7 Careful Options for the Allergen-Sensitive Eater

Content creator and recipe developer Liz Fetchin takes good care of family members with food sensitivities, which was the inspiration for her allergen-free website, octofree.com. Here she shares with TABLE readers a few delicious, responsive, and responsible Western PA Options.

Off the Hook

908 Warrendale Village Drive, Warrendale
Food allergies, sensitivities, and dietary restrictions are taken very seriously at this upscale restaurant, which has become one of my favorites for special occasions. Your food will come out with an “allergy” dish marker if you indicate that you have one, so you can relax and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere and impressive wine list.

Girasole

733 Copeland Street
This traditional Italian restaurant offers gluten-free pasta as an option for many of their signature dishes, and the atmosphere is romantic. Sit on the patio in the summer months and watch the world go by.

Bella Frutteto Express

2569 Brandt School Road, Wexford
The online ordering process for this pick-up or delivery-only spot includes an entire gluten-free menu, plus food-allergen drop-down menus for each dish so that you can customize your order to accommodate your group’s allergies and sensitivities. The staff will call if they have any questions about your order. Some favorites include the beans and greens and the gluten-free pasta dishes.

Mercurio’s

Fox Chapel and Shadyside
Mercurio’s offers the best gluten-free, wood-fired pizza crust in town (although if you have celiac disease, this may not be the best option, since the pizzas are fired in the same ovens as the conventional ones), and there’s usually a dairy-free sorbetto on offer for dessert.

Soergel Orchards

2573 Brandt School Road, Wexford
This farm’s sprawling campus is worth a visit if you’re in the North Hills, especially if you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions. There’s an entire shop, called Naturally Soergel’s, dedicated to allergen-free foods, a sandwich counter where you can request gluten-free bread, produce grown on-site, and Arsenal Cider, a cider house that creates gluten-free ciders and sorbets.

DiAnoia’s Eatery

2549 Penn Avenue
At this friendly, traditional Italian spot in the heart of the Strip District, you can order any pasta dish gluten-free, and there are many dairy-free sauce options and delicious, fresh salads on offer. Be sure to check out the bakery case as well, where you’ll regularly find gluten-free cookies, cakes, and other delicious sweets.

Mediterra

Sewickley, Mt Lebanon, Lawrenceville
Mediterra’s fresh, gluten-free bread is some of the best we’ve ever tasted, and you can find items such as gluten-free oat waffles, farm-fresh salad bowls, and seasonal cocktails made with local distillery Boyd & Blair’s gluten-free potato vodka on the menu.

Story by Liz Fetchin / Photography by Dave Bryce

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