|Zavino offers a variety of gluten-free pizzas|
Although Philly gets a bad rap for its Byzantine liquor laws, we do have many options that don't exist in other large cities. With an abundant number of BYOBs and generous happy hours in town, I've become quite spoiled with our options. Since moving here, I've been in the pursuit of the best gluten-free happy hour the city has to offer, and I would be remiss not to share the love for my favorite restaurant in town.
I've long said to friends that Zavino has the best gluten-free pizza I’ve enjoyed at a restaurant anywhere. With its authentic-tasting crusts, Zavino quickly has become a favorite Center City spot. At Zavino, I don’t feel the need to qualify to my non-gluten-free friends that we're eating gluten-free pizza; the fluffy, flavorful crusts need no justification. Though Zavino does use a shared oven for its gluten-free pizzas, the gluten-free dough is prepared separately and those crusts are baked atop a separate pan to ensure there's no contact with any oven surfaces that would create cross-contamination.
|Zavino's baked ricotta gluten-free flatbread|
Most recently, I enjoyed Zavino's margherita pizza and cheesy bread (a baked ricotta flatbread with olive oil for dipping) from the happy-hour menu. Bonus: there is no upcharge for ordering gluten free. Though not on the happy-hour menu, a favorite of mine is the spaghetti squash, mixed with carrots, zucchini, pine nuts and tomato sauce, and topped with shredded provolone cheese. For good measure, we added greens in the form of the chicken paillard salad (sans poultry for a slightly lighter fare), a refreshing arugula-based salad with watermelon radish and thyme vinaigrette.
|Spaghetti squash at Zavino|
While Zavino seems quiet about their breadth of its gluten-free offerings (I was tipped off by a fellow Center City Celiac), I look forward to trying other options during future visits. In the meantime, I will continue to do my part in spreading the word about Zavino's delicious gluten-free pizza and - just as important - its happy hour specials.