Despite my cooking habits, takeout used to be a huge vice of mine.
Minus the waste factor, it doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure for everyone. For me though, perhaps because I grew up in New York City, the food delivery capital of the world, takeout has always been my preferred method for indulging. Probably because with one phone call, or now, a click of the button, it is so easy to do so.
I talked a lot about my pad Thai takeout addiction in The Wellness Project book and I’m happy to report that between my strict gluten-free diet and efforts to reduce single use plastics, I’ve gotten that habit fully under control. In 2020, I’ve only ordered in 3 times total (none of which included pad Thai). For me, this is a huge win.
More importantly, now the food I do order is not just as a means of binging, but usually because my fridge is empty and I need a healthy option on my doorstep STAT before hanger ensues.
Since you all have been asking, I finally put together my favorite healthy takeout and delivery options in Brooklyn. Many of the gluten-free restaurants on this list also have locations in other parts of New York City, including Manhattan. Plus, now with the advent of Caviar and Postmates it’s a lot easier to get food delivered from neighborhoods a little further afield.
While some of these restaurants aren’t 100 percent gluten-free, they are places I feel pretty confident ordering from and tend to have a lot of options that aren’t just gluten-free, but healthy. That can of course be defined a million different ways. For me, it means having protein that’s responsibly sourced, dishes that are packed with fresh herbs and vegetables, and not relying on cheap oils and ingredients to pad their bottom line.
As this pandemic rages on, I’d imagine that many of us are hunkering down more than usual and going to be relying on supplementing with food options from afar. I got your back.
Read on for the best healthy gluten-free delivery options in Brooklyn. I’d love to hear yours (even if Manhattan or Queens!) in the comments.
With health and hedonism,
THE BEST HEALTHY GLUTEN-FREE FOOD DELIVERY IN BROOKLYN NEW YORK
This fast casual spot has several locations around New York City, and its DUMBO outpost has been my most consistent healthy lunchtime delivery go-to of the past year. Not only are the bowls comprised of many different plants, but they come in compostable containers that alleviate me of my biggest delivery-associated guilt: waste. I usually build my own custom bowl with chicken or salmon, Thai chili noodles (absolute best), roasted broccoli, root veg mash and spicy carrot sauce.
If Mulberry and Vine is my most consistent solo order, the most frequent joint one is this Fort Greene South Indian street food outpost. The serving size (in a pint container) is on the small side for the price, but the butter chicken, avial curry and creamy saag are so good, we just can’t quit it. This order usually does come with some guilt as we rack up a good 4 plastic pint containers every time, but we reuse them in the kitchen or Charlie takes them to the office to store hardware and tools. LuckILy my favorite item, the dosa!, comes in a brown paper container that can be composted. Charlie also loves the Cauliflower Lasuni but it isn’t gluten-free.
When we want a quick healthy sandwich fix that comes in all paper packaging, we always resort to this iconic Carroll Gardens counter. Court Street was a pioneer in the gluten-free bread game, offering one of the best focaccias around. I’ve been eating it for almost a decade and it has yet to be surpassed! They roast all their meats in house—no deli counter carcinogens here. My favorite orders are the Clean Turkey, the Reuben Brocc, or the Uncle Chucky, which is a genius combo of cauliflower and pickled fennel. There are plenty of vegetarian options and you can also never go wrong with any of the breakfast sandwiches.
Vietnamese cuisine is one of the easiest options for gluten-free eats, but it always helps to have a restaurant that is knowledgeable like Bunker. The Dekalb market location, which has a limited menu, is almost entirely gluten-free. And their larger location in Bushwick can adapt most of the dishes to be GF. My favorite is the Crispy Turmeric Ginger Fish with Dill (it’s similar to this recipe) which you can request to be gluten-free, the chicken coconut curry, and any Pho. All the proteins are high quality (grass-fed, pasture-raised, wild seafood) and their dishes are packed herbs and veggies.
I don’t know if pizza is ever technically in the healthy takeout column, but for those mostly interested in gluten-free options Fornino is truly the best. I’ve done a fair amount of research on the subject (here’s my full list of the Best Gluten-Free Pizza in New York) and Fornino is the one I return to again and again. The ingredients always feel fresh, the pies don’t weigh you down, and they even offer vegan options.
Though they don’t offer delivery, I had to add our neighborhood sushi spot to this list. Geido is the best bang for your buck we’ve found and it’s centrally located on Flatbush in Park Slope. Their pickup orders are beautifully packed in paper boxes and always feel like a treat.
Before we got a little better about ordering from places that used less plastic, Pinto was our go-to for Thai food that was a step above the usual gloppy noodles. The curries use seasonal vegetables and usually have a lot of variety, especially if you choose a vegetarian option.
This upscale market is notorious for its overpriced local fare, but the rotisserie chicken is worth the price of admission. You can get a half chicken delivered with a variety of sides that always feel simple and nourishing.
This Japanese restaurant has a variety of bento boxes and rice ball sets, all completely gluten-free. Their tofu is also non-GMO, the salmon wild, and vegetables are organic. I love the salmon bento box that comes with two rice balls.
My local cafe in Fort Greene is too close to feel anything less than lazy for getting delivery from there. But they have fantastic options! I love all their salads and breakfast options. They also have a fish curry special for dinner that’s delicious. The bone broth and activated hot chocolate are also perfect to warm you up if you’re feeling under the weather.
Westville has been a stable of my ordering ever since I lived in the west village near it’s flagship location. Their market plate allows you to choose from 20 or so rotating sides, and it’s always a satisfying way to get a variety of veggies. The turkey burger and simple proteins with sides combos are also great options for keeping it simple when you just want a blue plate special.
This choose-your-own-adventure burger chain really changed the game for me and my gluten-free fry cravings. Their menu offers a whole variety of gluten-free and vegan options, in addition to the many grass-fed meat patties. You can get your burger on a GF bun or wrapped in a collard green, my personal favorite. The mountain of gluten-free fries doesn’t always arrive as crispy as they are in the restaurant, but I’ll take it.
BONUS. It’s not technically in Brooklyn, but I get asked all the time for delivery options that are low FODMAP. Unfortunately, I don’t have any brick and mortars to send you to, but I can highly recommend Epicured which delivers low FODMAP meals anywhere in the country. Their menus are designed in tandem by dieticians and chefs and are perfect if you’re celiac, have IBD, or just need a consistent healthy meal option to lean on during busy times of life. Use the code PHOEBE for $20 off.
For a list of celiac-friendly restaurants in New York, my friend Jodi has a great round-up here.
For a list of the best gluten-free pizza restaurants, click here.
For my favorite gluten-free bakeries in New York City, click here.
Do you have any healthy gluten-free takeout favorites in Brooklyn? I’d love to know in the comments!