There’s been a gluten-free revolution brewing for the last few years.
At most Italian restaurants in New York City, you can get the signature Bolognese on a bed of gluten-free spaghetti which, so long as it’s cooked right, can taste almost indistinguishable from the real thing. (Especially, if you haven’t eaten gluten in 7 years and can’t remember what that thing is.)
Pizza, on the other hand, has remained a thorn in our collective gluten-free side. Or, rather, a gaping void in our otherwise happy bellies where chewy, pillow-y dough with just the perfect amount of char once resided.
Sure, most corner pizza places near me advertise that they make (and deliver!) gluten-free options. But usually, it’s the same pre-packaged crust on hand that arrives slightly rock hard and, despite the gooey cheese, tastes a little bit like cardboard.
The tide is slowly changing though, friends. Led of course by the Italians, who would rather take a pizza pie to the eye than force their gluten-free brethren to miss out on the thin-crust slices that NYC was built on.
Because I love any excuse for investigative research that involves carbs, I took it upon myself to put together a list of the best gluten-free pizza restaurants I’ve discovered in NYC. Some are more celiac-friendly than others, but all deliver a quality pie that will feed your pizza cravings.
Read on for my gluten-free picks in Manhattan, Brooklyn and beyond!
With health and hedonism,
THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA IN NYC
Wild: When the flagship restaurant opened in the West Village it was one of the first 100 percent gluten-free kitchens dishing up impeccable thin crust pizza, homemade pasta and the like. The pies are so good, I have several non gluten-free friends who eat there regularly. I chose the now defunct Williamsburg location as the venue for my 30th birthday party because there was no where I’d rather have a grown up pizza party than at Wild. Luckily, their new location just opened not too far from me in Park Slope! The pies are on the pricey side, but it’s worth it for the treat and knowing that all of the ingredients are responsibly sourced.
Rubirosa: If you want the full Italian red sauce treatment with fully gluten-free options for all, Rubirosa is as good as it gets. Not only are all their famous pies available on gluten-free crust, but their dedicated gluten-free menu also includes mozzarella sticks, fried calamari, arancini, and chicken parm. In other words, all the delicious munchies haunting my late-night dreams for the last 7 years. Though the kitchen is not fully gluten-free and there’s a shared pizza oven, the staff is incredibly knowledgable about cross-contamination and I know many celiacs who frequent the restaurant without a problem other than a massive food coma.
Ribalta: Voted number one by Time Out and Spoon University, this puffy, Neapolitan crust gets insane bounce and chewiness despite using a gluten-free flour blend. Part of the appeal is the char, which comes by way of a shared brick oven. Celiacs be advised this is not a safe kitchen for you. But that just means more doughy goodness for the rest of us. In case you’re wondering, this is the pie pictured above and at the top of this post!
Keste: One of the greats in the West Village for Neapolitan pizza has, since opening, introduced a gluten-free menu for its pizzas and mouth watering arancini (fried rice balls). The crust is nicely flavored, though it doesn’t get as puffed and blistered without the brick oven. Celiacs can rest assured though that this is a consequence of the gluten-free pies being prepared downstairs in a separate oven.
Pie by the Pound: Speaking of pizza al taglio, Pie by the Pound was one of the first NYC pizza places to sport this style of slab pizza cut to order. After the owner discovered his own gluten intolerance, he set out to make Pie a haven for the growing gluten-free community. Not only can you get any individual pie gluten-free, but you can also drink a variety of gluten-free beers along side it. The crust is made off site at a dedicated gluten-free facility to avoid cross-contamination and is stored in separate fridges, prepared with special utensils, and baked in a separate oven.
**Fornino: The biggest discrepancy between my picks and most of the gluten-free pizza lists out there is that Brooklyn is way under represented in other peoples’ reporting. And yet, some of the best gluten-free pizza I’ve found in NYC was in Brooklyn. Fornino is a perfect example, and one I wouldn’t have thought to try until recently, thanks to a reader recommendation. The crust was insanely chewy, soft and pillowy, even after I’d had it delivered and it sat out on my counter for a bit. The Calibrese with spicy salami pictured above was a great flavor combo that I will likely order again and again. If you’re looking for gluten-free pizza delivery in Brooklyn this is definitely my favorite. They have three locations in Dumbo, Greenpoint and Williamsburg. WARNING: I once ordered a pie and what arrived at my doorstep was not gluten-free. They assured me it was a mistake that never happens, but it’s worth checking the ticket nonetheless (which thank god I did after taking a small bite and suspecting it was not). If it doesn’t say gluten-free on it, call the restaurant and double check. They sent me a new one right away.
Saraghina: Though it’s a bit of a hike, this Bed-Stuy Italian spot has a great hipster vibe, and more importantly, excellent gluten-free pizza and pasta. The crust is chewy and soft, and the pie is slightly larger than most individually portioned gluten-free options. It can be tough to get a table on weekends, but luckily there’s a small tapas bar in the back where you can wait, enjoy some shishito peppers, and sip on an excellent smoky hard cider.
Two Boots: The pre-packaged gluten-free crust at this popular NYC chain is an old standby. A fellow Hashi Posse friend of mine used to throw homemade pizza parties and this is where she’d always buy her crust. Since it’s pre-made, it can be a little bit dry and crunchy at times. But if you get one of Two Boots’ famously flamboyant topping combinations, you’re not likely to notice. The kitchen is not dedicated gluten-free, but very knowledgable about celiac safety. Their by the slice gluten-free options are kept in a separate display case and all gluten-free pizzas are warmed/cooked on baking sheets.
Dellarocco’s: BK folk who cry about not being able to go to Lucali’s, will find some options down the street at this pizza place. I didn’t find the toppings as flavorful or well balanced as Fornino, but for gluten-free pizza delivery in Brooklyn, it did not disappoint!
**Lean Crust: It’s rare to find a by the slice pizzeria where you can grab a small bite on the go. Mozzarellis was my go-to in Manhattan. And Lean Crust has replaced it as the best gluten-free slice joint in Brooklyn. Not only does the small Fort Greene storefront have several gluten-free pies to choose from, their whole mission is to preserve the New York style quality without the guilt. They use a separate oven and utensils for all gluten-free pies and also serve GF chicken wings and pasta. It’s become a real problem on my way home from the subway. Vegans will find a lot to love too.
Nicoletta: Though less celiac-friendly than some of these other eateries, I was very impressed with the quality of chef Michael White’s gluten-free options at his East Village pizza outpost. You can get any of the pies on a gluten-free crust, which is perfectly crisp and stands up to the fresh mozz, arugula and sausage (my preferred toppings).
Emporio: For the gluten intolerant who want to get a group together, Emporio is a great option. It’s easy to make a reservation for a larger table, and while the rest of your crew eat the usual fare, you can chow down on as much gluten-free pizza and pasta as you want. Warning to the celiacs: they cook their pasta separately, but the pizza goes in a shared oven.
Sauce: For a little non traditional low carb action, this lower east side restaurant was one of the first to hop on the cauli pizza train. The veggie crust is delicious, if not a dead ringer for the pizza of your childhood. Sauce is another good option for a gluten-free group dinner, as the menu is perfect for family style service. Make sure to try the drool-worthy polenta on a plank, and of course, a bowl of gluten-free pasta.
**NEW Loring Place: Dan Kluger’s first solo restaurant has a plethora of delicious gluten-free dishes, from Arctic char sashimi to gorgeous charred broccoli. But it’s the gluten-free grandma pie I come back for again and again. Made in a small sheet pan, this pizza is the same shape as a traditional Detroit-style slab pizza, but much thinner and crispier.
**NEW Emily: With a cult following at both their Brooklyn and West Village locations, it seemed like a miracle of miracles when this Detroit-style pizza joint began offering a gluten-free option for all their pies. The dough is made from Cup4Cup flour and ultra buoyant. I particularly loved the Arenstein pie pictured above which is topped with pepperoni, honey and jalapeno.
**Denotes my favorites!
I haven’t personally tried these pies (though obviously, am planning on it shortly) but I’ve heard great things from the Feed Me Phoebe family about the following options. Celiacs should call ahead about cross-contamination issues ahead of time as I have not vetted.
Adoro Lei: For lots of health-conscious options, this is your jam.
Rossopomodoro: Apparently their pesto pie is a steep competitor to Keste’s. Be warned that the environment is not celiac-friendly.
Don Antonio: Midtown Manhattan folk, this one is for you.
Double Zero: Mathew Kenney’s plant-based pizza outpost has gluten-free options as well. Great for vegan folk who also avoid the wheat.
And Pizza: This anti-establishment pizza establishment allows you to create your own combo choosing from either a gluten-free or regular crust. They also have vegan cheese and sausage.
Pizza Beach: Even though The Infatuation panned this pizza pretty badly, they offer GF options and I’m adding to the list for Upper East Side folks in need of anything cheesy.
Marinara Pizza: Another Upper East Side option for cauliflower crusts!
Iggy’s: This East Village takeout spot offers a variety of gluten-free pizzas for delivery.
Brick Oven Pizza 33: Another midtown East option for casual pies to go.
Da Nona Rosa: Gluten-free pizza delivery in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Sottocasa: Classic thin crust pizza on Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn – with a location in Harlem too!
Numero 28: A West Village classic that now serves gluten-free pizza. People have said they prefer it to Keste!
What do you think is the best gluten-free pizza in NYC? Please leave me your two cents and recommendations below! In particular, would love to hear some more places in Brooklyn that have delivery!! Asking for a friend…