Fairytale of a gluten free New York
A gluten free guide to the best restaurants and cafés around New York City.
At Christmas last year, we took a 5 day trip to the Big Apple and relished in how much New York City caters to us gluten free guys and gals. Even though we did plenty of research before we went, (the struggles of wanting to be a spontaneous eater but also coeliac), when we did go into somewhere unplanned, I didn’t struggle to get a decent gluten free meal. Still, to make the most of your time in the city, I’d suggest planning your food stops based on the areas you’ll be sightseeing, and also take some back up snacks to keep you going throughout the day. NYC is a dream for someone sticking to a gluten free diet; there’s everything from sweet, buttery croissants at NoGlu to finger-licking good pizza at Rubirosa. You’ll also find that a lot of places are a dedicated gluten free venue, so absolutely zero risk of any cross-contamination.
Coeliacs, now is our time!🥳
Here are our favourite spots from our visit 🍴
Timeout Market - Chote Miya
📍Time out Market, Dumbo
Our first stop was Time out Market in Dumbo, just off the Brooklyn Bridge next to the carousel, and we stumbled upon it after about 20k of steps, knackered and ready for some good grub. The market had loads of different food and drink stalls, and lucky for me having not checked prior, quite a few gluten free options. I opted for Chote Miya, Indian-style street food, and had their honey crispy cauliflower bites and masala fries, which were unreal. The team was very clued up on coeliac disease and cross-contamination, so I felt comfortable eating from there, and having checked out the other vendors, they also had GF markings on their menus and were also able to answer whether their dishes were coeliac safe. As a coeliac, regardless of whether the dish says GF, I would always double-check the cross-contamination risks before ordering.
📍Friedmans, Hell’s Kitchen
We’d read up on a few NYC travel blogs before we went, and Friedmans was mentioned more than once because, drum roll please… their whole menu can be gluten free and I’m pretty sure their Chelsea location is 100% gluten free! One of the pioneers of the company had been diagnosed with coeliac disease and wanted the restaurants to be a safe haven for her and her peers, and boy, aren’t we grateful. There are currently 6 locations in Manhattan, which means you can opt for the one closest to your sightseeing agenda that day; we visited the Hell’s Kitchen spot as we’d just been on the highline which isn’t far away. It’s a ‘first-come-first-serve queueing down the street’ job, but the queue moved fast and it was well worth the wait. I went for the Pastrami sandwich because, well, when in New York, you have to live your best Joey Tribbiani life, and it was mega! There’s also a Friedmans in the Edison Hotel, which is a great hotel near Times Square, where you can get Friedmans room service.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner
📍Ellen’s Stardust Diner, Broadway
A must see visit if you’re in NYC. If you haven’t heard of it, Ellen’s Stardust Diner is a retro 50’s-themed diner located on Broadway and it’s a tourist hot spot down to it’s world-famous singing servers (Stardusters) who perform whilst you eat! I’d checked out the menu before we went and although there were very limited gluten free options, we said we’d still go just for the experience. You can’t book and have to queue outside but it does go quickly and you can have a peak through the windows whilst you wait. The meal itself was quite basic, I had a GF mac ‘n’ cheese and whilst it was nothing special, I feel like this is the kind of restaurant where the food is an added bonus to the entertainment so no complaints from me.
PizzArte is a lovely little Neapolitan restaurant just south of Central Park and offers delicious gluten free pizza. If you check out reviews of the restaurant you’ll see a lot of gluten free customers raving about the pizza quoting that it’s ‘the best pizza in NYC’ and some even go as far as ‘the best gluten free pizza I’ve ever had’, so believe the hype and go check it out for yourself. The restaurant also doubles as an art gallery so it has a great feel to it and the staff were so helpful. The picture doesn’t do it justice but my Eduardo white base Pizza was divine and even came with a cute little allergy flag, you know how much I love an allergy flag!
Modern Bread & Bagel
📍Modern Bread & Bagel, Chelsea
Where can we order the Modern Bread & Bakery uniform?
Modern Bread & Bagel was the absolute star of the show. Not only do they offer gluten free bagels, the whole bakery is completely GF and has pastries, loaf cakes, cupcakes, tarts, cookies, donuts and a whole range of bread. I can’t explain the feeling of joy in going somewhere and knowing that everything you can see, you can have. I had to have serious restraint not to buy another suitcase for the journey home filled with pastries and their bagel mix, which you can buy in store. There are a couple of venues in NYC, Upper West Side and Chelsea, and one in LA for the West Coasters. We both ordered bagels (hate to use the word but the moistest GF bagels on the planet) and there were so many different combinations I’d have happily gone back every day to try out a different flavour. We also went for the Nutella filled donuts which were a solid 10/10.
📍Schnipper's, Theatre District
Winner winner (fried) chicken dinner. Schnipper’s have a couple of locations in NYC, the Theatre District and Midtown East and it’s a classic family owned American fast food joint. They have a great selection of gluten free choices (coeliacs should avoid the ‘Sloppy Joe’ sandwich because of cross-contamination with malt vinegar) but we went for the chicken fingers and fries and they were so good. There’s very little choice in the UK for gluten free fast food so this felt like a real treat and the portion sizes were massive!
Chelsea Market & Hudson Yards
Chelsea Market is HUGE and full of little shops, stalls and food and drink places. We came here on our last day and although we didn’t sit down and eat here, mainly because of how busy it was, I did notice a few gluten free options so definitely check it out but maybe avoid the busier times of the day!
We went back to Hudson Yards, because we loved the feel of it, and managed to get some delicious gluten free tacos at ANA Bar & Eatery - not a huge choice of GF food throughout the restaurants and cafés in Hudson Yards but we loved the atmosphere so I was happy to have at least one option. Hudson Yards is still a relatively new area so maybe they’ll surprise us with some better gluten free options in the future!
5 days in New York was over in a heartbeat and with so much to see, we didn’t get to explore all of the gluten free rated restaurants/cafés we’d read up on so below is a list of 20 places with great GF reviews and will be top of our list for our next visit.
NoGlu 🥐 Completely GF French bakery on the Upper East Side. We didn’t get to the NYC one but we did in Paris. Check out our blog on best gluten free spots in Paris
Senza Gluten 🍝 Entirely GF Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village
Keste Pizza E Vino 🍕 Italian restaurant in the Financial District where the whole menu can be made GF
Thyme and Tonic 🍔 Totally GF gastropub on the Upper West Side
THE WELL Kitchen & Table 🥗 Organic wellness café with a majority GF menu in Union Square
Lilli and Loo 🍜 Asian restaurant on the Upper East Side with an extensive GF menu
Atla 🌯 Traditional Mexican offering a large GF selection in Downtown Manhattan
Pastai 🍝 Sicilian restaurant with GF pasta in Chelsea
Claro 🍲 100% GF Mexican Michelin Star restaurant in Brooklyn
Inday 🍛 Indian inspired dishes with lots of GF options in a few locations around NYC
Tap NYC 🌮 Fully GF Brazilian restaurant specialising in tapioca crepes
By The Way Bakery 🍪 Gluten and diary free old-fashioned bakery on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side and in Brooklyn
Rubirosa 🥫 Family run Italian neighbourhood favourite with a great GF menu in Nolita
T-swirl 🥞 Japanese crepes with a twist and all GF in Lower Manhattan
Wild 🍕 Completely GF restaurant specialising in pizza in the West Village and Brooklyn
Nami Nori 🍣 GF Japanese restaurant specialising in open-style sushi in the West Village
Posh Pop Bake Shop 🧁 Completely GF bakery in the West Village
Etcetera Ecetera 🥩 Contemporary Italian restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen
Twentyone Grains 🥙 Naturally GF and healthy on the go nourishment in the Financial District and Times Square
Risotteria Melotti 🍚 A fully GF restaurant specialising in rice based Italian dishes in the East Village
Don’t just walk to New York - RUN!