The Paleo Guide to New York Food

Jan 27, 2020 | Travel

A guide of the best gluten free, Paleo, and celiac-safe food options in New York City!

I’m really bad at “how to” guides, mostly because I don’t believe travel should be about trying to obtain the same Instagram-worthy tourist experience that’s been said and done a thousand times already. That aside, I know that traveling is a lot easier and more enjoyable when you’re well fed and not living on a bag of almonds for three days. I’ve definitely been there! Eating out during travel will never be ideal when you have celiac (or need to worry about cross contamination for any reason) but it is still possible to have an enjoyable, adventurous trip if you bring some back up food and have an action plan! Without further ado, here is my go-to list of Paleo/gluten free favorites in New York City!

Charley Street
I love this place! Everything is fresh, healthy, delicious, and there are tons of paleo and allergy friendly options. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, so make sure you head over earlier in the day. I like the “build your bowl” option with the cauliflower rice.

Senza Gluten 

No cross contamination here! Senza is a completely gluten-free Italian restaurant. It’s great if you don’t want to have to worry about getting sick, but it is pretty pricey. Gluten free pasta and break baskets sound lovely, but since I don’t eat grains, this isn’t my favorite spot. That said, there are some grain-free options available if you go.

Butcher’s Daughter
This is an all-vegan restaurant with a bunch of healthy, plant-based foods and juices. If you’re like me and you rely on meat to get by, your best bet is to go for breakfast or brunch when you can get eggs. I don’t usually recommend vegan places, but they are very allergy-friendly here, and the food really does taste great!

Westville is a fun  farm-to-table restaurant with multiple locations in Manhattan. I love the West Village location, but it is super tiny, so maybe try another one if you don’t want to wait or are claustrophobic…. Cross contamination is a concern here, but there are lots of healthy, gluten-free and Paleo options available if you take the risk.

Shake Shack
I think at some point everyone has to take the risk and try to Shake Shack Burger, celiac or not. Just ask for no bun and a lettuce wrap. I’ve been there a couple of times and have never gotten sick (and I seem to be a magnet for getting sick.) It’s seriously is one of the best hamburgers you’ll ever have!

Sweetgreen is a healthy, fast-casual salad and bowl restaurant with multiple locations. It’s nice for a quick, filling salad that won’t break the bank. Cross-contamination is a concern, but there aren’t many gluten-containing ingredients on the line. Just ask them to change their gloves when you order. I’ve eaten here many times and haven’t gotten sick. Get the pesto dressing!

Dig inn
Dig inn is sort of similar to Sweetgreen, but with more hot food options. It’s also one of the safest places if you have celiac, because only two or three of their food items have gluten in them, and they are very careful if you mention an allergy. There are lots of Paleo options available here, and their roasted chicken is great!

Mulberry and Vine
Mulberry and Vine is very similar to Dig Inn. They serve fast-casual bowl meals that aren’t too pricey, and they offer a bunch of fresh, healthy options.

Hu Kitchen
Hu is always a MUST for me–It’s a 100% Paleo restaurant in Flatiron with AWESOME options (I’m talking Paleo burgers, flatbreads, muffins, lasagna, etc.) Paleo or not, you need to go here!

Brodo is a bone broth café with a few locations in Manhattan. The bone broth is delicious, and they have lots of different options with different mix-ins available to make the broth more filling.

Top Thai
No lie….I ate here 6 nights in a row one time. Once I find food that works well for me I don’t like to stop, because it can be really hard to find a safe place to eat when you have a Celiac and need to be careful with cross contamination.You’d never guess that this tiny Thai place would be safe for someone with celiac, but a lot of Thai food is actually gluten free. My go-to is green curry with no rice. Just be prepared for a wait when you go!

Springbone Kitchen
Springbone is just like Brodo and Dig Inn combined. They have a bunch of bone broth based bowls and meals available, but it’s not just soup. I got my mom hooked on Springbone on our last trip to the city. We love their Turkey Zoodle Soup—a large is a good meal, and a small is a good snack! I’ve been trying to up my bone broth intake lately  as I’ve been working on my gut healing so it’s extra wonderful that I have this option when I’m traveling! This place is really safe if you have celiac (100% gluten free) and most of the menu items are Paleo.

Two Hands
Real talk….I’m not the biggest fan of Two Hands. I know it’s all the rage on Instagram, but the service frankly sucks, and the food isn’t great either. If you really want to go for the ‘gram, I would go just for a coffee. That said, they do have gluten-free options available if you want to give it a try.

Sonny boy
Sonny boy has a great menu and a really fun atmosphere! It’s another Australian restaurant, but the service is much better than Two Hands, and I felt like they were more careful with my allergy request. I had the salmon salad, and it was delicious!

If you’re in a pinch and you don’t see any of those options around, my advice: look for a Whole Foods and eat from the hot bar or salad bar, or find a poke place. They’re all over Manhattan, you got a bunch of food for your money, and it’s nearly always safe for celiac.

So tell me, friends: what are your go to spots in New York?


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Hey! I’m Moriah– a commercial food and branding photographer and web designer who is perpetually drinking coffee and covered in dog hair. I write Elle Fait to celebrate the act of making: making food, making travel plans, making businesses, and making a habit of finding joy.  

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