McDonald’s Spain Gluten-Free Burger Taste Test

Note: Due to an overwhelming response to our blog post on McDonald’s and its gluten-free buns debut in Spain, we asked our Madrid correspondent Maricarmen Escamilla to do a taste test for us. Spanish speakers can find their celiac blog here.

McDonald’s in Spain has some history offering gluten-free products. In January 2011 it announced there would be gluten-free “Deluxe Fries”. Then in May 2011 it announced that gluten-free buns would be available with its hamburgers in all their restaurants. This announcement caused a huge BRAVO! amongst gluten-free Spanish diners.

Triumph Dining Foreign Correspondent Mari at McDonald's in Madrid

We were honored that Triumph Dining reached out to us and thrilled that they offered us the opportunity to do this taste test for their loyal readers.

Both burgers contain meat, tomato, lettuce, cheese and mayo. The burger with the GF bun comes in a yellow box. The GF bun is pretty good.  However, as it happens with most of gluten-free bread, it’s a bit crumbly.

 

Triumph Dining Foreign Correspondent Alberto at McDonald's

My husband Alberto (not celiac) tried both burgers  and found there was no material difference in in the taste between the two, the only difference being the sesame seeds and the consistency of the bun.

McDonald’s initiative to offer gluten-free products in Spain has been well-received in the general media, gluten-free lifestyle blogs, forums and social media. The restaurant manager told us that gluten-free products are selling successfully, especially with kids because in Spain it is very popular to celebrate birthday parties in McDonald’s.

Triumph Dining - McDonald's Gluten Free Burger (Left)

McDonald’s has similar quality standards and products all over the world. However, there are some differences in every country so you should be sure check the nutritional information when you travel abroad. For example, during our last visit to the US we noticed that barbecue sauce was not gluten-free while it is in Spain.

As of today we can find the following gluten-free products in McDonald’s Spanish restaurants.

Triumph Dining McDonald's Gluten Free Boxes

Hamburgers:

  • McBacon
  • McRoyal Deluxe
  • Big Mac
  • Hamburger
  • Cheeseburger
  • Garden salad
McDonald's Gluten Free Deluxe Fries

About fries: all their fries are gluten free (regular and deluxe). At the beginning, only regular ones were gluten free and sometimes you could found one deluxe  in your bag. This was a problem, but not anymore. All fries are gluten free and they don’t cook any breaded chicken in that oil. They fry breaded products in a separated fryer.

Side dishes:

  • French fries
  • Deluxe fries
  • Gazpacho (cold tomato soup – only available in summer)

Drinks:

  • Juices
  • Sodas
  • Coffee

Sauces:

  • Ketchup
  • Olive oil & vinegar (for the salad)
  • Deluxe sauce for Deluxe fries
  • Curry, Caesar and barbecue sauce
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Spicy mustard

Desserts:

  • Chocolate sundae (with peanuts)
  • White chocolate sundae (with peanuts)
  • Yogurt with fruits
  • Apple slices
  • Apple slices with Nocilla

There are no gluten-free options for breakfast.

We really hope McDonald’s will keep expanding their gluten-free product offering to other countries because it’s a practical option for eating every now and then and because it pushes competitors to consider adding gluten-free meals too.

– Maricarmen Escamilla


12 thoughts on “McDonald’s Spain Gluten-Free Burger Taste Test”

  1. Uhm, JD — since wheat contains gluten, if something is truly gluten-free, by definition it is wheat-free.

    Note that the reverse is not necessarily true, however. Since gluten is also found in barley and rye, something can be wheat-free but not gluten-free.

  2. Come on McDonalds! Some one has to be the leader of Gluten Free fast food in America….why not McDonalds? Since removing Gluten from our diet we spend very little time at McDonalds except for coffee and fires. We’re on the road a lot and are looking forward to a Gluten Free welcome at the most popular franchise along the Interstates.

  3. I was so excited when I saw this article in the last blog since we were going on vacation to Spain very soon. However, when we went there we asked for a cheeseburger sin gluten (without gluten) and the girl who worked there shook her head and said “no.” This was on Las Ramblas in Barcelona and I was so disappointed. I speak only a very limited amount of Spanish and most of the people in this area actually speak Catalan so I gave up. I had already been sick on this trip so I didn’t try any other McDonald’s restaurants. However, on a good note. We found a wonderful restaurant called “Heart Burger” that had a sign in the window showing “sin gluten.” I had a wonderful meal of a cheeseburger and french fries. Everything on the menu is organic and they had a huge amount of choices for gluten free. Even their ketchup and mustard were marked gluten free and the service was fantastic. It’s in the University area not far from Plaza Catalyuna.

  4. ALL grains are toxic for some people who are gluten intolerant.

    I can only eat any “gluten-free” products once a week without problems.

    There is usually sugar in these products. Where can I see a chemical analysis of these products? Gluten-free is now a dangerous fad. I the person doesn’t know what they are doing, they can ruin their health and get cancer, arthritis, fibermyalgia, and anemia among other diseases/

    I only eat clean food with no sugar as possible and hardly no grains. Italian kale is Major (Vit. K),

  5. Ann,

    You are actually wrong.

    In Europe, gluten-free does NOT mean wheat-free. JD’s question is very relevant – a product may contain wheat starch and still be gluten-free in Europe.

    -Tina

  6. I have read some positive comments about what is being done in Spain and America about changing some of your menu, in helping people who ha ve to deal with “GLUTEN” intolorence with there everyday meal choices / selection. I to have a Gluten Intolerence, which is extremely frustrating. When is this going to “Happen” in Australia”. ? The only thing available here are Gluten free Friand’s & Jaffa cake. We await your reply.
    My allergy is gluten in wheat & Yeast. Tony.

  7. Why is it not avaible in all mcdonald’s in Europe? I travel often and I would like to eat some gluten free burger in Germany or Poland.

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