How to Eat Safely with Food Allergies in the Coastal Bend


It’s difficult eating with food allergies. It’s especially difficult eating at restaurants.

Whether you’re at a diner, ballgame, or concert, 90% of getting together with friends and family is eating. And even if that weren’t the case, it’s nice not to have to cook now and then. Food allergies put a real damper on those plans. It can be frustrating and isolating. So whether you’re an allergy sufferer who’s a Coastal Bend native or a visitor to the area, I thought I’d share our family’s experiences and lessons learned for eating out with food allergies in the Corpus Christi area.

Tips for Eating Out with Food Allergies in the Coastal Bend:

  1. Call Ahead. Some restaurants are really accommodating. Others have told us, which I appreciate, that they don’t feel they can safely meet our family’s dietary needs. Either way, it helps to call and find out before you show up.
  2. Ask for a Manager. Your server means well, but lots of people help prepare food in a restaurant. Talk to a manager about your food allergies. It helps to have another person looking out for your family’s safety.
  3. Blame it on Your Kids. Just kidding. Kinda. Since Corpus Christi isn’t as allergy aware as larger cities, I sometimes feel like people thing we’re unreasonable or acting like hypochondriacs when mentioning food allergies. However, most times, people really do want you to have a great dining experience. So speak up and let them know about your food allergies! And because everyone loves being helpful when kids are involved, don’t be afraid to stress your concern for their safety too!
  4. Have a Backup Plan. I cannot tell you how many times we have planned on eating out only to learn we can’t eat what’s being offered. Prepare something easy or keep snack bars in the car so that, worst case, you can have something to eat while everyone around you enjoys a nice hot meal.


Corpus Christi Area Restaurants that Accommodate Food Allergies

I’m really sad to say this. Although I LOVE Mexican food, I’ve yet to find a taqueria that safely meets our family’s food allergy needs. That said, we do have some great local options you can try. These are a few places our family has had luck with. Most of the restaurants listed below have food allergy menus. However, it’s also important to always be mindful of the possibility of cross contamination, especially if you have food allergies that are uncommon or difficult to avoid. A restaurant saying they are gluten free or allergy friendly is no guarantee.

BJ’s Brewhouse

5037 S Padre Island Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78411

BJ’s has a pretty extensive allergy menu and numerous options for those with allergies.


4946 S Staples St.
Corpus Christi, TX 78411

4741 S Padre Island Dr
Corpus Christi, TX 78411

Chick-fil-a does have an allergy free menu. Our diets are pretty limited, but we can eat their waffle fries!

Fynn Nikki’s


Fynn Nikki’s is a local in-home bakery the owner started after her daughter was diagnosed with gluten and dairy food sensitivities.

Ginger Cafe

7009 S. Staples St.
Corpus Christi, TX 78413

Ginger Cafe is a Mediterranean and South Asian Grill that offers a number of delicious gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian options.

Jason’s Deli

1416 Airline Rd
Corpus Christi, Texas 78412

5325 Saratoga Blvd
Corpus Christi, Texas 78413

Jason’s Deli has gluten free menu options for adult and even gluten free kid menu items!

Longhorn Steakhouse

5488 S Padre Island Dr
Corpus Christi, TX 78411

If our family is eating out, we’re probably here. Longhorn has an extensive allergen menu and a variety of dishes to chose from, depending on your needs. It’s also pretty safe to get a salad or steak seasoned with only salt and pepper and easy healthy sides like plain broccoli and sweet potato.

Macaroni Grill

5133 S Padre Island Dr
Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

I recently called Macaroni Grill to see if they could accommodate food allergies. The staff was very willing to help and assured me they would help find a safe alternative once we arrived. Unfortunately, my son got sick, so we didn’t end up making dinner. However, I do hope to try Macaroni Grill very soon!

McAliser’s Deli

5801 Saratoga Blvd, Bldg A
Corpus Christi, TX 78414

1704 US Hwy 181
Portland, TX 78374

McAllister’s has the most user friendly allergy menu I’ve seen. On their website, you can check allergens you need to avoid. They’ll display only the options that are safe for you to eat.

P.F. Chang’s

P.F. Chang’s has a good allergy menu. They even serve gluten free meals on a special plate so you know they are prepared correctly. However, menu offerings are especially limited if you are trying to avoid soy.

5488 S Padre Island Dr., Suite 5001
Corpus Christi, TX 78411

Republic of Texas Bar & Grill

900 North Shoreline Boulevard
Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

Republic of Texas does not have an allergy menu, but since many of their items are made to order, they can accommodate food allergies. They have always prepared our meals safely. Republic of Texas is one of our go to restaurants for special occasions like anniversaries.

Rudy’s BBQ

6101 South Padre Island Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78412

Rudy’s has an allergy menu, which is very helpful, because some ingredients show up where you’d least expect. We recently learned some meats are cooked with egg, which is a big “no go” for our toddler.


4102 S. Staples St.
Corpus Christi, TX

My family recently tried eating at Wallbangers because my dad loves it. Prior to showing up, we called ahead and told management our concerns. When we arrived, they were really helpful and cooked our food separately to help avoid cross contamination. We were really happy and impressed that they took our concerns so seriously.

Still uncertain about eating out in the Coastal Bend? Consider prepping your own meals. HEB, Sprouts, and Natural Grocers all offer allergy friendly products you can use to cook food that’s safe for you and your family.

Does your family have food allergies? Where do you recommend eating out?


  1. Thank you for this amazing list of local restaurants that cater to food allergies! We have always had a great experience at Bellino’s…they offer gluten free pasta and they’re always super careful about the dairy.

Comments are closed.