15 totally gluten-free restaurants and bakeries in New York
Does eating out with Celiac disease have you down? Allow me to suggest a cure: a weekend in New York City. (“Welcome to New York. It’s been waitin’ for you. Welcome to New York, welcome to New York.”)
After I found out that I have Celiac disease, eating at restaurants lost its allure. It used to be a fun, relaxing escape, but now it’s tainted with 1. Feeling bad about steering friends away from where they actually want to eat to a place that has gluten-free options 2. Limited choices on the menu 3. The required interrogation of your server (and the feeling of dread when they have no idea what gluten is) 4. After all of your planning and questions, crossing your fingers and putting your trust in a busy kitchen to ensure that your meal is safe.
But that doesn’t have to be the case. In April, my husband and I spent a blissful 36 hours in New York eating at entirely gluten-free restaurants and bakeries. (“…In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do…”) It’s an easy trip from D.C. (a 4.5-hour bus ride on Best Bus), and our priorities were visiting friends and eating. It was such a treat to eat like a “normal” person for the weekend. Here are 15 dedicated gluten-free businesses in New York where you can indulge to your heart’s content without a care in the world – other than how to narrow down what you’ll order. (“…These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you. Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York…”)
248 Broome St., Lower East Side
Monday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Tuesday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Our first stop Saturday morning was this adorable bakery on the Lower East Side. Besides being entirely gluten free, it’s also vegan, kosher and soy free. We splurged and ordered the veggie scone, apple churro and samoa donut for breakfast and the cinnamon cupcake top – genius idea – and the chocolate chip cookie sandwich for later. My favorites were the donut (great flavor and texture) and the cookie sandwich (which brought back memories of the cookie cakes of my childhood), but you really can’t go wrong.
1133 Broadway (at 26th Street), Midtown South
Monday-Sunday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
After wandering through the Lower East Side, East Village and Washington Square Park, we stopped for lunch at Inday, a fast-casual restaurant where you can build a bowl of healthy, delicious Indian food. I highly recommend getting the chicken tikka for your protein.
206 Sullivan St., Greenwich Village
Monday-Saturday: 12-11 p.m.
Sunday: 12-10 p.m.
We had dinner at Senza Gluten, an Italian food paradise, where we splurged on things I’d never be able to order anywhere else: bruschetta, fried eggplant, chicken Parmesan and tiramisu. The restaurant is completely charming. I’d add this to your list of must-dos in the city, along with the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. Make a reservation in advance — we waited until a couple of days ahead of time and got the last time slot available — and note that they only take AMEX or cash.
99 Bank St., West Village
Wednesday-Friday: 5:30-10 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 5:30-10 p.m.
Lunch coming soon: Monday-Friday: 12- 4 p.m.
On Sunday, we got brunch at 99 Bank, a cute spot in the West Village. I had the breakfast sandwich and tried my friend’s pancakes — both were good. We shared the coconut almond tartlets for dessert. The restaurant’s in a beautiful spot. Make sure to explore afterward.
Places I can’t wait to try on future trips:
178 Stanton St., Lower East Side
Monday-Thursday: 5:30-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 5:30-11 p.m.
Sunday: 5-10 p.m.
Brunch coming soon: Saturday-Sunday: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
This restaurant is also a nonprofit owned by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. They’re open for dinner (and brunch soon). I’d like to try the roasted Brussels sprouts, the buttermilk fried chicken and the salted caramel pot de creme .
14A Orchard St., Lower East Side
Monday-Sunday: 6-11 p.m.
GOHAN serves Japanese food. Everything on the menu is gluten free, minus a couple of beer options. I’d like to try the oven baked coconut crusted chicken, the vegetable curry and the brown rice sushi rolls.
338 East 11th St., East Village
Sunday-Thursday: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Tu-Lu’s has an extensive menu of cookies, cupcakes, muffins, other baked goods and paninis. I’d order a chicken, cheddar and chipotle mayo panini, an individual coffee cake and a red velvet cupcake.
309 East 5th St., East Village
Monday-Friday: 12-10:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
I LOVE risotto, so this is guaranteed to be a hit. My choice: the arancini of the day and the risotto with scallops, sundried tomatoes, basil and Parmesan cheese. It would be hard to choose between the tiramisu and the profiteroles for dessert.
78 5th Ave., Union Square
1536 3rd Ave., Upper East Side
Weekdays: 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
Weekends: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Hu Kitchen is a fast casual restaurant with locations in Union Square and the Upper East Side. I’d try the hot breakfast bowl, the lunch/dinner custom bowls and the chocolate bars.
Locations in Midtown West, Midtown East, Nomad, the Pennsy and Long Island
This fast casual spot would be a good lunch option. You can choose from their healthy bowls or make your own. I’ve eaten at The Little Beet in D.C. and enjoyed it.
1266 Madison Ave., Upper East Side
Monday-Saturday: 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Noglu started in Paris. The New York location offers the same delicious breads and pastries, as well as quiche, salads and sandwiches. I visited Noglu while I was in Paris and would love to go back.
2442 Broadway, Upper West Side
1236 Lexington Ave., Upper East Side
Daily: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
By the Way Bakeries’ treats are gluten free, dairy free and kosher. I’d choose the tea cakes or the mini cakes.
294 Third Ave., Brooklyn
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This Brooklyn bakery specializes in breads, buns, rolls and cakes. All products are gluten free and nut free. I’d love to pick up a tray of cinnamon sticky buns.
10 Porter Ave., Brooklyn
Tuesday-Friday: 12-8 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
This bakery serves guilt-free desserts that are gluten free and don’t use refined sugars or artificial sweeteners. I’d pick the black heart mocha cake or the first date truffles.
630 Flushing Ave., Brooklyn
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Krumville serves breads, quiche, muffins, cookies and cakes. The quiche and the strawberry vanilla cake look devine.
77A West 85th St., Upper West Side
Tuesday-Friday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
A grocery store where you don’t have to worry about checking labels? Yes, please. If you have room in your suitcase, stock up on gluten-free goodies to take home.
Many of these restaurants are clustered in Lower Manhattan, so it’s no coincidence that we spent the majority of our weekend there. Here are some photos from our trip.