I was nervous about this particular day of our vacation, visiting the Lisbon Aquarium and heading out of the city centre. This whole gluten free business is MUCH HARDER than I could have ever imagined. Not sure if you remember, but we found out that my son has a gluten sensitivity, so he basically has to live like a person with celiac’s disease.
In Portugal you can find a lot of rice dishes (but sometimes they put flour in them as a thickening agent), and you can find many fish and meat dishes. But my son, being an Italian, is used to things like pasta and pizza, and in Italy we can find both of these options “gluten free” (senza glutine) all the time! In Portugal not so much.
Rice and fish for 1 meal is fine….rice and fish for 5 days is NOT!
I did my research and found a gluten free pizza place one subway stop AFTER the Aquarium. The plan was to go there for lunch and THEN go to the Aquarium.
Long Story Short
I drag my sister, her husband, their 5 year old son, their 6 month old baby, my husband and my toddler, under the HOT PORTUGUESE SUN, at LUNCHTIME to this subway stop to find this Gluten Free Pizza place. We exit the metro stop and we are in an area with literally NOTHING around and we have no idea WHERE this pizza place is. It takes us over an HOUR, and many a Portuguese translation to eventually find it.
My Portuguese consists of “obrigada, linda and denada”, so this was not an easy feat.
We finally get there only to find all the lights are OFF and the place is closed. According to their website they were supposed to be open.
We’re starving, the Aquarium is a whole subway stop away (something my sister is now reminding me of FREQUENTLY!), the metro is a 40 minute walk away……and we’re going to die from hunger.
Eventually we stop into a sushi place. Oh yeah, did I mention soy sauce contains gluten and any contamination (contact with) soy would cause a gluten contamination? So, what did my son end up eating for lunch??
Cold mini wiener dogs (they smelled like dog food), straight out of a can, that I had thankfully bought that morning “just incase”.
I was feeling like the looser in a heavyweight match. It was 2 pm and I was already so tired, I could care less about going to the Aquarium. Which was, a WHOLE SUBWAY STOP AWAY (again this is my sister reminding me!)
And then, the heaven’s opened up right before my eyes, and we saw the cable cars!!! Join with me now. “Hallelujah, hallelujah, Ha….lle…lu…jah!!”
The Cable Cars Save The Day
We didn’t have to walk a WHOLE METRO STOP afterall!! The cable cars, for the small fee of 5 euro a person (each way), took us directly to the Aquarium! So everything worked out perfectly!
I mean, aside from the stupid Pizza place being closed without writing ANYTHING on their website. But hey, I’m not complaining, they are one of 3 places were you can eat gluten free in the entire city, so A+ for Effort I guess.
The only issue is that my husband is afraid of heights….see the look of panic on his face! But he (surprisingly) didn’t complain and took one for the team!
Tomorrow I’ll share my top restaurant for gluten free eating in Lisbon! I want to spare some other poor mother out there the HOURS I spent researching (in Portuguese) for suitable options.
For More Info:
The Subways stop I am referring to near the Glutine Free Pizza place is MOSCAVIDE, whereas the Oceanarium (Aquarium) is located at the Metro Stop “Oriente” – both are on the RED LINE. This whole area is known as Parque das Nacoes.
The gluten free pizza place is called “Il Pizzarium” (I’m not kidding!),CALL and make sure they ANSWER before you go, tell them you plan on ordering gluten free pizza so you don’t end up discovering that they have none when you show up!
Rua Comandante Cousteau, +351 21 607 0179
The Cable Car Entrance is just to the right of the Tower, named Torre Vasco Da Gamma. Walk along the tree lined path and you’ll see it after a few minutes, after a few minutes flying over the Tagus River you’ll be at the Aquarium.
Have a Great Saturday 🙂