When it comes to food allergies, we know that trying to pick a place to go out to eat can be quite the challenge. Whether you or someone you know is at risk of a slight reaction or could potentially go into anaphylactic shock from exposure to food allergens, it’s important to know which restaurants can provide a safe dining experience.
We’re fortunate to live in a community that offers a wide variety of delicious culinary experiences, from downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant and into West Ashley or Summerville, there is no shortage of restaurants that deliver on crowd-pleasing tasty dishes. The key for those who have food allergies is finding out which restaurants cater to your needs and maintain an allergy-safe environment so that your risk of exposure is eliminated.
While the elimination of all food allergens is rarely achieved, there are some restaurants that locals have recommended based on their personal experience with navigating food allergies. We’re sharing some of the top recommendations our team has received recently to help narrow down your search for the perfect restaurant for you!
Please note, while the following restaurants have earned a local reputation for accommodating many food allergies, those suffering food allergies are always recommended to contact any restaurant prior to visiting in order to ensure it is fully safe based on each individual’s allergy triggers. Charleston Allergy & Asthma has not received any compensation for the below selection, all recommendations are based on customer reviews and feedback.
Word on the street (or on the internet, that is) is Burton’s Grill is fully committed to accommodating individuals’ food allergies. They even have an Allergy Commitment on their website! Their Mount Pleasant location features a wide variety of options from seafood and Italian cuisine to Asian-inspired dishes and American classics, there’s sure to be something for every member of the family at this local allergy-friendly go-to.
SNOB (Slightly North of Broad)
SNOB is a downtown favorite features a variety of allergy-friendly options for those looking for a delicious night out in downtown Charleston! It’s also a good option if individuals in your party are looking for gluten-free options.
Gnome Café’ is always happy to meet the needs of its guests with dietary restrictions. Gnome Café has garnered a great reputation for delicious vegan and vegetarian cuisine while also taking food allergies into consideration. Another plus: one of our own team members shared she’d eaten at Gnome Café numerous times and didn’t even realize she was eating vegan chicken salad and dairy-free, egg-free chocolate chip cookies! They’re just that good!
When it comes to avoiding dairy, some folks have shared that Cru Cafe is an excellent option to consider. This spot features a range of American cuisine and local seafood. It also prides itself on local vendor partners who supply its ingredients, so it’s a good option for supporting local as well!
With locations in downtown Charleston and in Summerville (as well as across the Palmetto state), Halls is not only a Lowcountry staple, but has earned an incredible reputation for catering to its guests needs. If you’re looking for a fine dining experience with delicious food, Halls Chophouse is always an excellent choice. While it is known for its signature steaks, the staff takes dietary restrictions and food allergies seriously. They’ve been known to go out of their way to provide a superb experience for all guests and will even provide custom creations and combinations to meet allergy needs. Another fun fact: vegetarians can enjoy an excellent meal here too!
For those with soy allergies, Kid Cashew has been shared as a strong recommendation. They’re also known for their extensive vegan options if you have any in your party that are avoiding meat, dairy, etc. – they have several gluten-free options and feature a wide variety of small plates, sandwiches and salads.
If you’re craving delicious Asian food but need to avoid shellfish, Basil is known for accommodating those with shellfish allergies. With locations in Mount Pleasant and North Charleston, these tasty Thai dishes are only a short drive away.
Brown Dog Deli
When it comes to tracking down a tasty lunch in the heart of downtown Charleston, Brown Dog Deli offers a variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, hot dogs and more. You can dine inside or enjoy the backyard patio while getting your fill of this lunchtime favorite. The staff offers accommodations and substitutions for “groovy” patrons with food allergies and we promise once you try it, you’ll want to go back for more.
Page’s Okra Grill
Several patrons have shared on social media that Page’s Okra Grill is accommodating for different allergies such as nuts and soy. This Mount Pleasant staple is widely known for incredible Southern food (just like grandma’s) and an insanely delicious variety of desserts.
Do you have additional recommendations? We’d love to hear them! Send us a message on social media to share your favorite go-to allergy-friendly spots in and around the Charleston area.
Also, be sure to let your server know if you have a food allergy prior to ordering at a restaurant, and always keep your EpiPen handy!
If you or someone you know suffers from food allergies, our team of board-certified allergists is here to help! Whether you’re in need of allergy testing or you’re looking to lessen your risk of allergic reaction through oral immunotherapy, we’re here for you every step of the way to help you find relief. Request an appointment today.