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  • Writer's pictureKatie Miller

Top Picks for Restaurants that are Worth the Travel

One thing to know about being gluten free is that sometimes you’ll have to travel a bit for the best gluten free food. Oftentimes, the restaurants and bakeries that cater the best to gluten free diets are located in bigger cities such as New York City and Boston, but there’s always a few hidden gems regardless of where you are. I’ve collected a few of my personal favorites from over the years to get your gluten free foodie bucket list started! (Admit it. Everyone has one!)


New York City


Friedman’s

There’s a few Friedman’s locations around NYC, but the one I went to was in the Theater District. This restaurant boasts that just about their entire menu can be made gluten free,

including the incredible fried chicken sandwich that I chose when I dined there. They have separate fryers for all of their gluten free items, and they use extra precautions when dealing with gluten free orders. You can head here for any meal, as they serve breakfast foods (including gluten free pancakes!) until 4pm.


Posh Pop Bakeshop

Close your eyes and think of the most decadent, over-the-top desserts you’ve ever seen. Now make them ALL gluten free. Now open your eyes and make your way over to Posh Pop

Bakeshop. Located in Greenwich Village near New York University (NYU), the all-pink exterior will draw you in the shop, greeting you with a wide-array of cookies, cakes, donuts, cheesecakes and other specialty treats. Even though it’s a bit on the pricier side, it’s one of my must visit spots in NYC for gluten free, and for good reason!


Modern Bread and Bagel

Now this is a place I have yet to visit, but I have heard nothing but amazing things from other

gluten free bloggers I follow! Modern Bread and Bagel is a 100% gluten free bagel shop with locations in the Upper West Side and Chelsea. They sell bagel sandwiches, fresh bread and other fresh pastries. Being able to walk into a bagel shop and choose anything you want to eat sounds like my dream, and I can’t wait to try it next time I’m in NYC!


Senza Gluten

Located in Greenwich Village, Senza Gluten is an entirely gluten free Italian restaurant. They

are open for lunch and dinner, and have a variety of sandwiches as an option for their lunch hours. They created their menu in order to provide the gluten free community with the items they miss the most, such as gnocchi, lasagna and tiramisu. There’s even a gluten free bread basket available to order, which is just the cherry on top. And, it’s right around the corner from Posh Pop ;)


Lilli and Loo

Another place I hope to visit soon, Lilli and Loo is located between Midtown and the Upper

East Side. They are known in the gluten free community for their gluten free menu including items such as tempura (!!!!!), dumplings (!!!!!), lo mein (!!!!!) and other Asian favorites. It’s very rare to find an Asian restaurant with gluten free options and safe procedures, so I’m really looking forward to checking this place out in the future. For now, I’ll have to live vicariously through other people’s Instagram stories.



Pittsburgh


Baked True North

This is one of my favorite gluten free bakeries, and when I lived in Pittsburgh I would visit them frequently! Baked True North is located just north of the city in Ross Township, and

they are absolutely worth the drive. My favorite items are the Toffeedoodle cookies, any flavor scone they have that day, the cinnamon rolls and most importantly, the yeast donuts. And, on the weekends, they have breakfast sandwiches made to order on their homemade English muffins! An amazing spot, and I’m so glad they finally have a storefront for people to stop by.


Sienna Mercato Emporio

If you’re looking for more of a casual, laid-back restaurant in Pittsburgh, look no further than

Sienna Mercato Emporio. Sienna Mercato is a three-floor restaurant, with Emporio on the first floor, Mezzo, which is a bit of a nicer meal, on the second floor, and Il Tetto, their rooftop bar, on the third floor. Emporio is a “meatball joint” and is fantastic for gluten free. The chicken meatballs are gluten free, and they have a dedicated fryer, so be sure to try the Crack Fries or the Parmesan-Herb Fries.


Condado Tacos

Although they are a small chain, Condado will always be my favorite Mexican restaurant in the city. Most of their menu is naturally gluten free or can easily be made gluten free, and

their tacos are top notch. Their chips are fried in a dedicated fryer and are completely safe, as is their queso. So, I often opt to order the Skywalker Nachos to split with my friends or family! They have a wide variety of flavored shells and shell combinations, such as the Kewl Ranch shell, which basically tastes like a Dorito! Even if a taco comes with a flour tortilla on the menu, they are easily able to swap it with a soft corn tortilla. Many locations to choose from throughout the city and definitely worth a trip!


The Milkshake Factory

I simply cannot talk about Pittsburgh foodie spots without mentioning The Milkshake Factory. With locations throughout the city, they are a Pittsburgh staple. Many of their

gourmet milkshakes are naturally gluten free, and you’re able to modify most of their milkshakes to be dairy free as well, if you need (or prefer) that modification. If you notify them of your “allergy” at the cashier, they will use clean utensils, change their gloves and make your milkshake at a separate station, far away from any ingredients that could sneak into your shake! I always feel super safe ordering from here, and it’s absolutely delicious.


Mercurio’s

I saved the best for last on purpose, Mercurio’s is my favorite restaurant in all of Pittsburgh. It is a family-owned Italian restaurant that has two locations: one in Shadyside, which is a

neighborhood in Pittsburgh, and one in Fox Chapel, which is a bit of a drive outside of the city. They specialize in wood-fired pizza and have a delicious gluten free crust. They take a great deal of precautions with gluten free diets of all sorts, and their pizza is quite possibly the best I’ve ever tasted. My parents are even willing to split gluten free pizzas with me when we go, and that’s how you know it’s really good!! Don’t forget to save room for homemade gelato at the end!


Philadelphia


Fox & Son Fair Foods

One of my favorite spots in Philly is Fox & Son, which is located in Reading Terminal Market.

They are 100% gluten free and serve all types of fair food, which I cannot usually find gluten free! My favorite item to order is the Cheeseburger Loaded Fries, but I’ve also tried the Poutine and the Funnel Cake and have loved everything! They are super friendly, and I feel so safe eating anything off of their menu. Make sure you head around the corner to Sparrow’s Gluten Free Market afterwards and grab a warm gluten free soft pretzel! (Yes, I did cry the first time I tried one of these soft pretzels.)


Okie Dokie Donuts

Another place that has been on my list for quite some time, Okie Dokie Donuts is located in

South Philly and serves artisanal gluten free donuts. They always have new seasonal flavors such as Apple Cider, Brown Sugar Gingerbread and Peach Basil, but keep it simple with Chocolate Glazed and Powdered Sugar as well. Make sure you order ahead or get there as soon as they open, I’ve heard they sell out quickly!


The Happy Mixer

Another completely gluten free bakery for the list! Can you tell I have a special place in my heart for gluten free bakeries? The Happy Mixer has a few locations in Eastern Pennsylvania:

Chalfont, Newtown and Wayne. Everything I have tried from their bakeries has been phenomenal, but my favorites have to be the Jumbo Cupcakes (Salted Caramel or Red Velvet), kiffles (which they’re famous for!), muffins and cake donuts (my favorite is cookies and cream!). They also advance ordering for the holiday season, including items like monkey bread and cinnamon rolls.


Ron’s Original Bar & Grille

Quite possibly my favorite restaurant on this list, Ron’s is luckily in my hometown and serves

some of my favorite gluten free food. From wings, fries and burgers to pasta dishes like Chicken Parmigiana, Ron’s quite literally has something for everyone. But the best thing (in my opinion) about Ron’s is that you’re able to order a… wait for it… gluten free. Philly cheesesteak. Unheard of and absolutely the first thing I want every time I go home to visit.



Although I could have gone on and on with more restaurant recommendations, these are the ones you should absolutely be adding to your gluten free foodie bucket list! Don’t forget to use Find Me Gluten Free to find the most accommodating restaurants when you travel to a new location, or to find out whether your current favorite restaurants are able to accommodate your new diet! Good luck and have fun eating new gluten free treats!


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