Gluten-Free in NYC is Something to See

gluten free nyc

I proudly present to you my gluten-free weekend in New York City…in pictures.

After my bladder cancer test came back clean (woot!!!!), I was in the mood to celebrate my birthday even more. Who cares if it hurt to pee? New York City…here we come.

gluten nyc
And who else would I rather spend my time with than this pretty little lady?

When Mrs. Dude and I go to NYC, we like to walk…and walk…and walk. We walked for a total of 8 hours on Saturday. And along the way, we play the Starbucks game. Whoever spots a Starbucks first gets a point. Mrs. Dude gave me a beat down. I lost 13-0.

jennifers way bakery
Our first stop was to visit Jennifer Esposito at her new bakery.

We ended up spending an hour chatting with Jennifer about celiac, New York City and life in general. She’s a great advocate and an even better person.

She was kind enough to pack a goodie box for me.

I was very sad when it was over.

For lunch, we ate at the very famous (at least for the gluten-free community) Risotteria. It was my first time there and I was not disappointed.

gluten free risotto
I ordered the asparagus risotto and a New Planet Beer. It was awesome. Mrs. Dude even had a gluten-free beer. She was happy!!

gluten free beer list
They had quite the impressive gluten-free beer selection. Though I did give them my Omission beer speech and how it really was not gluten-free. I think it fell on deaf ears.

We worked off our lunch with a nice stroll along the Hudson. This is the obligatory tourist shot of the Freedom Tower along our walk.

We had a pre-dinner sunset cocktail on a 19th floor rooftop bar. It was pretty cool. And at $18 per drink, it better be!

For dinner, we went to Fig & Olive. They did me up right. From my phone call ahead of time to the time the bill was paid, they handled the gluten-free thing like pros. Totally impressed. Just one word of advice to them…turn down the music a notch. It’s a restaurant, not a nightclub.

gluten free cocktail
We finished the night with one final cocktail, although in all fairness I probably should have stopped about two cocktails before this picture was taken.

And of course no trip to the city is complete without a visit to Friedman’s Lunch. A fantastic breakfast and we were on the road.

Here’s the deal folks. As long as you seriously plan ahead of time, traveling gluten-free can be done. We knew where we were eating each meal ahead of time. I didn’t even bring any food with me this time and came out (knocking on wood) unscathed.

Hey Mrs. Dude…let’s do it again next year!!!

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44 thoughts on “Gluten-Free in NYC is Something to See”

      1. Gluten Dude- Can you step outside of the blogosphere and make a movie for me? I have been living in fear in terms of eating out mostly because my girls are banned from restaurant eating until their numbers come down. I’m a visual, hands on learner. I think it would be great if you wore a pair of glasses that has a secret camera (like Howie Mandel), and then walked into several restaurants. That way we could see and hear everything that you say and do in order to enjoy a safe meal. When my girls are cleared, I want to lead by example but I have to admit that I’m shaking in my boots! It could be a documentary starring you and Jennifer!!!

        1. I’m a visual learner too. Would like to see how you go about calling the restaurant ahead and what you say. I usually get stuck with going to places that the majority want to go to (I’m the only one with Celiac) and don’t want to be a pain. How do you handle asking for menu changes? Tired of eating 6 pieces of plain lettuce for $10.

      1. Oh, Nizza is terrific! I ate there last February with no problems. They have a pretty substantial gluten free menu, too. Another good option in midtown/near-ish to Times Square is Lilli’s 57, which is an Asian/sushi place. Terrific gluten free potstickers, pad thai, etc. They’re very knowledgeable and have a big gluten free menu (and do take out, too).

  1. GD-

    Love love love it. What a great way to spend a kick ass birthday. What kind of cocktail were you drinking in the martini glass?? Did you even know that guy with his arms around you? (ha!). Kidding.


    Jersey Girl

  2. Pure Food and Wine is another good one in NYC. My daughter lives in Brooklyn, so when I visit, she knows the GF routine. We both have celiac, she’s SUPER sensitive to not only gluten (obviously), but to a variety of foods, including wine (YIKES). Looks like you and Mrs. Dude had a great time! Well deserved birthday celebration, GD!

      1. That’s my theory too! I always have grand adventures for my birthday, I think we all should. 😀

  3. Sounds like you had a great gluten-free birthday in NYC. I tried going to Risotteria on Saturday too but the wait was 30+ minutes. I wound up at Keste across the street for some of the best GF pizza I ever ate. I wonder if you were eating when I was waiting?! Small world!

    Happy Birthday!

  4. I was in a bit of shock at the price of the gf bread at Jennifer’s bakery but then those photos of the bread convinced me that the price was so probably worth it! I do not think I have seen gf bread like that in the 8 years I have been gf and I have had some pretty good bread. I know the price of supplies and rent in NYC is what sets the price but I will definitely visit the bakery on my next visit to NYC. The bread looks phenomenal! I can only imagine what the bagels are like……YUM!

      1. I love NYC…and that’s from a Boston girl. Our 2 cities are right up there with gluten free goodness. Who doesn’t love a bakery? They are disappearing from the map yet the gf world is helping to bring them back. I paid $8.00 each for the gf eclairs at Risotteria in May. They were every bit as good as their non- gf counterparts. I will admit to anyone that when great gf food makes an appearance, I will happily spend a paycheck to experience it. What can I say…I am weak when it comes to good food!

  5. I travel a lot for work (sitting in Houston airport on my way to Denver) and I still haven’t worked up the courage to eat out when I travel. I live on cottage cheese, blueberries, peanuts, almonds, and coffee. It sucks but it works.

  6. Glad to see your test results are good 😉 NYC looks like a great place! So jealous…I’ll never see it. 🙂

  7. Looks like an amazing vacation! Thanks for sharing so much, love following your posts, cheers me up on bad days!

  8. We celebrate “birthday month” in our house. What can I say? we’re crazy people.

    Yes, indeed NYC is a gluten- free festival and a little planning ahead can yield so many options. I am so, so happy for you guys that you had such a wonderful time!!

    (dang, I was going to suggest Fig and Olive for August, my friend Heather had great things to say about it….but now I will have to come up with something else…ok, where’s my list…… 🙂

    You look so happy–and you deserve it !!

  9. First of all Congrats on a clean bill of health also WooHoo looks like you had a memorable birthday!! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pics with us. I can only dream of going to NYC for now(both our guys in college) but hope to someday soon. This does give me hope that we can travel with good planning. Wishing you many more wonderful birthdays ahead!

  10. Happy Birthday to YOU!!!

    Thanks for sharing your birthday adventure to the Big Apple with us — I always love reading of a successful vacation : )


  11. LOVE Risotteria and their pizza and breadsticks! I always bring a dozen home and freeze them so I can take them along to parties as a safety net. Now I need to try all the other places you mentioned.

    Oh, happy birthday!

  12. Sounds like a fantastic way to celebrate two very important milestones! Thanks for sharing with us. 🙂 Oh, and I like Irish Heart’s comment on having birthday months (same here … well, for me anyway, Mr. GFE just refers to it as my “birth month”), but I like your approach even better! 😉


  13. Thank you for all of the information you share! The list of restaurants in NYC that are gluten free is especially helpful. We are planning to visit soon and with a young daughter who is gluten free it will be nice to show her that there are restaurants/bakeries where she can have lot’s of options when ordering. She was recently diagnosed and being a child it can be tough. thanks again!

  14. Thank you so much for your blog! It is very helpful to a newly diagnosed celiac. I was just in New York a few weeks ago. Due to the timing of the different events I had scheduled I had to stay in the vacinity of the Upper West Side they entire 3 days I was there. I did my research and of course ate at Risotteria. (What a trill to eat breadsticks again!) I was hard pressed to find any other totally gluten-free restaurants on the UWS though. Do you know of any? (I’m very lucky to work in Philadelphia. There are 3 excellent, completely gluten-free eating establishments within 3 blocks of my office.)

  15. Just FYI: The Risotteria is closed … for good. I read somewhere it had something to do with a crazy increase in rent. Very sad, because their food was good (and safe).

    1. Yes…I’ve heard. I was one of the few celiacs who just didn’t love Risotteria. Was there about five times and never had more than an average experience. Still a shame though.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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