Gluten Free Finds at Smorgasburg!

Hello Friends! It’s been a while since I had a new post. It hasn’t been for lack of adventures, but more the lack of time to write about them. This weekend’s adventure however deserves a post!

If you’re in the NY/NJ Area you’ve most likely heard of Smorgasburg. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an outdoor market on Saturdays and Sundays in Brooklyn. It’s a place for foodies and Instagrammable moments. (The number of times I heard the phrase “I have to Instagram this before we eat,” was insane!) The amazing view of Manhattan is not a bad accessory to the photos.

This was my first trip to Smorgasburg and before embarking on my journey I decided to do some research. My research consisted of gluten free spots at Smorgasburg, best stops at Smorgasburg, and tips for Smorgasburg. There was a lack of information online about gluten free options at Smorgasburg, but once I got there I was pleasantly surprised!!! There were a ton of places that had signs for gluten free options! (Many more than I actually tried.)

When you first get there I definitely suggest doing a lap (or two) before deciding on your food options. It might be crowded but it’s definitely worth it. Explore all the options before deciding on where you want to eat. I only did one lap and I actually regret it. I was too quick to decide and realized afterwards there were other options I wanted to spend my $ and stomach space on. Also, heads up the food is expensive at Smorgasburg. Gluten Free eaters are used to spending a little more on food but these prices were a little crazy.

Anyway, enough of the money. Lets talk about the food! 😍

My main stop for lunch was at Red Hook Lobster Pound! I got the Naked Maine Style Lobster Roll. Right on their sign they said if “Gluten Free order it Naked!”  I didn’t need to explain why I wanted the Lobster Roll on a plate with no bun.

I would give the lobster roll 4 out of 5 stars. It was amazing, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have ordered it another style, but for $19 it wasn’t a lot of food.

For my next stop, my sister and I decide to try Raindrop Cake. We wanted to know what all the hype was about. The people at the stand were well-educated and said everything was Gluten Free.



I have to say, I am not a fan of raindrop cake. There is no flavor and it’s a weird texture. You feel like you are eating sugar and flavorless jello. We did it to say we tried it, but I would definitely spend your money elsewhere and just take a picture of someone else’s.

After that, my sister wanted an Ice Cream sandwich. I took her there while keeping my eyes out for other options. We went to The Good Batch and when we got to the front of the line I was shocked, they had TWO gluten free ice cream sandwiches!!! A strawberry and a mint one. My sister (who is not gluten free) chose the mint one and I decided to take a bite. Holy mackerel!! It was the most amazing thing I have had in a while and I am not a huge mint ice cream fan. My sister was in heaven too! I totally recommend it! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟!! Skip all the lunch options and go straight to dessert!


To wash it down I got an Arnold Palmer Slushie with Peach from Kelvin Slush Co. which was great too!

My only regret of the day was getting the lobster roll instead of food from the East Coast Poke stand. It looked amazing! I didn’t ask if their stuff was gluten free though because it was already too late and I didn’t want to torture myself. edit: upon doing research on East Coast Poke all of their fish is marinated in soy sauce or teriyaki. I am now happy with my decision to have the lobster roll.  🙂

Some of the other stops I didn’t eat at but had GF options…..

Home Frite- The line was the second longest of the entire fair so I am sure they were amazing. They only served french fries so no concerns about shared oil and cross contamination. According to their website all of their sauces are gluten free too!

Korean BBQ/Tacos/ Buns- I feel like a terrible blogger for not taking a photo of this stand, but there was a stand that had four items. Two of them were gluten free and you could get any of the other two made with gluten free buns.

edit: Doing more research to find the name of the stand that had the gluten free buns I realized more had gluten free food that I completely missed.

If you are Gluten Free and going to Smorgasburg here are a few tips of advice:

1- Go early. It opens at 11 a.m. and the “early bird gets the worm” falls true for this one. Beat the crowds, especially if you want to ask questions about gluten free options.

2- Go early or late in the summer. Going in July when it is 90 and humid isn’t fun. It suppresses your appetite and you lose patience with the crowds really quickly. Also all the ovens, fryers and stoves from the stands don’t help with the heat. Major props to the people working the stands.

3- Do your research ahead of time, but research with an open mind. What I mean is, do your research on the most popular stands and the different food options they have so you have an idea of what you want when you get there, but keep an open mind with what you want because it might not be gluten free or there might be better GF options out there.

4- Ask questions, if you aren’t sure if something is gluten free, don’t give up, ask! You might be surprised.

5- I said this at the beginning, but do at least one lap of the place when you get there. Explore the different options before making your decisions and see which places have GF labels on their signs!




Eating Gluten Free at College

Having Celiac Disease in college is a challenge and one that I was able to overcome. For many students picking a college, food is not the deciding factor. They are aware that college food is college food no matter where you go. For someone with Celiac Disease however it is an extra challenge and adjustment. I was fortunate enough to do the Pre College Program at Emory which exposed me to my dining choices. The chef had to make a special meal for me but that was not ideal. He didn’t understand that Celiacs have a sensitive stomach and that I could not tolerate spicy food. Towards the end of my two week visit I started avoiding the dining hall and just going for the salad bar. I lost a lot of weight during the program and my mom made me promise that if I went to Emory for college that I would have to better explain my sensitivities to the chef to ensure I had more than just salad for dinner every night.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to! During the year between my pre-college summer and freshman year Gluten Free became a lot more common, to the point that they were going to put a Gluten Free station in the dining hall! It took a lot of learning and adjustments that first year but Emory tried their hardest! They held focus groups with the gluten free students to find out what was working, what didn’t work, and what kind of food we wanted to eat. We also were able to provide feedback in terms of the best brands of bread to buy, the cereals, etc because most of us had our allergies for many years. This also allowed me to get to know other gluten free students, especially those who had cars and could take me to the grocery store if I needed to, because they understood my situation.

In the dining hall itself, someone would always be watching the Gluten Free station to make sure only those students who were gluten free were eating there. (I even got yelled at a few times for taking food from the gluten free station if I had other food on my tray) There were separate fridges, microwaves, and toasters to avoid as much cross contamination as possible. They had cards at the beginning of each semester that we had to pick up an Emory nutritionist that said our allergies were registered with the school and that we had permission to eat at the station. Most of the workers would start to recognize you after a few weeks, but the first few weeks of each semester they were extremely helpful. There was also one chef dedicated to the gluten free station and she would prepare the food in a separate section of the kitchen to avoid any cross contamination. She was always looking out for us. She would bake us brownies and put together bags of gluten free trail mix each day. During midterms and finals would bake double the amount of brownies and double the amount of snacks so we could take stuff to the library.

During my freshman year I was only glutened once and considering the dining hall serves thousands of students a day I would say that is pretty incredible. It was the second month of the gluten free station’s existence and I was glutened because the person who monitors the gluten free station was out sick that day. One worker didn’t understand what gluten is and put regular pasta out at the gluten free station. I realized very quickly that something was not right when I sat down at the table and looked around and saw that my friends (who were not gluten free) were eating the exact same shape and consistency of pasta. I immediately stopped eating it and had a salad instead. As soon as Emory realized the mistake, they emailed all the gluten free students warning them of the mix up and alerting us all that they were going to make a better effort to educate all of the staff on the gluten free station so it never happens again.

During that year, I became friendly with the nutritionist that worked with Emory Dining to provide feedback and suggestions. I discussed with them a few different ideas in order to avoid mix ups. One suggestion I made was when serving something like pasta, they should put an unopened uncooked bag out for students to see what the pasta should look like. People can read the ingredients on the bag to ensure it is gluten free and if the bag contains penne and spaghetti is out at the station, they can immediately know that something is wrong and alert a manager. They wouldn’t do that for fear of students stealing the uncooked pasta, but they place a menu out each day so students know what is supposed to be served. They have also made an effort to make something different from the regular stations to avoid any mix ups. For example if they are serving pasta at the regular station, it will be beef at the gluten free station, that way if pasta is sitting out and the menu says beef, there is also a way to identify a possible mix up.

As I have become older, I have started to cook more of my meals and eat less at the dining hall, but each time I check in, they tell me more and more students are registering a gluten allergy which not only improves the quality of the food but increases the selection. The food doesn’t sit out for hours because the higher demand forces them to change it out. Emory will be getting a new dining provider this summer but I am confident that with the amount of gluten allergies registered at Emory, the quality of the Gluten Free station will only improve!