Pizza Hut is doing it. So are the Girl Scouts.
Chains and companies have been jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon for several years now — and pizza and cookies are just the latest headline makers to join what was estimated to be an $8.8 billion industry in 2014, according to consumer research specialist Mintel.
In New York City especially, more restaurants are going the gluten-free route, with special menus or entirely gluten-free kitchens.
“When I first went gluten free in 2009, not only did no one know what gluten was, but to say you were gluten-free was asking to be made fun of,” said Nicole Cogan, founder of NOBREAD.com, which reviews gluten-free options at NYC restaurants. “Nowadays … grocery stores, bakeries and restaurants that are 100% gluten free continuously emerge, and classic restaurants [that] have never strayed from their old-school ways and menus are now looking into ways to make their restaurants more accessible for people with gluten restrictions.”
For people with celiac disease or a wheat allergy, going gluten-free isn’t so much a diet preference but a necessity. With that in mind, here are some in New York City that have gluten-free kitchens or are strongly committed to serving those diners.
And remember: “Even if you are certain the dish is gluten free, gluten has a sneaky way of finding its way into your meal,” Cogan said. “Most kitchens in New York City are not dedicated gluten-free kitchens, and unless the staff is notified of your allergy/sensitivity, your gluten-free dish can be subject to cross-contamination.”
All beef varieties are gluten-free at this organic chain, which also offers tapioca rice or hemp milk buns in addition to the lettuce-wrap. Multiple locations, bareburger.com
Mac and cheese isn’t off the menu here, thanks to gluten-free bread crumbs and elbow noodles (for an extra cost) for all its creations. 157 E. 33rd St., 212-683-3900; 345 E. 12th St., 212-358-7912
John Durant’s paleo favorite offers an entirely gluten-free food menu — the only gluten is in the beer. 78 Fifth Ave., 212-510-8919
This West Village restaurant’s menu is entirely gluten-free, from the pizzas to the dessert. Its new Williamsburg location is also gluten-free friendly, save for the homemade ravioli. Meal plans starting at $15 a day for breakfast and lunch are slated to start in a few weeks, too. 535 Hudson St., 212-929-2920; 340 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg, 347-599-0699
Chef Franklin Becker’s quick service/full service mini empire offers an entirely gluten-free menu at both restaurants that’s healthy and delicious. 135 W. 50th St./333 Park Ave. S., 212-466-3330
Yes, the Italian family-style staple accommodates gluten-free diners with its gluten-free pasta (a corn-based fusilli) and gluten-free sauces. 200 W. 44th St., 212-221-3800; 2450 Broadway, 212-362-2200
This Paleo restaurant is, naturally, entirely gluten-free, as well as soy-free and almost entirely dairy-free. The bone broths are the main draw, through sandwiches, bowls and vegan ice cream are also on the menu. 90 W. Third St., 646-368-9191
Everything on the menu at this Italian restaurant is 100% gluten-free, from the pizza to the pasta, so you can indulge with confidence. 206 Sullivan St., 212-475-7775
Gluten-free diners don’t have to pass on the Italian restaurant’s fresh pasta dishes, thanks to a combination of “house-made, artisan-produced and high-end imported products,” says executive chef Blessing Schuman-Strange. That includes two kinds of gluten-free pasta — one made by hand in Connecticut, the other imported from Italy and made from biodynamically-raised corn. 145 E. 50th St., 212-888- 4121
Find a variety of gluten-free dishes and beers at this comfort food spot, which uses separate knives and a dedicated gluten-free fryer to prevent cross-contamination. Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave., 212-929-7100; 132 W. 31st St., 212-971-9400
Most crepes use regular old wheat flour, but gluten-free diners can enjoy the SoHo spot’s savory and sweet crepes, which use rice flour. 55 Spring St., 212-334-3408
The health-focused spot can prepare much of its menu gluten-free. Highlights include its naturally gluten-free cheesy bread puffs, päo de queijo. 684 Broadway, 646-852-6348