The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Philly: Gluten-Free Pizza Edition
*Welcome to our occasional feature, The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Philly. We’re on a mission to find the most delicious, indulgent restaurant dishes for every kind of dieter—whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, raw and more. We’re all about occasional splurges, and that’s what this series is all about. We’ll talk to foodies to find out their favorite eats, but feel free to add yours in the comments. Bon appétit!
Finding gluten-free pizza that resembles anything close to the ooey-gooey, crunchy-where-it-should-be, just-doughy-enough goodness you’ve grown accustomed to after a lifetime of glorious, glutinous pizza can be quite difficult. More than difficult, actually — it can be downright disheartening to get hyped for gluten-free pizza time after time, only to be let down so hard by the GF alternatives that can look and feel (and taste) like cardboard. Trust me, I did the gluten-free thing for a long time, and the best option I came across was the gluten-free pizza from Papa John’s — which shouldn’t be anyone’s best pizza option, if you ask me.
Because we do not take pizza or the gluten-free life lightly, we turned to five Philly gluten-free-eating aficionados to direct us to their top gluten-free pizza finds around Philly. Tuck this post away for your next movie night — you won’t even miss the real stuff (or the horrible stomach pains that would accompany it). And note, these all pair wonderfully with a gluten-free beer (or two).
“Owner Giorgio Giuliani is a pioneer — the first Philadelphia restaurateur to bring gluten-free pizza to the city. The gluten-free pies there, served in a traditional dining room setting, are among the best in the area, particularly his sweet sausage pizza, with generous slices of sweet sausage and bell peppers layered atop mozzarella and a zesty tomato sauce base. He and his kitchen staff are extremely knowledgeable about preparing the gluten-free pizzas separately from traditional ones. Added bonus: Giorgio’s more casual Giorgio Pizza on Pine on the same block (1334 Pine Street) offers gluten-free breakfast pizza — and delivers, too.” [Editor’s Note: This spot happens to have an entire gluten-free menu! Score!]
“My all time favorite gluten-free pizza EVER is Jules Thin Crust pizza. They have vegan cheese or options that just don’t even need or have cheese. It has by far the best gluten-free crust — and the non-gluten-free people in my life can’t even tell that it’s gluten-free, which is the best part. I’m obsessed with the seasonal butternut squash and caramelized onion one, and also the Greek salad one (Veggie #1). Seriously, if I could eat this every night for dinner, I would.”
“I love Couch Tomato in Manayunk. Their pizza has a fabulous crust, that’s both chewy and tender — unlike many other places who offer more dry, cracker-like gluten-free crust — and absolutely perfect in my opinion. I also love the variety of toppings available, and that they have the option to create your own, so I can choose toppings based on whatever I’m craving at the moment. They also make fabulous gluten-free sandwiches using this same delicious crusts.”
“I’m the only one who has to eat gluten-free in my family, and what I like best about California Pizza Kitchen is that my whole family likes it. I get a safely prepared, tasty, thin crust gluten-free margherita pizza, my wife can enjoy the Asparagus and Spinach Spaghettini and our teenage boys can load up on the Crispy Mac ‘N’ Cheese appetizers and hand-tossed California Veggie or Five Cheese and Tomato pizza. We all go home full and happy.”
“We love Jules because their staff has been trained in gluten free serving and handling to prevent cross contamination and all sauces and topping are certified gluten free. It is also helpful that I can buy the gluten-free for myself and my daughter and then get full-on gluten pizza for my husband and son. Our favorite is the Veggie #1 with feta cheese, kalamata olives, sliced red onions, chopped organic tomatoes, crisp romaine, organic tomato sauce. It is like a salad on top of a pizza with the delicious crispy gluten-free crust, crunch of the lettuce and then the salty sweet of the olives and tomatoes. Another treat is the Veggie #4 with brie, sliced pears, toasted almonds, rosemary, mozzarella. The salty, creamy brie with the sweet pears and the aroma of the rosemary is a divine experience before even taking a bite.”
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