Going out to eat with a serious food allergy can be really tricky. You basically have to trust that a total stranger is going to prepare your meal without cross-contamination — while they're working in a very busy restaurant kitchen. It's a little nerve-wracking, and it can scare you from eating out anywhere new if you don't know exactly what to expect. This gets even worse when you're traveling somewhere new or to a place where you don't speak the language very well. Suddenly, you don't only have to worry about gluten ingredients sneaking into your meal, but you also have to worry that your server and the cook understand exactly what you're saying.
Luckily, there are a few apps out there made exactly for this problem. There are some apps that highlight gluten-free food options should use every time they travel (and, actually, even when they're at home going out to eat). A simple look through your phone can reveal all of the information you need for a safe and delicious meal, whether you're looking for a restaurant that has gluten-free options, trying to figure out which menu item in a fast food place is safe for you to eat, or buying food from a grocery store. Basically, these apps will be a total lifesaver when you're traveling!
Though Googling is always an option, these apps make things so much more convenient and puts the information right at your fingertips, with barely any work required. There's no need to stress when you're on vacation, especially when you download these!
AllergyEats is for many allergies, but gluten-free is included. The app allows you to read about the real experiences people have had in restaurants to find one that works the best for you. You can find allergy-friendly restaurants across the United States, search for specific restrictions, search for specific locations or your current locations, and even make reservations through the app with OpenTable. Download it on iTunes or Google Play.
Gluten Free Restaurant Cards
Visiting a country where you don't speak the language? You don't have to worry about a miscommunication with this app. There are images of restaurant cards in more than 40 different languages that can be shown to a server, chef, or manager to make sure they know exactly what you need. You can download it on iTunes.
The Gluten Free Scanner
Going shopping? This app is helpful whether you're traveling or not. The Gluten Free Scanner has a database of foods and drink products within the United States that detect the presence of gluten. If you want to find out if a product is GF, don't study the ingredients — just scan it with your phone and this app will tell you. There are over 500,000 products, and you can also access dining and travel cards when you're traveling abroad. Download it on iTunes or Google Play.
Traveling specifically to Australia or New Zealand? Then this Coeliac Australia app is definitely one you'll want to have on hand. It will help you learn which ingredients are safe for you to eat and which aren't, and you'll find a huge list of common Australian food ingredients you may have never heard of. Download it on iTunes or Google Play.
Celihack Gluten Free Restaurants Guide for Celiacs
This is another app that helps you find GF-friendly restaurants, no matter where you are. Download it to find restaurants with GF menu options and read reviews from other people who ate there and have celiac disease. It makes searching so much easier. Download this on Google Play.
iEatOut Gluten & Allergen Free
This app from Allergy Free Passport is a must-have. It lets you pick from different allergens, including gluten, and then you can look through the ingredients list from various sample ethnic and international restaurant menus to see what you can eat. It just doesn't include specific restaurant menu information, so make sure you speak to your waiter. You can download it on iTunes.
iCanEat Gluten-Free Fast Food
If you're trying to get something at a fast food restaurant, download this app from Allergy Free Passport. It has a list of the GF items from 45 major fast food chains and allows you to choose multiple major allergens to exclude. You can download it on iTunes.