It's not a big surprise, and yet it is. This year's top 10 allergy-friendly restaurants (5 large and 5 small) include returning favorites and some new faces. As in past years, the list is based on crowd-sourced data from the AllergyEats app (which incidentally, has recently undergone extensive changes to make it even easier to use, rate, and find restaurants that might suit your needs).
So, who made the list?
Most allergy-friendly large chains (50 or more restaurants):
Maggiano’s Little Italy (4.63 rating)
Chipotle Mexican Grill (4.38 rating)
Mellow Mushroom (4.36 rating)
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (4.31 rating)
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro (4.29 rating)
Most allergy-friendly small chains (less than 50 restaurants):
Rainforest Café (4.87 rating)
Burtons Grill (4.74 rating)
Not Your Average Joe’s (4.45 rating)
Joe’s American Bar & Grill (4.41 rating)
Legal Sea Foods (4.39 rating)
Hello, Rainforest Café with an outstanding 4.87 rating! I would not have expected to see them on the list (I can't recall the last time I ate there, if ever, but will now need to seek them out!)
Some of my fave are (not surprisingly) still on the list, including Red Robin, Chipotle, and Legal Sea Foods. For the first time in 2015 I dined at Burtons Grill (found in the greater Boston area in the Northeast) and am in love with their gluten-free fried calamari! I have been back a half dozen times for that treat:
My favorite on this list continues to be Legal Sea Foods. I was surprised and thrilled to learn that at some Legal Sea Foods they are now making all of their fried foods gluten-free. That's right -- everyone who orders gets gluten-free fried clams, and they are amazing! (Be sure to check if you go, it may not be all locations and the practices may change.)
Yes, I have a thing for fried seafood (my apologies to those with shellfish allergies).
Note that this list only includes chains. That means that your favorite family-owned restaurant around the corner was not included.