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   Traveling & Eating Out with 
             Food Allergies

Are you planning a vacation and don’t know how to keep your food allergic child safe? Do you want to eat out at a restaurant or at a friend’s house and don’t know how to make it work?

Answers to these questions and more are covered in the e-book, Traveling and Eating Out with Food Allergies by Nicole Smith.

This e-book is written from years of experience of traveling with a child with severe food allergies and dealing with restaurants, hotels and airlines. Also covered in this e-book:

  • What to carry in a medicine kit
  • Day camps
  • Overnight camps
  • Staying with Relatives on vacation
  • Chef Cards
  • Eating Out at Friend’s Houses

Utilize years of experience of what works to help your family have a wonderful vacation and help your child have a safe experience any time he/she leaves the house!

E-book bundle To purchase the e-book Traveling and Eating Out with Food Allergies, please click below. The book is priced at $5.95, and includes everything your family needs to know to help you have a safe vacation and a safe experience in restaurants.

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E-book bundle Purchase all 5 e-books by Nicole Smith for the low price of $33.75!
  1. How to Send your Food Allergic Child to School
  2. Food Allergic Children and Schools: Support for Teachers & Administrators
  3. Help Your Child Succeed with Food Allergy and Behavior Manifestations: Giftedness, Autism & Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  4. Traveling and Eating Out with Food Allergies
  5. How Do I Keep My Food Allergic Child Safe? 

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We are attempting to create a database of restaurants and play places across the USA that are aware of food allergies, and cater to the family of a food allergic child. Maybe we'll be able to provide enough safe locations for a family to vacation without worry!

If you have had a great experience, and could recommend a restaurant, theme park or other place, please write us with the name of the place, type of food (if a restaurant), city, state, and why it was so wonderful! We’re interested in including restaurants that can cater to all allergies, not just the wheat allergic, for example.

AllerDine and AllergyEats are Food Allergy Friendly Restaurant Guide for restaurants in the USA and Canada. Don’t forget to have your child’s chef card with you. An example is available here. (Word Version)

Please e-mail me at with any suggestions for other food allergic families.


Anaheim, CA

Disneyland is a good place to go, especially if you have time to plan ahead. I've never had any trouble taking in our own safe food when I mention at the security point that my son has food allergies. My son's allergies are mild to moderate, so I don't have any problem going up to any of the burger joints and asking for a plain hamburger patty, no bun, no cheese--even the teenaged cashiers seem to be decently well-trained in accommodating basic allergy requests. For those people with more severe allergies, I would suggest calling before you visit...the chef I talked to before our first visit was very helpful.

Carlsbad, CA

Their website definitely says "no coolers or outside food."
The website does not say it, but the map says "exceptions are made for infants and those w/ special medical needs."  There was no security or bag search. 

The Inn at Schoolhouse Creek
Mendocino, CA

Allergy aware chefs on staff trained in cross contamination issues. Note of caution: Dogs are allowed in every room, so if pet allergies are an issue – BEWARE!

San Diego Zoo
San Diego, CA

Not a problem taking your own food.  No security or bag
checks.  Lots of other people doing the same.  Again, lots of popcorn, ice cream, and this was the only place I really saw nuts on the snack carts too.  We didn't go to the children's zoo, so I don't know about  the animal food there.

Sea World
San Diego, CA

The web site doesn't say anything about food, but on the paperwork they give you when they extort the parking fee it says "no coolers" and "no picnic lunches".  Security was as bad as an airport - they searched everything.  They didn't even blink going through the cooler
brought or the bags though.  There is LOTS of popcorn around....

Maggiano's Italian Restaurant
16th Street Mall
Denver, CO
(858) 270-0251

Their head chef will come out to speak with your family if you state your child has food allergies. This is part of their wait staff's training! The chef will outline which items on the menu are safe, and which ones are not depending upon your individual child's allergies. The food is wonderful!

Waterworld Park
Denver, CO

They allow and encourage picnic lunches to be brought in. Lockers are available, or re-admittance is allowed if you leave your cooler in the car.

Ristorante Ti Amo
Eagle (Vail Valley) Colorado

With two people in our family with different allergies, the chef was willing able to provide only safe foods for us, which isn't an easy feat! They were very accommodating and willing to provide alternatives. They also pan broiled my son's chicken instead of cooking it on the grill where the shrimp was cooked (one of his severe allergies). 

Vertoris Pizza and Italian Restaurant
Bradenton, Florida

They have an entire gluten free menu just for those with Celiac Disease and wheat allergies.  They can also accommodate dairy and peanut/nut allergies.  They will also cater and make items for you to freeze.

Bonefish Grill
Bradenton, Florida

Fabulous.  They take care of our peanut/nut and gluten allergy

Texas de Brazil Restaurant
Dolphin Mall, Miami, FL

This is the second time we went to this restaurant and they were amazing ...very careful ..and our son is allergic to peanuts, eggs and milk ... they brought some special potatoes to my son that were delicious ...and they walked with us to discuss their salad bar and even offered to make something else if we wanted (just to avoid cross-contamination).
And this was their busiest day of the year ... they "KNEW IT" ... they "GET IT" how important/threatening food allergies can be. 

Amelia Inn Plantation
Near Jacksonville, Florida

In December we spent 4 nights. My daughter has a serious allergy to nuts and from that she has developed an anxiety disorder which affects us all....we don't eat out nor do we go anywhere. However, I found the Amelia Island Plantation and the chef and team at the VERANDAH went above and beyond to fix food for her every night that she felt was safe. My daughter, who was 10 at the time, was a new child! She enjoyed herself, the resort, and our family received some long overdue healing! I am indebted to this resort.......they really made our only vacation in years such a special experience.

Disney World 
Orlando, Florida

We joined their Vacation Club, so we had a room with a full kitchen. However, we made many reservations at a bunch of restaurants there and at each one we were greeted by the chef and given great choices for the kids to eat. In fact, at Chef Mickey's (at the Contemporary Hotel) I gave them a recipe for pancakes that were a lot tastier than what they serve some of the kids (though it is not suggested for kids with Wheat allergies). 

All four theme parks that list the restaurants that state they can accommodate food allergies, are in fact accommodating.  We actually have a favorite chef there at Disney, Amber, who is the head chef at Boma at the Animal Kingdom.  She actually made a special batch of French fries for our son so they wouldn't be fried in questionable oil.  She walked through the ENTIRE buffet with us and told me everything we should stay away from. 

A lot of the little food shops at Disney World will have Divvies or Gluten-free brownies, just ask.  The food shop at the Wilderness Lodge had these as well.

We have also been at Christmas time.  They provided peanut-free cookies at the Christmas celebration.  This was not advertised, I called and asked.

Magic Kingdom at Disney World
Orlando, Florida

We had a great experience with the character dining restaurants in the Magic Kingdom park at Disney World. One of them actually had soy ice cream for my son to eat!!!!!!! The chief greeted us as we arrived and then explained what they could prepare for my son. It was a great experience. I actually cried because we have never been treated that good before.

Orlando, Florida

All Maggiano’s have said that they can accommodate food allergies.  My son has a peanut allergy and he plenty to eat, even chocolate cake!  The chef said they also provide gluten-free pasta.

Sanibel Island, Florida

I have nut allergies and am a cautious (and paranoid, of course!) frequent visitor at Matzaluna, a very popular restaurant on the island. The management and servers are wonderful and knowledgeable about the menu and how the kitchen operates. The only item that contains any type of nuts is the pesto sauce, and occasionally they have a nut-encrusted fish entrée. Just be sure to let them know about a member of your party who is allergic to nuts. I have found them to be very concerned, understanding and assuring. They even remembered me from one trip to the next - several months later. I feel very comfortable and safe dining at Matzaluna!!

Island Gluten Free Bakery
Sarasota, Florida

They will also accommodate peanut/nut and diary allergies if you call ahead and place an order.  They also have meals.

Wildfire Steaks, Chops & Seafood
Atlanta, Georgia

Gluten-free menu.

They are very careful about cross-contamination as well.  We had my daughter’s rehearsal dinner and her college graduation luncheon there as well.  When I made reservations, I mentioned her allergies, and they had the menu ready for her.  The server took the time to explain how each dish is prepared.  They have a wonderful flourless chocolate cake that she loves as well.  It’s a little pricey, but for special occasions, it’s the perfect choice where she can enjoy real food and not feel like she is being a problem.

Atlanta, Georgia

All Maggiano’s have said that they can accommodate food allergies.  My son has a peanut allergy and he plenty to eat, even chocolate cake!  The chef said they also provide gluten-free pasta.

Bistro 110
Chicago, IL

The chef personally came out and asked us about our son's allergies and created a dish separate for him and my two other children! Their food is reasonable and simply divine!

American Girl Store
Chicago, IL

In June 2008, I called and made reservations for lunch at the American Girl Store.  Meals out are always a challenge with our five year old as she is allergic to milk and nuts.  When I made the reservations they asked, “Is there anyone in your group with a food allergy?”  First of all I was surprised they asked.  Then they asked me what she was allergic to.  When we arrived at the café at the American Girls Store our daughter was treated like a princess.  They brought my sister, mom and I cinnamon rolls and served my daughter a large strawberry cut into quarters.  Our second course included a fruit tray with some pretzel bits and dips.  They gave my daughter her own fruit tray minus the pretzels and dips and explained why hers was different. 

For the main course they let me know what was safe for her to eat.  She was served chicken with apple slices.  Then came the desserts.  They were so cute and I was hoping and praying they would have something special for my daughter.  They did!  They served raspberry sorbet with a milk/nut free CHOCOLATE cupcake.  My daughter was thrilled!  I sat there choked up with tears in my eyes because the American Girl Store made it such a special occasion.  No one, No where has ever made her feel as special with her food as she did on that day (well, except family).

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
Santa Claus, Indiana

They have pre-packaged foods at several restaurants free of the top 8 food allergens.

LaRosa's Pizzarias in the greater Cincinnati
Northern Kentucky area.

The managers are all trained in food safety, including issues of cross contamination.  You can get a dairy/egg/nut free pizza made on a fresh tray covered in parchment son loves to get sauce and a ton of veggies on his.

Also, they have a centralized phone order system, where you call one number and your order is routed to the least busy store in the area.  Our phone number is "tagged" so that our calls go directly to the closest store, where our order is taken directly by the store manager, and they can see information on the computer screen about my son's allergies.

Emeril's Restaurant
New Orleans, Louisiana

When I called to make reservations I mentioned that I have many food allergies. The woman asked me to list my allergies (it's quite the list) and she typed them into a computer and said that when I arrived the next day, the kitchen and the server would be ready for me. The next day they certainly were! My server was very helpful and the food was amazing!! It's a bit pricey, but well worth it if you're looking for tasty food!

Not Your Average Joe's
Boston area, Massachusetts

The secret to their success is that each dish is prepared to order, 
so if you explain your allergy, the chef will actually leave the 
kitchen to talk to you about your needs.

Papa Razzi
Burlington, Massachusetts

Tremendous at accommodating my nut allergy and SO attentive. The food is wonderful too.

Rouge Catering
Hunt Valley, MD

Specializes in full service weddings, corporate events, and delivery for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The catering facility is also completely pn/tn free. 

Poulet Restaurant and Catering
Lutherville, MD

TOTALLY peanut and tree nut free restaurant. Owners are parents of a food allergic child!

St. Paul, MN

My son has a peanut and nut allergy. I was delighted to learn from our server (and recently confirmed with "Mr. Snuffy" via the website) that their malts are safe for children with peanut and nut allergies. These are the huge and fabulous malts from long ago, and such a treat! It was so nice to buy malts for the whole family and not worry about special arrangements for my "allergy child"!

Omaha, Nebraska 

Our child has multiple food allergies and the staff at Biaggi's prepared a safe meal for her. We called in advance and gave them a list of her food allergies (wheat, dairy, egg, beef, peanuts, and tree nuts). The chef prepared a safe pasta dish and dessert. The chef personally came out before the meal was served to talk to us. Then he himself carried out the dishes so that no cross contamination could occur. He also came out to make sure that our child was enjoying the meal. The restaurant staff went out of their way to make sure that it was a safe and enjoyable experience for our whole family. 

Better Burger
New York, NY

The menu is simple which is what we wanted. My son had a plain hamburger and french fries, with a fresh squeezed lemonade. I explained to the woman taking our order about his food allergies, and there were no rolled eyes. When I asked about the baked french fries, she brought me the ingredient label to read. The fries were from a company called Lutosa. The ingredients are: organic potatoes, organic sunflower oil, organic dextrose. They even asked us before putting salt on them! Delived fresh to our table! Little guy was very happy. One less meal I’ll have to bring on our next trip!

Hershey Park 

Hershey, Pennsylvania

They offer frozen water ices for the kids which is great. And if you go any day but Saturday and eat before sundown on Friday, they have a glatt kosher kiosk that serves soft serve Tofutti ice cream (unfortunately it contains egg) or they offer at $0.75 each, Tofutti Cuties. My kids were thrilled that they could eat their favorite treats. They do have some places where they make fries in Peanut Oil, but their kettle chips are fried in veggie oil and there are other kiosks that serve chips in veggie oil. Where ever you see the sign that says Boardwalk Fries, you know to walk the other way.

Soft serve Tofutti contains absolutely NO EGG according to the company. The kosher kiosk at Hershey Park sells soft serve Tofutti, and this is the only time my children have ever had a soft serve "ice cream cone."

Outback Steakhouse
Wilkes-Barre, PA

Very accommodating when it comes to allergies. For one, they have a Gluten free menu. Also have gone above and beyond to not cross contaminate for peanut/nut, milk/dairy, seafood and Gluten allergies and intolerances. Have yet to have a bad experience and the staff makes you feel comfortable and confident.

Sticky Fingers Restaurant
Charleston, SC

A local ribs and bbq restaurant chain, we have always had exceptional service. They have locations in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and they can be reviewed at for other locations. We eat there when we usually go out because on the kids menu they have bbq, chicken, and hot dogs that have no milk products. Also, their staff has always been very attentive to my child's allergy needs and will bring ingredients out from the kitchen when so requested. Typically we ask to speak directly with the manager and they go above and beyond to take care of us. I have written letters of commendation to their owners because we have been so impressed with the level of concern they demonstrate for his allergies.

Wild Wings
Charleston, SC

They specialize in varieties of chicken wings. Great food, and the servers also go out of their way to identify items he can and cannot eat. They have a location in North Charleston, Downtown Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Greenville, and Augusta. We typically go to the Charleston and North Charleston restaurants, and their servers have also either brought products out of the kitchen for us to investigate, or have gotten a manager for us immediately to identify any and all items on the menu that we have questions about.

Guero's Mexican Restaurant
Chuy's Mexican Restaurant
Austin, TX.

In both places we found that their waiters knew the rice and beans to be "Vegan" (meaning no dairy in them). We have had luck with their kids meals by asking that all cheese be left off and requesting corn tortillas instead of flour.

Pizza Nizza
Austin, TX.

Their tomato sauce & dough are dairy-free, so we order a cheese-less pizza with the meat & veggies we want. We've found that because Austin tends to have a large Vegetarian population, it's common to find wait-staff that are familiar with "Vegan" choices on their menu. 

David Greggory
Washington, DC

We presented my son's chef card outlining his various allergies, one of which is peanuts. The chef informed the waiter to not have my son eat the garlic mashed potatoes because peanut oil were an ingredient. They provided several alternatives, and were wonderful!

Smithsonian Museums
Washington, DC

We were able to bring in outside foods and eat in all of the cafeterias without any problem.

Washington, DC

I have two sons - 1 with dairy, egg, tree nuts and peanut allergies and the other has egg, nuts and fish allergy. Besides the fact that you feel you are actually in Morroco eating an authentic meal, they were so accommodating towards my children's food allergies. There is a dish they make that contains chicken, eggs, almonds in a dairy/egg free pastry that is dusted with sugar. They are made to order. They brought out one made especially for my kids minus the eggs and almonds. I was truly touched that they were so thoughtful because I just assumed that my children would skip this part. This restaurant has a set menu that is about 5 or 6 courses and it includes dessert that contains nuts, but they also bring out a huge fresh fruit platter that is on a separate platter. The whole experience was wonderful (and my boys did love the belly dancers, too).


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