Dairy-Free Restaurants in Philadelphia?

This comes from an Allergic Girl blog reader who is severely casein-allergic and is looking to book a nice place for her rehearsal dinner in the Philly area.

“My casein allergy is so extreme that if anyone kisses me or touches my food after handling any dairy products I begin to go into anaphylactic shock. Since I cannot control the rehearsal dinner the same way that I can the actually wedding meal I was hoping you might know of some restaurants in Philadelphia that would be good for a casein allergic girl and her dairy loving family.”

Any suggestions for an allergen-friendly and/or dairy-free restaurant that can handle a large party would be so appreciated!

Please let us know where a Philly Allergic Girl should look.

Thank you!


Unknown said…
We had a very good experience at McCormick & Schmick in Philadelphia. We are dealing solely with peanut allergy, but they were excellent. I know it's a chain and may not be rehearsal dinner material. The chef came to our table, said he'd make anything we want for our son, and every employee made certain we were well taken care of. Other than Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA, it was the best restaurant experience in terms of allergy awareness we have had in the last 2 years. (Mind you, we eat out very rarely!)
Allergic Girl® said…
thanks jennifer b!

any more ideas out there?
Little Fish said…
Here's an idea that might seem crazy for a non-Jewish bride, but might work well. She may consider doing a search for Kosher meat restaurants. They are gauranteed not to have any dairy in the kitchen so as long as the couple is ok with not having any pork or shellfish, the Bride should feel very safe eating there.

Here's a link- just make sure to pull down meat in the "category" drop down box. http://www.shamash.org/kosher/
Allergic Girl® said…
little fish, how brill! for you non kosher folks, if a restaurant serves meat it cant by kosher law serve ANY dairy so little fish is right: at a kosher meat resto you would be guaranteed a dairy free experience!
Thank you all, I never thought of a Kosher restaurant. I don't eat pork or shellfish and I am sure my family will never notice the difference. As for McCormick & Schmick, I didn't realize chains would be so willing to accomodate a allergic customer. For anyone else out there reading this, my realtor suggested Memphis Tap or The Taproom. Both pubs have vegan, vegetarian, and, meat loving foods. I am not 100% sold on pouring my huge family into a small pub tho.

Tank you again!
ByTheBay said…
I was just about to post the kosher meat restaurants in Philadelphia (since they are 100% dairy-free) but then I saw someone beat me to it. Vegan restaurants would also be a safe bet - Just google "vegan philadelphia"
Anonymous said…
I found a website that rated vegan options. Cuba Libre is a very nice restaurant. "Other restaurants not reviewed here but deserving of mention: Cuba Libre and Cafe Spice, across from one another in the Second Street Old City dining district just south of Market Street, have solid vegan options on their regular menus."

This was found at http://www.boutell.com/philly/vegan/
Anonymous said…
ooohhh found this one too

Restaurant Horizons
Location 611 S. 7th St, just south of South
Phone (215) 923-6117
Price $$$
Specialties Ancho Chocolate Tart
Ambiance Classy (but not too formal)
Horizons is something Philadelphia has never had before: a true gourmet vegan restaurant. In quality and atmosphere Horizons is at least as good as Cafe Flora in Seattle, or The Greens in San Francisco. Soups, starters, entrees and desserts are all stunning, particularly the ancho chocolate torte. The ancho pepper imparts a spice that's a novelty to most American palates. These are dishes to linger over! The downstairs is a bar and lounge, featuring a tasting menu. The upstairs is a full restaurant, also with a small bar. Reservations recommended! However, lone-wolf diners can often steal a seat at the upstairs bar for a full dinner without a reservation. You won't be lonely with food like this.

Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner. 6pm-10pm Tuesday & Thursday, 6pm-11pm Friday & Saturday. The lounge stays open later. Expect to pay $30+ per person, especially if you order drinks. It's absolutely worth it. No dress code per se, but clean up nice.
Allergic Girl® said…
super ideas gang, keep em coming!
Alisa said…
I am not sure if I am too late on this one, but someone had recommended Horizons to me, which is an upscale vegan restaurant in Philadelphia. I would think a vegan restaurant could offer some safety in that area, and I heard that they were good - http://www.horizonsphiladelphia.com
Alisa said…
Oh, one more thing! It is obviously different from restaurant to restaurant, but while I am a fan of McCormick & Schmicks, we have had a couple of "incidents" at the one in our area that would pose a huge risk for anyone with a dairy allergy that sensitive. On one occasion, my dish came filled with cheese even though they came back to me and swore that the chef took care that my entree was dairy-free. I showed them the dish (which was obviously filled with cheese) and they just didn't speak. I am not in the Phili area though!

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