Tag Archives: soy allergy eating out

Restaurants with Allergen Menus

It’s time for school to start, which means that life is about to get busy for a lot of us. My husband and I were accustomed to eating out a lot before my soy allergy, and there are days when I want so badly to grab takeout and forgo the cooking.

Many chain restaurants are now posting their allergen menus. However, there is one thing that I have found to be necessary:

No matter how much information is contained in an allergy menu, it is still important to notify your server and/or a manager that you have allergies.

The thing about soy is that there are some foods containing soy that the FDA does not require manufacturers or restaurants to report. Your meal could still contain soybean oil, soy lecithin, ingredients derived from soy, or “proprietary” ingredients like spices, natural flavorings, and artificial flavorings. There are also cross-contamination and food preparation issues to discuss. I have also had situations where allergen menus were wrong, and of course, we all know that ingredients can change at any time. 😦 The restaurant manager is your best resource for catching any recent changes or errors.

With that in mind, if you are still feeling adventurous, below is a list of restaurants I have found that either provide their allergen menu online or have one to review in their restaurant. This does not mean that I have eaten at these restaurants or endorse them. I highly recommend the Allergy Eats website and app if you want to find out how others rate restaurants in your area.

When eating out, I generally avoid salad dressings and substitute extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon for my salad dressing. It’s also best to check to make sure that your salad has not been coated with preservatives (a hidden source of soy.) Stay away from complex carbohydrates like bread, chips, and hamburger buns.  Always make sure that your hamburger is 100% pure beef.

I will also share one restaurant that many soy allergy survivors talk about, and that is Five Guys Burger and Fries. Many of us have tried their plain fries (cooked in peanut oil) along with a bunless burger.

Calling All Soyvivors: Are there other restaurants with which you have had good experiences?


Soy Survivor Manifesto

Hi. I’m Alanna, and I’m a soyvivor. If you do not have a soy allergy, the term “soyvivor” may seem a bit dramatic, but trust me, those with a soy allergy know that learning to survive and thrive is no small feat. I will share my story in future posts, but that is not the point of my blog.  If you are here because you have a soy allergy or are trying to eliminate soy for other reasons, then like me, you may be frustrated that there is so little information out there when it comes to:

  • What products are soy free
  • What products should be eliminated
  • How to cook soy free (and actually like it)
  • The emotional, spiritual, & physical effects of coping and thriving with a food allergy
  • How to discuss your soy allergy needs with a business, school or restaurant
  • How to deal with folks that just don’t understand (or don’t want to understand)

This blog will not offer medical advice. If you think you have a soy allergy or are planning to eliminate soy from your life, PLEASE see your doctor before making any changes. There are serious nutritional and medical issues that should only be addressed by your physician.

My hope is that this blog will give you hope, encouragement, and a community of like-minded soyvivors that will be willing to also share their stories, ideas and experiences.

Author: Alanna Waldrop