MeetMoi is all about introducing you to new and interesting people nearby that you can meet up with in person. This post is part of a series to give you hints on where to take your new Intro on an impromptu date. Get more ideas here.
By Ella Riley-Adams
At first glance, you may think a gluten-free date means minimal fun. No beer, no cake, no burger buns.
But you’re wrong. Perhaps in a different part of the world you and your date would be relegated to eating out on green beans and lettuce, but as usual in New York City, convenient dining choices abound.
As more and more Americans give up gluten (meaning wheat and its related grain species) for their health, you’re all the more likely to encounter one on MeetMoi. When you do, take them on a date that leaves both of you feeling satisfied, not limited by dietary restrictions. Some suggestions:
1. Tu-Lu’s Bakery Amidst the temptations of Magnolia’s and the ubiquitous cupcakery, Crumbs, gluten-free eaters (and general food lovers alike) are lucky to have this adorable East Village bake shop. In addition to cupcakes, cookies (one epic vegan oatmeal, almond, banana, dried cherry, chocolate chip cookie please!) and brownies, Tu-Lu’s serves up gluten-free paninis and a basic drinks menu. And the best bit: If sparks fly on this first date, you can eventually order your wedding cake from the very same place!
2. Rawlicious Why not take your date all the way? For a meat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, taste-abundant experience, try this SoHo restaurant. We’re especially excited about their pasta Bolognese made with zucchini noodles and insane superfood cookies created with 13 nutrient-packing ingredients. Go to Rawlicious for a light lunch, then stroll through SoHo to discuss personal style on Broadway or your latest reading at Housing Works.
3. Pizza Roma Wednesdays Pizza is often a gluten-free eater’s biggest heartbreak. Thankfully, a few classic New York joints have taken pity. Pizza Roma offers gluten-free pizzas every Wednesday, while Kesté, a few doors down on Bleecker, sells gluten-free pies on Monday and Tuesday evenings. If you and your date are getting along well after your pizza excursion, go for an inevitably interesting drink at nearby speakeasy Little Branch. The door’s unmarked, but you’ll see a doorman standing at the address. Tell the bartender what you like and he or she will make you something delicious.
If you’re going for the whole pizza-and-beer combination, try Pie on 4th Ave. In addition to gluten-free pizza, they serve gluten-free brews.
4. Kaffe 1668 There’s no gluten in coffee! Yay! So while this spot doesn’t specifically serve “gluten-free” fare, its Intelligentsia caffeinated beverages are wonderful on a fall afternoon in the Financial District. Behind the uniform green awning you’ll find soft lights, plush sheep (apparently their mascot) and wooden tables. Ask for a single origin coffee “for here” and sit in the window with your date. Kaffe 1668 will serve your brew in a gigantic mug—a perfect companion that first getting-to-know-you conversation.
5. The Room A New York Magazine Critic’s Pick, this bar serves four kinds of gluten-free beer on its list of 70-plus options. And if either you or your date gets more into wine as the night moves on, The Room’s got two dozen types to choose from. A wealth of options and romantic ambiance make this spot a date haven. For more gluten-free beer bars in NYC, check out Celiac Chick’s thorough map.