5 useful tips for Gluten Free Dining at restaurants

Ok, eating out with an allergy can be a terrifying experience! You have to read every inch of the menu to find something you can eat, then you have to make sure there isn’t any cross-contamination, then you feel guilty for being “THAT” person, and lastly you have to deal with all the peer pressure and temptation of your friends eating your favorite foods that you can’t have… No Wonder You Are Here!!

Let me tell you… before I got diagnosed with Celiac Disease, my family ate out almost every night, and I loved it! But after I got diagnosed, it wasn’t so fun. I didn’t know what was safe, so I ended up just getting something that I had no desire to eat. After a bit of research and a bit more experience, I was able to branch out more and eat what I wanted!

Down below are my top 5 tips when eating out with Celiac Disease and gluten allergies. I use these EVERY time I eat out, and they have made all the difference!

1. Research the Menu Before You Go

I cannot stress to you enough how much this tip has helped me! If you research the restaurant’s menu beforehand, you can avoid the stress of not knowing what to get. Even better now days is that most restaurants have an allergen menu with gluten free options! If you familiarize yourself with the menu, you won’t be as overwhelmed when ordering!

2. Eat With Supportive Friends or Family

It is inevitable when you go out to eat with an allergy or intolerance, that you will need more attention. You may need to ask questions, speak to managers, or wait longer for your food, so go with a supportive group of people! It’s already stressful and intimidating trying to order, so don’t make it worse by sitting with a group of unsupportive friends!

If you are the supportive friend then please be patient! It’s hard enough without you being irritable! Thank you!

3. Let Your Waiter/Waitress Know

Listen, I know it can be intimidating to speak up, especially when you are new to the whole thing, but you NEED to do it. I cannot tell you how many times I have been too scared to speak up, only to find out after I had ordered that the restaurant had a specialized gluten free menu! Celiac Disease and gluten allergies are becoming more common everyday, and you would be pleasantly surprised by how much the chef and staff actually know about gluten, so let them know!!

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Most people with allergies, intolerances, or Celiac Disease are hesitant to ask questions. They don’t want to be a bother, or they simply don’t want to be singled out among their friends! But if you are unsure that something is completely GF, then ask! Answering questions is what the staff is there for!

Also if you followed Tip #2 (cough cough) then your friends won’t care! Trust me, they would rather you be healthy and annoying, than quiet and sick!

5. Keep Calm and Enjoy!!

Eating out is always stressful with Celiac Disease, but you just have to remember to stay calm and enjoy yourself. Going out to eat is supposed to be a fun! Don’t let having Celiac stop you from going out with your friends and having a great time!!

For my favorite gluten free fast food, check out my other blog post!