Gluten Free in New York City

September 18, 2013

I always say this to my family and friends... when I go to the USA, I feel normal. I still ask for a gluten free menu, but restaurants and staff actually know what gluten is. As oppose to other parts of the world,  I usually need to explain. It feels so great to go to the USA and have such a variety... and well, feel normal.

I recently just went on a business trip to NYC and man was I in gluten free heaven! They have so many restaurants that cater to a coeliac. Here is my experience at a few. (From the photos below, you'll know I really love Italian :) )

GF Breadsticks @ Risotteria
First night my friends and I hit up Risotteria. Delicious Italian food, everything from gluten free pasta, pizza, meatballs and more! The two items on the menu that caught my eye were 1) the gluten free fresh breadsticks. They were so delicious and freshly baked, so nice and warm. The best thing about the breadsticks -- they are free! You can ask for as many refills as you want. I had breadsticks after years and this definitely filled that breadstick void. 2) they even had homemade apple pie. I can't review that because I did not try it (I think I over did it on the breadsticks) It's a very small place, but very cute. The staff is great as well.

I love macaroni and cheese. While googling places to eat, a few of my work friends and I found this gem -- S'mac. I've never in my life been to a place just dedicated to macaroni and cheese! and the best part is they do all their macaroni and cheese dishes gluten free which GF bread crumbs sprinkling. I had the buffalo chicken GF macaroni and cheese and it was great. However, the meal is extremely heavy. I got the normal size and I hardly made a dent in it. It's quite heavy, so you can only have so much no matter how much your taste buds are loving it.  So if you don't have much of an appetite, get the smallest size possible... trust me even that will be hard to finish!

Another night we hit up Pala Pizza.  Another great Italian restaurant that had items I've never had as a coeliac before. They had delicious bread parmesan chips with a side of marinara, which were great. And something I would fly back to NYC for were the spinach and mozzarella risotta ball. Not often do you get this sort of fancy stuff on a GF menu. Trust me, the photo looks amazing, but it tasted even better.

I fear to say it again, I went to another Italian restaurant. I love Italian food as you can tell, but this was something I don't get in London... that is gluten free ravioli at Bistango, is wonderful! The fresh bread   is to die for you. The worst feeling--going to a restaurant and not getting bread while everyone else stuffs their face with it. But have no fear, Bistango gives a great portion of fresh + warm gluten free bread with a side of garlic oil. My friends and I shared a pizza bread as an appetizer which was great. The ravioli was so fantastic and to top the delicious evening off, we all shared a piece of gluten free cheesecake. A very classy restaurant, and a must visit for a coeliac when you visit NYC.

Since I've been a coeliac, I've never been out anywhere for breakfast. Mainly because I'm not crazy about eggs and you don't really get GF pancakes at places in London. But have no fear, I got a fantastic gluten free brunch at Bloom's Deli in NYC. We ordered the gluten free french toast, which was pretty good. Like I said I'm not mad about eggs and you could taste the egginess in the bread, so wasn't too mad about that. Also had a taste of the gluten free pancakes with chocolate chips and bananas! Delicious! The deli is decorated as you would imagine a perfect like breakfast cafe in NYC.

This is just a few of my yummy highlights in NYC. It was a crazy work week, but the evenings were wonderful in the city. My heart can't explain how nice it was to feel normal and enjoy restaurants normal people do... I'm sure all you other coeliacs understand.


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