Travelling with allergies always brings on a bit of anxiety, even if you aren’t travelling far. I was so excited to go to New York for the first time, I can’t believe I’d never been. The flight is barely one and a half hours, and I wasn’t going to let my nut allergy interfere. Let me take you on my NY food journey, see the vlog and descriptions below!
I always bring my own snacks on flights to ensure I have something I can eat – you never know if the airport will have safe snacks. When travelling you’re sometimes not sure when you’ll get to eat again so having emergency bites is a must for me. The early morning meal consisted of: Made Good apple cinnamon granola bites, Joseph’s Nutless Clusters (they are chocolate coconut bites), Bear Paw cookies and tea. I also had chips and juice on the plane – I admit not the most balanced meal.
I made the long trip from Newark to New York and was starving by the time I arrived – I expected traffic, but was shocked by the extent of it. Luckily we had all our meals planned that day – my friend made reservations for lunch and dinner and was sweet enough to call and ask about allergies for me – so the restaurants were prepared for my requests. For lunch we went to Fig and Olive (808 Lexington Ave), which was nut-friendly, not nut-free. I shared flatbreads and had a burger and green salad for my main. I was so hungry anything would have tasted amazing – but the burger was juicy and salad had a great dressing.
My must-do in NY was to visit Candytopia (145 W 32nd St) an amazing candy playground/art experience. This isn’t exactly the healthiest meal, but they of course had candy samples throughout and the allergy information was stellar! Each sweet had pictures and very clear labels on everything, and since it was almost all sugar I didn’t have an issue eating anything. I ran around like a kid taking pictures, rolling around in confetti and getting high on sugar. This was one of my highlights – it was so much fun!
Then we headed to Chinatown to eat at Nom Wah Tea Parlour, although this place looked like a hole in the wall it was the best meal I had on the trip. It was up a slight hill in a dark alleyway which was littered with people, there was a line outside for the restaurant – thank goodness for reservations. We we sat down they already knew about my nut allergy – we shared everything family-style without an issue. I don’t remember everything we ate, but I’m still thinking about their pork-stuffed buns and soup dumplings.
I could have wandered around the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) by myself for hours and been completely happy. I ate my own snacks and a banana from Starbucks in the morning. Unfortunately the first cafe we went to inside the MET did not have ingredients for anything, so I could only eat an apple and potato chips – not a great experience. After the first snack I needed a real meal desperately and we found the cafeteria in the basement. I ordered the kids meal (the first thing I could see that I could eat). Vegetable pasta with garlic and olive oil (which was actually pretty good) banana, juice and chocolate chip nut-free/gluten-free cookies.
After the MET we wandered around some stores and looked for a place to eat. To my joy we passed Alice’s Teacup – which has always been on my NY to-do list. It is an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea shop. If you know me, you know I live for afternoon tea. The place was nut-friendly and didn’t use nuts in their scones – such bliss. They provided the classic three-tiered afternoon tea experience: mini sandwiches (BLT and salmon), cookies and cake and of course scones and clotted cream. We had tea for three and I was thrilled to take the leftovers home.
The tea experience was pretty filling, so after that I walked to Times Square, had a glass of prosecco and a few more bites of scone.
For breakfast and snacks throughout the day I ate my leftovers from Alice’s Teacup (thankfully they were generous). On the last day we went to the Statue of Liberty and healthy food was not to be found. I ate one of the only things they said I could eat: chicken fingers and fries. It’s so annoying that the US doesn’t seem to use plum sauce; I had to use BBQ. I also found a nut-free cookie. I wasn’t allowed to bring the cookie up the statue so I had to leave it on the security desk – thinking it wouldn’t be there when I came back. But when I got down it was still there and I was so happy! After the heavy food and walking around I ate my snacks from home until the off-broadway play I arranged. In the evening I met a friend for a drink and had mini-sliders.
I am now itching to go back to New York and explore the city more. Do you have any nut-free New York recommendations?
Note: All allergy sufferers know before you eat you must always ask about ingredients. Please take my reviews as information only; never forget to ask your server about ingredients before you eat. Happy nut-free snacking!