One of my go-to restaurants for pasta and delicious Italian cuisine in Philadelphia is Bocconcini. Right in the heart of Philly, Bocconcini is a small sit down restaurant with an expansive gluten free menu and wonderful celiac knowledge. Whenever I visit home, I meet up with one of my best friends here because it’s one of our favorites.
Every time I have visited this restaurant, I am immediately greeted with “Does anyone in this party have celiac or gluten intolerance?” The staff makes a note of this and walks me through the procedures to prevent cross contamination. Since all fried items are gluten free, the fryer is dedicated gluten free. To prevent cross contact with the pizzas, they even have separate stash of oil for the gluten free bread. Fresh water for pasta & separate colander. After noting having celiac disease, I was brought such delicious gluten free bread!!!
Every single appetizer is gluten free. Every single one. Usually when I go to restaurants, appetizers tend to be the hardest as many are fried or contain gluten, but not here. Of course Bocconcini has the classic salads, but what sets them apart is their variety of fun appetizers including meatballs, fried cauliflower and Italian chicken wings. But th every best appetizer is the arincini-–” mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, and pecorino fried risotto rice balls served over house marinara and topped with grated parmesan and fresh parsley.” THESE ARE AMAZING AND CANNOT BE MISSED!
Moving onto the main course, I always get pasta. They have such fun options for sauces. I love their spaghetti carbonara–substituting gluten free penne. Last time I tried the truffled mushroom ravioli. Sadly, they do not carry gluten free ravioli, so I had to substitute in gluten free penne. Still delicious. The portions are huge and filling–a rarity at nicer restaurants. The only downside is the $3 uncharge for gluten free penne. Given the precautions they take to prevent cross contact, I’m happy to pay this.
They also offer non-pasta/pizza entrees including salmon, chicken, and steak, all of which are gluten free. Chicken parmigiana can also be made gluten free. They do offer gluten free pizza too! I have not tried the pizza, but here’s the precautions they take for those of you who are interested. Each gluten free pizza crust is individually sealed and not made on site to avoid cross contact with regular flour. There is a separate rack in the oven for the gluten free pizza, but it does share the oven with regular pizza. They can grab fresh toppings upon request. If you choose to order pizza, make sure to clearly indicate you have an allergy/celiac.
Would I return again? Most definitely! I love Bocconcini and their options for those of us with celiac. I can’t wait to try all of their pastas & appetizers.
**Please note that this review solely reflects my own honest opinion. I was neither paid nor given a complimentary meal for my visit here. Also, kitchen protocols and menus can change at any time. Make sure to speak to the staff at any restaurant before eating to make sure that they can accommodate your dietary restriction.**