You’ve heard those jokes — the ones involving our neighborhood having a super-particular diet. The vegans, the paleos, the baconphiles…we can go on.
Unfortunately, those with celiac disease occasionally get grouped in with those having particular tastes. This is simply not the case. It’s an autoimmune disease — and gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) can cause very serious health problems. By now, our restaurants have improved a lot to provide food to those who need (or choose) to eat gluten-free.
Now in the spirit of honesty, I do not have celiac disease. I partnered with long-time neighbor Tim Daoust on this article. It’s an issue he deals with everyday. And he knows the neighborhood like the back of his hand.
Gluten-free dining is not an easy subject, because folks have differing opinions as to what it means to be absolutely, 100% gluten-free. Please use the list below as a set of recommendations. However our recommendation are not made under the consultation of a dietitian. So, please speak with the server at the restaurant to get confirmation.
We hope this list is useful to the neighbors here. We also hope this can also be useful if you have family or friends visiting who need to eat gluten-free. If you don’t usually do so, it’s a challenge to know all the answers.
And with those caveats …here’s a list of suggestions in our neighborhood for you to consider.
Bogota Latin Bistro
141 5th Avenue (at St Johns Place)
Tim Daoust: The bistro has gluten-free empanadas, made with cornmeal — and are fried separately to avoid contamination. There’s an extensive menu as well that includes loads of other gluten-free options. The staff is allergy aware.
138 5th Avenue (near Douglass Street)
TD: This is a tapas place owned by the folk who own Bogota Latin Bistro. The menu features very plainly listed gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. And the food is damn good and creative. Great atmosphere, too.
170 7th Avenue
TD: I have never had a problem with allergy awareness with any of the staff at any of their locations. Gluten-free buns are available for the burgers. That makes for a perfect meat delivery system — and the fries are fried separately from things like onion rings to avoid gluten contamination. However, they do provide a disclaimer on their menu about cross contamination.
222 7th Avenue (at 3rd Street)
TD: Like Bareburger, they also have gluten-free burger buns and fry their fries separately. In my opinion, the bun is not as good as the one at Bareburger. However, it’s slightly less expensive to eat here.
604 Union Street (between 3rd and 4th Avenues)
TD: This is a gimme because most barbecue places are gluten-free friendly — if all you do is eat the meat. They do have a gluten-free menu though, and hosted one of the gluten-free meetups once. And it’s good barbecue to boot.
156 5th Avenue (between Douglass and Degraw Streets)
This is a Latin-Vegan-Kosher restaurant. But with a well-marked menu, you’ll be able to head to the gluten-free options very easily.
Sun in Bloom
460 Bergen Street (between 5th and Flatbush Avenues)
TD: Like Vspot, it’s known for being vegan — but vegans know about the gluten-free diet. However, be careful, because the “veggie sausage” often has vital wheat gluten in it. So make sure you ask about this.
Two Boots Park Slope
284 5th Avenue (at 1st Street)
TD: I was workin’ on a pretty hefty day when I tried it for the first time so I can tell you it was amazing. I’ve probably had better gluten-free pie in the city, but I never turn down gluten-free pie. Ever. I mean, not in a million years.
348 Douglass Street (at 4th Avenue)
TD: This Ethiopian restaurant has gluten-free Injera bread. The trouble with eating Ethopian food is that the teff gets mixed in with wheat a lot. So you have to be very careful. Dammit.
And your bonus…Gluten-free beer!
Freddy’s Bar and Backroom
625 5th Avenue (between 17th and 18th Streets)
They always have Bard’s gluten-free ale in bottles for only $5.
The Owl Farm
297 9th Street (between 4th and 5th Avenues)
They always have Celia Saison in bottles for somewhere around $7. And tons of great ciders.
Have some places you’d like to recommend? Favorite gluten-free dishes in the neighborhood? Email us at email@example.com.