Eating Globally and Gluten-Free in New York City

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One of my favorite things about New York City is the wide variety of food available from around the globe. You don’t have to go far to find safe gluten-free Mexican, Italian, Spanish, Colombian, Venezuelan, Asian, or Indian food. Sometimes these restaurants are just steps from one another and your hardest decision to make that night is what exactly you are in the mood to eat for dinner. You can literally travel the globe through food with nothing more than a Metrocard and a subway map.

I would like to note that New York City has a very high turnover of restaurants. Be sure to call ahead to make sure your destination restaurant is still open. In addition, menus sometimes change. Talk to your server and the manager about eating gluten-free safely at your restaurant.

Here are some of my personal gluten-free global suggestions for dining in New York City.

Italy

  • Risotteria: extensive gluten-free menu including risotto, panini, pizza, and the best GF breadsticks in the world!
  • Bistango: gluten-free pastas, stuffed pastas, pizza, bread, desserts, and beer
  • Keste: brick-oven pizza senza gluten (gluten-free)
  • Pala Pizza: extensive gluten-free menu including antipasto, pasta, pizza, and vegan options
  • Pappardella: typical Italian cuisine featuring gluten-free Schar products
  • Del Posto: very gourmet restaurant that is perfect for a special occasion
  • Davio’s Steakhouse: a northern Italian steakhouse that serves fish, meat, and gluten-free pastas

Mexico

  • Rosa Mexicano: gluten-free menu and table-side guacamole preparation (Union Square location is most gluten-free friendly)
  • Rocking Horse Cafe: a lively restaurant with all gluten-free clearly marked on menu

Greece

  • Ovelia: certified gluten-free menu with a traditional Greek food with homemade sausage that is amazing.

Spain

  • Casa Pomona: traditional food from Spain including tapas and paella (CLOSED)

Latin America

  • Bogota Latin Bistro: traditional Colombian fare including arepas, cornmeal empanadas, patacones (plaintains), and even 2 dedicated gluten-free fryers
  • Caracas Arepa Bar: homemade Venezuelan food including 100% cornmeal areaps. Three locations! 
  • Zengo: this Latin-Asian fusion restaurant features many gluten-free small plates

India

Asia

  • Ku Ku Canteen: Asian fusion restaurant featuring gluten-free bulgogi, a traditional Korean dish, and bibimbap, “a Korean dish consisting of rice topped with sautéed vegetables, chili paste, and beef or other meat, sometimes with the addition of a raw or fried egg”  (CLOSED)
  • Lilli and Loo: featuring traditional Chinese food and sushi with a full gluten-free menu
  • Rhong Tiam: authentic Thai food with all gluten-free menu items clearly marked at the restaurant (website doesn’t show GF)

France

  • Les Halles: Anthony Bourdain’s typical Parisian brasserie with gluten-free items clearly marked on menu
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About Erin Smith

Erin Smith was diagnosed with celiac disease in the early 1980s, so she’s been eating gluten-free almost her entire life. Erin has a unique perspective of growing up in the gluten-free community and blogs about living — and enjoying — a gluten-free lifestyle. Erin Smith has been writing her gluten-free lifestyle blog Gluten-Free Fun since 2007. In 2011, she launched Gluten-Free Globetrotter, a website that encourages those with celiac disease to travel the world and not be scared about eating gluten-free domestically and abroad. Erin is also the lead organizer of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group, a social community that has grown to over 1800 members in the 8 years she has been organizing the group.
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11 Responses to Eating Globally and Gluten-Free in New York City

  1. Erica Feld says:

    Thanks for listing Gluten Free restaurants with an international flair.

  2. Anna says:

    Great list! Super excited to know that Lilli & Loo and Rhong Tiam have GF menus, and now can’t wait to check them out. Have you tried the GF ramen at Ippudo yet? Would love to hear your take!

  3. Paula says:

    Hi Erin, if you’re ever in Astoria again, check out La Bottega Astoria Cafe, which offers gluten free menu items clearly marked on their menu from soups, salads, and paninis. Restaurant has a nice ambiance and food is delicious. Check them out at http://www.LBAstoria.com (website however, doesn’t show GF).

  4. Christina says:

    Hi Erin! Great list! I wanted to add a few recommends: Wild over in Chelsea had some really nice GF options http://eatdrinkwild.com/; Mexican Radio catered my wedding with both GF and vegan options and their menu is well labeled with lots of choices for both; Bare Burger has, in my opinion the best burgers in NYC, and offers both GF buns and lettuce wrap options; of course get your favorite sweets at Babycakes; I just learned Crumb bakery has opened a GF store on West 8th; Hu Kitchen is pricey but awesome with tons of GF and vegan options; Sacred Chow is still a solid standard. NYC is truly a great place to live with food sensitivy and Celiac.

  5. Camilla Nordling says:

    Thank you, Erin! We have just had an fantastic experience at Pappardella in NYC. Great food, great service and cozy atmosphere. A very happy son with a very good pizza. So glad to have given him that experience. Have not found it without your webbside. Thanks again. Kind regards Camilla Nordling /Sweden

  6. Erin Smith says:

    Unfortunately restaurants turn over very quickly in NYC. Here is an updated list as of July 8, 2014.

    NOW CLOSED:
    Casa Pomona
    KuKu Canteen

    ADDED:
    Del Posto
    Davio’s Steakhouse

  7. Alyssa W says:

    Thank you so much for this list! It means a lot coming from a native NYer, and it alleviates the stress of navigating SO MANY restaurants. I’ll be visiting NYC for work this week, staying in the Financial District/Wall St. area. Any places in particular that you recommend? (I’m thinking Les Halles and Risotteria, but maybe there are some better/newer options you haven’t added to this list yet?)

    • Erin Smith says:

      Hi Alyssa, thanks for stopping by my website! I don’t often go to the Financial District, so I don’t have many recommendations down there. If you don’t mind taking the subway, I would suggest Pala Pizza, Risotteria (or Keste across the street if Risotteria is too crowded), Rosa Mexicano in Union Square, or Del Posto if you are looking for something super fancy (go for lunch, it’s cheaper!). You can see all of my gluten-free in NYC posts here: http://glutenfreeglobetrotter.com/glutenfreenyc/

      Have a great trip!

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