It’s that time of year again in NYC, when we start swapping cookies and roasting chestnuts over an open fire.
For the first few years, when I was laxer with cross-contamination concerns, I took to licking the cream out of the center of homemade non-gluten-free Oreos, for lack of any other option. Though I usually brought my own delicious chocolate chip cookies, when I wrote that they were GF most non-glutards didn’t want to waste their carb count on my sad contribution.
In other words, I was mostly just swapping cookies with myself.
Times have changed though. There is a much higher percentage of the party now who belongs to various teams of the diet special Olympics. And a much higher percentage of regular party goers who bring gluten-free options simply to be inclusive.
There are many homemade options to choose from if you’re in this camp (start here or here or here). But if your kitchen isn’t outfitted for gluten-free baking, it’s just as easy these days to find some fabulous options out on the town.
For those locals in search of gluten-free baked goods for cookie swaps, holiday dinners, or simply a sugar rush holiday crawl, I’ve got a list of my favorite gluten-free cookies, cupcakes, quick breads and EVEN CHALLAH in New York City!
Please note that I am not celiac, and though I take cross-contamination more seriously now, I don’t buy my gluten-free baked goods exclusively from certified GF kitchens. Make sure to call ahead and find out more about the facilities of the below bakeries if you’re extremely sensitive.
Read on for my favorite gluten-free baked goods in New York City, and let me know if I missed any essentials! I will take any excuse now that the 4 Weeks to Wellness vice detox is over to add a few more treats to my must-taste list.
From one healthy cookie monster to another,
THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE BAKERIES IN NEW YORK CITY FOR COOKIES, CAKES, QUICK BREADS AND MORE!
PB&J Cookies at The Smile To-Go
These thin, sweet and salty cookies modeled after everyone’s favorite non-gluten-free childhood snack are a slam dunk from The Smile’s new to-go spot in Dumbo’s Empire Stores. The texture is perfect, meaning you would never know it was gluten-free. While you’re there, try the rosemary potatoes which are fried in a dedicated fryer (worth double checking in case this has changed), the sticky lemon coconut loaf, and the banana buckwheat bread. OMG.
Focaccia Bread at Court Street Grocers
Early into my gluten-freedom I discovered my favorite sandwich shop has gluten-free bread. At the time, it was the best I’d ever had. And even to this day, many loaves into the future, the focaccia at Court Street Grocers in Carroll Gardens is still superior to anything you can buy in the regular grocery store. At the moment, it’s not available to purchase on it’s own (though I’m sure you can ask), but I wouldn’t recommend walking out of there without a sandwich anyway. The turkey durkey and B+B are personal favorites.
Red Velvet Cupcakes at Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery
Tu-Lu’s was one of the first dedicated gluten-free bakeries in the game, and no one does cupcakes and cakes better. They also have plenty of vegan and dairy-free options, but my personal favorite is the red velvet cupcakes with real deal cream cheese frosting. If Charlie and I ever get married, this is who will be making our combo DF/GF cake.
Salted Peanut Butter Cookies from Ovenly (available at Foragers + Various other markets)
Ovenly is a commercial bakery that supplies bespoke baked goods to many of New York’s best markets and cafes. Their rounded salted peanut butter cookie is dense, chewy, and everything you want in a peanut butter cookie. If you can find them, also try the Hot Chocolate Cookies, which are GF as well.
Paleo Blondies + Brownies at Hu Kitchen
Hu Kitchen is mecca for baked goods that are not just gluten-free, but paleo. As many people know, a gluten-free cookies does not a healthy cookie make. For the healthy stuff, Hu Kitchen is your best bet. Their carrot cake and other raw desserts are much loved, but I prefer the paleo brownies and blondies, which are chewy, moderately sweet, and satisfying.
Challah at By the Way Bakery
A newer addition to the gluten-free landscape, this Upper West Side bakery is now among the best for celiacs looking for a wide range of options. Most notably, it’s the only place in NYC that I know of that sells gluten-free challah! Their cookies, cakes and poppyseed bread have also come highly recommended from readers.
Blueberry Banana Loaf at Little Cupcake Bakeshop
Though this bakery isn’t exclusively dedicated to gluten-free treats, they have an impressive array of baked goods for special diets. The cupcakes are ridiculous. But my personal favorite is the blueberry-banana bread, which has a dense oat-y crumb and just the right amount of sweetness for breakfast or dessert.
Donuts at Erin McKenna’s Bakery (Formerly Baby Cakes)
Erin Mckenna’s flagship vegan allergy-friendly bakery, Baby Cakes, was the OG of gluten-free baked goods. She’s still one of the best resources in town for healthy treats that cover all your dietary bases, especially donuts, which is a harder item to find elsewhere in gluten-free form.
Macarons at Laduree
French macarons are naturally gluten-free, and the famous Paris export, Laduree, makes some of the best in New York City. Their soho location has a lovely cafe where you can sip tea and enjoy a few cookies, or simply get a few to-go.
Do you have any favorite gluten-free baked goods in New York City? If so, please add them to the list in the comments section! I’ll update this post with reader favorites as they come in.
Need help finding lifestyle changes that last? Let’s work together to find your path forward. My 4 Weeks to Wellness Course might just change your life. With 4-weeks worth of recipes that are gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined sugar free, not to mention tasty AF, it’s a perfect way to explore your food sensitivities and heal inner and outer chaos.