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!


Allergy-friendly French Dinner Series - Chicago

UPDATE!  Bistro 110 has reworked the schedule for their upcoming allergy-friendly dinner series.  Here are the details.

- Sans-Gluten Dinner, May 12: To include dough-less "quiche lorraine" and gluten-free tagliatelle with ragout of mussel, clam, shrimp and tarragon
- Sans-Dairy Dinner, September 29: To include cream-free "cream of lentil" soup and roasted chicken breast with corn flan
- Sans-Shellfish Dinner, November 17: To include shellfish-free seafood soup and an uncannily lobster-esque monkfish ragout

Saw this article in The Stew, a blog by Chicago Tribune food and dining writers:

Allergy-friendly French dinner series set at Bistro 110
Posted by Monica Eng at 1:00 p.m. CDT

When you're a foodie with food allergies, it's hard not to feel odd as you quiz the server on all the ingredients in a dish. But food allergies are serious business. And more restaurants address this, as we've reported.

Bistro 110 (110 E. Pearson St.; 312-266-3110) and its chef Dominique Tougne recognize this (Tougne is the father of two children with food allergies) and has crafted four special dinners scheduled over the next year to open up the world of French cuisine to those with food allergies.

The first -- a nut-free menu -- is scheduled for March 24 and will feature nut-free sole fillet almandine and faux peanut butter and mousse parfait. Later dinners will focus on foods for those who follow gluten-free (Sept. 29), dairy-free (June 16) and shellfish-free diets (Nov. 17).

Author's Note: Check out Can I Eat There's Chicago City Guide with info on this and other resturants.


Smooching Safely With Food Allergies

It has nothing to do with eating out, but I had to share this press release. We all love kisses...

Are You a Careful Kisser?

How to Smooch Safely With Food Allergies This Valentine's Day


Dinner with Friends - A Scary Reminder

We know eating out at a restaurant with a food allergy can be tough, but what about when your friends invite you over for dinner. Since learning of my food allergies, my husband and I have been inviting more people over to our house for dinner - it keep us in control.

But, there are some of our friends who know all about our food allergies and are more than happy to do whatever they can for us. So when we were invited to dinner by one of those friends last night we thought it would be no problem - they know I can't have soy, crab or chicken. We been there a few times with no problems. So yesterday afternoon, we called ahead, "What's for dinner?"

"Cioppino," the chef said.

"There's no crab in it right?" my husband said.

"Oh that's right she can't have crab," our friend said. "I forgot about that, but I haven't put the crab in yet, so I'll make a batch without it just for her."

"Great, thanks," my husband said.

You can probably figure out where this is going... that's right, today I had to take a trip to urgent care. I'm ok, but I am 99.9% sure I ended up eating some crab. The rash, throat tightness, numb tongue and sweating were dead giveways.

We think we know what happened. Our friend, who kindly made me my own bowl, didn't know that he also had to use a separate ladle when dishing up my soup.

This experience taught us a lesson. We need to be just as vigilant with our friends as we are with strangers in restaurants. Most of them don't know all the rules of food allergies, like be sure there's no cross contamination.

Here's some tips I know I will remember the next time a friend invites us to dinner.
1. Remind your friend of your allergy, ask them if they are comfortable accomodating it and be sure they understand the seriousness of your allergy. If they seem at all put off, invite them your house instead. Or offer to bring your own dinner if they are having mutiple people and have their heart set on a specific dish.
2. If they are willing to do the extra to have you over, great! But, be sure they know to check the ingredients on everything and if there is something you can't eat they need to cook your portion without it in its own pan with its own utensils.
3. Call ahead to find out what's for dinner, remind your friend of your food allergy again.
4. If you have any doubt about what they are making, politely tell them you are unsure you can eat that, and then stay home.
5. Remind your friend of your food allergy when you arrive for dinner, double check that they have followed the rules. Check labels on any items you can that were used in your meal.
6. If you have any doubts anywhere along the way, politely excuse yourself from the meal and eat when you get home.

In the end your friends would rather you excuse yourself from a meal than have you end up in the emergency room, or worse.


Washington, D.C. - Eating Out with a Food Allergy

Restaurants and resources are listed in alphabetical order. If you have info on a D.C. restaurant please email us at


Allergy Friendly

Author's Note: Check out the Dining Out in DC and Dissecting the Menu categories for restaurant listings. Thanks!


Chicago - Eating Out with a Food Allergy

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



Allergy Friendly
(Gluten-free info only)

From Chicago Tribune on gluten-free eating:

Eateries respond to gluten-free customers
Chicago Tribune
February 23, 2006

Author's note: This is a good resouce, but note that it is two years old so information be out of date. Check out our links to restaurant allergens guides and menus in the right rail of this site.


From Biacncasaadyarqr Weblog:

Dining Out With Celiac Disease and Food Allergies

February 14, 2008


Bistro 110
Web Site

Allergy Friendly

Bistro 110 is offering a series of allergy friendly dinners over the next year.
Nut-free (March 24)
Gluten-free (May 12)
Dairy-free (September 29)
Shellfish-Free (November 17)

Author's Note: Chef Dominique Tougne is father to two kids with food allergies, so he can relate. Check out a recent story about Tougne and the restaurants allergy friendly fare on The Stew.

Updated 2/15/08


Gluten-Free Chicago

Allergy Friendly

Author's Note: Thanks to Madeline at Gluten-Free Chicago for her work to get word out on where those of us who are living gluten-free can eat in Chicago (and elsewhere).

Check out her reviews and links to gluten-free menus.

Her site also drew Can I Eat There?'s attention to more gluten-free resources for New York and Washington, D.C.

Food Allergy Management Manual for Restaurants and Food Services - Quebec

In Montreal on Monday the Quebec Food Allergy Association (AQAA) released its 2008 edition of the Food Allergy Management Manual for Restaurants and Food Services.

QFAA cited a recent survey that found most restaurant owners were concerned with food allergies.

"[The manual] offers managers intent on ensuring the safety of their clients an approach and methods that will enable them to respond, in a proactive manner, to the needs of a growing clientele of food-allergy sufferers," noted Serge Boulanger.

The manual was first released in 2004.

"This publication brings together the invaluable expertise developed over many years by the various parties and specialized consultants in the area of food allergies working within the Quebec Food Allergy Association," explained the manual's author, dietician-nutritionist Chantal de Montigny.

The manual includes:
- Information based on the latest developments and cutting-edge knowledge in the field of food allergies
- Practical technical sheets that summarize key themes to be taken into account.
- A description of critical points that must be controlled by each category of worker involved in meal production and service.
- Practical cooking tips and substitutes to facilitate the offering of allergen-free meals.

In addition to the manual, the Association is providing customized training developed and dispensed in the workplace or other centralized location by instructors and dietician-nutritionists accredited by the AQAA.

Founded in 1990 by the parents of children with multiple serious food allergies, the AQAA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide support and information, to promote education and prevention, and to encourage research into food allergies and anaphylaxis.

Author's Note: Three cheers for AQAA and its work to educate restaurant owners about food allergies and how to keep customers safe! If you have food allergy information to share about restaurants in Montreal or other cities in Quebec please send Can I Eat There? an email so we can share with others.


The First Email!

Can I Eat There got its first official reader email tonight!!  When we started this site earlier this year the goal was to share information and help keep people safe.  So to get the email we got tonight makes our day!!

The mom of an allergic child writes, "I want to thank you for investing your time in your website.  The information is invaluable!"

It has taken time to put the site together, but it is minimal compared to the purpose it serves. Tonight's email is proof of that.

So thanks for reading.  And, please, email us any time!!