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April 25, 2008

Pala: Roman Style Gluten-Free Pizza In NYC

Pala Pizza

198 Allen Street
NY, NY 10002
Delivery available*

The creation of Pala Pizza ended the argument between feisty Brooklynite, Edena, and the homegrown Italian, Gigio. She had dug her heels in making proud claims that New York style pizza was the best, and he passionately believed that only Italy produced “real” pizza. They combined both of their palates and ended up with an authentic Italian pizza in New York that is both healthy and delicious.

If the name Gigio alone doesn’t instill enough confidence in you that this can be done, knowing that he received a culinary education at the famed Gambero Rosso along with a history of working with several Italian pizza masters might put you at ease. You see, Gigio is passionate about dough. He explains with his thick accent, “Pizza is all about the dough- it’s the foundation. Toppings are the personalized way of eating the dough and our toppings are made fresh daily.”

While doing research on flours to come up with the perfect tasting yet healthy pizza crust, Gigio learned all about gluten-free  flours. The two business partners knew they eventually wanted to make gluten-free pizza and planned ahead by allowing space for two extra brick lined electric (for the health benefits) ovens which are used exclusively for gluten-free foods. Gigio's gluten-free pizza dough recipe includes fava bean, tapioca, garbanzo, potato, and rice flours from Bob's Red Mill. Either Gigio or his assistant will mix up some dough by hand for each customer. Fridays and Saturdays they will have a bunch made and ready to go, but Sunday-Thursday please call them before 6pm to put your request for gluten-free dough in.  Every pizza on their menu can be made gluten-free and they also have several vegan options.


Pala Pizza offers date-worthy atmosphere to go along with your gluten-free pizza. Fresh oregano imported from Sicily graces every table where you can pinch some off to sprinkle on your pizza!


There are many reasons, besides gorgeous presentation, that make Pala Pizza an exceptional place to dine. Whether you are gluten-free or not you will appreciate that they use only natural ingredients and nothing ever comes out of a can. They offer 3 types of pecorino and over ten of their cheeses are imported from Italy.The grass fed water buffalo mozzarella is from Vermont, the only place in the U.S. that makes it, and it is made fresh Monday and served at Pala that same week. Oh, and  not to be overlooked, Gigio's pesto is delicious and just happens to be dairy-free! As if this isn't enough, there is a great wine selection and they now serve gluten-free bread along with your salad!

This weekend they will start serving pizza by the slice. The price of a 1 ft. gluten-free basic pizza (sauce and cheese) starts at $16.  Regular glutenous pizzas range from $12-$22. Remember, one pizza feeds two people.


Pala is the Italian word for the wooden peel that pizza is traditionally served on in Rome. (The shape of the pizza also follows Roman tradition.) The owners of Pala Pizza order their palas from a craftsman in Italy. They are awaiting a new shipment of them that will be specially marked and used only for the gluten-free pizzas. In the meantime, the regular palas are wrapped in tin when used to serve gluten-free pizza in order to avoid any cross contamination. For now gluten-free pizzas are cooked in the main ovens until enough gluten-free orders start coming in for it to be practical to use the separate ovens downstairs. If you absolutely have to have your pizza cooked in the special ovens let them know. Otherwise, great care is taken to avoid cross-contamination in the main ovens.

You might find it interesting to know the details behind the making of Pala's regular non-gluten-free dough. In order to get the desired texture and taste they mix nine different flours all of which are 100% organic , unbleached, and unbromelated. Surprisingly they include some gluten-free flours (oat, rice, soy and amaranth) in order to add vitamins, riboflavin, B12, and protein. This along with a lot of water creates a healthier pizza that is easier to digest. The dough is made the old fashioned way: three days to rise with a little yeast. This creates the chewy and crunchy qualities sought after in a crust.

Have I talked you into trying out Pala Pizza yet? I knew it wouldn't be hard.  You can save your euros by getting a taste of Rome at Pala Pizza!

*Regarding delivery: the radius is from 14th to Canal and W. B'dway to Ave. C.  Pala uses electric pizza boxes so that your pizza will never arrive cold. Delivery can be negotiated for other areas with a minimum order of $50. Remember Pala Pizza for your corporate lunches and parties!


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hey question really quick, i thought that "oat" was not allowed in a gluten free diet...and in this article you were talking as if they put some type of oat flour in the pizza dough or that true...?

"You might find it interesting to know the details behind the making of Pala's regular non-gluten-free dough. In order to get the desired texture and taste they mix nine different flours all of which are 100% organic , unbleached, and unbromelated. Surprisingly they include some gluten-free flours (oat, rice, soy and amaranth) in order to add vitamins, riboflavin, B12, and protein. "

i know you said it goes in the glutenouse pizza but your said that they add gluten free flours like "oat"

Whenever I see a good looking pizza I feel like I turn into Homer Simpson.."Pizza."

These look absolutely amazing and make my New Hampshire self wish I lived in NY.

(although I have heard of a place that makes g.f. pizza a little over an hour away..this makes me want to run out the door to try it!!)

Looks amazing! Thanks for the heads up. I can't wait to try it.

My husband and I tried this pizza today and it was DELICIOUS--easily the best gf pizza EVER (including Mozzarelli's, which is pretty darn amazing). We will definitely be back!

Nusreen- Here is a link to many articles about the gluten-free status of oats:

Basically, maybe about a year ago, studies started coming out about oats being gluten free IF they were grown separately from other glutenous crops. My understanding is that the gluten in oats or oat flours is generally from cross contamination during the harvesting of the oats. However, I have also read that a small percentage of celiac patients don't react well to oats themselves- even the ones that are grown separately from gluten containing crops. SO, if you want to try oats you should buy them from a gluten-free oats company, and you should probably check with your doctor to see what he recommends and/or have a check up after you've eaten them to make sure your tummy is ok.

Amy- Thanks for posting your review! I'm sooo glad you liked it, but then again, I knew everyone would!!!!

I'm one of those few celiac patients who reacts to oats. Does their GF dough contain oat flour or just the glutinous dough?

Sara- I'm pretty sure the gf dough does NOT contain oat flour. They didn't include it in the list for gf dough. I would call to make sure if I were you. I don't do well with oats either and it didn't seem to bother me.

Myself and my girlfriends ar heading to the Big Apple for a couple days this month and I am defintely going to get some pizza! I am going to dig around your blog for more eatery ideas!Am heading to Paris in May too, don't suppose anyone has ideas about that! ha!

Just want to let you know that Pastosa in Eltingville (Staten Island, NY) now has gluten free stuffed shells.
The owner also has pasta from Italy and plans on making more gluten free food. Pass this around so everyone on Staten Island and visit and express their need for gluten free items!

Thanks for your great blog! I can't wait to drag my hay-eating friends to Pala Pizza so they can watch me scarf down some pizza like the old days!

Yummm.... those pizzas look great. At my home in sinagpore , my only choice is pizza hut and no other.

We would love to try this Pizza.We live in Seattle, Wa. Have you considered frozen pizza that can be sold to Whole Foods or Food Co-ops? Please think about it. Pizza is one of the foods that is a part of many social events. The abscence of Pizza can make a gluten free diet difficult and gloomy.
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Oh my god! My mother and I just visited NYC to indulge in gluten-free dining and ate at Pala. It was amazing. I could not believe the pizza was GF. Thanks for the recommendation. I will go everytime I am in the area. Unfortunately, I have yet to find good GF pizza in the Chicago area. So sad...

tried Pala pizza, it was wonderful!
thanks again Kelly!

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