Suffer from Celiac disease? Going through life gluten-free poses its challenges, especially when cravings for comfort foods like pizza and cupcakes come knocking. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here’s a look at some of the top GF fare in town. By Camille DeMere.
If you suffer from a gluten intolerance, you’ll find a bit of heaven at Risotteria. From the minute they place the first round of gluten-free breadsticks at the table until you finish the last bite of your gluten-free apple pie at dessert. In between, you can sip on gluten-free beer! The menu targets those with Celiac Disease, and itemizes the options with markers for “gluten free,” “vegetarian,” or “dairy free.” The restaurant specializes in risotto and gluten-free baked goods, which you can order to go. On Tuesdays, order from a special gluten-free pasta menu. Yes, the place sounds too good to be true for those who normally can’t enjoy all of these foods – and the crowds that gather nightly prove the restaurant’s worth. Reservations aren’t accepted, wait time can be lengthy and the place gets crowded fast. But our tip? It’s worth it.
The gluten-free options here are limitless, and the staff is eager to please and ensure a safe and delicious meal for everyone. You’ll probably even meet the owner, Anthony, who often comes out to greet guests and chat about his restaurant. Start the meal off with warm, crusty gluten-free bread that puts most other GF bread to shame. For dinner, you can dine on creamy Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli, flavorful Wild Mushroom & Ricotta Ravioli, or Cheese Tortellini from the gluten-free menu. For a $2 premium, you can make any pasta item on the menu gluten-free. They also offer two Green’s gluten-free beers, the dark and sweet Endeavor and the light and fresh Quest. During the summer, sip fresh gluten-free white wine sangria. Try the GF homemade cheesecake for dessert.
Keste Pizza & Vino
A good pizza can be tough to find – especially when you’re avoiding gluten – but Mondays and Tuesdays are gluten-free days at this West Village spot. Choose from the Mast Nicola, with lardo, Pecorino Romano (a hard, salty cheese), and basil, or sample the Marinara (tomatoes and oregano) or the classic Margherita. All pies come on a cruncy, brick-oven crust that will make you forget it’s gluten-free. The torta caprese, a flourless chocolate almond cake, is moist and dense, completely gluten-free, and a great way to finish off your meal.
345 East 12th St
New York, NY 10003
Mac’n'cheese is the ultimate comfort food (check out our Best Mac roundup) - but for not always for gluten-free lifestyles. That’s where S’MAC comes into the play. They’ve gone through a lot of effort to make their entire menu available in GF variations, charging a bit more depending on the size of dish you order. For GF mac, they use Brown Rice elbow macaroni, bechamel (no wheat flour), and breadcrumbs made from GF cornflakes. With all that in mind, dive into their extensive collection of delicious mac flavors, including cheeseburger and cajun.
Lilli And Loo
792 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Hungry for stick-to-your-bones, Chinese takeout – sans gluten? Check out this Lexington Avenue locale, Lilli and Loo. Their gluten-free menu boasts more than 50 items, including spicy General T’so’s chicken or tofu, which retains the crunch its gluten-filled counterpart is known for. We like the rice noodle pad thai, and the dumplings are delicious with GF soy sauce.
154 E 79th St
New York, NY 10021
Dimly-lit and perfect for date night, this Upper East Side venue boasts a thorough gluten-free menu. Their organic, vegan fare pairs fabulously with a thorough cocktail selection. The atmosphere is welcoming to those without dietary limitations, as well. We’re big fans of Angel’s Nachos ($16.00).
Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery
338 East 11th St.
New York, NY 10003
Time for dessert. Tu-Lu’s made our Best Cupcake list on the quality of its wares alone. It’s a bonus that they’re gluten-free. Tully Lewis attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, Texas, before making her way up to NYC to continue her studies at NYU. Good thing for us it’s not all academic for her. Her chocolate chip cookies get rave reviews, and of course, we love the vanilla/vanilla cupcake.
Rice To Riches
37 Spring Street
New York, N.Y.
In a skinny city where venues like Pinkberry make a business of encouraging visitors to top their non-fat concoctions with healthy additions like fruit and nuts, Nolita’s Rice To Riches offers heaping portions of their trendy take on comfort food while encouraging the overindulgence (the walls are lined with phrases poking fun at thin girls and fitness freaks). It’s a bit pricey, but even the smallest size is big enough for two to share. The staff is knowledgeable about which flavors are gluten-free, and which ones aren’t safe for those with the allergy.