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Food at Smith and Daughters
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Where to eat in Melbourne with a food allergy

Leave your food anxieties at home – these restaurants make it easy to dine with an overly dramatic immune system

By Nicola Dowse
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It can be downright disheartening (and dangerous) trying to dine out with a food allergy. While venues around Melbourne have grown more accepting and accommodating for people with food allergies, it can still be a fraught experience trying to find somewhere that doesn’t just think you’re being picky. Feast easy, allergy pals – these restaurants can help you find an allergen-friendly feed.

Please note that while we’ve researched every venue to confirm their allergy policies, always let staff know of your allergy and carry medication if required.

Suffering from empty wallet syndrome? Here are the best cheap eats in Melbourne.

PIzzas 2 at Red Sparrow Pizza
PIzzas 2 at Red Sparrow Pizza
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Egg and dairy-friendly restaurants

Want cheese but it doesn’t want you? Go to Smith & Daughters where everything is plant-based and the “cheese” is cow-free. Eat ricotta-topped meatballs, cacio e pepe and even tiramisu without fearing a reaction. You’ll also want to make friends with Red Sparrow Pizza. All pizzas are dairy and egg free, with gluten-free options available as well.

Those unable to eat egg or dairy could also give vegan patisserie Weirdoughs a shot, though many of its products are not safe for those allergic to nuts.

Gyros at Stalactites
Gyros at Stalactites
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Wheat and gluten-friendly restaurants

If you’re a coeliac desperately seeking carbs you’ve got a few options in the city. Melbourne’s bastion of all-hours Greek food Stalactites (and its little sister Hella Good) are the first Greek restaurants in Australia to be accredited by Coeliac Australia. Nearly all dishes are gluten free, with gluten-free menus available on request. Stalactites provides a downloadable list that highlights the allergens present in all menu items. Also try Shop 225, where you can get carby, gluten-free pizzas – it’s also Coeliac Australia accredited.

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A top down shot of the pork and prawn mince dumplings at Lucy Li
A top down shot of the pork and prawn mince dumplings at Lucy Li
Photograph: Ryan Noreiks

Nut-friendly restaurants

It can feel like a minefield navigating asian cuisine with a nut allergy. Vietnamese restaurant Mama's Bưởi makes sure that your allergy is recognised and accommodated for, from ordering to eating. If you make your allergy clear to waitstaff at pan-Asian restaurant Lucy Liu, they’ll provide a menu highlighting allergens and notify the manager.

Earl Canteen
Earl Canteen
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Allergy-friendly cafés

At Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop all the baked goodies are free from dairy and egg. But wait, there’s more. The bakery also offers gluten-free, wheat-free, nut-free products (they’re baked on the same premises, so may contain traces of allergens, though they take steps to mitigate this). Allergens are clearly marked when ordering online too. Earl Canteen is another fuss-free sanga or salad option for lunch, with an allergy matrix provided online.

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Dish of caviar and cucumber presented in a circle
Dish of caviar and cucumber presented in a circle
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Allergy-friendly fine dining

Feeling fancy? The Supernormal team really take it upon themselves to cater for food allergies while preserving the flavours of the dish. You can also find the same attentiveness to allergies at Andrew McConnell’s other ventures (Cumulus IncBuilders Arms Hotel and Ides). 

More gluten-free options

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