Nut-Free New York (VIDEO)

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!

Day 1

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.

Nutfree snacks

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!

Candytopia Allergen Info

Candytopia Candy

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.

Nom Wah Tea Parlour New York

Long Distance Friends meeting in NY

Day 2

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.

Lunch at the MET - nutfree

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.

Alice's Teacup - Afternoon Tea

Teacups and Teapots - Alice's Teacup

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.

Day 3

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.

Looking at the water at the Statue of Liberty

Chicken Fingers and Fries - Statue of Liberty meal

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!

Cinderella's Castle

Nut-Free Magic Kingdom, Disneyworld!

I was ecstatic to discover that Disneyworld is amazing for allergies. Going on vacation and being on edge and afraid to eat is a horrible feeling. There is always new and interesting food (and sweets) that I want to try; especially at theme parks. But more often than not eating is out of the question when you’re deathly allergic. Below is my Disneyworld Magic Kingdom, Florida food journey.

But before I do anything I need tea (Disneyworld Starbucks). So happy Starbucks has introduced coconut milk!

Starbucks Disneyworld

Cinderella’s Royal TableBreakfast at Cinderella's Table

A few days prior to our visit we went online to get restaurant reservations to discover you apparently have to book these things 180 days in advance (WHAT?!). Luckily we arrive early the Monday morning and there is room at Cinderella’s Castle (we are her special guests). It was the most expensive and magical breakfast I’ve ever had. When you enter the castle you first meet Cinderella; later they usher you upstairs for breakfast.

First of all, the restaurant has an allergy specific menu. Hallelujah! They start breakfast with a tray of pastries, some are Mickey-shaped of course, and I can actually eat them! Do you know how rare that is? I could have just kept eating the pastries, but it came with a full bacon and eggs breakfast as well. You also had coffee/tea and a goblet of juice. The food was actually great and a higher quality than I expected (especially the pastries) and the service was incredible. They were extremely aware of allergies and very attentive.

Cinderella's Breakfast Allergy-Friendly Menu

Nut-free Disneyworld pastries

During breakfast four other princesses circulate and greet you; and they NEVER break character. Totally worth the money!

Cinderella Notebook

Breakfast at Cinderella's Castle

Gaston’s TavernGaston's Cinnamon Bun
I have a cinnamon bun obsession. So when I was researching Magic Kingdom and saw a picture of one at Gaston’s Tavern, I prayed I could eat it. Unlike Cinderella’s Royal Table, Gaston’s is a counter service place, so it isn’t a sit down restaurant. It is dimly lit; but you can sit in Gaston’s chair.

 

When I enquired about the cinnamon bun the server was kind enough to search through the ingredient binder for me…and I could eat it! Oh happy day! This was the biggest cinnamon bun I’ve ever seen; look at it, it is as big as my head. It is a twist on the classic cinnamon bun; there is a caramel syrup throughout it. T and I liked them so much we also took one each to go (bows head in shame).

Mickey StrawT is getting grumpy so we get a drink at the Starlight Cafe. A safe icy drink, complete with Mickey straw.

Tony’s Town Square
By 6:00 p.m. we just wanted to get dinner reservations anywhere. The only sit-down spot available was Tony’s Town Square (the Lady & the Tramp restaurant) at 8:30 p.m. Sadly we missed the parade because we were eating. Like Cinderella’s Castle they had a special allergy-friendly menu. Italian is my favourite food so this was a perfect ending. I got spaghetti and meat balls, so the meal was fairly ordinary, but still good. But, drum roll please….this restaurant serves WINE!Disneyworld Allergy-Friendly menu

Lady and the Tramp Spaghetti and Meatballs

I’m already dreaming of my next Disney adventure. Where did you eat at Disneyworld, any recommendations for my next trip?

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!

Sweet Trolley Bakery

It was a brisk day and the snow was melting. After brunch, my boyfriend, bestie and I walked around the Junction area and what do I spot, but a giant ‘nut-free’ sign in the window. I am attuned to such signs and can always spot them out of the corner of my eye. Sweet Trolley Bakery is right next to Bunners on 3056 Dundas Street West; I’ve never seen two nut-free places right beside one another (it’s like seeing a unicorn)!

SweetTrolley

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I walk through the store suddenly famished! It’s not glamourous inside; but this likely helps to keep prices down. The prices were reasonable and I think they only take cash.  I was so excited and made such a fuss that the owner let me take a photo with the nut free sign.  I bought an assortment of sweets: rhubarb pie, cupcake, cinnamon bun, cannoli and one of every cookie they make. That’s not too much, right? They are famous for their cinnamon buns; but I preferred the rhubarb pie and cannoli. I don’t think I’ve actually ever eaten a cannoli before; I’ve been missing out!

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I will for sure go back here for special occasions; like birthdays and Tuesdays.

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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!

 

DIY Pancake Gift Basket

Valentine’s Day Pancake Gift Basket

I usually hate Valentine’s day; so for the first Valentine’s Day I was with “T” I decided to make it special and sentimental.

For us, making epic breakfasts and chocolate chip pancakes are a weekly occurrence. The first time I ever cooked for him I made B.L.T’s with microwavable bacon. After that he opened my eyes to the wonders of real bacon. We’ve also now moved on to making pancakes from scratch.

The night before Valentine’s Day I gave him the Valentine’s Day Pancake Gift Basket. The items were personal so adjust for the partner.

giftbasketitemsheartpancakes

Basket Supplies

  • pancake mix (Bisquick)
  • maple syrup (being Canadian, the real kind of course!)
  • chocolate chips (Chipits are nut-free)
  • love candle because my tough boyfriend loves Bath & Body Works candles
  • heart cookie cutters
  • bacon cookie which matched the bacon card (Drake General Store)
  • ribbon and cellophane for decoration

On Valentine’s day morning I got up early and cooked breakfast – warning do not cook bacon in lingerie. I used the heart cookie cutters to cut the pancakes after they were made. Then I displayed them nicely on a plate with a garnish of fruit and bacon.
valentinesgift

Tartistry

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I have never been a big fan of tarts; they always seemed boring and nut-filled to me. But as I was buying  a mattress I was happy to stumble upon Tartistry . There are not a lot of cute cafes in Etobicoke; yet alone one that can accommodate a nut allergy AND be gluten-free. They aren’t a nut-free facility; but I ate there without a problem.

The shop is a mixture of cafe and antique/knick-knack shop. It is as if your grandma put all of her cherished belongings on the wall – the kitsch and mismatching is a perfect setting! The owner is also a sweetheart.

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The second time I visited Tartistry I planned my perfect high tea outfit to match the decor.

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tartistry2

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Outfit
Blouse – Jacob (retails stores are sadly now closed)
Cardigan – Jacob Junior (also closed and bought at a vintage show)
Skirt – Forever21 (it has pockets!)
Fishnets from my collection
Pointed Nude Heels – Call it Spring

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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!