Pala — New York City

Pala, NYC

I’m not sure anyone is reading the gluten-free restaurant and bakery posts on my blog yet. Let’s face it, I only went gluten-free a little over two months ago, and I’m no expert. But I do know what I like, and Pala goes on the list. Thanks to a very welcome tip from a friend, I rushed over to Pala to check it out one Friday night. Note, Pala is really crowded on Friday night, too crowded to even squeeze in at the bar during peak hours. Clearly the word has gotten out about this place. So I went back for a hot date about a week later. We’re both gluten-free, and the menu got us pretty excited. Literally, it seemed like everything on the menu was available gluten-free. They have dedicated ovens and fryers too, so this is for real.

Pala, NYC

We tried some appetizers, but all I really cared about was the pizza. It doesn’t look “gluten-free,” does it? Sure, the texture might not be exactly what you’re used to if you’re a recent convert like me, but I was still ecstatic. I was eating pizza! The varieties are great. This is the Funghi e Salsiccia, which I actually tried on a subsequent visit (alone at the bar — no shame because, as mentioned, I’m just happy to be eating pizza!). I’ve tried a few others as well, and I bet I’ll work my way through the whole menu eventually.

Pala, NYC

I don’t have enough perspective yet to say if this is the best gluten-free pizza in the city, but I don’t much care either. Pala wins a special place in my heart because they’re embracing the gluten-free community. I love that when you enter, they ask you right away if you have any food allergies, and when they bring your pizza, it says “gluten-free” right on the handle of the wooden board for a bit of extra mental comfort. They get it, and it’s sad, but overall, New York City does not. There, I’m saying it — NYC is not gluten-free friendly. But maybe others will catch on when they see how popular places like Pala are. Or, as I love to joke, I could just move to Seattle already…

6 thoughts on “Pala — New York City

  1. My sister just moved to Seattle and she’s tells me that she doesn’t eat bread anymore. I just laugh at her because whenever she comes to NYC, she has to have a bagel. 🙂

    Are you going glutten free for good?

    1. yeah, it’s totally for real. going gluten-free changed my life. i can’t believe i didn’t try it sooner. Seattle is so much more gf-friendly, but it sounds like your sister doesn’t really need to be gluten-free.

  2. I love Pala–I’m so glad that you found it! The Etna is our favorite.

    And I suppose Seattle may be more GF-friendly, but NYC is really very good. I can think of at least two dozen places that have GF menus/options…and even then I know that I’m missing tons. There’s just so much more to sift through here, but we honestly do have a lot of great resources!

  3. Pala is, by far, the best GF pizza I’ve had in the city so far. Pie by the Pound is also pretty good, albeit a bit pricey for such a casual environment.

    Other gluten free recs you may want to check out – Bistango, Friedman’s in Chelsea Market (!!!!) and Otto (serves GF pasta). Enjoy!

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