Hold the Gluten: Where to Eat Gluten-Free in Park Slope


sun in bloom pancakes via fb

Sensitive to gluten? Enjoying dessert, a sandwich, or slice of pizza is not impossible and can actually be delicious thanks to some wonderful neighborhood restaurants and businesses that don’t mind “holding the gluten.”

For people who suffer from a gluten allergy or celiac disease, gluten intake can lead to severe weight loss, iron deficiency, malnutrition and osteoporosis. Gluten sensitivity—as in my case—causes less serious (but really uncomfortable) side effects including headaches, fatigue, skin rashes and stomachaches. For some of us, skipping the gluten just feels better.

So here you go, the best of the best spots to enjoy a gluten free meal:

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1. Sun In Bloom, 460 Bergen Street, (718) 622-4303

As a chef and restaurant owner living with celiac disease, Aimee Follette has created a haven for those living a gluten-free lifestyle. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, her 100% vegan menu offers dishes ranging from a raw Bloom Burger ($9.25) with caramelized onions on a collard green wrap, to a guilt-free slice of luscious and creamy Raw Blueberry Cheesecake ($7.50). My personal favorite is the Gluten-Free Pancake Stack ($10.50) with caramelized bananas (pictured above). Trust me, you won’t miss the gluten.

(Photo via Sun in Bloom)

2. Scottadito, 788A Union Street, (718) 636-4800

scottadito via yelp

With an organic menu that offers a delicious gluten-free pasta substitute for any dish at no extra charge, this is the spot to dive into a plate of rich pasta carbonara. Enjoy simple classics like pesto, pomodoro, or pasta with meatballs, or, my personal favorite: Gluten-Free Penne alle Verdure—with zucchini, eggplant, plum tomato sauce and ricotta salata ($17). Mamma Mia!

(Photo via Yelp)

3. Pizza Plus359 7th Avenue at 10th Street, (718) 768-5327

pizza plus via jen f

Okay, recreating the luscious, cheesy, crispy goodness of traditional pizza is no easy task, and kudos to Pizza Plus for trying. Although I can’t say it’s as good as the real thing, this crispy thin-crust option is flavorful with a satisfying crunch. Regular gluten-free pizza pies are available in small ($11) or large ($15), or enjoy a gluten-free specialty pie for a $5 surcharge. Although a bit pricey, Pizza Plus is the place to go if you’re craving a slice. If you’re less excited about traveling south of 9th Street, the good news is they deliver!

(Photo via Jen F.)

4. Zito’s Sandwich Shoppe, 195 5th Avenue, (718) 499-2800; or 300 7th Avenue, (718) 499-2800

zito's parm via foodspotting

You won’t miss the gluten on one of Zito’s mouth-watering sandwiches. From Italian classics like the Trunzo ($10)–with prosciutto, mozzarella and roasted peppers—to the lighter Sicilian Tuna ($8.50) with olive tapenade and balsamic, Zito’s soft and fluffy gluten-free focaccia is to die for!

(Photo via Foodspotting)

5. Bareburger, 170 7th Avenue (at 1st Street), (718) 768-2273

flourless chocolate via bareburger

Burger lovers, yearn no longer; heaven has arrived on a bun. Bareburger offers juicy grass-fed patties ($8.45-$12.15) on a gluten-free rice tapioca roll, and fresh cut French fries ($4.95) with a variety of tasty gluten-free dipping sauces. Wash the yumminess down with a thick gluten-free milkshake ($4-6.95) or root beer float. And for dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake with amarena cherry compote ($7.95). Amen, Bareburger.

(Photo via Bareburger)

6. Back to the Land, 142 7th Avenue, (718) 768-5654

back to the land via patricia b

A treasure trove for organic and healthy produce, food, and lifestyle products, Back to the Land has a nice selection of gluten-free items ranging from breads and cereals to granola bars, macaroons, cookies, and brownies. Udi’s Gluten-Free Bread ($6.59) is great for toast or a sandwich, and you won’t taste the difference with Jovial Gluten-Free pastas ($4.99). Although a bit pricey, your body will thank you for it!

(Photo via Patricia B.)

(1/23 2:17 p.m.) UPDATED TO INCLUDE:

•  Fornino, 256 Fifth Avenue, (718) 399-8600 (via Francis in the comments)

The restaurant and pizzeria offers gluten-free pasta and pizza options, which Francis says “may  be better than their regular.”

•  Bogota Latin Bistro, 141 Fifth Avenue, (718) 230-3805 (via GFbird on Twitter)

Bogota identifies which dishes are gluten-free (and its a majority of  their 100+ item menu), and they have two designated GF fryers.

•  Crespella, 321 Seventh Avenue, (718) 788-2980 (via GFbird on Twitter)

All savory crepes are gluten-free, and they sell gluten-free pastries from Las Delicias Patisserie.

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  1. Two quick notes. The meatballs at Zito’s are not gluten free–they have breadcrumbs in them. And another quality restaurant that offers all its pizzas and pastas in gluten free versions is Fornino. In fact, their gluten free pizza may be better than their regular.

  2. Hi, Francis — you are absolutely right about Zito’s meatballs. Thanks for pointing that out; unfortunately, they do have breadcrumbs. I make my meatballs at home with gluten-free oatmeal instead, and they taste great. I’m going to check out Fornino’s GF options, for sure!

  3. Thanks for this list. One issue that Celiacs in particular are most concerned about is cross contamination. A person with Celiac must avoid even trace amounts of gluten (wheat, rye, barley). so, for example, at Bogata it is a relief that they have a dedicated fryer for french fries which has no wheat-based battered items in it.

    As for the pizzas and the crepe place, the question important for Celiacs is whether they are careful to avoid cross contamination, as in wheat from the glutenous dough crossing with the gluten free dough. As for pasta, even boiling gluten free pasta in water used to boil wheat pasta is a problem for Celiacs. Or with the crepes, if they are made on the same griddle then they are not safe for Celiacs. Seems crazy, but true.

    so i wonder i conscious some of these places are of cross contamination.

  4. Naidre’s Cafe… best gluten-free breakfast sandwich in the slope… GF rolls from local bakers Everybody Eats, 2 organic eggs, sharp cheddar and choice of bacon, ham or sausage. Under $8.00!

    Also… gluten-free flourless coconut macaroons and flourless PB&J cookies that were previously featured in Park Slope Patch http://parkslope.patch.com/articles/a-pbj-cookie-at-naidres.

    All other sandwiches on the extensive menu can be made on the GF rolls as well.

  5. Three additions to this excellent list- bagel market on 7th ave now offers gluten free bread for sandwiches! Great addition to center slope lunch options!
    Also Talde fries everything in rice flour batter! So their amazing korean fried chicken is gluten free!! As are the oysters in the bacon oyster pad Thai.
    Roots cafe on 5th ave has gluten free baked goods which are excellent.
    Thanks again for sharing!

  6. Good roundup, I would definitely recommend adding Talde to this list as they are very accommodating to Celiacs. Other gluten free friendly places in the slope include: Sweetwolf’s, V-spot, Da Nonna Rosa, Rose Water, and Fonda… Also Luscious Foods/ Pure Bistro/ Sheep Station all carry Everybody Eats bread for sandwich substitutions!

  7. Yes, great round up! If you wouldn’t mind adding Naidre’s Cafe and Bakery to your list please… While we’re in great company, we’ve been serving up great breakfast and all of our other sandwiches on Everybody Eats gluten-free breads, for quite a while now, even before some of the places you list were opened. We also bake a few cookies which are also flourless, notably our flourless peanut butter and jelly cookies and great coconut macaroons. We also special order flourless chocolate cakes.

    Thanks so much!

  8. Much of this is not actually gluten free. The crepe place makes gluten free crepes on the same equipment as regular crepes–that’s about as gluten free as peanut free would mean dipping a knife in peanut butter and then using it to serve something else. Please either remove or edit this list; it’s lazy and dangerous for people with celiac.


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