If you have a food allergy, eating out at restaurants can be difficult — and in some cases genuinely risky. Some restaurants are accommodating and equipped to adjust their meals to their customers' needs. Other restaurants might struggle to provide allergy-friendly options. The number of people with food allergies is increasing by the day. Every year, AllergyEats scours the reviews and feedback they receive from customers and ranks the 10 most allergy-friendly chains in America. These chains are ranked from 1 to 5 on how well they are able to accommodate visitors with food allergies.
“For the over 15 million Americans with food allergies, it’s incredibly important to know which restaurants are the best at creating allergy-friendly meals so these individuals can more comfortably dine out,” said Paul Antico, founder and CEO of AllergyEats, in a press release announcing this year’s list. Food allergies can be extremely dangerous — while many restaurants are accustomed to dealing with some of the most common food allergies, these restaurants went above and beyond.
“The restaurant chains on this 2018 list have differentiated themselves with exceptional food allergy protocols, education, and training, according to peer reviews from AllergyEats users,” Antico explained.
AllergyEats separated the chains into two groups: small chains and large chains. Large chains included restaurants with over 50 locations. Small chains had fewer than 50 locations.
Many of the same chains make the list every year. But this year, four new chains have made the list. One of them earned the title of the smallest chain to ever earn a spot on the ranking. Find out which restaurants made the list in the complete ranking of large and small chain restaurants.
Longhorn Steakhouse was new to the list this year, and the fifth most allergy-friendly large chain with a rating of 4.28. They may not have the most impressive wine list, but Longhorn Steakhouse was also ranked the best casual steakhouse in America — definitely worth a visit.
Mellow Mushroom was the fourth most allergy-friendly large chain with a rating of 4.37. They were also ranked on our list of the best pizza chains in America, so you’re don’t have to missing out on anything to go allergy-free!
Bertuccis / Yelp
Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant was new to the list this year, and the third most allergy-friendly large chain with a rating of 4.43. The outstanding pizza chain welcomes a design-your-own pizza option among other menu options, all of which are cooked in a brick oven.
Chipotle Mexican Grill was the second most allergy-friendly large chain with a rating of 4.45. Despite all the controversy this chain has attracted over allegations of causing food poisoning, this ranking suggests that for the allergy-prone consumer, Chipotle is a delicious and safe way to eat Mexican food.
Bryan M. / Yelp
110 Grill was new to the list this year, and the fifth most allergy-friendly small chain with a rating of 4.43. This chain, located in New England, serves upscale American cuisine in a casual atmosphere. With rotating seasonal menus and fresh ingredients, the chain is very committed to their allergy-friendly status.
Sarah F. / Yelp
Weber Grill was new to the list this year, and the fourth most allergy-friendly small chain with a rating of 4.52. They are the smallest chain to ever earn a spot on AllergyEats’ list. A small chain in the Midwest, Weber Grill was started by the people who invented the Weber Charcoal kettle grill. They’re grilling experts — definitely not making any of the rookie mistakes you might at home!
Legal Sea Foods / Yelp
Legal Sea Foods was the third most allergy-friendly large chain with a rating of 4.58. With 35 locations all over America, Legal Sea Foods serves affordable and upscale seafood dishes. Legal Sea Foods’ first restaurant opened next to the fish market in 1968, and it quickly became a popular dining spot due to the freshness of their seafood dishes.
Brandon K. / Yelp
Burtons Grill was the most allergy-friendly large chain with a rating of 4.83. “With our legendary scratch kitchen, we are able to customize our menu offerings to meet your dietary needs or wants,” their website explains. One day, maybe all of America’s best restaurants will be able to accommodate food allergies well!