Travelling can be a bit of a pain when you can’t eat wheat. You don’t have your safe choices, you don’t know if you’ll be able to eat anything. You end up worrying if you’ll find good places to eat, whether you’ll get ill and whether whoever you’re travelling with will have to miss out. And, the big one: will I be stuck eating side salads the whole time? (Salad is not a meal in my book).
But luckily, when you’re visiting somewhere like New York, you don’t have to worry as much. There’s loads of gluten free places about, you just need to know where to find them.
Our top 10 places to eat gluten free in New York
This place isn’t your regular, fast food joint. They’ve got everything: standard beef, Elk and Bison, even a duck burger. If you’re gluten free, you can get your burger with a soft gluten free bun or wrapped in collard greens. Sides include my go to of sweet potato fries. It’s probably one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten – probably why they’ve expanded from one to 20 shops in under 15 years.
These two small Manhattan pasta shops serve up skillets of cheesy goodness. Everything on the menu contains the same two ingredients: macaroni and cheese. There are 12 versions, inspired by Italy, Mexico and the US. On my last visit I went for the Napoletana, made with mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and fresh basil. Every dish can be made with gluten free pasta, too. Bonus.
3. Rice to riches
If you’re like me you love anything sweet, and that’s why I was so excited to find this place. Rice pudding reminds me of my childhood and Rice to Riches has put a new twist on it.
Set up like an ice cream parlour, they make around 20 flavours of home made rice pudding every day. The menu changes seasonally (except for their vanilla and chocolate flavours), and has options like tiramisu, rum and raisin or coconut banana. While most of what’s on offer is gluten free, not everything is, so check their site or talk to member of staff before ordering.
4. Melt shop
Who doesn’t love grilled cheese? Head over to one on Melt Shop’s 6 NYC locations for a deliciously gooey gluten free sandwich made with fresh bread from a local gluten free bakery.
Their fried chicken fillings may be off the cards but theres still plenty of choice, we recommend the maple bacon.
5. Egg shop
This is my go to for breakfast or brunch (though they are open all day). Surprisingly enough the menu revolves around eggs: boiled, fried scrambled or poached (hint: the correct answer is poached). You can have any egg sandwich served up on a gluten free english muffin.
My favourite is the BLT Benedict which comes with smokey bacon, mixed greens, grilled tomato and a blood orange citronette.
6. Dos Caminos
A great little Mexican chain with 5 locations in NYC. I always stop by their 3rd Avenue restaurant.
You won’t find a gluten free menu available here, but in my experience the staff have always known exactly what’s safe to order. There’s plenty of choice here too; nachos, ceviche and naked burritos, but I nearly always opt for the fish tacos made with fresh mahi-mahi. They’re delicious.
7. Meatball shop
Ok, so there’s slightly less choice for you here. But what you can have is delicious, so I can deal with that. You’ll find 7 of these little Italian joints spread across the city.
Their beef, pork and veggie meatballs are off the cards here, but their chicken meatballs are gluten free. You can pair these with sides like risotto, milled polenta or veggies.
8. Erin McKenna’s Bakery (Babycakes)
You’ll find this place on most gluten free lists for NYC, but it’s still worth a mention. Based in Lower Manhattan, everything in this little bakery is gluten, dairy, egg and soy free.
They have a great selection of cookies, brownies and cakes, but for me the real reason to visit is the donuts (yes, they actually serve gluten free donuts). Flavours change daily, but in my experience they’re definitely worth stopping by to pick up.
Pizza is one of the things I miss most about my gluten free diet. But Rossopomodoro serves up amazing gluten free pizzas from their West Village kitchen that’s so good, you might not even be able to tell they left the gluten out.
The head chef has worked hard to create their own unique flour blend, and their menu clearly marks which of their creations are safe. I love the classic Caprese, but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous try the Calamaro e patata which is topped with potatoes and calamari. Whatever you order make sure to talk with your waiter first to minimise the chance of cross contamination.
10. The Palm Court
This one’s a bit of a treat. Housed within the conservatory of the Plaza hotel, I’ve never been disappointed with The Palm Court’s breakfast or afternoon tea.
For breakfast they serve up fluffy gluten free pancakes. You can add fresh fruit to the order, but I paired mine with smoked bacon. There’s also naturally gluten free options like fruit salads and omelettes.
If you visit for afternoon tea, start with sandwiches, then gluten free scones and a selection of cakes and pastries. Wash it all down with tea, or sod it, you’re on holiday – a few bubbles.
It’s a little on the pricey side, but well worth it.
Thats our pick of the top 10 gluten free restaurants in NYC. Got any favourites we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.