Touring New York City with Celiac Disease and a Peanut Allergy
New York City has a culinary reputation that’s unsurpassed so my expectations were high when planning our family trip there last spring. Finding celiac-safe, peanut-free food for my son can be a challenge. Add my 10+ food intolerances and getting a safe meal is no easy task! With a thorough look at reviews, blog posts and some Googling, too, we found success.
If you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple, read on about our experiences and check out the links below. With some forethought, you’ll find terrific dining to meet your needs, too.
We had two criteria for choosing restaurants: 1) It had to meet our dietary needs, and 2) It had to fit in our itinerary, geographically. Some great restaurants and bakeries were skipped because of location but because I vetted them, they're mentioned at the bottom of this post.
- Almost everything on the menu is gluten-free.
Our best dining experience was at Bistango, located in the Kimberly Hotel just blocks away from the Top of the Rock. Bistango is a gluten-free paradise and very allergen-aware! We dined there for lunch and EVERYTHING on the menu was available gluten-free. This includes flat bread, sausage and meatballs -- which are usually off-limits to celiac folks. And safe practices? They get it! How often can my son open a menu and order almost anything? We were beyond thrilled.
We value the fact that Bistango serves higher quality meats and organic, seasonal produce. While it was pricy, the service was outstanding as well. Our meals--gluten-free and not--were delicious! Everyone walked away happy and full. A bonus: Parents of restless children will be glad to see a huge aquarium in the lobby with colorful fish to entertain little ones while they wait.
Second on our list of favorites was Blue Smoke. When researching gluten-free, peanut-free dining, Italian restaurants come up again and again. Blue Smoke grabbed our attention because of their unique cuisine. They bill themselves as a casual restaurant combining the soulful cuisine of the American South with fine dining. The location fit into our itinerary well as it's just blocks away from the 9/11 Memorial.
We were given an allergy menu, which made me feel ridiculously happy. To me it says: special dietary needs welcomed! They do work with peanuts here but confidently can provide a safe meal. As a precaution, we dined early before the crowds. The attentive wait staff informed us that the line was cleaned prior to preparing my son's meal. My son loved the Rhapsody in 'Cue, a dish featuring three different barbecued meats, and the rest of us enjoyed our meals as well. Noting our search for outlets, the staff charged our mobile phones while we dined. What more could a weary tourist ask for? We had a fabulous experience.
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