten free tapas meal might be a reason to make a stop in Jaén! Seriously. I think it was one of the best meals we had, and the server was crazy helpful! We ended up here because it was one of our hosts birthdays, and it turns out they had a large gluten free menu. Although the server didn't speak English, he walked through options really slowly and in Spanish we were mostly able to follow. Plus, the menu had the items marked with asterisks. I don't have pictures because it was very dimly lit and the food pictures just came out looking gross. BUT IT WAS SO AMAZING! The third image below has text that basically says that everything with an asterisk is safe for those with a gluten intolerance. And we ordered...olives, patatas bravas (this version had strawberries in it which was amazing), fried artichokes with rice flour and eggs...and then about 5 more things but at that point we were splitting bottles of wine, and I forgot to keep taking notes ;)


Parador de Jaén at the Castle of Santa Catalina

Cerro Santa Catalina, s/n

23003 Jaén, Spain

For more about the castle, keep reading below. We stopped in the restaurant here just to grab a cafe con leche and it turned out they had gluten free sandwiches (bocadillos)! I believe their dinner menu had gluten free options too. The bread was actually really good.


Grocery Store: El Corte Ingles

Avenida de Madrid, 31, SS

23008 Jaén, Spain

El Corte Ingles is a high end department store chain with it's own grocery store. There are tons of options for gluten free products as well as for all kinds of allergens. We definitely tried a few different fun snacks from these stores around Spain!

I would now like to call attention to meat. Jamón in particular. Also known as...giant ass cured leg of a pig that you will see EVERYWHERE. They make special holders for jamón that our friends apartment came with as a cooking staple. These are commonly bought for holidays and left out to carve from. Also...check out this seafood. I am not a huge seafood fan. And that monk fish looks nasty. But...if you're into seafood...have at it!


What We Did...

Castle of Santa Catalina

Cerro Santa Catalina, s/n

23003 Jaén, Spain

​A small castle ruin that sits at the highest point in Jaén is worth taking a look at if you are here - mostly it had really great views of the surrounding area and a seemingly non-stop view of olive trees! Also, there is a hotel attached to the castle that has gluten free food! You can take a cab up here, or hike from the city center in about an hour.


Arab Baths Cultural Centre - Villardompardo Palace

Plaza Santa Luisa de Marillac, s / n

23004 Jaén, Spain

This is a great way to spend a few hours. The 16th century Villardompardo Palace, now a cultural centre, sits on top of the 11th century Arab baths. The museum is very well done!


Jaén Cathedral

Plaza de Santa María, s/n

23002 Jaén, Spain

We didn't actually get time to walk inside of the cathedral, we were only able to see it close up from the outside at night. However, google images will pull up a pretty amazing cathedral.


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