by Jessica Haberkern
Pizza. Pasta. Meatballs. Falafel. Some of the best food this city has to offer is no-can-do for the allergy-ailed. But being gluten-free (by necessity or fad) doesn’t have to mean swapping life’s simple pleasures for rice cakes and veggie sticks. Or perpetually ordering a salad when dining out with friends. Can you make that without croutons? It’s time to say goodbye to uneducated waiters and the horrible feeling in your gut when gluten manages to slip in your dish under the radar. Today we show our food-impaired friends some much deserved dietary love. Behold, our top spots to throw down on gluten-free grub!
Curated by our very own gluten-free scout, this list is built on the premise that allergen-free food should be certifiably yummy, made with ingredients you can pronounce, and not break the bank. Looks like you can have your cake and eat it too—and we’re not talking about rice cakes.
270 Bleecker Street, West Village
With bowls of gluten-free (and dairy-free) risotto starting at $12 and loaded with mushrooms, seafood, and sweet corn, this West Village restaurant and bakery is at the top of our list. Begin with breadsticks, wash down with beer, and round out the night with a big slice of apple pie—all gluten-free, of course!
248 Broome St., SoHo
Celeb-approved by the likes of Zooey Deschanel, Natalie Portman, and Jason Schwartzman, Babycakes is a hot house for vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and sugar-free treats that are oh so heavenly. Swapping agave nectar for processed sugar and applesauce for eggs, these sweets are ones you can feel good about eating. Plus, their rendition of Ho Hos and Twinkies are pure genius.
345 East 12th St., East Village
S’Mac, short for Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese, serves up classic American mac-n-cheese with comfort-food fixins. Portions begin at $6.25 and gluten-free goers can choose from any macaroni concoction on the menu.
Lilli and Loo
792 Lexington Ave, Upper East Side
If you have a craving for food of the Asian persuasion, Lilli and Loo is your go-to spot. Although most Chinese chefs use wheat as a thickening agent, Lilli and Loo offer over 60 dishes sans-gluten. Blueberry pound cake included.
198 Allen Street, Lower East Side
Pala has a gluten-free menu that will make your mouth water: meatballs, cheese balls, calamari, over 13 types of seriously gourmet pizza, and three varieties of noodles to accommodate your flour of choice.
Taim Falafel & Smoothie Bar
222 Waverly Place, West Village
Gluten-free falafels. Enough said.