So just before COVID-19 started to lock the United States down, I had the chance to travel to New Orleans and try three famous locations in the city. Now that travel is starting to slowly reopen, I thought it would be a great time to share my experiences finding nut-free food in NOLA!
I attended a conference in February with the Kdan Mobile Team. I was also invited to speak on the topic of growing a startup through digital brand building. NOLA is known for its food, and in between the commotion, we had a chance to hit three famous restaurants (Mother's, Café Du Monde, and Commander’s Palace). Overall, I can say every place we went was extremely accommodating of my allergies and I recommend each to anyone with a nut allergy.
Nut Allergy Friendliness: 4/5
The first place we went was Mother’s, who, in addition to claiming the “World’s Best Ham,” could also make a solid case for the world’s best seafood. The only reason their allergy-friendliness rating is lower is because of the heavy use of peanut oil at the establishment. Everything fried was off limits. During the packed lunch hour, it was challenging at first to figure out what was and was not a good option.
In spite of peanut oil being used, I explained my allergy and safely ordered a seafood po boy (substituting grilled shrimp & oyster in place of the standard fried options, thanks to the waiter’s help) that was possibly the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten!
It was so good that it warranted a second trip for breakfast before Day 2 at the conference. That morning, in a more relaxed setting, I talked to the cashier about preparing the creole shrimp omelets using grilled shrimp and keeping it away from anything that touches peanut oil.
They were happy to help, & the result was incredible!
Café Du Monde
Nut Allergy Friendliness: 5/5
If you ask anyone that’s been to New Orleans where to eat, chances are that one of their answers is going to be Café Du Monde. The shop’s history in the French Quarter dates back to the early 1860’s, and amazingly enough, they only have two options on the menu: coffee and beignets (French donuts).
But after going there, it makes sense why they never needed to add anything else! Both were delicious and came to the table almost as fast as our group could order. There were no issues when ordering with a peanut allergy!
Nut Allergy Friendliness: 5/5
If your friend’s first answer to where to eat in New Orleans wasn’t Café Du Monde, then it was probably the Commander’s Palace! Almost every person I told about my upcoming trip told me this was a must—and they weren’t wrong!
The whole atmosphere was very classy, and each course had its own style when it was served. The food did not disappoint! The waitstaff was well-trained on what food contained which allergens and made great recommendations. The only items I was explicitly told to avoid were a few items on the dessert menu.
I enjoyed a great seafood gumbo soup, Cognac Flambéed Wild Shrimp (shrimp served with vegetables and other greens), and bread pudding for dessert. All of it was delicious and will be one of my top answers as well whenever someone asks for recommendations.
Planning a Trip? Check Out Three Great Resources
Traveling with food allergies definitely comes with added layers of difficulty. I always tell people that the best thing you can do is plan things out ahead of time. This means researching restaurants, learning about the food culture wherever you're traveling, and taking other precautions. Here are three other helpful blogs and pages we've published that you might enjoy: