Paleo backpacking. 

Paleo whilst travelling is hard and it will eat into your already small budget but it is not impossible. I have currently done 4 countries and 1 territory whilst following this diet. Spain, France, USA, New Zealand and the Canary islands. I do not eat white potatoes normally but I do eat dairy products but this is your choice.

Spain – Costa Del Sol ( Los Boliches) 

El Tapeo Andalus : They do a fantastic selection of paleo meals but the must have is the cod on sweet potatoes

La Primaveral: Just ask this restaurant to swap your chips for a salad and they will swap it for the most varied and biggest salad you have ever seen. Everything is organic and locally produced including wines and cooking oils. 

Spain has generally been one of my favourite places to eat paleo as the majority of the foods are safe and can be eaten freely. Produce is normally locally slaughtered, grown or caught and tastes fantastic. Be careful with supermarket produce as it doesn’t tend to be as fresh and can contain some pretty nasty food colourings and additives, also be warned veal is not paleo in Spain due to the valves being pumped full of antibiotics before being eaten.

Canary Islands (Los Gigantes, Tenerife) 

Eating paleo in the Canary islands is an absolute pleasure. Fish is locally caught and tastes amazing, meat tends to be local and veg grown either on the island or the nearby islands. I tend to snack on olives, skip lunch, eat natural full fat yoghurt with berries and a banana and a large dinner of either locally caught fish or a meat such as steak. The canaries stock a brand called schar which if you find yourself needing a decent gluten free bread product can be bought at the supermarkets for a very good price. Avoid hotel food as local restaurants tend to be cheap and good quality.

The Fisherman’s Inn: What can I say, he doesn’t need anymore decent trip advisor reviews. For spring/summer always go into the restaurant and ask for availability at the beginning of your holiday as they get extremely busy. Always have an outside table and even if you don’t like fish try the sardines!! The fish is caught on the boats you walk past on the climb to this pretty little restaurant on the cliff face. Always aim for a sunset booking as the views across the bay are sensational and if you can guess the fruit of the liqueur let me know as we didn’t manage it! 

C.K’s: Family owned lovely little bistro who will cook you anything you want with enough notice. Everything is got from a local farm and the portion sizes are massive. Do not just walk in as you will not get a table, always book ahead because it is well worth it. 

France: 

I visited Bordeaux and the south of France this summer and struggled quite a lot with finding anything to eat. The French are not yet fully aware of the need for a gluten free diet and do not tend to provide meals or options for coaelic disorder or paleo meals. I used the supermarket to pick up fresh fruit and veg and lived mainly off this however they occasionally stock a brand called schar which is gf and will save you if you are truly hungry. Restaurants didn’t tend to cater at all and there was very little choice even within the salad category.

USA (Venice beach and Santa Monica) 

Venice isn’t the best option for a paleo diet as it tends to be largely takeaways and junk food. However trek along the seafront to Santa Monica and you will be spoilt for choice. I know that gluten free fried chicken isn’t strictly paleo but I haven’t had KFC in a year so you’ll have to forgive me!!

Bru’s wiffle: This place does the best gluten free fried chicken and waffles. It’s a little way out so I’d recommend an uber ($5 max) to and from here. The service is good and the food is incredible. They do gluten free waffles so you don’t have to have chicken with it. It’s largely a brunch place so beware it will be busy about 12 and shuts it’s doors at 3. Well worth it though 🙂 

Pono burger: We found this after being desperate for a gluten free burger and it was also the first place I found in Santa Monica that could cater to my diet, I was starving. They do amazing sweet potato fries well worth the $2 upgrade and the burgers here conform to the grass fed standard that paleo demands. You can either add a gluten free bun for a couple of dollars or have your burger wrapped in lettuce for nothing. This was the first place in Santa Monica that really impressed me, they knew every ingredient in their food, labelled the menu impeccably and could answer any question you had with ease. They also did organic orange soda which soon became a real favourite. This is probably my favourite place to eat out in Santa Monica. 

True food kitchen: When we arrivered at the true food kitchen we were informed that the wait time was 30 minutes which was fine, you get a text when your table is ready. It was very expensive and we were informed that the menu was seasonal produce from local sources and would be changing tomorrow so some of the menu items would be altered/unavailable. They had a good selection of veggie options available and they had gluten free tacos which tasted amazing. However I don’t feel like they lived up to the hype online the atmosphere was quite pretentious. 

New Zealand: 

Elliot stables ( Auckland): This place is actually a food court of lots of different cusines. I have tried brunch at the little cafe at the front (can’t remember it’s name, sorry!) Didn’t make much of an impression and was very expensive for a coffee and a bacon and egg gluten free sandwich. There are lots of options available for paleo and gluten free eaters and I chose the Indian place at the back of the food court (again can’t remember the name!) My first curry I haven’t cooked for myself in over a year and they were aware of all food allergens in their food and even labelled egg and vegan options. The food was incredible and the gf pancakes were also well worth the money however once again it was very expensive it was over $40 for this. 

Burger fuel: This is actually a fast food joint that does a very expensive slightly nicer version of mcdonalds. They do gluten free buns and sweet potato fries but be warned that the milkshakes are not gluten free and cross contamination is a possibility as they use the same fryer. Good in a bind but don’t eat here everyday as its not the best for you.

 

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