KidTripster Teen: 8 Great restaurants serving tasty gluten-free options
These days, it seems like eating gluten-free has reached health craze status; lots of establishments have jumped on the bandwagon. Whether you’re electing to cut gluten by choice or out of necessity, there are options available. That being said, it’s a fact that not all gluten-free foods are created equal. So I scoured New York City - a foodie capital - in search of remarkable restaurants with tasty gluten-free menus that also are situated near some pretty popular NYC attractions.
Photo courtesy: Dig Inn
41 Murray St., Tribeca
Mexican food is always a crowd pleaser, but Rosa Mexicano takes it up a notch with a separate gluten-free menu. This charming place with a low-key vibe is close to the 9/11 Memorial and One World Observatory. The menu offers some fantastic dishes including enchiladas – an item that doesn’t often grace the page of a gluten-free menu! The fresh guacamole is super yummy; however the portion size leaves a bit to be desired; so if you’re sharing, you may want to order more than one. Don’t worry though, the entrées are sure to leave you feeling satisfied.
300 E.12th St., East Village
This quirky place is an omnivore’s dream! Angelica Kitchen specializes in vegan food but has a ton of gluten-free options. All the ingredients used in the dishes are organic. It’s just a few blocks away from Union Square. Fun Fact: Angelica Kitchen was the first 100% vegan restaurant in NYC, starting back in 1976. I usually order miso soup and combo bowl; they’re extremely delicious and nutritious! Who knew eating your veggies could taste so good?
206 Sullivan St., West Village
Giving up pasta is one of the heartbreaking realities about a life without gluten. Well, Senza Gluten’s entirely gluten-less menu can fill the void! Yep, you read correctly; this place is an absolutely 100% gluten-free Italian restaurant. The cozy space is in the heart of the West Village and just down the street from Washington Square Park. The best part? The pasta tastes just as good as the real deal. Even the bread has the right texture! Give the lasagna a try but make sure to save room for dessert, because the tiramisu and the crème brulee are to die for! It doesn’t matter what you order at Senza Gluten, because it’s guaranteed to be “fantastico!”
KidTripster Tip: Make sure to hit up the ATM machine before heading to eat here, because this place only takes cash or American Express.
132 W. 31st St., Garment District
Friedmans is a quaint, little restaurant that you may miss, if you were passing by on the street. Heck, I was looking for it, and I missed it! Once you find it though, you’ll want to come back again and again. While it’s not completely gluten-free, it’s completely safe. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Friedmans focuses on making delicious, celiac-safe foods. One of the specialties here is the fried chicken and waffles (gluten-free, of course), but the garden burger is pretty killer, as well. It’s conveniently located just down the block from Madison Square Garden and Macy’s in Herald Square. Whether you’re in this part of town to hit the shops or root for the Rangers, this place is a must stop. There’s also three other NYC locations in Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, and Columbia.
KidTripster Tip: Friedmans is awesome, but it’s also relatively small. So if you're planning to go for either brunch or dinner, it’s best to make a reservation.
360 9th Ave., Theater District
Located just steps from the bright lights of Times Square, Nizza offers the perfect setting for enjoying a nice meal before heading off to see a show. Reservations are recommended, especially if you plan on going pre-theater. It serves Italian fare, and the food is amazing. One of my favorites is a dish called socca, which is a flatbread made with naturally, gluten-free chickpea flour. It might sound weird, but it tastes delicious. For dessert, try the extraordinary ricotta cheesecake with a biscotti crust.
6/Lilli and Loo
792 Lexington Ave., Midtown East
If you like Pan-Asian cuisine, then you’ll love Lilli and Loo. This restaurant is in compliance with the GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group), so your meal definitely will be a safe one. Give the Thai spring rolls a try, and for dessert, I recommend the blueberry pound cake. It will blow your mind! Another bonus, this restaurant is not too far from the Central Park Zoo and practically right across the street from Bloomingdale’s. After all, you always work up an appetite while shopping.
313 W. 57th St., Midtown West
This isn’t any ordinary burger joint; it’s the ultimate burger restaurant. The rapidly growing chain has quite a few locations around the city, but this particular one is close to Central Park and Lincoln Center. Enjoy the kitschy décor and the exotic burgers like elk, bison, and wild boar. The veggie burgers also are out of this world! I especially love the wild rice and sweet potato burger in a collard green wrap. You can order from the menu or choose the build-your-own option.
154 E. 79th St., Upper East Side
This upscale but laidback vegan place with comfy seating and friendly service has an extensive gluten-free menu that will make your mouth water. Since the menu changes with the seasons, we can’t guarantee the delectable wild mushroom crepe will still be there when you visit, but I’m sure whatever is on the menu will be equally scrumptious. It’s perfect for lunch, brunch or dinner after spending some time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is only a few blocks away.
KidTripster Tip: If you like the food here, also check out its sister restaurant, Candle West. It’s on the other side of Central Park and only a short walk to the American Museum of Natural History. It has a similar menu that will surely satisfy.
Bonus: Quick Bites
Of course, when you’re sightseeing, you may not want to take time out to sit down for a leisurely meal. Don’t worry, the following are grab-and-go places that have excellent gluten-free options.
This fun and funky vegan/raw cafe has lots of gluten-free options. The one in downtown Manhattan is super close to the recently completed Oculus Transportation Hub; the Brooklyn location is near the Barclays Center.
Hu offers a wide variety of yummy, organic, gluten-free food. There’s one near Union Square and another on the Upper East Side.
Laine Messier is a homeschooled high school student, who currently splits her time between Los Angeles and New York City. She’s lucky enough to be able to explore the globe with her parents and is always on the lookout for unique and exciting experiences.