Gluten Free in New York City -- Some Great Italian Dinners and a Wonderful Hotel
September 01, 2014
New York City is one of the easiest places to find "gluten free friendly" restaurants. Our family just returned from a trip to New York to visit family, and this time we made it a point to go into New York City for a few days -- for some good gluten free dining, as well as some business meetings and sightseeing.
I've always loved NYC and actually lived there many years ago, so any opportunity to return to the Big Apple is a welcome one. This time, my husband and I had a couple days to ourselves while my mother-in-law watched our kids, and then they later joined us in the city.
We wanted to try several gluten-free friendly restaurants that had been recommended to us, but on the first night our desire was to find someplace in Little Italy that understood gluten free. Fortunately, that was not a difficult task, as most of the restaurants on Mulberry Street in the heart of Little Italy have their menus on display along the street. Many of them had mentions of gluten free options (typically gluten free pizza and/or pasta) on their menus. After asking some questions at various restaurants, we chose to dine at Da Nico Ristorante. It was a gorgeous summer evening, and like most others in the restaurant, we chose to dine al fresco on their lovely back patio. We were so impressed with the food and wine selection at this restaurant. We're partial to Italian reds and ordered a bottle of Nero d' Avola. We enjoyed that, along with two generous salads and wonderful gluten free pasta dishes done perfectly al dente. For more details about what we ordered and our whole experience, you can read my full review of Da Nico on GlutenFreeTravelSite.
Despite already having had one very good gluten free Italian meal, we decided to dine at Otto our second night (again, it was just my husband and me for this meal). Owned by Mario Batali, this Greenwich Village eatery is a popular spot for brick oven pizza. However, because of the risk of cross contamination, Otto does not offer gluten free pizzas...on one hand a disappointment, but on the other hand a nice testament to how seriously they take preparing meals for their gluten free diners. There were a good number of other choices for gluten free guests, including gluten free pasta preparations, all of which are always cooked in a separate pot of water and prepared with the utmost care to avoid cross contamination. The gluten free pasta they use was one we had never heard of or tried, and I was quite pleased with my selection. Again, for more details on what we ordered at Otto and the type of organic (non-GMO) gluten free pasta they use, you can read my full review.
To continue our gluten free Italian dining tour of New York City, our kids and extended family joined us at Nizza for dinner on our third night. Nizza is in the "Hell's Kitchen" area of NYC on 9th Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets. Despite an excrutiatingly long wait to get our food, the ambiance was nice (we were seated at a large table near the front windows that open out onto a small area for al fresco dining on the sidewalk), and the food was very good. Our party of 9 ordered a range of their gluten free Socca "pizzas" made from chickpea flour, many different gluten free pastas, and a fish entree. This restaurant has gained quite a reputation among gluten free locals, as it was originally owned by a restauranteur whose daughter has Celiac. The restaurant has been trained by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), and their Gluten Free Menu gives you plenty of options. The sausage used in their Sunday Pasta is the best I've ever had, and I continued to steal bites from my son's plate! I, however, ordered the gluten free pasta with white clam sauce (and another of our choices, the gluten free pesto pasta, is pictured below). To learn more about our dining experience, read my full review.
Even though we didn't dine at this particular pizza joint in SoHo, Ben's Pizza, I just had to share this photo of a chef advertising -- and giving the "thumbs-up" to the establishment's gluten free pizza! We never would have seen that three or four years ago!
Last, but certainly not least, I want to recognize the hotel where we stayed, the Ritz Carlton Battery Park, for their attention to gluten free details that made us happy we chose this hotel -- and inclined to stay there on any and all future visits. Clearly, the Ritz Carlton chain of high-end hotels offers a nearly unparalleled level of service. But we hadn't initially looked into the availability of gluten free meals at their restaurant -- in large part because this was a last-minute trip, and we weren't planning to eat any meals except breakfast at the hotel. However, after talking with one of the chefs at breakfast the first morning, we were impressed with their knowledge of gluten free food preparation, the options they could offer, and their general aim-to-please attitude. (Here's a quick photo we snapped of our son's gluten free Kids Breakfast.) You can read my full review on GlutenFreeTravelSite...and I encourage you to keep this hotel in mind when visiting New York City. Perhaps you'll even luck out and find a specially-priced package as we did!
Of course, this post has given you just a very small sampling of some of the gluten-free friendly places to eat in New York City. There are TONS of other reviews of gluten-free friendly eateries, bakeries, and even markets on our website, so be sure to visit this page and enter New York City in the Search Box. You'll get a listing of places that have been reviewed with a corresponding MAP. Simply click on any restaurant in the listing to read the review. You'll find New York City to be one of the most gluten-free friendly cities around!
And if you've visited NYC recently and found your own favorite GF-friendly spots, share them by submitting a review to our site -- or share your favorites in a Comment below...