Food & Drink

11 Ways to Eat Gluten-Free in NYC That Don't Suck

Published On 05/07/2015 Published On 05/07/2015
Nicole Cogan/Thrillist
Nicole Cogan/Thrillist
Nicole Cogan/Thrillist
Nicole Cogan/Thrillist
Nicole Cogan/Thrillist
Nicole Cogan/Thrillist
Nicole Cogan/Thrillist
Nicole Cogan/Thrillist
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1. Melt Shop 601 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022 (Chelsea)

This Midtown joint serves up the American cheesy classic, from a traditional grilled cheese to pork-stuffed variations, the Melt Shop's got a good thing going. House-made milkshakes are also offered in seasonal flavors.

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2. Tompkins Square Bagels 165 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009 (Alphabet City)

Right by Tompkins Square Park, this Alphabet City bagel shop has a ton of unique homemade cream cheeses (bacon scallion, chocolate chip cookie dough, birthday cake, chipotle avocado, etc). The plump and chewy bagels range in flavor from plain, sesame, and poppy to French toast, pumpkin, and spelt. The line typically goes out the door on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and note: it's cash-only.

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3. Del Posto 85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011 (Chelsea)

Brought to you by Mario Batali et al., Del Posto is arguably one of the best upscale Italian restaurants in New York. On a Chelsea block near the High Line, the large, loft-like space has an elegant interior with lots of black, red, and gold decor, as well as a candle-lit marble staircase in the center of the dining room. In true Batali fashion, the menu is rich but classic in nature, featuring delicious house-made pastas (gnocchi with caviar, oxtail ravioli) and beautiful cuts of meat (seared lamb chop, braised veal).

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4. Erin McKenna's Bakery 248 Broome St, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

In 2005, Erin McKenna set out to do the impossible: found a vegan bakery that doesn't totally suck. She succeeded, and now it's gluten-free as well. Yup. All of it. The list of ingredients that aren't in the baked goods is longer than the list of things that are: no refined sugar, dairy, wheat, soy, or eggs. So what's in those delectable donuts and brilliant brownies? Go find out. Just because your dietary restrictions are difficult doesn't mean dessert has to be.

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5. Otto's Tacos 141 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Otto's Tacos offers a distilled menu of five taco choices (carne asada, chicken, shrimp, mushroom, and carnitas) in a grab-and-go space. The corn tortillas are housemade, and meals can be had with your choice of Modelo or horchata. And while the options are pared down, masa fries and an off-menu deep-fried soft taco keep things exciting.

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6. Egg Shop 151 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012 (Nolita)

This small NoLita shop reimagines the simple egg in a variety of sandwich, meat, and salad combinations, breaking the humble ingredient out of its breakfast-only role. The menu is seriously creative -- with dishes like "The Beast," which pairs sunny side-up eggs with pulled pork, pickled onion, chipotle bourbon ketchup, and cilantro -- and is well-balanced with rich sides like deep-fried hash browns. Though the shop is open all day, we recommend stopping by during daylight hours, when the open-front facade lets you enjoy your sunny side-up in sunny peace.

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7. Rubirosa 235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012 (Nolita)

This family-run pizzeria has history on its side, with a thin-crust pizza recipe that has been winning over locals for the past 56 years -- especially when featured as the base for the fresh mozzarella-topped Vodka slice. Rubirosa also boasts other Italian classics, like a killer chicken Parm and housemade spaghetti and meatballs.

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8. Chloe's Soft Serve Fruit Co. 25 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003 (Flatiron)

Just because you’re a butterfat-shunning health fiend, that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the joys of soft-serve. At Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co., it’s made from just water, a hint of organic cane sugar, and fresh fruits like banana, mango, or blueberry. Yes, it’s light and zingy, but you’ll still think it’s soft-serve.

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9. The Meatball Shop 64 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011 (West Village)

Michael Chernow and Daniel Holzman's meatball mini-chain has nailed down the concept of the build-it-yourself menu. The speciality is of course, meatballs, but you choose the type (beef, pork, chicken, or veggie), sauce (classic tomato, spicy meat, pesto, etc), and presentation (slider, hero, naked with a side of bread). Dessert is also customizable, and the ice cream sandwiches made with your choice of cookie and ice cream are a must.

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10. Taïm 222 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

This West Village counter-serve makes crave-worthy falafel that should definitely be part of your weekly lunch repertoire if you work nearby. The three varieties of falafel -- traditional, harissa, and roasted red pepper -- are served as sandwiches or platters, and are complemented by healthy sides like Israeli salad, spicy Moroccan carrots, and marinated red beets. Taim is quick and cheap (most sandwiches are under $10) but the food isn't greasy or fast-food like at all.

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11. Rosemary’s 18 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011 (West Village)

Rosemary's is a bright, airy trattoria in the Greenwich Village offering refined and rustic Italian eats in a palatial indoor/outdoor space. The regularly updated menu largely consists of seasonal fare, including vegetable dishes supplemented with herbs from the restaurant's own rooftop garden.