It was 2006 when Erin McKenna opened up BabyCakes, slinging her amazing gluten-free (and vegan) baked goodies from a cute, tiny storefront on the Lower East Side. We first stumbled across BabyCakes about a year later, during intermission of a "Shakespeare In the Parking Lot" performance going on around the corner, and though we were initially skeptical about the whole concept, not being gluten-free or vegan ourselves.
McKenna and her creations instantly won our heart, and we've been Babycakes fans ever since. Funny thing, though, even as more and more people we know are being diagnosed as celiacs, or with gluten allergies, beyond Babycakes there remains very few specifically gluten-free restaurants in this town… and even fewer still that are actually good enough for even non-celiacs to seek out.
Pip's Place Beginnings
Enter Pip's Place: The Gluten-Free Cakery, which opened last summer in the Yorkville neighborhood of the Upper East Side and, if a recent visit is any indication, is cranking out a wide and tempting array of baked goodies to a steady stream of happy customers. Owner and baker Denise Cumming named the gluten free bakery after her daughter Olivia, nickname Pippi, who found out she was a celiac at age 14 and, after just a short time of eating Cumming's new, gluten-free food, never felt better in her life. "Mom," said Pip, "do people really feel this good every day?" And that was the moment that Cumming knew she had to share the gluten-free love with the world.
Gluten-free Treats on The Pip's Place Menu
Pip's Place has a full menu of gluten-free treats both expected, like cookies, muffins, cupcakes, layer cakes by the slice or by the whole shebang, and also unique, like Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Pecan Tartlet, bags of granola, Banana Cherry Coconut Loaf, and the awesomely sweet and gooey Canadian Nanaimo Bar (picture above). Novel and quite delicious at Pip's Place are the "cookie sandwiches", stuffed with intensely flavored cream. The Peppermint Pip, below, is particularly recommended. Pip's Place is always bustling, too, so clearly the turnover is high, and everything looks (and, as far as we've gotten through the vast array of gluten-free delights on display, TASTES) fresh. There's a lot of love going on here at Pip's Place, and it shows.
Pip's Place: The Gluten Free Cakery details
Pip's Place gluten-free bakery is located on 1st Avenue between 89th and 90th Streets, and is open weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., on Saturdays from 8:00 to 8:00, and on Sundays from 9:00 to 8:00. For more information to buy gluten gree food in NYc and a look at just a small sampling of the Pip's Place menu, visit them online!