There are some cities that you just know are going to be more accommodating to special diets. With over 24,000 restaurants, New York is one of those towns. Despite this representing a fraction of what is available, they were noteworthy enough for me to mention (usually due to affordability, diverse offerings, allergen disclosure, or convenience).
My first trip to NYC, we ate at Maoz twice. They are one of those places that have a small menu because they do what they do and do it well. All entrees come with their enormous toppings (which are really sides) bar. All food is clearly labeled to disclose vegan and gluten free options. A wicked cheap, delicious gf/v meal in Manhattan.
The Cinnamon Snail
I'm not ashamed to admit that The Pennsy was a daily stop for us. Not only is this industrial-chic food hall filled with gluten free/vegan options, it is a great place to sit and people watch from a floor above street level. And, while The Cinnamon Snail has a decent savory menu, we never made it past that beautiful bakery case.
The Cinnamon Snail
A self-professed donut purist, I usually skip the trendy/crazy donut shops. I'd much rather have a beautiful yeast dough with a cup of coffee. But, somehow The Cinnamon Snail managed to infuse classic donuts with unique, enticing flavor combos. This was my favorite, filled with a gorgeous meyer lemon curd. Never did find a single cinnamon roll while we were there, though!
At their 17th street location you can get Chloe's Soft Serve (made of fruit, water, and a little cane sugar). They rotate seasonal flavors and have a slew of toppings in a bright, clean environment with adorable branding. Their treats are low in calories, most are fat free, and all are vegan and gluten free.
When it comes to menu designing, by Chloe has mastered the art of allergen disclosure. Not only do they have a great plant-based assortment, they are happy to tell you which ones meet your special diet needs!
by Chloe. GF/V Burger
Skylar picked the guac burger, which was available in gluten free. The bun was one of the best she'd ever had.
The only bad thing about eating at by Chloe is having to pick just one meal. This is the meatball sub (not gf) and the kale artichoke dip (OMG). They also have a daily lemonade which was outstanding.
Sweets by Chloe.
This adorable little bake shop is located next door to by Chloe. The gluten free options were pretty varied, but Skylar couldn't resist a pink-frosted cupcake with sprinkles. I have to say, I've had a LOT of gf/v cupcakes and so many are meh. A lot of them have oily/flavorless frosting, a super dense cake, or grittiness from the gf flour blend. This was delicious.
John's of 12th Street
Seriously. Your search for perfect vegan Italian food is over. NO ONE does it better (if you need convincing, check out some of their famous guests). Not only is John's amazing, they have amazing customer service. When I inquired about allergens, I immediately got an email back with loads of information. They even offered to make some things special for my daughter. Check out some of my other photos on this page for more info.
John's Handmade Pappardelle
John’s Vegan Ragu over Housemade Vegan Pappardelle. You guys. VEGAN RAGU OVER HANDMADE PAPPARDELLE! I'm so sorry that this isn't gluten free because I know a lot of my readers won't be able to eat it. But, this is, without question, what heaven tastes like.
John's Vegan Menu
Can you even wrap your head around the size of this menu? Absolutely exquisite. Not once did we feel like we were "special ordering" something. Nothing felt adapted to be vegan. I felt like I walked into a magical place where the entire world was vegan and we were just being served fabulous food.