When my daughter was first diagnosed with severe food allergies, I wondered if going out to eat would ever be in the cards for her. Initially, we were filled with so much fear that the idea of eating out seemed daunting.
After much discussion, my husband and I decided that while we wanted her to be educated, vigilant, and safe, we did want her to enjoy the experience of eating out with friends and family.
Over the last four years we’ve slowly ventured out to try new eateries with our daughter in tow. Below are some of the food allergy friendly restaurants we’ve found locally.
This past year marks a first for us: going OUT for pizza! (we’ve always just made our own at home and still do) We’ve discovered that Sauce Pizza offers gluten-free crust, plus their standard flour crust is free of dairy, eggs and nuts. While Humble Pie doesn’t offer a gluten-free option, their crust is dairy, egg and nut free. We just opt out of having any cheese on top when we order. I know other gluten-intolerant friends enjoy Picasso’s gluten-free pizza, too.
In-N-Out keeps a special “allergy” grill at the back of the kitchen saved for customers avoiding certain allergens (like buns and cheese!). I have to give them props for going above and beyond when catering to their food-allergy customers. You just need to inform them when you’re ordering and they’ll throw your burger on the special “allergy” grill.
I wrote a post last year about restaurants sporting healthy kids menus. These restaurants all have solid options for those of us avoiding certain ingredients like dairy, eggs, soy, nuts and gluten. I have to give True Food another shout out for not only having great options, but for having servers that are educated about what ingredients are in their food. Whether avoiding certain allergens for my daughter or completing a Whole 30 Challenge, I’ve really given some of their servers a run for the money when it comes to knowing the ingredients.
Whenever it’s a birthday or special occasion requiring a cake or other yummy baked treat, I turn to local baker (and mom!) Kelly Garcia of Butter and Me. Kelly offers gluten, dairy, egg, soy and nut free options of a variety of baked goods. Whenever I serve one of Kelly’s delicious cakes or cupcakes at an event people are always shocked that it’s made without dairy and eggs. (She also serves fabulous traditionally baked goods, but just goes out of her way to help out those with special dietary restrictions.) I’m also thankful that Sprinkles offers vegan and gluten-free cupcake options.
**DISCLAIMER** This post is by no means an implication that these restaurants are safe from every food allergen or for every person suffering from food allergies. Every food allergy sufferer’s case is different and some may be too severe to eat out at all. Trust me, as a mom who’s had to give her daughter an Epipen three times, I don’t take eating out lightly. Eating at home in our own kitchen with our own ingredients is safest. We take great care when eating out to let the restaurant know, have her medications on hand and bring food with us when necessary.