The reviews have been tallied, and the results are in...New York is the winner of GlutenFreeTravelSite's first annual contest to find the World's Most Celiac-Friendly Destination. If you're lucky enough to live there, you're probably familiar with the numerous restaurants adding gluten-free options to their menus and grocery stores adding gluten-free items to their shelves. This is a great place to live if you have Celiac Disease...awareness is good, and restaurants are eager to stay relevant by catering to the fast-growing group of diagnosed Celiacs lobbying for more dining options. You have your pick of many regional and national chains with gluten-free menus, as well as numerous independent neighborhood restaurants throughout the state...some with gluten-free menus and others willing to tailor just about anything on their menu,within reason. Many of these independent restaurant owners began offering gluten-free items on their menu when they, a family member, or a friend was diagnosed with Celiac.
Coincidentally, our family recently returned from visiting relatives in Rockland County, New York (a suburb just 30 minutes outside of New York City). We were so excited to finally try so many of the restaurants our gluten-free sister-in-law had raved about like Peter's Restaurant in Manhattan and Posa Posa, a popular local Italian restaurant serving gluten-free pizza in a nearby suburb of Nanuet. (Read full reviews of these two restaurants -- and dozens of others in the New York section of GlutenFreeTravelSite.com.) And the grocery stores...there's one in New City called Back To Earth, with a second location in Nyack. They have one of the best selections of gluten-free food I've ever seen...it's like a mini Whole Foods Market, but with even more gluten-free items...literally every brand you can think of. I stocked up on many items I typically have to mail order.
New York...the honor of World's Most Celiac-Friendly Destination is, in my humble opinion, well deserved. For those of you who live there, I'm jealous. For the rest of us...oh, what a great place to visit! So many (gluten-free) restaurants to try...so little time!