Eating out in Sydney with allergies is like navigating a minefield – avoiding rashes/breathing difficulties/dying can be tricky. Dining with someone allergic to eggs, dairy and peanuts has taught me two things: 1) you want to marry the waiter/chef who accommodates your needs because they’re a rare breed, and 2) there are some really out-there questions we get asked all the time. Here’s our favourite allergy-friendly Sydney spots, and a little rebuttal to questions some of the less-educated hospitality staff have been known to ask.
It only has a little bit in it – is that OK?
Not really – if I have even the smallest traces of any of those foods, I get tingly – and not in a good way.
Are you allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts, or is it some kind of diet?
I am actually allergic. I’d love to know what all the fuss about chocolate is, but eating it could kill me.
Do you really need to read the label?
Egg, dairy and nut products are often hidden in sauces, seasonings, packaged foods and extracts. Also the machinery and processes used in production might involve cross contamination. Even I think it’s weird that canned tuna and granola can have milk products in it.
Could you have the Caesar salad?
Is there a new Caesar in town? The old Caesar was all about the eggs. And the mayonnaise. And the cheese.
How sick will you get?
I will get sick. Very, very sick.
The greatest dining experiences we’ve had are the result of conscientious and knowledgeable wait staff and chefs who are able to recommend suitable menu options or make substitutions where available. As I can’t give you a list of great waiters, instead here are venues that have a variety of options regardless of your allergy.
A vegan restaurant that is actually vegan, Bodhi is a warm, family-run establishment with tasty yum-cha, curry and tempura options.
Mad Spuds Café
As the name suggests, this café is all about potato, but there is nothing stodgy about these meals. They are light, refreshing and delicious. We adore the classic Spud Power with chick peas, beetroot relish, avocado, organic sprouts and olive oil.
Bread & Circus Wholefoods Canteen
If you’re an organic, vegan, yoga-loving foodie, then this café is for you. With a menu that changes daily, Bread & Circus has preservative-free, biodynamic and gluten-free options all over it.
Bloom the Healthy Food Co
From the gluten-free desserts to the water with chlorella in it, Bloom is serious about healthy, nutritious dining. A menu that’s clearly marked with organic, wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan options, it’s easy to order for allergy sufferers.
Mad Hatter Cupcakery
We love these desserts that are dairy, egg and animal product free. These scrumptious cupcakes in flavours such as raspberry red velvet, tiramisu and lemon meringue also have less sugar than standard cupcakes.
Focusing on fresh whole-foods, this cafe provides nourishing, nutritious meals using raw, organic, unprocessed products as much as possible. We love the vegan, gluten-free laksa.
Pure Life Bakery
This bakery provides a wide-range of sprouted breads without preservatives, added salt or animal products. Using Demeter certified biodynamic grains, soaked in filtered water, this is guilt-free indulgence.
Post by Dale Rolfe.