Eat Out in NYC

Not much makes me giddier than learning a restaurant has a gluten free menu. Or seeing that all of the gluten free items on the regular-people menu are clearly marked. No having to ask the poor waiter six thousand questions only to find out I can only eat peeled grapes? Yes. Please.

This is a highly selective list – Selective meaning I have been to these fine New York City establishments many times, in some cases an embarrassing number of times, and the food/experience has been consistently outstanding.

Always looking for more recommendations (slash excuses to eat out in the name of research) so please drop some names in the comments!

What: Bistango
Where: Murray Hill (415 3rd Ave b/w 29th & 30th St.)
Specialty GF Items: pizza, pasta, ravioli, bread, baked goods, beer
GF Menu: GF options marked
Comments: My go-to for a great Italian meal in Murray Hill. Classy but not too fussy white-tablecloth restaurant. Was an equally good atmosphere for a family dinner, a work dinner, and a night with friends. The owner is extremely helpful. Order the pasta or ravioli (over the pizza), extra gluten free French bread, and save room for dessert – the carrot cake is amazing.

Where: inside Chelsea Market (9th Ave b/w 15th & 16th St.)
Specialty GF Items: pancakes, French toast, beer, fried chicken, bread (for toast and sandwiches), waffles, pasta
GF Menu: GF options marked
Comments: Check out their menus online. Everything with a dot can be prepared gluten free. Do you SEE all those dots? I practically live here during brunching-hours on the weekend. Every single dish is phenomenal, the atmosphere is quaint, and it will even be a new favorite of your gluten-loving friends. Make sure you get the blueberry or strawberry butter with your toast! Unreal.
Insta-Bites: one, two, three

What: Otto
Where: West Village/Union Square (1 5th Ave – entrance on 8th St. b/w 5th Ave & University)
Specialty GF Items: pasta
GF Menu: no
Comments: One of Mario Batali’s places, with a great atmosphere. The menu doesn’t mention gluten free pasta, but ask your server. All of the pasta dishes are great, and the cheese plates and a few of the communal sides are gluten free. Festive enough for a special occasion but priced well enough to go more frequently!

What: Alta
Where: West Village/Union Square (64 W. 10th St. b/w 5th and 6th Ave)
Specialty GF Items: no
GF Menu: yes
Comments: If you haven't noticed, I'm big on atmosphere. And this place has it. Step through the inconspicuous door and you'll be transported to the Mediterranean. There are a huge array of options on the regular menu, and plenty on the gluten free menu. Order tapas and share - that way you get a taste of everything!

What: Pala Pizza
Where: Lower East Side (198 Allen St. b/w E. Houston St. and Stanton St.)
Specialty GF Items: pizza, pasta, arancini, crostini
GF Menu: yes
Comments: Easily the best gluten free pizza I've had yet. All pizzas are the same size, and there's a vast array of gourmet topping combinations (i.e. pork sausage, leeks, pink peppercorns, pancetta...). Low-lit, rustic atmosphere that's perfect for a date, special occasion, etc. Definitely dine-in.
Insta-Bites: one, two, three

Where: Union Square (124 4th Ave b/w 12th & 13th St.)
Specialty GF Items: pizza, beer, baked goods
GF Menu: GF options marked
Comments: Only one size option for the gluten free pizza. Serves 1 (maybe 2) and is pretty pricey at around $15 (depending on what toppings you get). BUT the crust is thin, crispy and delicious. Totally worth it to stave off a pizza craving.
Insta-Bites: one

What: Risotteria
Where: West Village (270 Bleecker St. b/w 6th & 7th Ave)
Specialty GF Items: pizza, breadsticks, baked goods, beer, pasta (on Tuesdays), meatballs, croutons, paninis
GF Menu: GF options marked
Comments: Extremely tiny inside so don’t plan to go for an elaborate meal. But the gluten free options can’t be beat – Get an order of breadsticks and some gluten free baked goods to go! They even have their own GF version of Twinkies and Oreo Cakesters!

Where: 124 E. 40th St (entrance on Lexington Ave b/w 39th & 40th St.)
Specialty GF Items: pancakes, bread (for toast and sandwiches), French toast, burger buns
GF Menu: yes
Comments: Authentic diner experience with a vast gluten free menu. Bread is just average (tastes rice-y), but the chocolate chip pancakes are phenomenal.

Where: East Village (338 E. 11th St. b/w 1st & 2nd Ave)
Specialty GF Items: everything! cupcakes, cookies, brownies, muffins, bread, paninis, cakes, pies, granola, croutons
GF Menu: yes
Comments: Praying I don’t get struck by lightening by saying I favor this place over a competitor that starts with Baby and ends with Cakes. For Celiacs who are not vegan, dairy-free, sugar-free, etc. – Tulu’s leaves all that good stuff in there. (But still offers vegan/dairy-free/sugar-free options!) Pretty much everything is fantastic and all of the baked goods are extremely moist and flavorful, but I’m obsessed with the raspberry almond crumble muffin.
Insta-Bites: one

Where: NoLita (62 Spring St. on the corner of Lafayette St.)
Specialty GF Items: no
GF Menu: GF items marked
Comments: Big yet somehow also adorable inside, with a pretty good amount of outdoor seating lining the sidewalks. I’ve been for lunch and dinner multiple times, and the menu is filled with exactly the type of food I love to eat – fresh ingredients, generally healthy, and interesting flavor combinations. All gluten free dishes are marked with a (g). (Not on the online, menu though. So you have to go!)

What
: Bareburger
Where: multiple locations
Specialty GF Items: burgers, wraps
GF Menu: GF items marked
Comments: Not only does Bareburger dish out some of the best burgers I've had in the city, but they offer gluten free tapioca-flour buns for only 35 cents extra! They're proportional to the burger, and hold up from the first bite to the last. Now that your bun decision is made, good luck deciding between 12 different patty options (ranging from organic turkey to ostrich) and 14 specialty topping combinations. I always seem to go for The Original, but am dying to give The Roadhouse and The Pesto Red Pepper burgers a try.
Insta-Bites: one  

Where: Multiple Locations
Specialty GF Items: no
GF Menu: yes
Comments: Celiacs know Mexican is a pretty safe bet for plenty of gluten free options, but it’s nice to have a dedicated gluten free menu. I’ve never had a dish that wasn’t wonderful – but you HAVE to get the tableside guac. Only want a hint of jalapenos? No problem. Just tell the nice man who’s mixing it up for you. Great restaurant if friends are in from out of town. Make reservations!


What: Ribalta
Where: Union Square (48 E 12th St b/w Broadway & University)
Specialty GF Items: pizza
GF Menu: no
Comments: Really fun place to stop in for lunch if you're wandering around the Union Square area - great Italian feel inside. Chef Pasquale (who has Celiac!) makes the gluten free dough in-house, and they have a separate pizza oven to prevent cross contamination. Win-win! 


What: WILD
Where: West Village (535 Hudson b/w Perry & Charles) & Williamsburg, Brooklyn 
Specialty GF Items: pizza (all crust is GF and vegan), pasta, desserts 
GF Menu: no, but 95% of the menu is gluten free
Comments: If you can, visit the Williamsburg location and eat in The Greenhouse. You won't be disappointed. ALL of their pizza dough is gluten free and vegan, and gluten-eaters won't even mind. Plus: kale cupcakes!! (Full review here.) 
Insta-Bites: one, two, three

38 comments:

  1. >>I’m obsessed with the raspberry almond crumble muffin.

    YES!!! This exactly! They are perfection. And I agree, love tu-lu's more than the 'other' place.

    The link to L'Annam states it is closed- is that true?

    Looking forward to trying some of the other places. Thanks for sharing these.

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    1. Ah, thanks for the reminder Rosie! Yes - L'Annam is sadly closed. But, I've replaced it with a WONDERFUL Italian restaurant that I've been meaning to add here - Pala Pizza. Please let me know how you like the rest of the places! Happy eating :)

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  2. You have to add Bar Breton...love the meals but the GF Nutella Crepe for dessert is delicious!

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    1. Bar Breton was on my list of places to try, but apparently it closed! What a bummer. Would love to hear any other recs you have though :)

      PS. Bar Suzette in Chelsea Market has pretty awesome gluten free crepes if you need to satisfy a craving..

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  3. Hangawi is a great vegetarian Korean restaurant on 32nd between 5th and Madison that has a great GF menu. The mini tofu balls are delicious. The decor is awesome and the seating is traditional (sunken seating on the ground, take your shoes off at the door). I highly recommend it!

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    1. Oohh definitely going to try that out! I've always wanted to eat in k-town, but was too intimidated to go to a place without a GF menu. Thank you so much for the rec!

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  4. LOVE Risotteria - I was there last summer and loved the small restaurant and quaint feeling, minus having to move the table to get in and out - ha! Regardless, the food was fantastic. I also love Pure Food and Wine - while it's just a vegan restaurant, the majority of the menu is gluten free and delicious.

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    1. Will have to check out Pure Food and Wine - it's not too far from my apartment! I kind of love eating at vegan restaurants that make you forget you're eating vegan..

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  5. Nizza on 9th between 44th and 45th is AMAZING! They have a GF menu full of pasta and entree dishes and they bring really good gluten free bread at the beginning of the meal. The owner of the restaurant also has a few other restaurants that have GF menus as well. Nice Matin is a french restaurant on Amsterdam and 79th, large GF menu if you enjoy french food.

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    1. Gah I totally forgot about Nizza! One of my friends lives a block away so I've been there MANY times - love their socca. And my mom adores French food so I'll definitely tell her about Nice Matin. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. love this thank you! Mozzarellis chef Elan on Park Ave and 23rd call him, he made us a bday cake with strawberry and mocha filing and we all DIED it was so good. a whole in the wall but a find.

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    1. Of course! Glad you found it helpful. I actually just had Mozzarellis for the first time about a week ago and it was fantastic - great to know about the custom cake option as well!

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  7. Have you tried Kesté on Bleeker Street? Really great pizza. The best I've had in a year of being GF.

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    1. Not yet! I actually passed it the other day and remembered that I need to go. Is it better than Pala? ;)

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    2. I do think it's better than Pala. The crust is more like Neapolitan pizza--with those nice bubbles at the edge.

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  8. Love your blog! I recently dined at Rubirosa in NoLita and they have a great GF menu! Highly recommend it!
    Erin - NYC

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    1. No way! Just looked at the GF menu online and it's safe to say I'll be going for the mozzarella sticks alone. Thanks for the rec!

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    2. :) enjoy! I loved it!!

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  9. Discovered your tumblr and this site today. You're so spot on with all of it. My daughter (at college, also celiac) laughed over page after page of the GIFs. Thank you for the cheer!

    I'd like to second Mozzarelli's. Wonderful pizza, range of choices, decent prices. And the baked goods? Heavenly. I live in Seattle, and I'm still dreaming about it. I wish I could visit more often than a rare trip to Manhattan.

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    1. oh crap. don't know how I missed this comment!! so glad to hear your daughter got a kick out of the GIFs - that's the goal, right? :) celiac is a funny little thing.

      desperately need to update this page, but try Keste next time you're in town - hands down, the BEST GF pizza I've had in NYC. you won't believe it.

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  10. Wow! I have been gluten free and living in NYC, but only been to 2 of these places-Risotteria and Friedman's, which are both awesome. I second the Nizza addition and also suggest Lily's 57, which has a great dedicated GF Chinese menu, the dumplings are delicious.
    Thanks for the suggestions, I can't wait to try these places. Glad I found your blog!

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    1. looks like this page is in dire need of an update - totally agree that Nizza should be included! love their socca and GF pasta dishes.

      haven't been to Lily's 57, but I think it may be related to Lily and Loo? either way - will add both of them :)

      Thanks Mike!

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  11. I live in DC, which is not very GF friendly, and pretty much only eat carbs when i come to visit NYC--Risoterria is amazing and I will definitely be adding some of these other places to my list. Two of my other favorites are Pips Place's on 1st ave between 89th and 90th--expensive but so many tasty options! The caramel cake is to die for. I also love Lilli and Loo for GF Chinese on the upper east side between 61 and 62nd on Lex.

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    1. Oh! And Sarahbeth's on the upper west side :)

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    2. Hahah I hear ya - it's SO hard to justify eating anything but carby goodness when there are so many great options here! I've been to Lilli and Loo a handful of times - love the dumplings, of course. But I've yet to make it to Pips Place! They just opened another location on Lexington and 39th so I'm hoping to make it there soon. Extra soon since you gave it such a good recommendation! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  12. How do these places do on the cross contamination front?

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  13. Great list! You need to try Risotteria Melotti in the EV! The entire restaurant is gluten free and the service is great (much better than the original Risotteria on Bleeker in my experience). I haven't tried Tommy Lasagna yet but the new GF menu looks amazing. House-made pappardelle!!

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    1. oh wow - just checked out the website. looks adorable! i'll definitely add it to my list of places try. tommy lasagna is insaaaane. let me know if you go!

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  14. Katie--Do you have any restaurant suggestions for the theater district?? Coming up next weekend for a show and would love suggestions!

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  15. r u still posting? wanted to know if u had any updates. Love Risott and Bistango, Lilly/Lu, but always looking... Is the bakery u mention still good? Kelly from CT

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    1. hey Kelly - I am still posting on the blog! I just reeeeally need to updated this page haha. Tulu's is still my favorite bakery, for sure. here are some great gf-friendly places that I've been to recently: meatball shop, pizzarte, rhong tiam, siggi's, and forcella. enjoy!! (if you have any particular questions feel free to email me at katie@glutenfreeblondie.com - happy to help!)

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    2. Thank you and Happy Holidays! Kelly from CT

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  16. Have you tried Pappardella or Senza Gluten? I'm looking for a new place to try for my celiac hubby's birthday. I'd love your recommendations!

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    1. hey there! I've been to pappardella on the UWS which was wonderful, but haven't been to senza gluten just yet - have heard great things though!! if you're looking for another 100% gf restaurant, I LOVE the little beet table. bistango is great for italian and they just opened another one in the kimberly hotel which I'm sure is beautiful and a little fancier than the murray hill bistango. rubirosa also has an extensive, gf italian menu (mozzarella sticks!!), though I haven't tried it yet.

      so sweet of you to scope out a gluten free place - have fun & let me know where you end up going!

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  17. do you all go to Brooklyn? nightingale 9 is there. vietnamese. surprising textures and flavors. kerry from cherry bombe owns it!

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  18. Thank you for this! Looking for a GF-friendly place for an upcoming birthday and this list (and website) made my search so much easier. Thank you !

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