Last week my mom, my friend Sarah, and myself took a grand voyage to New York, New York! aka- my favorite city. This has been my favorite city since I first visited about 9 years ago (before I was a Celiac), and I love it even more now that I’m gluten free- it’s honestly one of the most Celiac friendly places I’ve been so far, even more so than Denver! I know that from my gluten free travel experience, it can be a little daunting to go somewhere with unfamiliar food choices; you don’t want to starve while your gluten eating friends get to indulge in the local grub! Let me assure you that you WILL NOT starve in NYC. I always recommend doing some research before any traveling to find restaurants that offer GFree food for the sake of yourself and your travel mates so here are some good, bad, and ugly (though mostly good!) locations that I experienced myself:
Holy smokes, people. Just go here. Don’t ask questions, just go. Basically this place is a Celiac’s therapy group disguised as an adorable Italian style risotto restaurant. The tables are set up in a long line, so it is very easy to start conversations with fellow gluten free eaters which is great for getting advice on other places to eat in the city, or just hearing other people’s gfree experiences. I ordered the asparagus and saffron risotto with a red velvet cupcake as dessert! And the breadsticks! Oh, those scrumptious breadsticks. It was so delicious and my 3 gluten eating dining companions loved it as well– even calling it their favorite restaurant of the trip! Risotteria takes food allergies very seriously and they made me feel extremely comfortable eating there. Just look at their website: the phrase “gluten free” is literally all over the place!
|I forgot to photograph my risotto at the restaurant, so these are the leftovers =]|
|Cheddar breadsticks- I think I lost count of how many I ate at 4…|
A picture of this tiny bakery should be next to the word “adorable” in the dictionary. Despite the long walk/subway ride to the bakery, this place is a true gem. It is all vegan with many nut-free, dairy-free, and of course gluten-free options. It was around noon when we arrived here after walking about 6 miles so far that day, so we decided that we deserved some sugary treats rather than a proper lunch. ;] I indulged in a sprinkled donut and a maple pumpkin cupcake. My God… so gooooooooood. The frosting was the best I’ve had, the cake was super moist, and the donut was just like the donuts I used to get from Dunkin Donuts!
|Sprinkled donut and maple pumpkin cupcake!|
|A very petite bakery with big flavors!|
This place was voted “Best Gluten Free Pizza” in the city, and even though it is the only gluten free pizza I actually ate, I can’t help but agree! They do a great job of separating their gluten free pizzas from their gluten-y pizzas, and they have several topping options to choose from, which is a luxury for a Celiac who usually gets stuck with the option of plain cheese pizza on rice flour crust. I got a spinach/tomato slice- it was super cheesy and packed full of toppings which I love! These people know how to do gluten free right…
Fortunately I ran into no “bad” restaurants…
Lilli and Loo
They tried, they really tried… This place was really promising with their extensive gluten free menu; they even have gluten free pork dumplings! We chose this place as dinner on our last night in the city. Sarah and I were way too tired to go out anywhere, so we ordered food from here online and sent my mom out to get it for us (I know we are lazy, don’t judge.) I was so excited once the food arrived: they were HUGE servings. My single pad thai meal could probably feed a family of 4, easy. I probably could have eaten it all except it was just not very good. The dumpling were ok once you got past the super thick dough that had a weird consistency. Neither Sarah or my mom really enjoyed their food either. It all stunk up the hotel room pretty bad and I felt sort of sick afterwards. I don’t think this was due to gluten intake, but because it was just bad chinese food. I wouldn’t recommend this place at the moment but if they make an effort to refine and improve their food a little bit, I might give them another chance.
As you can tell from the amount of good restaurants I went to as compared to the amount of bad or ugly ones, NYC is a must-go travel destination for a Celiac. Go and buy a seat for the next flight out.