Food, Lifestyle

Your gluten-free guide for a no wheat Boston sweet

As Valentine’s Day candy filled the aisles in stores and the feelings of love filled the air, I found myself craving something sweet. I always have a sweet treat to close out my day, but lately, the dining hall ice cream just isn’t satisfying my craving. 

Lila Baltaxe | Senior Graphic Artist

Since I can’t eat gluten, there aren’t many options for safe and sweet treats on campus. So, I decided to venture out and see what might be offered. With a lunch break in between, I was able to find three places with a variety of gluten-free options — let me share them with you. 

The First Stop: Newsfeed Café at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston, Massachusetts

While I was studying over the weekend, I stopped by the NewsFeed Café to answer my first confectionery craving. I was impressed with the variety of food and drinks offered. Among the gluten-filled options, the café also sells individually packaged gluten-free brownies. 

The café serves a seasonal drink menu and I chose the Cinnabon chai latte with a gluten-free brownie. My first thought was that the latte was the perfect level of sweetness and tasted exactly like a cinnamon bun. The individually wrapped brownie was good as well — not the best gluten-free sweet I’ve ever had — but it didn’t fall apart while I was eating it, so I’d count it as a win.

The Next Stop: Flour Bakery + Cafe,131 Clarendon St., Boston, Massachusetts

Since I moved to Boston, Flour Bakery + Cafe has been on my list of places to eat. This pastry hotspot offers a multitude of options. The bakery’s gluten-free menu consists of brownies, almond pistachio macaroons, triple chocolate mousse cake and an assortment of cookies. If you need something savory to balance out the sweetness, Flour Bakery + Cafe can also modify just about any sandwich on their menu to have gluten-free bread or into a salad, instead. 

During my visit, I originally ordered the BLT sandwich on gluten-free bread. However, the bakery ran out of gluten-free bread, so they made the sandwich into a salad for me. While I didn’t love the salad, I’d blame that more on my preference than the actual quality of the meal. 

Plus, I have to give the bakery credit for checking in on whether the gluten-free choice was based on an allergy or a preference. I would probably rate the salad a 5 out of 10, but the overall options and attention to allergies amounted to an 8 out of 10. 

The Last Stop: Modern Pastry, 257 and 263 Hanover St., Boston, Massachusetts

Since going gluten-free, I’ve missed one treat the most: cannoli.  

Some of my favorite memories from growing up include going to the North End with my family for a cappuccino and a cannoli. So, when I needed something fulfilling to brighten up my day, I searched up gluten-free cannolis in the North End. 

To my surprise, Modern Pastry’s gluten-free menu includes not only cannolis, but also whoopie pies, cake and chocolate chip cookies, so I knew I had to give it a try. 

As usual, when I got to Modern Pastry, the line was out the door. The shop was decorated with hearts for Valentine’s Day and the cases were filled with sweet desserts that made me even hungrier, leading me to order a cannoli, a whoopie pie and a cookie. The only gluten-free pastry I didn’t try was the muffin — sorry to my muffin fans out there.

I have to be honest — I saved the best stop for last. The cannoli was delicious and topped any expectation I had. The whoopie pie, although not my favorite, was very sweet and didn’t crumble like so many other gluten-free desserts. To finish it off, the cookie tasted very similar to your classic Chips Ahoy! 

Ultimately, I’d definitely recommend Modern Pastry and give it a 10 out of 10 for the overall experience. 

All in all, my favorite gluten-free dessert on this list was the Modern Pastry cannoli, but that may be because I’ve been craving one for at least a year.  

When I first went gluten-free I worried that there wouldn’t be options when I was craving anything sweet. Flash forward a year later, and here I am writing about how I was able to eat everything from brownies, to BLTs, to whoopie pies and cannolis. I hope you find this list helpful, whether you can eat gluten or not.

If you can’t get to a cafe or bakery, there’s always Sweet Loren’s gluten-free cookie dough sold right at Star Market.

Happy Valentine’s week! Whether you’re giving or receiving, you deserve to have a sweet treat free of gluten, but still full of love.

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One Comment

  1. our budding journalist/writer. impressive 👍 😍