Gluten. It helps foods like pasta, bread and more hold their shape, but for those that are gluten-free, it makes dining out an anxiety-filled challenge. Even as gluten-free diets have become more popular (and controversial), gluten-free menu options have remained scarce. But not to worry, we searched the city for the best gluten-free options, whether you’re looking for a romantic restaurant to take your sweetie or a brewery to hit up with your squad. Go ahead and order the pasta.
When you need a grab-and-go lunch or dinner: Fields Good Chicken serves flavorful chicken in a variety of healthy and creative preparations, many of which are gluten-free. Opt for their signature Damn Good Chicken Plate featuring crispy-skinned, oven-roasted chicken served alongside a choice of sides, or try the gluten-free Bueno Bowl or the nourishing (and gluten-free) Christina’s Kale Salad.
When you’re craving sushi: Order up classic rolls like California, Spicy Tuna, and Salmon Avocado Roll or the seasonal Braised Pork ROLLN. The Flatiron sushi restaurant uses sushi rice and quinoa to make gluten-free rolls.
For a kid-friendly meal even the adults will love: Finding a restaurant that offers gluten-free options, caters to kids and still makes you feel reasonably hip is akin to encountering a unicorn. Meet Clay. The Harlem restaurant occupies that elusive overlap between grown-up vibes and kid-friendly amenities and they take amazing care in accommodating guests with dietary restrictions. All of their pasta dishes can be made gluten-free and many of their others can be made be gluten-free, too, such as braised daikon (also vegetarian).
For vegan gluten-free tacos: Head to Little Beet Table in NoMad for Taco Tuesday. The menu, which includes much more than tacos, created by Culinary Director Matt Aita, is 100 percent gluten-free. My favorite dish is the Jack Fruit Al Pastor tacos, especially on a cold NYC day when I’m dreaming of spring.
For an afternoon out with friends: Brooklyn Cider House’s hard cider is naturally gluten-free (I love the Half Sour) and their menu is also full of delicious gluten-free dishes. Choose à la carte gluten-free options like Cider House Nachos: Tortilla de Bacalao, a Spanish salted cod omelet; and melted raclette cheese over grilled vegetables, potatoes and pickles. And ask about their entirely gluten-free signature prix-fixe dinner.
When you need a romantic spot to take your sweetie: While Faro might be known for its handmade pastas, the Buswick restaurant can make almost all of their pasta dishes gluten-free thanks to housemade scroll-shaped gluten-free Casarecce, or opt for the pan-seared Diver Scallops, Blue Shrimp or Hudson Valley Duck Breast. Don’t forget to order a glass or bottle of wine from their always interesting wine list.
For sweets: Sometimes you just want a cupcake or a cookie. Baked By Melissa has you covered with gluten-free cupcakes and macarons so you can have your cake and eat it, too.