Gluten-free in the Big Apple: a Celiac experience

I wasn’t sure what to expect when we traveled to New York City this summer…the typical question anyone with Celiac disease has when traveling somewhere new is always will I eat during this trip or will I be very, very hungry? I was optimistic that being such a large, hip urban centre, New York City would be the stuff of gluten-free dreamers, and I wasn’t disappointed.  While not every restaurant we encountered catered to (or was fully aware of) Celiac sufferer, I was able to find a couple of really good gluten-free locations.

The first gluten-free treasure we stumbled upon by accident when we were out shopping one day, and I can tell you that it was such a find that I had to physically restrain myself from purchasing one of everything in the store.

It was a bakery. A gluten-free bakery. By the Way Bakery.

Think about it, an entire store just filled with gluten-free items. You didn’t need to ask if it was gluten-free, it was in the store, it was! I spent more than $20 USD on baked goods, and I enjoyed every single bite. In fact, I ate most of them before we even made the trip back home.  It was so exciting to be in a store where everything on the racks I could eat! The only thing is, when you’re used to having two choices on a menu that you can eat, suddenly having 50 choices makes it challenging to narrow things down.

Here’s a couple of pictures of the racks in the store, so you can see why narrowing down my selections was tough:
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So MANY choices….

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It’s hard to describe how much love you feel for a total stranger when they’re loading your bag with sweet goodies you may not have tasted in a decade or more. Macaroons…brownies…sugar cookies…chocolate cake. Yummy! Highly recommend a stop here for your next trip to New York City!

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The second gluten-free treasure we encountered was when I was absolutely starving after walking through Central Park for more than two hours (we weren’t lost per se, just temporarily unsure of how EXACTLY to get out).

Here’s what my daughters looked like in Central Park when we were a LITTLE worried we could still be there after dark.

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Clearly food was a necessity.

I had to admit I was tired of watching everyone else enjoy those big pretzels that looked and smelled amazing, so when we finally emerged at Columbus Circle the first thing I did was Google gluten-free restaurants, and Google nicely came to the rescue with Bareburger, at 313 W 57th, only a block or two from Columbus Circle.  This was a great find; it not only offered an extensive gluten-free menu, but it also had vegetarian options which suited my daughter, who’s temporarily on a vegetarian diet I think primarily to drive me crazy.

I had the Bareburger and nacho fries, and I can’t even begin to describe how amazing these were. Instead of the pasty cardboard bun you usually get for a gluten-free bun the Bareburger bun was so good I actually called the waitress over to make sure it was gluten-free and there wasn’t a mix-up in the kitchen. The nacho fries were delish, and as you can see from the photo I couldn’t even stop eating long enough to get a picture. Even better news, there are a number of Bareburgers throughout New York City so if you plan your trip right you can eat at one no matter where you go in the city.

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So there you have it, a couple of gluten-free options to help keep my fellow Celiacs alive while in New York. Even though I didn’t try many others I know they are out there, just waiting to be discovered. Do you have a gluten-free favourite in New York? Tell me about it so I can add it to my list for where to eat the next time we’re in Manhattan.

 

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