Discover Gluten & Allergy Free Restaurants
The number of restaurants, hotels and bakeries around the world that cater to those managing healthy diets free from gluten, dairy, other allergens and sugar is continuing to expand. However, you need to remember that even if the restaurant chain or hotel offers a gluten free menu or an allergen chart, you still need to ask the right questions and review your meal to ensure safe eating experiences.
Knowing what ingredients and food preparation techniques are safe, what questions to ask the staff and what modifications can be made empowers us to safely eat outside the home. The more you know, the easier it is to dine out safely and put the control back in your hands as a customer.
For gluten free, allergy free and vegan friendly tips and restaurants, click a restaurant category below:
- US Fast Food Chains
- Ethnic Restaurant Menu Helper
- Gluten Free Menus – US Chains
- Global Restaurants
- Global Bakeries
Learn From Authoritative Expert Kim Koeller
Food Allergy Survival Tips for Travelers
Studies show that about 78 million Americans have food allergies or food intolerance, or are following gluten-free diets, according to Kim Koeller, the founder of health education company GlutenFree Passport.
Education, preparation and communication are the keys to avoiding these allergens and traveling safely, Koeller says.
- Education – Before traveling, she says, learn how dishes at your destination are often prepared, what ingredients are used and where hidden allergens may be found.
- Preparation – Order special airline meals in advance, and bring snacks suitable for your diet and medications for a food-related emergency.
- Communication – Tell airlines, restaurants and hotels of your special dietary requirements.
“Instead of simply asking, ‘Is this dish free of gluten, dairy, peanut or whatever allergen?’ you need to ask questions based on ingredients and food preparation in restaurant language terms,” Koeller says.
If you are gluten-free, sample questions could be: Are hamburgers and the flourless chocolate cake made with bread crumbs? Is the chicken flour-dusted? Are french fries fried in the same oil as breaded items such as chicken fingers?
Determine what food-preparation modifications “can be made to easily accommodate your requirements,” Koeller says.
How to Travel with Allergies
It’s important to be able to communicate your allergy to restaurant staff. Many websites such as Allergy Free Passport offer translation cards that list (in the country’s local language) what you’re allergic to and how severe it is, some even indicate what sort of medical treatment is needed if you have a reaction. Print these at home and carry them with you at all times. It’s your responsibility to make sure restaurant staff understand your allergy. “Talk to the server first,” says Koeller. “If you don’t feel comfortable, talk to the manager or chef. If you still feel uncertain, consider going somewhere else to eat.”
No Wheat, No Dairy, No Eggs – No Problem
Dining out can pose risks for travelers with food allergies or dietary restrictions, and doing so abroad, where the diner may have a less-than expert grasp of the language, may increase that risk. Kim Koeller has been there and has successfully learned to navigate culinary pitfalls while on the road.
Koeller said knowing what to ask and being informed about preparation procedures can help travelers ferret out possible allergens. “The complications really depend upon the country,” she said. “Certain countries are more attuned to and are aware of food allergies and gluten free diets that others.”
Koeller’s GlutenFree Passport has a quick solution for overseas travel – downloadable translation cards available for free and in 12 diffferent languages. Take steps to prevent food allergies from grounding your travel plans.
Traveling with Food Allergies—Smart Traveler: Expert Opinion
Kim Koeller, co-author of Let’s Eat Out!, offers these tips for dining out while traveling. Prepare: “If you use an allergy medication, have it on hand at all times. Those who require an EpiPen—used to treat anaphylaxis—should carry a doctor’s note.” Request: “When traveling by plane, request a special meal and always pack snacks in case of delays. If your allergies are contact-based, ask to pre-board and wipe down your seat and the one next to it.” Communicate: “Well-trained restaurant staff will be receptive to your needs and always double-check that your requests have been met.”
Gluten-Friendly Dining Out
According to Kim Koeller, president of GlutenFree Passport and AllergyFree Passport and an expert on special diet trends, “The repeat loyal customer is amazing!”. Citing market research her company conducted recently, she adds, “92% of gluten and allergen-free guests will return frequently to the same eating establishment after a positive eating-out experience. Gluten-free and allergen-free guests are a profitable and loyal market globally,” she says. “There’s a terrific opportunity for increased revenues when food service professionals ‘get it’ and customers feel safe.”
Cheers are Pouring in for Gluten-Free Beer
Kim Koeller, president of the educational firm GlutenFree Passport, served as the North American representative & bartender at the first-ever gluten-free beer festival in the UK. “Just to be able to pour gluten-free draft beer and seeing the looks on everyone’s faces—it truly was fabulous.”
Dining Out Gluten-Free and Worry-Free
“In order to feel safe eating out everywhere, it’s all about education, preparation and communication,” says Kim Koeller, president of GlutenFree Passport and author of the award-winning Let’s Eat Out! series. “Educate yourself on what you can and cannot eat, be prepared to inquire about at least 2 or 3 potential menu items and know what questions to ask about the dish based upon ingredients, culinary practices and food preparation.”
Have Food Allergies and Sensitivities, Will Travel
Discovering the full extent of her food sensitivities hasn’t stopped Kim Koeller, the Chicago native, from dining out in more than 25 countries, the most notable being Russia. “The approach to eating out safely is a collaborative process between guests and restaurants. When you’re eating out and traveling, there are three key things to remember: education, communication and preparation.”
Eat, Work & Travel Gluten / Allergy Free -Autism One Path to Wellness Radio Show with Kim & Robert
- Part 1: Special Diet Concerns (16 Minute MP3 Audio File – 1.9mb)
- Part 2: Corporate Luncheons (14 Minute MP3 Audio File – 1.6mb)
- Part 3: Traveling Abroad (15 Minute MP3 Audio File – 1.8mb)
- Part 4: Eating Out Considerations (10 Minute MP3 Audio File – 1.2mb)
- Part 5: Hidden Food Allergens (7 Minute MP3 Audio File – 880kb)
Kim’s Advice on How to Safely Dine Out Gluten & Allergy Free Podcast with Shelley Case, RD (20:12 Minute MP3 Audio File – 4.6mb)
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