Nizza in NYC: Can Gluten Free Taste Good?

It’s well worth a trip to midtown!!

by Josh Madden


Anyone who's ever tried to take someone with a gluten allergy on a date and surprise them by taking them to a place they've never been knows...even in New York city, it's nearly impossible. The truth is, even when you find a place that accommodates the dreaded gluten allergy, it's highly likely that the vegan-vibes can often give you creepy feels. We love our hippies, but for real—can't eating on the GF side of the tracks be sexy? Well friends, we found the spot where the food is radical and the ambience is on-point!


We ventured to Midtown on the pro-tip that Nizza was a must-try and somehow the restaurant was full, but there was no wait—how do they do that? The lighting wasn't too low and the crowd wasn't too loud, which somehow made it one of those situations where a New York night feels like a movie scene.To kick it all off we've gotta tell you about the first gluten free secret: a little discovery called socca. Now, maybe everyone is already in on this, but socca is a crispy chickpea pancake cooked in a brick oven and it basically makes the best gluten free bread substitute ever! For the gluten eater folks at the table, there was a sheep's milk and ricotta gnudi to start, which was good, but the introduction to socca had everyone's full attention.The kale salad with grilled zucchini was incredible—and actually, we've gotta say that grilling healthy stuff basically just makes it taste just as awesome as the not-so-healthy stuff. Yeah, we know it's not re-inventing the wheel, but it's so simple yet nobody does it!The cheese menu at Nizza is solid, but we opted to try the Crispy Octopus. We're going on the record with this one--the crispy octopus at Nizza was the best we've ever had! The watercress, radicchio, endive, and baby tomatoes were all very fresh but most importantly, the octopus was not undercooked or chewy and overcooked. It was just right, and the only problem was the fact that it was gone to fast.The Carciofo pizza featured tomatoes, roasted artichokes, peppers, olives and fresh mozzarella on the gluten-free brick oven socca crust and it was totally insane! It's incredible what roasting vegetables and just the right seasoning can do, but this pizza was out of this world. The crust was crunchy and filling but there was no heavy feeling of being grossly full.There was no need for dessert, but we ordered the fresh berries and whipped cream for good measure. They were every bit as fresh and good as they look in the photo above.This was one of the best dining experiences we've had (if not the best) in our search for the great gluten-free answer. If you need a second opinion just go have a look at Nizza's Yelp page 


. Complete with a gallery that looks like a Facebook photo album and a review section that reads like a fan message board, it's impressive to say the least. You can find Nizza on Twitter 


or get thee to 630 9th Avenue for the discovery of your new favorite spot!