6 Approachable Restaurants for a Gluten-Free Dinner

If you’ve got a gluten allergy, then you know how hard it can be to find a great restaurant with more than one semi-edible gluten-free menu option. Before you consider Google search for your gluten-free finds, consider some of our favorite very gluten-free friendly restaurants in NYC:

 

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Lunch at the Little Beet Table. PC: @rubysriwall

The Little Beet Table

The Little Beet Table is a restaurant focused on serving healthful, fresh, whole foods and also happens to be 100% gluten free. The Little Beet is also seasonal and vegetable-forward, and all of that’s part of what makes this restaurant so fabulous. Having dinner in their clean, white-and-red dining room will make you feel more rejuvenated than any cleanse, and certainly more fulfilled if you ask us. To start, try the super light pea shoot guacamole with their homemade tostadas, we’ll let you take the rest from there.

 

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Fried cauliflower at Nix. PC: @asmi_s

Nix

Call out the fanfare, this gluten-free-friendly spot just earned their first Michelin star! While the main focus of Nix is making being a vegetarian or vegan something to celebrate rather than suffer through, they kept their gluten-free friends in mind, too. Rather than replacing all the meat on their menu with heavy, carby pasta dishes, John Fraser focused on building a vegetable and bean-centric menu that was naturally gluten-free. Pop in for bunch, lunch or dinner, and feel free to bring your vegan friends, too.

 

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Salmon at Cafe Clover. PC: @clovernewyork

Café Clover

Café Clover loves local produce, and so do we. Their salads are mostly sourced from the Green Markets in NYC, which means you’re always getting top-quality ingredients when they’re in season, and bonus: you’re supporting local farmers at the same time! Our favorite part is their pasta section where they play with wheat alternatives like teff, quinoa, and spouted rye to give their customers all that delicious pasta flavor, but with none of that pesky gluten.

 

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Bowls at Seamores. PC: @seamoresnyc

Seamores

Best way to start a gluten-free dinner? With happy hour at Seamore’s! Monday through Friday they’ve got oysters for $1 and cheap drinks, too, so start dinner right and get there early. Seamore’s partners with Sea2Table, sourcing from sustainable wild fisheries who deliver overnight so you’re sure to get some of the freshest fish around. Try one of their daily fish specials; with fish and sides so good, you’ll forget that there’s no bread or pasta (crazy, right?).

 

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Spreads at Balaboosta. PC: @balaboostanyc

Balaboosta

Einat Admony, the mastermind behind many of the Middle-Eastern restaurants we love in NYC, brought her roots to NYC first with Balaboosta, then with Taim and most recently at Bar Bolonat. If you skip the pita, Isreali cuisine naturally lends itself to a gluten free lifestyle with dishes any of their delicious mezzes, shakshuka or traditionally prepared short rib.

 

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Brunch at Two Hands Restaurant.

Two Hands Restaurant

This Australian influenced restaurant has a super laid back vibe we dig, plus they serve some really great, gluten free dishes like their roasted beets, hanger steak, or their burrata starter. Come by in the morning, arvo (that’s Aussie for afternoon), or evening for some good, gluten free food at any meal. PS – this spot is SUPER Instagramm-able.

5 Faves – Unique Fast & Quick Casual Spots to Check Out

In a time when people seem to be busier than ever, spending an hour plus to sit down to a lengthy lunch or dinner is a thing of the past. The name of the game now is “fast-casual” AKA a restaurant where you can get good food, quickly, and at a great price without all the ceremony of a meal out. Here are five fast-casual spots we think you should totally add to your weekly lunch rotation.

 

 

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Mediterranean bowls at Cava Grill.

Cava Grill

When you eat one of the delish salads or bowls at Cava Grill, you’d never guess it was a fast-casual spot. Cava Grill works kind of like a Chipotle, but swap Mediterranean grain bowls for Mexican burritos and you’re in business. Instead of carnitas or barbacoa, you get to pick from lighter, fresher flavors, with toppings like hummus, roasted peppers, Kalamata olives, and falafels. Try their Crazy Feta, it’s insanely good.

 

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Poké bowl at the Poké Spot.

The Poke Spot

You already know that poké is all the rage right now, and if you’re new to the fish dish, The Poke Spot is the place for you. They have a super wide variety of options and toppings that make their poke bowls über customizable. With twenty-one toppings and mix-ins, and six fish or vegetarian options, there’s no way you can’t find or make your perfect poke bowl.

 

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Dumplings at Xi’an Famous Foods. PC: @hungrychickadee

Xi’an Famous Foods

If you’re looking for truly authentic and affordable noodles, consider Xi’an Famous Foods your cheapest ticket to China. These Xi’an style noodles (usually denser than other Chinese noodles) are hand-pulled and rough-cut fresh each day, and they’re just perfectly chewy and tender. These super fresh noodles act like sponges for the complex, rich Chinese broths.

 

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Falafel sandwich and mezze at Taïm.

Taïm

Best falafels we’ve had in the city? Taïm’s, hands down. Their falafel comes in three fabulous flavors: traditional (parsley, cilantro, & mint), harissa (mildly spicy), and olive (with Kalamata olives). Get yours in a soft pita or in a platter full of traditional Mediterranean mezze. What’s better is they’ve started doing monthly falafel collabs with chefs from around NYC and donating part of the money they earn from those sammies to charity!

 

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Fried chicken sandwich at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken.

Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken

The Bromberg Brothers signature fried chicken is brought to the next level at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, their quick-casual spot serving up high-quality chicken coated with matzoh meal and their secret blend of spices. Go for one of their seven mouthwatering fried chicken sandwiches or their inspired monthly special (and don’t forget fries with the works!) then, when they call your order, dig into the some of the juiciest, most flavorful chicken this city has seen.

5 Reasons You Need to Go to Louisville

Turns out my food-filled trip down to Louisville was full of a lot more than hot chicken, cheeseburgers and biscuits and gravy. In just two days, I felt like I had a second home, a new abundance of knowledge and profound pride in being an American. If you’ve ever considered taking a trip to Louisville, or even if you haven’t, here are five reason why it’s worth checking out ASAP.

Continue reading “5 Reasons You Need to Go to Louisville”

Five Soup Dumplings You Need to Try

 When New York ices over and the cold becomes too much to bear, it’s time to find yourself some soup dumplings (AKA xiao long bao or steamed buns) bursting with warm, hearty broth and tender meat to warm your body and soul. These are five of our favorite soup dumplings, perfect for days like these.

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Dumplings at the Bao. PC: @infatuation_nyc

 

 

The Bao

Get ready to bao down at The Bao, home of the classic soup dumpling, the “extra spicy” soup dumpling, the wasabi soup dumpling, and even the chocolate and banana soup dumpling (yes you read that right!) These are some truly great dumps; the dumpling skins are chewy and tender, and the perfect little purse to hold the meaty broth inside. 

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XXL dumpling at the Drunken Dumpling. PC: @kachun1991

Drunken Dumpling 

 This one speaks for itself: you’ve almost definitely seen videos of the Drunken Dumpling’s famous XXL XLB, a super-sized xiao long bao that needs a straw to slurp up the savory broth. They only make 25 of these bad boys a day, so be sure to get there early!

 


Joe’s Shanghai
 

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Soup dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai.

For some really authentic XLBs, head to Joe’s Shanghai for soup dumplings and you won’t be disappointed. Joe’s started out in 1995 as a little restaurant in Flushing serving up dumplings and almost immediately became a NYC staple. Now they’re up to three locations: Chinatown, Midtown, and the OG Flushing location, all serving up some of the best soup dumplings we’ve had in the city. The service is quick, the dumplings are cheap, and we always leave full and happy.

 

  

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Soup Dumplings at Shanghai Cafe Deluxe. PC: @infatuation

Shanghai Café Deluxe

 

 Shanghai Café Deluxe isn’t the fanciest place to get your steamy buns, but damn are they good! Everything at this Chinatown joint is served fresh, hot, and fast, which is why you’ll find it stuffed with locals almost any time of the day. The no-frills pork soup dumplings are bursting with salty, savory, meaty flavor that will leave you craving more than just one order. 


RedFarm

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Soup dumplings at RedFarm.

You’ve probably heard of Red Farm’s legendary pastrami spring rolls, but the soup dumplings are NOT to be missed. Get your surf-and-turf craving satisfied with the RedFarm pork and crab soup dumplings or get fancy with the chicken and black truffle soup dumplings special.

 

Where to Power Breakfast Like a Pro

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so you definitely want to do it right. Breakfast like a pro means that bagel on-the-go or your yogurt parfait don’t cut it. Why wait for weekend to have your perfectly poached eggs benny or a stack of pancakes? We’ve rounded up a few of the best places in the city to power-breakfast like a pro.

 

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Avocado toast with eggs at Le Cou Cou

Le Cou Cou

Get your oeuf’s done right at Le Cou Cou. Le Cou Cou is one of the hottest new dinner restaurants in NYC, acclaimed for bringing authentic, classic French cuisine back to the dinner table. Their best kept secret? They bring that same attention to detail and finesse to each and every breakfast dish they make. Try the pastry basket, stuffed full with pain au chocolat and kouign amann (see: cheesy puff pastry), to start, then have one of their fabulous mains, like their pancakes or avocado toast. Maginifique!

 

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Pancakes at Villard

Villard NYC

Villard in the Lotte New York Palace has probably one of the most beautiful dining rooms we’ve ever eaten in, and the food’s no slouch either. Serving up some New American fare, each of Villard’s dishes is influenced by classic French cafes and European bistros, but with a distinctly American twist. They’ve got lighter, but still satisfying options, like the farro porridge, made with mascarpone crème and topped with fresh fruits and shaved almonds, along with heartier options like brioche pudding French toast crusted in cornflakes and served with caramelized fuji apples.

 

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Cinnamon rolls and latte at Hundred Acres. PC: @sharonwv

Hundred Acres

The folksy, farmhouse look of Hundred Acres is just the kind of cozy atmosphere you want when digging into one of their totally indulgent farm-to-table dishes. We’re talkin’ dishes like fresh cinna-buns and shakshuka with spicy tomato sauce, perfectly poached eggs, and a nice, buttery slice of bread for dipping. Everything Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja serves at Hundred Acres is Mediterranean inspired, and made with local, seasonal ingredients, so you’ll find surprising, new, innovative dishes practically each time you visit.

 

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Brunch spread at Two Hands Restaurant

Two Hands Restaurant

We go here when we need a good-tasting, good-for-you breakfast because at Two Hands Restaurant, they’re serving up some seriously healthy, seriously delicious dishes. We love their house made granola, brassicas bowl, and we absolutely cannot get enough of their banana bread. Plus, the coffee here is amazing – their lattes taste heavenly and look absolutely picture perfect.

 

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Eggs with proscuitto at Buvette

Buvette

Buvette’s the kind of place you definitely want to take your friends and family to for breakfast when they visit you in NYC. With dishes like eggs with caviar and steamed eggs with black truffles, your family will think they got on the wrong flight and wound up in France, not New York. When you step into the restaurant, you feel like you’ve been transported to a Parisian bistro, except the waiters are friendlier and you don’t need to pretend you speak French to get a great breakfast.

 

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Dining room at Balthazar. PC: @milstersmac

Balthazar

The fact that most of these restaurants are French or French-inspired should tell you something, namely that the French know how to have breakfast, and this is no exception at Balthazar. This ultra-Parisian-chic restaurant has the best eggs benedict we’ve had. They keep it simple, but just egg-xecute the hollandaise sauce perfectly, and drizzle that all over soft poached eggs, with country ham, on top roasted potatoes. If you go here on the weekend, just make sure you have a reservation because otherwise it can be up to an ho

Affordable Restaurants for Big Groups

If you’ve ever tried to go out for a birthday dinner or for a girls’ night out, you know that the hardest part of planning is getting a res at a fun, affordable restaurant that will fit everyone’s dietary restrictions. We’ve been to enough birthday dinners to know a thing or two, and we’ve made a list of some of our absolute favorites. You can thank us later!

 

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Half-and-half pizza at Rubirosa

Rubirosa

When you walk into Rubirosa, the first thing that hits you is the smell of roasting cheese and their intoxicating red sauce wafting out of the kitchen. If they bottled scent that as a perfume we’d be the first to buy it. They’ve got eight kinds of thin crust pizza with plenty of ways to customize – you can mix and match half pies, add toppings and even sub in a gluten free crust. Shoot them an e-mail if you need a res for eight or more people, and they’ll set you up.

 

 

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Pizza at Lil Frankie’s. PC: @ediblemoments

Lil Frankie’s

Head to Lil Frankie’s if you’re feeling more Neopolitan than thin crust, and devour some of their delish pizzas. Lil Frankie’s is done up to look just like a classic Italian trattoria, so naturally they’re dishes are total classics too. They also have a great 3-for-1 brunch special on ~prosecco drinks~ and they serve almost all of their dinner options then, too. So if you’re craving eggplant parm at 11AM on a Sunday, skip the leftovers and head over to Lil Frankie’s with a couple of your favorite gals.

 

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Lunch spread at Souvlaki GR. PC: @malihaposts

Souvlaki GR

Designed with white washed walls and blue furniture, Souvlaki GR is as close to the Isle of Mykonos you’ll get in the dead of winter here in NYC. This first-gen-family-owned Greek spot is serving up super authentic dishes, made from recipes passed down for generations. After one bite of delicious pitas and tzatziki you’ll be shouting “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”

 

 

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Dim sum at Jing Fong. PC: @jingfongny

Jing Fong

This is a fun one. Once you ascend that seemingly endless escalator on Elizabeth Street in Chinatown and enter the all-red-and-gold dining room that casually fits 500 people, you’ll be in dim-sum heaven. Complete with a bustling kitchen and trollies stacked with tasty treats, Jing Fong is the perfect spot for your dim sum fix. Whatever you do, don’t skip the char siu buns.

 

 

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Brunch at The Meatball Shop. PC: @tastingtable

The Meatball Shop

This place has meatballs every way from Sunday – on sandwiches, sliders, pasta, risotto, and even on a salad if you’re feeling virtuous. What started as a literal hole in the wall on 14th and 6th has evolved into a handful of brick and mortar stores dotted all over the city, but it’s still stayed a family run op. They’ve got five kinds of homemade meatballs, and a weekly special too, made with only the finest ingredients (like La Quercia prosciutto and Creekstone Farms beef). Pro tip: Jello shots cost $4.

 

 

Galli

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Pesto spaghetti at Galli. PC: @neverfullny

Need a switch for your usual Italian spot? Try Galli in Soho, where they’re serving up classic Italian comfort foods with a contemporary take on each pasta dish and fabulous cocktails to match. Make your weekend reservation on the earlier because you’ll want to stay here for a few drinks before heading out for the night.

7 Perfect NYC Spots for Jewish-Style Appetizing

If there’s one thing New York does really well, it’s a bagel with cream cheese and smoked fish; historically known as “appetizing” in Jewish tradition. The semi-recent opening of Russ & Daughters Café has catalyzed a resurgence of this very nostalgic fare and we could not be happier about it. Here are seven of our favorites spots, new and old, in NYC:

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Brunch at Barney Greengrass. PC: @lfonda
Barney Greengrass

This one’s a classic; Barney Greengrass has been serving up Sturgeon and all kinds of other fish specialties on the Upper West Side since 1908. And what’s even better is getting their legendary smoked fish on a fresh, chewy bagel. Just walk up to the counter and place your order with some of the friendliest staff in NYC. Head’s up, it’s cash only here and you’re gonna want to order everything, so come prepared.

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Brunch at Russ & Daughters Café
Russ & Daughters Café

You’ve probably seen Russ & Daughters Café on Instagram more than once and there’s good reason for that:  Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman have totally nailed the smoked salmon brunch game. Watch in awe as chefs in white lab coats expertly slice smoked salmon into perfectly thin layers and dress them up on wooden platters. Enough said.

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Bagel sandwich at Sable’s
Sable’s

Need a great brunch on the UES? Give Sable’s a go and try any of their delicious fish or crab salads, smooth, buttery lox, smoked tuna, whitefish, or a little bit of everything. Seriously though, it’s the staff at Sable’s that makes the difference: they’re always happy to greet you, let you try samples, and are ready to answer any and every question that you’ve got about the fish.

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Corn Dog Poutine at Mile End
Mile End

Mile End is your classic NY Jewish deli meets Montreal-style cuisine, all with a modern twist. Just this past week they had Poutine Week where they featured Duck Confit Poutine and Corn Dog Poutine amongst many other unique offerings. But, our favorite here is their appetizing platter for two, complete with all the classic accoutrements.

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Brunch at Sadelle’s
Sadelle’s

Sadelle’s knows how to make a good bagel, and that’s by hand, and fresh every few hours (using New York tap water of course!) Top it with some fresh-sliced salmon from their tower of bagel fixings and you’re good to go. Enjoy a classy brunch in their super luxe dining room that seamlessly transitions from daytime-brunch to a lovely evening meal (we gave them a nod as a romantic place for Valentine’s day dinner, too). Beyond their bagels, their babka and other pastries are totally drool-worthy, if that’s more your speed.

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Savory french toasts at Kirsh
Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen

Dan and Anat Kirsh, the couple in charge at Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen, are old pros in Israeli cuisine. They first opened Zuni, a beloved 24/7 brasserie in Jerusalem, and have recently brought their talents to the UWS. Come to Kirsh Bakery for your weekly German baked goods, house-smoked lox or their cooked-to-order French toasts – amazing.

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Pastrami sandwich at Sarge’s. PC: @onehungryjew
Sarge’s

Sarge’s is your very reliable, 24/7 Murray Hill shop for smoked fish platters, matzoh ball soup, pastrami and super creamy, dense New York-style cheesecake. Come for brunch or come for a late night meal at 3AM, you’ll leave feeling great every time.