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Best Allergy Friendly Restaurants in San Diego

I haven’t been 100% true to myself in writing bi-monthly restaurant reviews, but hey, I am human and I do get busy just like you =) Now that that has been said, let's dive into my top 3 favorite restaurants to dine at this summer. 

1. True Food Kitchen — After speaking to the manager of this restaurant (and servers) you will learn that they take food allergies very seriously here. They do not have any PEANUTS in the kitchen…let me repeat that - NO PEANUTS IN THEIR KITCHEN! And the manager at the Fashion Valley location has a list of food allergies herself, so if you’re dining there, know you will be heard. 

Upon hiring, the servers and kitchen staff are trained for weeks regarding food allergy safety and cross contamination and they do intermittent trainings to be sure everyone is consistently knowledgable. Upon ordering servers ensure they will talk to the head chef directly, as well as all other staff handling your food - and for extra measure the restaurant manager delivers your meal directly to your table.

This restaurant focuses on using real food, raw ingredients and they have a farm to table approach - sourcing their food from local purveyors.  They also have a seasonal menu so you know it's always fresh and different. Can you ask for more?

***They do have some tree nuts in their kitchen, but again, they're highly trained how to handle cross contamination and take large precaution to not screw it up! They are mindful with dishes containing sesame seeds by topping off these dishes right before they leave the kitchen, so sesame seeds aren't floating around the kitchen surfaces. And did I mention there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options for those allergic to eggs & dairy? Oh! And tons of gluten free options too!

I rate this restaurant 10 out of 10 — and continue to go back because I know how cautious they are and how delicious the food is. There are other locations - this is a chain, but I guarantee if you love real, fresh and delicious food, you will love this all over the USA. I have also visited this restaurant in Arizona and they were just as accommodating as San Diego.

                           cucina sorella, Italian food, allergy friendly, allergy free

2. Cucina Sorella — This restaurant is local to San Diego in Kensington— it has a sister restaurants I have yet  to venture to — under the Urban Kitchen GroupThey change their menu often here — and use seasonal ingredients, so you know they keep it fresh. They don’t have many gluten free options because it is an Italian restaurant, but what they do offer is delicious and worth going back for.

They take precautions with food allergies and often times the owner/manager will come out to ensure your safety. It’s always a good idea to remind your server to talk directly with the head chef to be sure there won’t be any of your allergens hiding in their homemade ingredients. They allow you to choose your choice of pasta (again only one gluten free option), sauce and meat if you choose to add any. 

Unfortunately they do offer a basket of bread while you wait for your food, but they don't offer any gluten free bread. The pasta is enjoyable enough, you may not notice you are missing out. Charred Brussels sprouts with Ivan’s Hot Sauce is a great appetizer - and they offer some sorbets for dessert - coconut sorbet is delicious and dairy free. ***If you have a nut allergy, order at your own discretion. 


I rate this place 8 out of 10 because I do wish they had more gluten free & dairy free options, but I also understand it’s a traditional Italian restaurant. Sometimes service is great, and other times service is lacking, but I continue to go back because it’s a great spot for date night, atmosphere is relaxing, and they are accommodating to my many food allergies and intolerances (6 to be exact). It's a total plus they're in my neighborhood!


3. Tanuki Sushi — This restaurant is NEW to the Kensington neighborhood. If you love sushi, come here! It may be smart to stay away from sushi rolls because of cross contamination, but Nigiri is a great option. A ball of rice, a smidge of wasabi, with a slice of fresh fish over the top. Their salmon & tuna are fresh and delicious. They will leave sesame seeds off your order and also take precaution for cross contamination. Tamari sauce is offered if requested — which is a naturally gluten free soy sauce.

They also have over 100 saké varieties to choose from and allow you to choose your own hand crafted saké cup which is fun - or if you order a flight - your choice of 3 sakés - they give you a free appetizer and will accommodate your food allergies! If a few pieces of nigiri or sushi rolls do not fill you up, then ordering a side of white rice is a great filler. I personally ask for extra wasabi and douse my rice with it and Tamari sauce as an extra side dish to fill me up.


I rate this place 9 out of 10. This is because my ordering is limited, but it is simple, consistent and always delicious. I continue to go back because it has a chill vibe and I enjoy my meal every time I go. Chiè [restaurant owner & manager] and her husband [owner & sushi chef] are pretty cool too!


I hope those with or without food allergies check these GEMS out. You will not be sorry. 


Safe Eating




True Foods Kitchen

Cucina Sorella

Tanuki Sushi

San Diego, California
Fashion Valley Mall
7007 Friars Road, Suite 394 San Diego, CA 92108

Westfield UTC
4303 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite 2100
San Diego, CA 92122

San Diego, CA
4055 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116 619.281.4014

San Diego, CA
4191 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

(619) 624-0592






















Kansas City/Missouri 






New Jersey


















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