FabuLOUs Restaurants for Dining Out with Food Allergies in Louisville


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Dining out has become a way of life for many families. Busy schedules, for both parents and
kids,  leave some families dining out
more than dining in. However, eating out
is often not an option for families that deal with food allergies. If it is an option, it can be challenging to
find restaurants that understand the dining needs of those with severe food
Both of our daughters have food allergies. Our oldest daughter has a life-threatening
peanut allergy. As a result, we eat at
home more than 95% of the time. When we do venture out in Louisville for a
special meal, here are the restaurants we have found that ‘get it’ and are
willing to work with us to keep our daughters safe.

For more information about food allergy management – visit Thrive On Consulting!

Our Top Pick:
Annie May’s Sweet Café This is the gold standard for dining
out with food allergies in Louisville. 
They are a dedicated gluten, peanut, tree nut and soy free facility and
a number of their products are also free of the top eight allergens.  They offer lunch every day and breakfast on
Saturdays (good stuff like gluten free waffles and egg sandwiches).  In addition to dining in you can also
purchase many items for home such as their top-selling buns, oatmeal cream pie
and other great baked good and treats. 
Great for Lunch or a
Casual Meal:
McAlister’s DeliThis
deli in Louisville has worked well for us, particularly the Lime Kiln Lane
location.  While they do have nut
ingredients at the restaurant they have protocol in place to prevent
cross-contact.  The counter staff talk directly
to the kitchen and they switch out all cutting boards and utensils.  They also have the kitchen staff change their
gloves.  Their website offers a great
search feature where you can select your allergen(s) and it will show you which
items are safe.  Click on the Nutrition
tab to access this great tool.
Burning Bush Grille –  This
locally owned Mediterranean café in Prospect is also another go to spot for our
family.  The owner is very open to
discussing ingredients and cooking procedures. 
The counter staff always verifies with the kitchen staff when we order
if any ingredients have changed since our last visit. 
Nice Dinner Out:
Mitchell’s Fish MarketWhen dining at Mitchell’s at The
Summit we call ahead and have the allergy noted on our reservation.  Upon arrival the hostess acknowledges that we
are dining with a food allergy.  The wait
staff are also aware when they come to the table and talk through the best menu
choices and protocol in place in the kitchen to prevent cross contact.  They also offer for the chef to come out to
the table to speak directly to you about menu options and food
preparation.  Another great thing, if you
are avoiding gluten they offer a menu of gluten free options.
The food allergy you/your child has, as well as the
severity of the allergy will determine what is safe for you when dining out.  Annie McGill, owner of Annie May’s Sweet Café
and also food allergic herself says, “You have to be your own advocate”.  When dining out with food allergies you have
to ask questions and feel comfortable with how the staff is reacting.  John Luker, the father of a son with a severe
nut and chocolate allergy, says, “If
they don’t get it we leave.  So sometimes a restaurant can serve us one
day and maybe not the next just due to staffing.” 
food allergy awareness increases, more restaurants seem to be willing to work
with food allergic diners.  Menus and
websites will often offer detailed information about allergens present.  There are a number of restaurants that now
offer gluten free menus, like PF Changs, and many that offer great gluten free
choices and fresh, dye-free ingredients, like Salsarita’s. 
When eating
out as a family our dining options have been selectively narrowed to the places
we know and trust.  I am certain there
are other great restaurants in Louisville that cater to the needs of the food
allergic that we have not tried.  I
picked the brains of some of our Louisville friends who also face the challenge
of dining out with various food allergies and below are their top picks.  Bon Appetite- with caution and armed with all
the questions you need to have answered to feel safe while dining out.  And, never leave your Epi-pen at home. 
WildEggs (Westport Village)
support those with food allergies, participate in the Walk for Food Allergies in Louisville. 

By guest contributor: Tami

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