We know how nerve racking it can for allergy families to enjoy a meal together at a restaurant. Whether you are traveling to Boston, new to this allergy game, or just looking for a new place to eat out with the family, we have a great roundup of allergy-friendly restaurants in the Boston area that will both feed and protect your family. The list below is a roundup from allergy moms who have been through it all — when it comes to allergy awareness, there are some places that just do it right and keep us safe!
Please note that each allergy is different, and there are so many places that work amazingly well for some families and not for others, based on the particular allergy. Vegan food is great for egg allergies, for example, but not always great for nut allergies. Chinese food is great for dairy allergies, not so much for sesame allergies. ALWAYS communicate with your server and ask for a manager if you need more support — you are your child’s advocate!
14 family-friendly allergy-safe restaurants
1. Legal Sea Foods
Boston, Braintree, Burlington, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Framingham, Hingham, Lynnfield, Peabody, and Somerville
Legal is very helpful and clear about making sure to know and work with your allergies! They will make items to order for those with particular allergies or diets; dishes that can be prepared without gluten are designated on their menus. Best of all, the kids’ menus are extensive!
2. Sweet Cheeks
Tiffani Faison is a Top Chef celeb, and the really amazing space she has created offers barbecue like nowhere else — and is incredibly careful. Don’t forget to order the biscuits with honey butter (unless you have a gluten or dairy allergy, of course!).
3. Walnut Grille
A vegetarian paradise with many vegan options, Walnut Grille has a really helpful staff! This is a winner in so many allergy circles, from egg allergies to gluten allergies.
4. The Cottage
California cuisine along with a nice atmosphere that doesn’t feel like a place for kids but is family friendly — really?! Yes! It is one of my favorite spots, and they are fastidious about allergy safety.
Another fan favorite, Wagamama came up in many of my conversations as being really respectful about cooking food separately to ensure safety from cross-contamination. From personal experience, I have been wildly impressed with the communication about each ingredient, along with their team approach to service.
6. Not Your Average Joe’s
Acton, Burlington, Hyannis, Norwell, Peabody, Seekonk, Waltham, Watertown, and Westwood
Many families I know rave about NYAJ and appreciate their care to allergies!
Braintree, Cambridge, Framingham, Hingham, Holliston, Lexington, Medford, Newton, Norwood, Reading, Waltham, Swampscott, West Roxbury
One of the coolest things about Bertucci’s is when I look over from our table and see all my allergy friends dining around us — and this is no coincidence! Our nut allergies are extra safe here.
8. Burtons Grille
Burlington, Framingham, Hingham, Lynnfield, North Andover, Shrewsbury, and Westford
Burtons Grille’s commitment to allergy safety is next level — every staff member goes through allergy and safety training, and a manager inspects orders to ensure special requests are carefully prepared. To cap it all off, your food will be delivered by an allergy specialist as a final safety check!
9. Maggiano’s Little Italy
Family dining where kids can eat safely is always a winner. And at Maggiano’s, you can prep in advance by learning exactly which allergens are in every dish!
10. Veggie Galaxy
This vegetarian/vegan paradise is perfect for egg and dairy allergies. The bakery is 100% vegan and includes cheesecakes and chocolate cakes. And the regular menu includes macaroni and cheese and so much more. Veggie Galaxy’s handy allergy guide will help you know which menu items you should consider!
Boston, Brookline, Braintree, Burlington, Cambridge, Dedham, Framingham, Hingham, Lynnfield, Reading, Saugus, Somerville, Medford, Natick, Newton, Waltham, Watertown, and beyond
This fast-food chain has been a favorite of allergy families in many of my circles, and it seems to make everyone pretty happy!
Belmont, Concord, Hingham, Melrose, Natick, Needham, Wellesley, West Newton, West Roxbury, Westwood, Winchester
Famous for their “family messes” and bargain pizzas, Comella’s is a safe spot for a lot of nut-free families and can feed a huge group in a snap!
13. Hearth Pizzeria
This is a family favorite for a lot of my allergy pals, as this spot is super careful to take care of nut allergy kids and serve up some yummy pizza too!
14. Flatbread Company
Amesbury, Bedford, Georgetown, Salem, Somerville
Ridiculously delicious pizza with a commitment to safety? Yes, please! The Somerville location is also Sacco’s Bowl Haven — such a good time!
And 9 spots for sweet treats…
Jennifer Lee’s Gourmet Bakery
Boston, Worcester (and online ordering)
This bakery is amazing and has so many options that are meant for people with allergies! Started by an entrepreneurial 17-year-old, this bakery has amazing breads, donuts, cakes, and more, all designed to be completely vegan, gluten free, nut free, peanut free, coconut free, and sesame free.
The Sleepy Baker
These cakes are both delicious and gorgeous, and owner Liz is amazingly talented and a mom who gets it. While she is not exclusively gluten free, nut free, etc., she can accommodate your needs!
Andover, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Dedham, Lynnfield, Newton, Somerville, Wellesley
Careful enough to open up a new batch of ice cream for my child is what makes J.P. Licks top of the list!
Something Sweet Without Wheat
This is a sister-run bakery that was born from the desire to provide treats for the gluten-free and dairy-free crew after living with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease diagnoses. Menu options are so fun, from whoopie pies to blondies to cookies. Some delectable items like pizza and tea breads are also egg free and nut free, too.
Abbott’s Frozen Custard
Arlington, Lexington, Needham
Even though there are nuts everywhere, my local Abbott’s is so careful with fresh batches and clean scoops — I am grateful to treat my daughter here safely!
Gluten free, nut free, dairy free, egg free — there are lots of fun options here and they are very careful to bake separately, too! Safety and yummy is surely a treat!
Blacker’s is a Kosher/Pareve (dairy free) and nut-free bakery with vegan options that is the spot for challah, babkah, half-moons, birthday cakes, and more.
Burlington and Millis
This bakery is known for always being gluten free, peanut free, and nut free, and there are some items that are egg free, dairy free, soy free, and more! I feel like my Facebook feed is basically just a Twist bakery advertisement for their gluten-free cinnamon rolls!
Fenway, JP, South End
This “earth-inspired” plant-based ice cream is on point! This ice cream is made from a coconut base, so the flavors are thoughtful and amazing — perfect for those who have a dairy or egg allergy!
I got incredibly sick after eating at the flatbread in Somerville. There isflour dust in the air there which may have been the culprit.
Great list! Two other good options for peanut/treenut safe treats are Sadie Mae’s Cupcake Cafe in HIngham and Cake in Lexington.
Cakes by Erin in Haverhill, MA is peanut and tree nut free.
Tipping Cow Ice Cream is Somerville is nut free as well as Cakes for Occasions in Danvers. I also like Blue Ribbon Cakes in Salem which is nut free but only takes orders.
We often opt to eat at Whole Foods’ hot bar. They are great about labeling everything. The Inn at Hampton Park in Lexington has fantastic breakfast and the chef was absolutely conscious and helpful in helping my son find something for him (he’s allergic to dairy, egg, soy, peanuts, treenuts, sesame, and shellfish so it’s tricky!). The chef made a duck confit with hash potatoes, so delicious!
When dealing with food allergies, it can be hard to find a restaurant that won’t make the situation worse. These Boston restaurants not only accommodate allergies, but they have great food!
Violette Bakery in Cambridge is hands-down the best gluten-free bakery around, with sweets and savories (pizza and empanadas!) and some vegan and dairy free options. Also, sourdough bagels if you join the Bread Buyers club. So good and so worth it.
Donut express in Medfield is but free, blackbird donuts is super helpful, and we had a fabulous experience at noodles and company in Westwood.
These comments are all so helpful….keep them coming 🙂