I LOVE New York!!!
Ever since my husband (then boyfriend) and I visited ten years ago, we vowed we'd go back and do all the stuff we didn't get to do last time. Including eating in some pretty awesome spots!
We spent four nights there this summer staying at the fabulous Hotel Chandler (minutes from the Empire State Building) and truly had the BEST time! Anything you can think of, you'll find it. Whether it's gluten free or carnivore crazy, you can be sure to find it exists in New York.
One thing I always do before I go out to eat anywhere, (even in Southampton) is check out the menus of restaurants. People seem to forget that as a customer, you are entitled to have items on the menu adjusted to suit your needs if it looks like there's nothing suitable.
Some of my personal training clients assumed I never ate out when they first met me, so I assured them the opposite is in fact true!
Eating out can still be enjoyed, it's something that just needs a bit of adjusting in order for you to keep on living the fun life full of socialising that I bet you're enjoying right now.
So after much research and, now I'm happy to say, personal experience, here are my top five spots for gluten free healthy eating in New York (with a few photos thrown in for good measure!)
Juice Generation 109 E 23rd Street (various)
As soon as we'd arrived at our hotel, unpacked and napped, this was the first place we went to. And oh my, what a great start to a great trip!! It's absolutely ideal to grab a light snack and beautiful fresh juice, all organic. If this place existed in Southampton, I would certainly be their best customer.
They've even got their own mini gluten free bakery (try the scones...) and cold pressed bottled juices you can take and store for later, as did I in our mini bar fridge. Wherever you stay in New York, there will be one nearby. I even found one in Brooklyn where I grabbed a young coconut to drink on the subway!
Mozzarelli's 38 E 23rd Street (just down the road from Juice Generation!)
Hands down best gluten free pizza I've tried to date. My husband and I had to get ours to go as they decided they were closing as soon as we arrived (6pm?!) so we were lucky enough to get served.
We sat in Madison Square park and enjoyed it straight out of the box (apparently it tastes better this way anyway?!) on a beautiful warm evening. They also do a vegan cheese topping if you're dairy free.
As it was still early when we finished, we walked down to the Peninsula Hotel on 5th Avenue for a drink (non alcoholic for me!) on their rooftop bar and the best view of the city. This place, as I'm sure you can imagine us not cheap but I THOROUGHLY recommend it and here's why:
Enough said 😉
Organique 110 East 23rd Street (almost next door to Mozzerelli's!)
Why can't places like this exist in Southampton?! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, salads, snacks, whatever you need this place will have it. There's a huge salad bar where you can create your own, even if it's not on their menu! You walk in and are greeted by very friendly welcoming staff who will create you...pretty much anything you want?!
We went for breakfast on our first 'full day'; my husband had an organic sausage deli sandwich which got two thumbs up. The kind chef made me scrambled eggs and smoked salmon with some gluten free toast. I couldn't for the life of me fathom why this wasn't on the menu as it's my favourite breakfast and he did it absolutely beautifully. The organic coffee was pretty great too.
I had put an 'essential visit' on this place, after reading rave reviews of "the best gluten free bagel in NYC". So when we arrived to find a humongous queue almost doubling back on itself, we weren't that surprised. Thankfully, they've a great system to speed things up, where a nice lady takes your order while you're queuing and gives you a ticket.
So was it worth it? In a word, or two HELL YES!!!
I had been yet to find a decent gluten free bagel ever since being diagnosed. Even to the point where my personal training clients had been on the look out for me! Now I need look no further, this bad boy was out of this world! It tasted like the bagels I ate while growing up, the texture soft and the outside shiny.
I went for (surprise surprise) smoked salmon with dill and cucumber cream cheese (they had over 30 flavours of cream cheese to choose from!) while my husband went for yellowfin tuna. We enjoyed our bagels in a nearby park, trying to eat them as slowly as possible. So please do not let the queue put you off, you will not be disappointed.
And if you're there, you may as well pop into Tulus Gluten Free Bakery, about a three minute walk away. After the extremely difficult task of choosing what to have (something even more difficult with a full stomach!) I went for a mini red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
And I'm so glad I did! The girl in there was lovely and kind, I recommend a visit for a sweet treat as you can tell everything in there has been made with love and passion.
Rockin' Raw 171 Sullivan St
We spent our 'last supper' here on our final evening in NYC after salivating over all the stunning photos happy customers had posted on Instagram. And as we walked all the way from Battery Park to Greenwich Village, we were both starving by the time we reached it!
As we'd been in search of somewhere that provided gourmet raw dishes (I was thinking along the lines of my beloved Wild Food Cafe...) the Peruvian and Creole fusion Rockin' Raw sounded ideal - just make sure you don't walk straight past it as the sign is pretty inconspicuous and the place itself is pretty tiny!
But thankfully, as if by fate they had a table available ☺️ and we wasted no time getting stuck in to our raw fully loaded nachos and vegan crab cakes which were both divine!
I then went for the huge kale dulse salad dressed with the most beautiful vegan 'cheese' dressing, and my husband went for the lobster mushroom roll with sweet potato cajun fries.
All in all, a great success and fabulous service. We left feeling full (but not bloated!) happy and proud that we'd found what we believe to have been some of the best places in NYC to eat gluten free, vegan and most importantly healthily.
Going abroad, especially to America does not mean your healthy eating efforts will have to be compromised or abandoned. With a little planning and research before you travel, you can rest assured that you may well end up eating even better than you do at home!
I hope you have found this article useful and I wish you healthy happy travels and a wonderful trip to NYC or wherever it is your heading. And remember, going on holiday is a joy, privilege and opportunity to try new and healthy things. Not an excuse to abandon all your hard work so far!
Safe travels ☺