In this 2019 update, I’d like to update my list of 40 Best Gluten Free New York Restaurants for Celiacs to Enjoy by 2022. These restaurants are listed in the order in which I’d visit them, in the order of preference. I have a severely affected Celiac and will continue to update this list in 2022 and beyond.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and kamut. It is the most common protein in food, and is what gives bread, pasta, and beer their distinctive textures and flavors. Gluten is essential to human health, and can be found in all foods, even those that are naturally gluten free.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects approximately one percent of the population. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, chronic diarrhea, fatigue, bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain and weight loss. If left untreated, celiac disease can lead to long-term health complications including malnutrition, osteoporosis, infertility, miscarriage and cancer. In some cases, the disease can even be life-threatening. Celiac disease is a lifelong condition, meaning that lifelong maintenance must be done in order for it not to return.
I lived and worked in New York for almost five years, but I didn’t have much spare time due to my profession as a lawyer. Regardless matter where my life leads me, it will always seem like home in terms of cities. Every year, I go back to New York for meetings and gatherings, and I get to munch my way through the gluten-free options.
I wasn’t diagnosed with celiac disease when I initially came here as a summer associate. Following law school, I received a diagnosis and a renewed interest in what I ate. In the decades afterwards, I’ve seen a small number of celiac-friendly choices grow into a colossal selection for those of us who can’t consume gluten. With the emergence of specialized gluten-free establishments comes a lot higher public awareness of the illness.
I’m glad that newly diagnosed celiacs don’t have as steep a learning curve when it comes to ingredients and knowledge, and I wanted to share some of my favorite gluten-free dining places in one of my favorite cities on the planet.
Restaurants, Bakeries, and Other Gluten-Free Options in New York
THE LAST TIME IT WAS UPDATED WAS JUNE 16, 2022.
Red accents indicate that the item is gluten-free.
It’s always good to have a list of someone else’s favorites to fill your face in a metropolis this big ?
When I first began this blog, I seldom mentioned that I had celiac disease since the emphasis was not on food. Now that food is such a big part of the story, I’m getting a lot of inquiries about traveling with dietary restrictions. It’s one of the reasons I included a whole chapter on food allergies in my book and created my own celiac travel guides and translation cards.
This article is a live tree since I return every summer, and I update it with new restaurants and bakeries at the bottom, as well as information for celiacs visiting New York.
My Top 10 Celiac-Friendly Meals in Gluten-Free NYC
1. La Esquina is the name of a street in Madrid, Spain.
Carnitas tacos (below), chicken tinga tacos, and elote are all good options.
Where: 114 Kenmare, on the corner of Centre and Kenmare.
Notes: Pick a beautiful day to go. Order at the takeout window (prices for their seated café are significantly different) and sit in the park across the street. It’s possible that you’ll have to battle pigeons while dining.
2. Name: Kesté Pizza & Vino
What to order: Try the Mast’Nicola, a white pizza with olive oil and basil, or the indulgent Burrata Roberto, which has their own home-made burrata, grape tomatoes, basil, and extra virgin olive oil. All of the pizzas on the menu may be made gluten-free and celiac-friendly, and they also have gluten-free pasta dishes. But why would you when this delicious pizza is right at your fingertips?!
Where: Bleeker Street and Fulton Street are the two sites. You may also place an order online.
Despite the numerous other choices I’ve tried, this is still my favorite pizza place in town. This is a must-visit pizza place in the city, with a specialized gluten-free kitchen, separate pizza cutters, fluffy crusts that will make you smile, and a great menu for everyone.
3. Kotobuki is a Japanese manga series.
What to order: The lunch special sushi platter, which includes all of your favorite sushi as well as their delectable riceless UFO roll (below).
Where: 105 E. 9th Street, New York, NY 10016 (near 4th Avenue).
Notes: If you inform your waiter or waitress that you have celiac disease, they will offer you gluten-free soy sauce. In case you didn’t know, their spicy mayo contains a little amount of soy, therefore it’s best to avoid it if you have the condition.
4. Pho Bang is the name of a Vietnamese dish.
What to order: Great banh cuon (steamed rice crepe with wood ear mushrooms and pork), cha gio (fried rice paper springrolls), and bo luc lac (beef cubes with lemon and garlic, served with lettuce for wrapping). Take a look at the image below.
175 Mott Street, near Grand Avenue.
Mermaid Inn is the name of the hotel.
What to order: Obviously, oysters. $1 oysters and a range of bar appetizers are available on the happy hour menu (everyday from 5pm to 7pm, including weekends). Unfortunately, all of the bar appetizers are breaded, but that only means you’ll get more oysters.
Where: One of their three city locations.
Notes: Although this is not a new business, their happy hour oysterfest is usually entertaining. If this isn’t enough for you, here’s a rundown of New York’s finest oyster happy hours.
Hu Kitchen is the sixth name.
I couldn’t decide between the Hu bowl and the Thai chicken, so I requested half and half. While it took some persuasion (“wait, you want BOTH?”), victory was achieved! And it’s a fantastic mix, with quinoa as the foundation and almonds and cilantro on top.
78 Fifth Avenue is the address (near 13th Street)
‘Smac’ is the seventh name.
Order the gluten-free 4-cheese macaroni.
Where: 345 East 12th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues), New York, NY
Notes: This isn’t the healthiest option, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who misses extremely creamy macaroni and cheese. Or, as we say in Canada, Kraft Dinner, or just KD. (When I initially came to the United States in 2003, any mention of KD was greeted with blank looks, prompting me to respond, “It’s KRAFT.”) You must be aware of this!”
Friedman’s Lunch (number 8)
What to order: BLAT BLAT BLAT BLAT BLAT BL (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato sandwich on gluten-free bread)
Chelsea Market is located at 75 Ninth Avenue in New York, NY 10011.
Notes: Vegetarians may request that the bacon be removed. Roasted brussels sprouts are also a must-try. It’s best to order takeout and then go to the High Line for a picnic.
Ngam Thai is the ninth name on the list.
What to order: Both the green curry fried rice and the pad Thai were excellent. Thai Direct Bowl, a newcomer on the list below, offers a gluten-free New York Thai alternative.
Where: New York, NY, 99 Third Avenue (near 14th street)
Cha An Teahouse is the number ten on the list.
What to Order: Black sesame crème brulee and Pu’er tea (below – the brick, not the leaves).
230 East 9th Street is the address.
Notes: Just inform them you’re gluten-free, and they’ll take away the dessert’s wafer. While I’m not a dessert fan, the black sesame creme brulee is perhaps the finest dessert I’ve ever eaten in New York. If you’re a chocolate fan, you may not agree with me. But it’s creamy and sesame-infused, with black sesame ice cream on top and bruléed to perfection. It’s really excellent.
Do you have celiac disease and like traveling? Please visit my Gluten-Free Travel website for comprehensive city guides, restaurant cards in more than a dozen languages, and more!
MORE Celiac-Friendly Meals in Gluten-Free New York
11. In 2019, a newer addition in the form of a fully gluten free Thai food spot called Thai Direct Bowls, with rice bowls of Penang curry, green curry, spicy basil pork, and more. The owners are Thai, and the food is non-GMO and low in sugar. The restaurant confirmed by email that the entire spot is 100% gluten free, using no MSG, GF soy sauce and oyster sauce (Kikkoman, Tamari and Lee Kum Kee), and dairy free ingredients. Dine-In, takeout or delivery.
12. NoGlu, a gluten-free bakery in Paris, has opened a location in New York. Is a completely gluten-free bakery, as the name implies. It offers pastries, custards, breads, and a variety of other items. You will not miss gluten in the least.
13. Gelateria Italiana Grom has two locations in New York, and your taste senses are owed a visit. The Italian celiac organization has verified that all of their products are gluten-free. (There’s more on it here.)
14. Do you have a hankering for a hearty, rice-based Italian meal? If you have the time, stop at Risotteria Melotti, which is gluten-free and wonderful. Try their shrimp and lemon risotto, or their mixed mushroom dish for a more traditional choice.
15. Le Gourmand NYC, a newcomer on the Upper West Side (opening May 2019), offers organic, gluten-free baked products in a gluten-free facility. Their unique matcha pastry with mango and avocado, as well as their croissants, seem fantastic.
16. Notoriety In New York, Israeli chef Nir Tzuk launched Arba (which means four in Hebrew) in 2019, also on the Upper West Side. It provides gluten-free tasting menus and a-la-carte dining options. Tzuk points out that the restaurant isn’t limited to Israeli food. “This will be a Mediterranean restaurant, not an Israeli restaurant,” Tzuk adds. “I get the impression that people here are searching for foods high in veggies, seafood, and olive oil. It will have Israeli cool flavors without the clichés of hummus, fries, and salad.” Hummus fans may rest easy, however, since hummus is still on the menu.
17. Senza Gluten’s cuisine is completely gluten-free. Since most of my friends consume gluten, I typically eat at restaurants that cater to both celiacs and non-celiacs. If you’re concerned, or if you’re traveling with more than one gluten-free diner, this is an excellent option.
18. By the Way Bakery is gluten-free, dairy-free, and kosher, with a story that is near and dear to my heart: former lawyer Helene Godin left a 22-year career in law in 2011 to start a bakery. She didn’t know how to bake when she initially left, but now she has four locations and a flourishing company.
19. With awareness of celiac illness and care in the kitchen, Bareburger will create any of its burgers on a gluten-free bun.
20. Are you looking for a gluten-free and kosher brunch? Begin your journey with Modern Bread and Bagel on Columbus Avenue. In New York, shakshuka, bagels, burgers, soups, and sandwiches are all gluten-free. Whether it’s kosher or not, the cuisine is delicious, and the owner, Orly, has a fascinating tale about how she came up with her own gluten-free flour. They also provide catering services for individuals who want to organize a celiac-friendly event.
21. Lilli and Loo offers a gluten-free Chinese cuisine that includes pork dumplings.
22. Erin McKenna’s Bakery (previously Babycakes NYC) is a sweet tooth’s dream – their mint cupcakes are to die for. Gluten-free, vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free, all of their baked products are available.
Additional inexpensive eats in New York City, either entirely gluten-free or with gluten-free options
23. Bricolage on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn serves excellent Vietnamese cuisine made with high-quality ingredients and creative combinations. A buddy ordered the banh xeo sizzling rice pancake, while I had the grilled shrimp vermicelli dish. They were both excellent.
24. Wild has launched a gluten-free pizza outlet in Park Slope. There are also gluten-free pastas available.
25. Great Turkish & Mediterranean food at IstanbulPark (their adana skewers = great stuff). Also in Park Slope. CLOSED.
25. Posh Pop Bake Shop, a gluten-free bakery that specializes in cookies, pies, cakes, donuts, snack bars, brownies, and other baked goods. On Bleeker Street in the West Village.
26. Protein bowls with fresh local ingredients and delectable sauces. Sweet Green has locations all throughout NYC, and if one is close enough, it’s worth a short lunch visit.
27. From 5-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, the Ace Hotel’s John Dory oyster bar offers half-priced glasses of wine and $2 oysters.
28. Littleneck’s brunch is fairly cheap, and they even provide poutine! (Sorry, celiacs, the poutine isn’t gluten-free.) I went to the facility on 3rd Avenue.
29. Gluten-free corn arepas with a choice of fillings and fried plantains thrown in for good measure. Great choices at the Arepa Factory in the East Village, which has expanded to include a Columbus Circle location.
30. Temple Canteen in Flushing serves cheap, vegetarian, and excellent South Indian cuisine, with gluten-free options prominently marked on the menu. To die for dosa. It was well worth the journey!
31. Midtown Lebanese joint Souk & Sandwichhas char-grilled meats, dips, and lots of salads. If you’re celiac make sure you mention no tabouli nor any pita; I brought my own crackers for dipping. CLOSED
31. The elegant Japanese restaurant Nami Nori, which debuted in 2019 and is completely gluten free (see their menu here), serves rice-flour battered calamari (rather than conventional tempura), sushi, and a vegan sushi set for people who are both vegan and gluten free.
32. Another sushi alternative is Rolln, which is exactly what it sounds like: a sushi roll joint that is also gluten free. Even their teriyaki sauce is produced in-house and certified gluten-free. It’s located on E 23rd Street and is a convenient location for a short or extended stay in New York.
33. Dale View Biscuits & Beer‘s chef and brewer Christopher Gandsy grew up in Dale View, South Carolina and decided to bring a taste of home to his Brooklyn restaurant. The hashtag on the site uses is #madewithlovenotgluten – and the food is 100% gluten free. They’ve got biscuits and chicken, pulled pork, and some vegetarian options too. Southern food often has a lot of wheat, so this is a great option for those wishing they could enjoy it without getting sick. Note that the beers are not gluten free, which is a bit odd for a fully GF establishment. They do have NY wines on offer, however. Online orders via their website.
34. Spring Bone Kitchen serves slow-cooked beef, paleo bowls, and a variety of delectable, flavorful lunch and supper choices. Although the idea is a little kitschy, bone broth is very nutritious, and we are the nation that is late to the game. Delicious.
35. During my most recent trip to New York, I dined at Little Beet Table for the first time. It’s not only tasty and nutritious, but it’s also gluten-free. The business, which has restaurants in New York and Chicago, maintains a purely seasonal menu, creating exquisite meals using whatever is in season at the time. It’s a good way to eat.
36. Cheska’s is a gluten-free pizza that uses either cauliflower or sweet potato for the dough. They have a small menu, but everything is guaranteed to be gluten-free.
37. Claro in Brooklyn will satisfy all of your Mexican desires and then some. TJ Steele, the chef, is a frequent visitor to my old home of Oaxaca, and his menu is a love letter to Oaxacan cuisine. He also designed the restaurant to mirror some of the region’s architecture and art, including dinnerware from the Oaxacan valley’s Santa Mara Atzompa. Tlayudas, memelas, and tostadas are on the menu, all cooked on a comal, and they remind me of home. They’re gluten-free, their meat and vegetables are organic and locally sourced, and their tortillas are made with Oaxacan criollo corn that’s stone ground in-house. (They make all of their cheeses and sausages in-house as well.)
38. See Cosme for another Mexican restaurant, this time on Manhattan. This one isn’t completely gluten-free, but the majority of their menu is since they utilize conventional corn tortillas with gluten-free ingredients. Given the small number of gluten-containing products on their menu, their staff is well-versed in celiac disease and can reassure customers that cross-contamination is not a problem. This is an expensive yet very creative and tasty experience, similar to sister restaurant Pujol in Mexico City.
39. On the Upper West Side, there’s TAP NYC, a restaurant whose acronym stands for Tapioca crepe, Açaí, & Pão de queijo — all delicious foods from Brazil. The menu is 100% gluten free, and focuses on those three main categories, with stuffed “wrapioca” meals or folded tapioca crepes, stuffed cheese breads (so good!) and healthy fruit bowls with acaí and pitaya (dragon fruit).
40. I’m going to conclude my list with a 100% gluten-free Korean restaurant, which is a rare and one I really enjoy since the flavors of Korean cuisine are absolutely exquisite — and difficult to locate in a GF environment. Kimbap Lab is a restaurant in Brooklyn that claims to combine traditional Korean flavors with gluten-free, locally sourced products. It’s impossible to go wrong, and it tastes fantastic. (Note: they also have a location in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market.)
Do you have celiac disease and like traveling? Please visit my Gluten-Free Travel website for comprehensive city guides, restaurant cards in more than a dozen languages, and more!
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.
With the number of Celiacs in the United States growing every year, more and more restaurants are being added to the list of those that has been certified as gluten-free. Gluten can cause severe gastrointestinal damage to those that are sensitive to it – and many people are.. Read more about best gluten free restaurants nyc and let us know what you think.
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