I recently wrote a blog post on where to find local cuisine in Portugal, and I love the concept! It’s so nice to be able to join in eating the local cuisine and trying new things with everyone else whilst travelling.
I have also recently been giving some New York recommendations to people with trips planned, so why not start with New York for my next local cuisine guide?
Ok, so some of my foods may be controversial as they may not really be from New York but visitors in the U.K. may want to know about them – so apologies to any New Yorkers in advance with this post!
I would recommend a DIY food tour but you may need to pace yourself with the portion sizes! However, I urge you to try your best to eat at as many of these recommendations below as possible as many of these are not only some local options, but also some of the best gluten free options NYC has to offer!
Bagels and lox
I absolutely love the concept of 100% gluten free and Kosher Modern Bread and Bagel and with so many good reviews I continue to recommend it despite my bagels being a bit dry. I hope I was just unlucky as it’s such a unique option that I want to support it anyway and it is definitely where you should head for gluten free bagels.
Note: Also pick yourself up some bagels from Trader Joes, especially if you’re lucky enough to visit in Fall for their pumpkin bagels! You can always bring them home with you so you can try as many restaurants as possible whilst in the city! Everything but the bagel Trader Joes seasoning is also a must buy. My suitcase always gets filled to the max when coming home from the US!
For my last two trips to New York I’ve stayed at The Edison Hotel – it’s Central and has a Friedmans Restaurant in the hotel. Nothing says you’ve sussed gluten free travel more than late night fried chicken burgers when you land and blueberry pancakes for breakfast without even having to go anywhere! My favourite place in NYC to eat as it makes eating gluten free look so easy.
I managed to get pancakes at Big Daddies (looks like it’s closed) and Fresh and Co too but I felt far more at ease in Friedmans, plus Paul preferred Friedmans for what he had than both these places but they are alternatives to be aware of. We found Fresh and Co convenient for breakfast in the Financial District but that branch looks to have closed too!
I also really recommend the Bisquik gluten free pancake mix to bring home, or if you are staying in an air b n b and want to make yourself some pancakes this could also be the option for you!
Chicken and Waffles
The best thing about Friedmans? They have so many insane dishes! The fried chicken on cheddar waffles with syrup is honestly incredible and one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten. If you can only visit for one breakfast find yourself a travel partner that will share this and the blueberry pancakes with you and don’t plan any lunch!
I absolutely love cinnamon rolls and they’re an absolute must when in the US! For a gluten free, vegan and kosher cinnamon roll head to Erin Mc Kennas bakery.
My bagel was a little dry at Modern Bread and Bagel, which I was expecting to be the star of the show from this gluten free and kosher bakery. However, the cinnamon roll that I picked up as a little extra turned out to be outstanding. I didn’t take a very good photo as it was such an afterthought at the time to the bagels!
I opted for the soft pretzel as it’s such a rare find at Posh Pop Bakeshop but they also had cinnamon rolls. Honestly I could have bought everything here!
Posh Pop Bakeshop is a 100% gluten free bakery that you have to visit. There’s not just a basic chocolate chip cookie on offer here but you can also find all sorts of stuffed cookies, cookie bars and cookie sandwiches that will have you drooling.
I can’t tell you how good this bakery was, and I 100% recommend you add this to your must visit in New York list!
I also highly recommend these Tate’s cookies if you see them, or the copy cat version from Trader Joes.
I bought this cinnamon doughnut whilst eating brunch at The Little Beet and it was delicious. Definitely pick up one of these if you see them!
Erin McKennas 100% gluten free, vegan and kosher bakery is amazing. I never get tired of places where I can eat everything! They have all sorts of treats, but for this post I’m here for the doughnuts!
I always love the idea of finding gluten free eggs Benedict, but in reality when I find the option I tend to actually go for the eggs royale so that I can have smoked salmon! Finding one that comes with a good option to replace the muffin and a good hollandaise is tougher than it sounds! Like most of my other breakfast recommendations for New York the best one I came across was at Friedman’s.
Ok, so Melt Shop on first appearances would have you turn around and walk back out. If I hadn’t read it on Laura, My Gluten Free Guide blog who I trust over checking cross contamination measures I wouldn’t have tried to eat here at all.
However, they can prepare you a gluten free melted cheese sandwich and the oozy cheese and flavour combinations are comfort food at its best and I was so happy to be eating this.
Ok probably more of a local eat from Maine rather than a New York dish, but when you’re from the U.K. you have to go for it anyway!
Luke’s lobster offer a gluten free option and clean down everything before preparing your order. I did have to wait a while for them to finish all their orders when I went before they did this, but with a lobster roll as my reward I waited and had no regrets. Awful photo but beautiful buttery chunks of lobster.
Mac n Cheese
Mac n Cheese is something I was surprised to find so easily gluten free – you just need to visit the Mac n cheese place S’mac and they can cater for you! Amazing, right?
New York Cheesecake
I have realised writing this post that I didn’t actually eat cheesecake in New York so that will have to rectified on a future trip! I did however spot it at the 100% gluten free cafe Senza Gluten Free. I was just too busy tucking into the eclair, oops!
More cheesecake options could be found at Posh Pop Bakeshop.
Don Antonio’s is one of Paul and I’s favourite restaurants in New York! Centrally located its really easy to eat here before a show and it just has the best vibe.
The gluten free menu is also huge, but they do use gluten free wheat starch so sadly not suitable if you have a wheat allergy or sensitive to that ingredient. We been twice and loved it both times. On one of these occasions I ordered a stuffed pizza, which turned out to not be a stuffed crust pizza, oh no this was a pizza stuffed basically with another pizza and was a ridiculous size! The photo does no do the scale of it justice!
Friedmans is fab at all times of day and for lunch I highly recommend the Rueben. I bought this on my list trip to eat once I picked up my bags from the hotel as I was travelling home. Fears of a lack of food on the flight didn’t seem so bad after this monster sandwich and a bag full of snacks.
I haven’t actually eaten at The Outback in NYC but I have eaten at the chain across the US so I’m including this for those who want to easily find ribs, or steak! The jacket potatoes side can also be insane, no sad plain jacket potatoes here.
Note: they don’t seem to allow U.K. access to their website!
If you’re looking for a hamburger and shake head to Shake Shake, a chain that started in New York as a hot dog stand! In the US the gluten free burgers come with actual buns and they are a fantastic fast food option whilst in NYC – the shakes are insane.
This 100% gluten free bakery is colourful, over the top and absolute heaven. I wanted everything! Focusing on local cuisine, I tried a soft sweet pretzel and loved it. Not only that, I loved that I found a pretzel at all!
So that’s my round of local cuisine for New York! For more eats, see my full guide to New York (which I actually need to add some places to from my last trip which is why there are some extra recommendations on this post!) or for a guide to dedicated gluten free restaurants see Erin, Gluten Free Globetrotters guide. Erin lives in New York and she is a huge advocate for the Celiac community and regularly updates this list and ensures all restaurants are 100% gluten free.
However you decide to tackle gluten free eating whilst on a trip to the city, I hope this helps you find the best dishes and treats. Let me know if there’s any fab places or local dishes I’ve missed as I can not wait to plan a trip again soon!
Disclaimer – always check that restaurants can cater as staff, restaurants and menus can and do change quickly especially during the pandemic. Please ensure you are personally comfortable with the level of cross of contamination measures taken by the restaurant as only you can decide if it’s right for you.