Is there a gluten-free menu? Will the chef use a separate cooking area for my food? Will they change the utensil to avoid cross-contamination? Does the meal contain any nut or nut byproducts?
These are just a few questions that food-allergy sufferers have to ask when dining out, and then they still must wait (with their fingers crossed) for their meal to be prepared with the utmost care. Having a meal free of allergens is crucial for allergy sufferers — otherwise, a great night out could end with a straw and a bottle of Benadryl (refer to the movie Hitch). With that in mind, The Daily Meal has created a guide to some of the most allergy-friendly restaurants in America.
Restaurants have become increasingly more aware of the array of allergens that many suffer from and have made several changes to serve those with allergies. These restaurants have a host of amenities that make dining out a much more pleasurable experience.
Take, for example, the Nourish Café in Phoenix, Ariz. where the menu is carefully color-coded with gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and many other dietary tags to easily guide diners through the menu, or Karyn's Cafe in Chicago, where you can finish your dairy-free dinner with a scoop of soy ice cream.
Those with gluten allergies can dine with confidence at Bistango in New York City, where they can enjoy gluten-free pasta of many varieties, gluten-free bread, and even gluten-free cake, or vegans chow down on dairy- and egg-free pizza in Philadelphia at Black Bird Pizzeria.
Whether you are traveling or looking to dine out in your own city, this list of allergy-friendly restaurants can serve as your guide —we've covered cities from coast to coast.
Here's TDM's code for restaurants safe from the various food allergies:
G — Safe for gluten allergies
D — Dairy allergy friendly
N — Accommodates nut allergies
E — Egg allergy friendly
S — Cautious of soy allergies
For example, GDS means that the restaurant is a good place to dine for those with gluten, dairy, and soy allergies. So, browse the guide and use it in your search for allergy-friendly restaurants.