Navigating Bar’s When You Have Food Allergies
Food allergies might have become more commonplace, but that doesn’t mean it’s any more complex to navigate restaurants and bars to avoid anything that is going to jeopardize your comfort and health. Restaurants are mostly quite accepting of food allergies, but bars are still a grey area as they aren’t typically a food-centric environment. So the limited menu is going to be whatever is easier for the kitchen to prepare quickly. Whether you have a new diagnosis or have long known your food allergy limitations, let’s cover some tips that can ensure a more enjoyable time at the bar making Navigating Bar’s when you have food allergies a little easier.
Know your brands
Knowing the brands that cater to your food allergy is going to give you a significant leg up, as you can easily spot these safe drinks and foods at the bar without having to do too much investigation. If you are looking for a gluten-free beer, make sure your bar visit isn’t your first time asking about gluten-free beers. It’s going to be a lot easier to ask the bartender, “do you have any Two Bays beer” instead of “what gluten-free beers are there?” as your bartenders will know the brands they carry but maybe not the exact ingredients.
Become the booker in your group
Are you actively choosing the bars that you and your friends go to, or are you leaving that in the hands of someone who can eat anything from anywhere with no limitations? It’s time to step up to the plate and become the one who books the bars you go to, and you can have some fun with this. You will probably need to choose some off the beaten track bars first to prove that you are the right man or woman for the job, but when they trust your choice of venue, you can be looking at the food and alcohol menu ahead of time and finding the ideal spot which is dietary inclusive.
Stating your allergies
It’s an unfortunate fact that some venues are not 100% on board with dietary requirements and might think that your gluten, lactose, dairy, or meat-free requests have just been made on a whim and are not tied to a disease or health condition. If you get a feeling that the venue hasn’t embraced a diverse menu, tell them that you are coeliac (or whatever your condition might be) so that they take this seriously and don’t make assumptions that you are just trying something new, trying to lose weight or being difficult.
Eat well during the day, just in case!
It is heartbreaking when you do your research on a venue, only to find that they are out of the two menu items that were safe for you to eat when you arrive. One way to soften this blow is to make sure you have eaten well throughout the day so that this meal is not the one you have been waiting for all day. That way, you can order a side and be satisfied in the interim… and perhaps scratch this bar off your list for a follow-up visit. Of course, it isn’t fair that we have to buffer ourselves in the event of these occurrences, but until the world catches up and we can readily rely on a diverse menu, look after yourself as best you can.
An enormous well done to you for your continued commitment to finding bars that will cater to your dietary requirements, as there is a great mix out there just waiting to be uncovered! Keep a list of your go-to venues because they hit the mark every time, and then experiment with new bars until you have a considerable bank of bar options to visit with your friends.