There are millions of restaurants, but if you have a food allergy you know eating out can be a challenge. We created this site to help you the next time you wonder, "Can I Eat There?"

You'll find links to food allergen guides for restaurants good enough to provide them and info on how to check out those that don't. Our city specific posts are decicated to those local joints we all love.

We hope this site expands your dining horizons... and keeps you healthy!


Subway Sued Over Fatal Allergic Reaction

WCPO in Cincinnati ran a story today about the family of Emily Vonder Meulen who is suing Subway restaurants. The Vonder Meulen family says thirteen year old Emily died after cross contamination at a Subway restaurant. She had a deadly peanut allergy.

Read the story here.

Author's Note: Subway does offer online information on ingredients (click on "Food Allergy Information"). It includes the following disclaimer: "This list is compiled based on product information provided by Subway® approved food manufacturers. Every effort is made to keep this information current however it is possible that ingredient changes and substitutions may occur before this list is updated. This chart does not include regional or special promotional items as ingredients vary."

Bottom line: Always double check ingredients, preparation practices, etc. before eating out.


Seattle Magazine - Food Allergy Article

Seattle Magazine recently ran an article, "Gastric Bypass", on eating out with food allergies. (Susan Roxborough, January 2008, Pg. 42). It highlights Chef Daniel Ahren, who's married to fellow blogger and author Gluten-Free Girl and the restaurant where he is chef, Impromptu Wine Bar Cafe. It also features Cafe Sweet Posie, Crush Restaurant, Da Vinci Bakery, Ener-G Foods and Tom Douglas restaurants, If you live in Seattle, it's worth a read.

It also mentions the Food Allergy Initiative and its restaurant training program.

Check out the Can I Eat There? Seattle post for more info on eating out in the Emerald City.


Added Resource - Restaurant Listings

A new resource has been added to our resources section. has a family-friendly list of restaurants and play places from various cities with information on allergy-friendly options. You just need to scroll down on the page a bit.

Author's note: Site says the page was last updated 1.18.2008, but it's not clear on how current resturant listings are. So remember, always double check before you eat!


Starbucks - Help for People with Food Allergies

I probably shouldn't publicly admit it, but I like Starbucks. And whenever on the road for work, I know I can count on menu consistency. The sausage, egg and cheddar sandwich has saved me from many a hunger pang.

So when I was diagnosed with a soy allergy last fall one of the first places I checked for ingredient information was my local Starbucks. The woman behind the counter said she'd look into it and send me an email. I gave her my email address and told my husband, "Yeah right, she's gonna email me!"

Much to my surprise I did get an email. [Yay for Seattle's Phinney Ridge Starbucks]. She didn't have answers but she directed me customer service and told me they could help me. With low expectations, I called.

So here's the reason for this post. They did actually help me!! They asked me what I was allergic to and what items I typically eat, promised to research it, and then called me back with the results of their investigation. Unfortunately, the news wasn't good. My beloved breakfast sandwich is chock full o' soy - it's in the egg, it's in the english muffin.... Just about everything else in that lovely display case is the same story.

Here's the catch though, there is no standard for food in all those Starbucks stores. Different regions, even cities, have different vendors. So when you call customer service you need to specify the area you'd like more information about.

Despite the bad news... it was worth it. Now I know what's off limits and I don't have worry about a Starbucks-induced reaction on the road just because I was craving that muffin sandwich. If it turns out it's my only option for a morning meal, I know I can always check the packaged food with ingredients listed on the label. The yogurt parfait is go!

If you've got a food allergy and you love Starbucks - whether you keep your love in the closet or display it for all to see - give them a call. They will help you. And if the person who answers isn't helpful, ask for a manager.

Here's the number: 1-800-23LATTE

P.S. If you are allergic to peanuts but are ok with other nuts, beware of the packaged almonds, they are roasted in peanut oil.

Update (1/31/2008): Heard on the news today that Starbucks is going to stop selling breakfast sandwiches. RIP my beloved sausage sandwich and all your breakfast buddies (even though you're made with soy).


New York City

Restaurants are listed in alphabetical order. If you have info on a New York City restaurant please email us at


Allergic Girl


Allergy Friendly

Author's Note: Since I live in Seattle and don't get to travel as much as I'd like, enlisting the help of others is key to making this site all that it can be. So thanks to people like Allergic Girl I can now add an NYC post!

My fellow blogger has a great blog dedicated to living allergy-free that includes info on restaurants and other allergy-friendly foods. So, if you're headed out to eat in NYC check her list of "allergy friendly restos."


Gluten-Free NYC

Allergy Friendly

Author's Note: As you probably guessed, this blog's information is specific to living gluten-free. Thanks Gluten-Free NYC!




Restaurants are listed in alphabetical order. If you have info on a Seattle restaurant please email us at


Coastal Kitchen (Capitol Hill)

Web Site

Allergy Friendly

Coastal Kitchen has a detailed allergy book with information on all of their dishes. Just tell your server what dishes your interested in and they'll check the book. The restaurant uses olive and canola oil.

Author's Note: We just ate here last night and the server was very accommodating and friendly. And the food was great!!


Flying Apron Bakery (Fremont)
Web Site

Allergy Friendly

From Flying Apron Web Site (January 2008):

"Flying Apron products are created with your good health in mind. They are made using the finest organic ingredients; whole grain wheat free flours and organic non hydrogenated oils. The Flying Apron is a wheat free, gluten free and vegan bakery. Many of our products are alternatively sweetened as well. For a list of ingredients for each of our products see our menu."

Flying Apron serves a small selection of lunch items and you can special order cakes (even wedding cakes) and pies for special occasions.

Author's Note: If you can eat oats, the raspberry Flying Aprons are the best! Lunch selection is limited but its a good place for a quick snack. The staff is very friendly!


Gordito's Healthy Mexican Food (Greenwood)
Web Site

Allergy Neutral: Staff Accomodates Allergies; Check with staff

Gordito's staff will check on ingredients for you and are very helpful. Shellfish and other meats are cooked on separate grills. Ingredients are fresh. They do use soybean oil when making an item "fajita style" and chips are deep fried in soybean oil. It seems food is peanut free (but please double check).

From their web site:

"What makes our food healthful you ask?…We are completely transfat free, our beans are made without lard or oil, our rice without chicken stock, all of our meats are grilled, and our salsas are all made from fresh tomatoes and chiles.

We have many vegetarian and vegan options, even our chips are completely animal free."

Author's Note: We love Gordito's and since learning of our food allergies we haven't been there and lately we've been craving it like crazy, so we thought it was time to give it a shot. I called ahead on a weekday and spoke with a manager, he was very helpful. I can't do shellfish or soy and my hubby needs to avoid peanuts. We got the thumbs up on everything except the chips and the "fajita style" veggies (they are both made with soybean oil). So we headed there for our fix. I double checked our order's ingredients with the woman at the cash register. I do have to say I felt a little nervous standing there watching them making the food (chances for cross contamination seem high!). But I enjoyed every bite of my wet salsa verde pork burrito and I felt just fine afterwards. Same goes for my hubby! Yay Gordito's! Please note that this was the Greenwood lunch, I haven't checked on the others.


Norm's Eatery & Ale House (Fremont)

Allergy Alert: Allergens in Food, Check With Your Server

Norm's menu specifically notes to
"Please Inform Your Served [sic] of Any Food Allergies You May Have."

Author's Note: My recent trip to Norm's reminded me of one of those rules we all know but don't regularly follow: don't assume anything. I LOVE Norm's (the food's yummy and I can bring my dog along!) so when my friend suggested we meet there for dinner I was game. But, I hadn't eaten there since learning of my soy allergy. I checked the menu before heading out. Seeing the note at the bottom of the menu about allergies made me smile and think "Cool, they are allergy friendly." But, it was a different story when I got there. My first let down came when I informed the server of my allergy asking her to check on soy ingredients and she seemed annoyed at my request (um, aren't I supposed to tell you?). And let down number two came when she came back with the answer: just about everything on the menu is made with some sort of soy product. But I was there and I was hungry... so I ordered what I could (a salad) and tentatively took a few bites (was it really soy-free?? I didn't feel totally confident.) Needless to say, this is a bummer. If Norm's is cool enough to accommodate dogs, can't they take care of us with food allergies too? I'm thinking about writing Norm's a letter asking them use a little less soy....


Sitka & Spruce (Eastlake)
Web Site

Allergy Neutral: Staff Accommodates Allergies, Check with Your Server

Food is made from local and fresh ingredients. The menu changes daily.
Many of the dishes do include nuts and dairy. They do appear to be soy-free. Just let your server know about your allergy. Wait staff is friendly and accommodating.

Author's note: The food is excellent. The wait can be long and you'll leave smelling like the kitchen, but it's worth it.


Yanni's Greek Restaurant (Greenwood)
Web Site

Allergy Alert: Check, Then Double Check with Your Server

Author's Note: I called ahead to ask about whether they used any soy products and was told "no". When we sat down to dinner I asked again and server said, "let me check with my Dad, the chef." Sure enough almost everything on the menu is made with soybean oil. So we ended up with a dressing-less lettuce salad, a plate of cucumbers and some really dry lamb kebabs. We probably won't go back. Lesson learned: it's always to good to double check before you order, even if you've called ahead.

Food Allergies on Today Show - Part 2

The Today Show ran a second segment on food allergies this morning. It focused on milk and egg allergies and ingredients that you need to be aware of.


Food Allergies on Today Show

The Today Show had a segment this morning about food allergies including tips for dining out.

Here's a link to the story on their site:


Coffee Chains

Restaurants are listed in alphabetical order. If you have info on a Coffee Chain please email us at


Tim Horton's
Web Site

Allergy Alert: Contact Company for More Information

From Tim Horton's Web Site (January 2008):

If I have an allergy, can I eat any Tim Hortons products?

If you have a food allergy, please be aware that Tim Hortons products may contain, or have come into contact with, peanuts, nuts or other possible allergens. Tim Hortons is a bakery environment, serving baked goods that are not in sealed packages. Therefore, we unfortunately cannot guarantee a 100% allergy-free environment.

If you would like more information about ingredients or allergies, please call our customer assistance line at 1-888-601-1616 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time)."



Web Site

Allergy Alert: Contact Company for More Information

From Starbucks' Web Site (January 2008):

"Where can I find allergen information?

For specific questions related to allergens please contact a customer care representative at 1-800-23LATTE. Due to potential cross contamination during distribution and sale, we cannot guarantee that allergens are not included in a product, even if they are not listed in the ingredient statement."

Author's Note: Customer service will research ingredients for you. Products vary from city to city so you will need to specify the geographic area you would like them to check.

See my post: Starbucks - Help for People with Food Allergies


Sit-down Dining Chains

Restaurants are listed in alphabetical order. If you have info on a Sit-down Dining Chain please email us at


Web Site

Allergy Alert: No Allergen Information Available; Call Ahead or Ask Your Server

From Applebee's Web Site (January 2008):

"Where can I get nutritional information on Applebee's items?

We provide nutritional information on all of our Weight Watchers items, including fat, fiber and calorie counts and Weight Watchers Points values. We do not provide nutritional information on other Applebee's items - with approximately 1,900 locations in the U.S. alone there are many different vendors, which makes it extremely difficult to obtain nutritional information for out items."

Author's Note: Boo! I think they can try harder than this.


California Pizza Kitchen & CPK ASAP
Web Site

Allergy Alert: Call Ahead or Ask Your Server; Ingredient Book; Soy

From CPK Web Site (January 2008):

"Who do I call with food allergy questions?

If you have certain food allergy concerns, please feel free to call our Food and Beverage Department at 310-342-5000."

Author Note: CPK restaurants have an ingredient book, ask your server to check the dish(es) you are interested in. Most CPK ASAP items contain soybean ingredients.


Cheesecake Factory
Web Site

Allergy Alert: Ask Your Server

From Cheesecake Factory Web Site (January 2008):

"Nutritional Information.
At this point, we do not provide nutritional information for our menu selections. We pride ourselves on using only the freshest and finest ingredients available. Everything on our menu is made in-house on a daily basis so that we can maintain the highest food quality standards."

"Special Dietary Concerns.
We will do our best to accommodate any special dietary requirements that our guests may have. When placing your order, just inform your server of your special requests."


Web Site

Allergy Alert: No Allergen Information Available

From IHOP Web Site (January 2008):

"Is nutritional information available?

IHOP offers a wide variety of food that should allow most people to choose a meal that suits their dietary needs. We do not maintain nutritional data on our food."


T.G.I. Friday's
Web Site

Allergy Alert: No Allergen Information Available; Ask Your Server

From Friday's Web Site (January 2008):

"Where can I obtain nutritional information?

T.G.I. Friday's Restaurants understands our guests have many different nutritional desires. The selected nutritional information we provide is listed on our menu in restaurants or at We do not provide ingredient statements."


Fast Food Chains

Restaurants are listed in alphabetical order. If you have info on a Fast Food Chain please email us at


Baja Fresh
Web Site

Allergy Alert: Contact Company for More Information

From Baja Fresh Web Site (January 2008):

"Our nutritional page will provide basic nutritional breakdown of our menu items. If you have specific questions, please feel free to contact us and we will try to answer your questions to the best of our ability."

Contact: 1-877-225-2373


Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Web Site

Allergy Alert: Eggs, Gluten, Milk, Soy, Wheat

From Krispy Kreme Web Site - FAQ Page (January 2008):


The only animal byproducts used in our doughnut are eggs (whites and yolks) and dairy products (including milk, butter, yogurt, whey, nonfat milk and nonfat whey). Our doughnuts are cooked in 100% vegetable oil shortening (partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil). All monoglycerides, diglycerides and enzymes are vegetable based. The lecithin we use is soy based. We also use wheat in our doughnuts, including bran, germ, gluten, starch and flour. Our products may contain allergens. To get further information about our products call us at 1800 4KRISPY."


Popeye's Chicken and Biscuits
Web Site

Allergy Alert: No Information Available

From Popeye's Web Site (January 2008):

"We encourage anyone with food sensitivities; allergies or other special dietary needs or concerns to consult with your local physician or dietitian prior to eating at any Popeyes restaurant."


White Castle
Web Site

Allergy Alert: Contact Company for More Information

From White Castle Web Site (January 2008):

"We encourage people with allergies and sensitivities to food to contact the White Castles Consumer Affairs Department for the most up to date information at 1-800-THE-CRAVE (1-800-843-2728) or visit us at our web site,"