Contributed by: Jonathan
While in NYC we got to see the wonderful city and eat. With so much to see one gets hungry. With all the gluten free, dairy free, and soy free options it wasn’t hard to find places to eat. New York has a great selection of allergen free places. Before I head on over I call ahead to check on the selection they do have for allergen free diners and if it is still available. Restaurants come and go in NYC so call ahead.
Here are some places to check out when visiting the big apple…
338 East 11th Street
If you crave sweets then you need to try Tu-Lu’s Bakery downtown in the west village. They are gluten free and have dairy free, nut free, and vegan options as well. They also make custom cakes for special occasions. I personally love the snickerdoodle cookies.
78 Fifth Avenue (near 14th street)
Hu Kitchen is another place that rocks. The entire menu is gluten free and organic with many dairy free and grain free. They have lots of baked goods, smoothies, breakfast, lunch, AND dinner all under one roof in a friendly, casual atmosphere. An allergen free diner can feel safe here. You must try the Jordy Cakes on the breakfast menu and the grass-fed beef meatloaf entree. I love comfort food but find it hard to eat it out because most places put cheese into their meat, this dairy free meatloaf hit the spot. Paleo friendly.
516 East 6th Street between Avenues A and B
Lula’s downtown on 6th street is this little shop amongst townhouses on a quiet street that has the most amazing allergen free ice cream hands down! If your downtown you must stop in and try the peanut butter ice cream, it’s worth the trip. I brought my Dad over to this place and he couldn’t believe how creamy the ice cream was. It is not nut free though, they use a cashew base cream for their flavors.
270 Bleecker Street
Risotteria. It’s on the border of the West Village and Greenwich Village, it’s a small little place with a nice selection of food for people who are allergen-free. They know about all of the hidden dairy and gluten ingredients and are part of the Gluten-free Restaurant Program. Their ingredients are printed for easy view and the staff was helpful. When you ask for dairy free items on the menu they usually substitute with soy – here the risottos are also soy-free. I try to avoid soy because it’s a hormone and metabolic disruptor, and was I happy to enjoy a naturally gluten free risotto that was dairy AND soy free. My family also liked the food, and we appreciated the loud and free environment, as my little brothers and all of our passionate talks can be loud, but here we fit right in.
2427 Broadway between 89th & 90th St.
We also visited Candle Café (Café 79 is its’ sister restaurant), an organic restaurant with a dedicated gluten free menu located on the Upper East Side. I love that they actually care here, as opposed to making us feel like substitutions are not welcomed. We sampled the Indian Curry Vegetable Cake, Avocado Quinoa Salad, and Grilled Kale Salad. Nice presentation of food, but the amount on each plate was a little less than I would hope for, considering the prices. Many items on the menu were not soy free, so we were limited on choices. If you can tolerate soy you will love this place. It’s a nice place to celebrate an occasion in their private room catered to larger parties. And they’re Kosher.
99 3rd Avenue
(between 12th & 13th Street)
New York, NY 10003
Now we arrive to this new spot near my friends’ apartment, on Third avenue and 12th st. Wow, is it a kick, and knockout in the mouth. “Modern Thai Comfort Food” is what the chef calls her cuisine. We were intrigued by this place after watching the chef on Iron Chef America and wanted to try the food while in NYC. Knowing that Thai food is naturally gluten free, we felt at least that allergen is out of the way. Like always, we call ahead and ask a bunch of questions about the dairy and soy allergens to see how many food options the place has. My little brother (the oldest of my three younger bros) liked the idea of trying a thai soup, and pad thai is one of his favorites. My younger brothers, the twins, love noodles, so pad thai was perfect for them, too. We were excited to give it a try! “Tom Kha” Soup w/ King Oyster Mushrooms was prepared gluten free, dairy free and soy free and it was delicious, served in a big soup bowl that was creamy and full of radical flavors. Old School Pad Thai was also very good, we ordered it with shrimp. My little brothers had this and the vegan Thai garden salad. My Mom asked if the dressing was gluten free but nobody was sure if it was so she just added some olive oil and a squeeze of lemon for them and they enjoyed it. We definitely would not want to take a health-risk over a dressing. Whenever the server looks uncertain then comes back quickly to say it’s fine, I notice that my Mom usually passes on it, just to be safe. But even with avoiding the salad dressing we were hit with an infraction. We told the server about our allergies and asked if the thai iced tea is gf/df/sf, and he assured us it was. Later in the meal my little brother felt sick. He later threw up when the check arrived. We asked the server about the food we ate and he said everything was allergen-free. My Dad then went to the bartender and asked about his drink and the bartender told him it has condensed milk! We were furious. How could the server not know this?? This is why my family and I are so hesitant with eating out, and usually end up bringing food with us for my brothers. I ran to the drugstore to get some activated charcoal for him to take so that it could absorb any remaining proteins in his body. Something to have on hand for infractions so that it stops the spread of proteins throughout the body. My Mom taught us poison control uses it for that very reason. And dairy is like a poison for my brother! That stuff pulls everything out. It took a few hours until he felt better, felt so bad for him. Going out is always a risk, make sure to ask the server and/or manager many questions!
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