Whether you live in Portland or are here visiting, if you have a child with a nut allergy, going out to eat can be stressful. We asked local parents who have children with nut allergies what their favorite “safe” restaurants are. We then reached out to those restaurants to see what their practices are or, if their website was sufficiently clear, we relied on that.
The following restaurants responded, detailing their allergy-friendly practices. We are including the restaurant’s responses below so you can gauge your comfort with the restaurant’s practices.
Below that list, you’ll find a list of the restaurants that were recommended to us as allergy-friendly, but the restaurants did not respond. We cannot confirm that these are allergy-friendly, but we can confirm that others have had good experiences with them.
This is meant to be a guide to you. Please double check the menus to see if they have changed, and get in touch with the restaurants directly to confirm that they are currently nut allergy friendly.
Chipotle. Chipotle does not use peanuts or tree nuts. However, they do not guarantee the absence of these allergens in all of its restaurants. (Info pulled from its website)
Dickey’s BBQ Pit. Dickey’s has a clearly-labeled allergen chart. Other than the pecan pie, Dickey’s does not have tree nuts in their restaurants. There are no food items with peanuts on the menu. Items manufactured in a plant containing an allergen are clearly labeled. (Info pulled from its website.)
Mod’s Pizza. There are no nuts in Mod’s ingredients list. Ingredients that are known to be manufactured in a facility that processes nuts are marked on the allergy menu with a special designation. (Info pulled from its website.)
Wow! Burger. “We do NOT have ANY peanut/tree nut products in ANY of our locations, this is one of the commitments we made as we were first beginning and have stuck with it throughout the years.”
Red Robin. “Red Robin does not have any peanut ingredients in our restaurants however, we do have almonds and coconut. We do have a program that anytime an allergen alert comes through that the allergen kit must be pulled out, and the meal must be prepared on the allergen cutting board using only the allergen tools. Once the meal is prepared and plated it shall be marked with a purple allergen marker to identify the meal as an allergen prepared meal. The kit, cutting board and tools then must be washed, sanitized and dried before it shall be used again. Each restaurant must always have 2 kits on hand (they can have more but must have a minimum of 2).”
Cheesecake Factory. “We have many items on our menu such as salads, burgers, and dinner entrees that are or can be adapted to nut-free diets however, it is important for you to know that we use peanuts and other nuts throughout our restaurant, and do not maintain separate cooking or baking facilities. Nuts are stored side by side with non-nut products in our bakery, food preparation areas and storage areas, therefore we cannot guarantee against the unintentional or unforeseen cross-contamination of ingredients. We are happy to take extra precautions such as pre-washing dining and preparation utensils and having a manager oversee the preparation of your meal, however, this is not an absolute safeguard because of fine particles inherent to handling nuts. Should you decide to dine with us, please inform a manager of the allergy so that the manager can be directly involved.”
Bamboo Sushi. (Locations in SE, SW, NE and NW) “We are not 100% nut-free; one of our desserts has a small amount of peanut butter in it (our house-made S’More; it has peanut butter in the graham cracker). [Their other two desserts do not have nuts but have ingredients that are manufactured in a facility that does contain nuts.] We do not have a specific designated “Nut-free” space, but we take allergies extremely seriously here. Severe nut allergies are always something we make everyone in the restaurant aware of. Food is prepared on cleaned/sanitized cutting boards and there is extremely minimal chance of cross-contamination since there is only one dessert with nut in it. Desserts are prepared at a separate station from all our sushi and hot kitchen food, and the graham crackers themselves are prepared earlier in the morning before service, so the peanut better is never actively near cooking during service. For all food allergies we indicate the allergy on the ticket as well as place a special marker on the plate to indicate which dish has special modifications (at the sushi bar, for example, we put a wasabi “star” on a plate that has allergens/modifications).”
Boke Bowl. (1200 NW 18th and 1028 SE Water St.) “The only nuts we have are peanuts in the PBJ steam buns, which are made on a separate cutting board and separate utensils. Depending on the season, we have nuts in our seasonal salad. . . . Again, the salad will be dressed in a separate bowl. No other nut products are used.”
Yama Sushi. (2038 SE Clinton and 926 NW 10th Ave.) “We don’t use any peanut and nut products.”
Pollo Norte. (5427 NE 42nd Ave.) “We do not serve any peanuts or tree-nuts at our shop. We do use annato seed.”
The Brooklyn House. (5427 NE 42nd Ave.) Peanuts: We are a 100% peanut-free house, so there are no cross-contamination concerns what-so-ever. Tree Nuts: We do have hazelnuts in the house that we add to 2 different salads and that’s it. We don’t cook them or put them into any cooked dishes, and we keep them in a sealed disposable plastic zip bag. The chefs put on a plastic glove to reach into the bag for the nuts and remove the glove after each use. When someone tells us they have a nut allergy, we alert the chefs and they take heightened care. Having said all that, I do consider us “nut-safe” in the unequivocal way that we are “peanut-safe.” Dietary specifications are basically our thing. For us, restrictions on dairy, egg, nightshades, allium, etc are a walk in the park for us. We can also handle it when our guests have only a short list of foods they CAN eat; in those cases we like to have a day or two to make sure we can make it nice for them. . . . We are a family place and . . . we combine nutritional specifications with conscious ingredients to make delicious, simple comfort food at the most afford prices we can manage.”
Mother’s Bistro. (212 SW Stark St.) “We are not peanut/tree nut free. The only peanut product we have on hand on a regular basis is peanut butter. We do use tree nuts, and keep them in closed containers until used. We do not have a dedicated nut-free cooking space, but when someone says they have an allergy we take extra precautions to clean off the cooking and prep areas being used so there is no possibility of contamination. We don’t have “special practices,” but we take allergies very seriously (when they are mentioned), and it is always noted when placing orders with our kitchen.”
The Whole Bowl. (Locations in SE and NW) “We are entirely nut-free and because we only sell 1 item, it’s easy to maintain our lack of nuttiness. We have no nuts on-site and nary a nut comes across our kitchens.”
Corbett Fish House
Oyatsupan. (16025 SW Regatta Ln, Beaverton) Oyatsupan uses coconut for espresso drinks but is otherwise nut free. There are no peanuts or peanut products. “We are [a] scratch bakery and all products are my original recipe which does not include any tree nut ingredients. We don’t have any tree nut ingredient[s] in our bakery. Also no ingredient claiming ‘the product is made in the same production line which contains tree nut’ either.”
If you have a favorite that’s not on this list, please let us know so we can make this a great resource for all families with nut allergies! This list will be updated as we hear from additional restaurants.