Massachusetts-Safe Restaurants?

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Hi, just moved to the area outside of Boston..are there any other "Mass" people on the boards, and if so could you reccomend the restaurants and places you have had good luck with for your PA/TNA?

many thanks

On Mar 17, 2008

We have safely eaten at several Bertucci restaurants, but usually the one in Newton Corner.

Cafe Nicholas on Beacon St. will let you read the ingredients on everything. We haven't been there in a year, but I don't recall anything with nuts there except some deserts that are made elsewhere. The owner is a very nice guy and very helpful. We have eaten pizza and pasta with tomato sauce there.

Pappa Razzi in Wellesley was very accommodating,

Pappa Gino's in Watertown on Watertown St. and on Rte 9 near Natick, and on Needham St. in Newton.

There is a post under Boston restaurants for a fancier restaurant downtown...can't recall the name, but would like to try it sometime,

There is also a post about Poulette or Poulet in the Prudential Mall. I have never eaten there, but there is a posting on here about it

The Sabarro pizza in the Natick Mall is safe.

At the New England Aquarium the hamburgers are steamed not grilled so no problem with cross contamination from anything on the grill. We safely eat the pizza and french fries there. They do have pbj sandwiches there that are pre-made there in the AM and wrapped in cellophane. They are trying to be more allergy conscious but have a long way to go to trim the peanut/nut choices of candy around and some peanut sauce entrees. They will give you ingredient info. They serve vanilla and chocolate soft serve ice cream which is safe. I recently called the manufacturer. It is made by Garelick Farms. Regular Garelick Farms ice cream is cross contaminated, but soft serve is not. My son has eaten the pizza, fries, ice cream, and hamburgers w/o the roll for years without incident.

There is a bakery on commonwealth and center st called Bondavi that is peanut free. There are some posts here about it as well.

Kellies nutfree candy is in Woburn or Wilmington...and you can pick up your order or have it mailed.

There is also a store called Chocolate Truffle, I think, in Reading that carries nutty candy, but they also have a cabinet and display of Vermont nutfree choclate

One more...Newtonville pizza on walnut st. in newtonville also has peanut/tree nut free pizza and other food...we have only had the pizza. They do have some deserts from other supplier that have nuts.

Vinny T's and Chucky Cheese on Rte 9 near Natick may still be peanut free or very accommodating. Haven't been in a long time.

There is a Bugaboo Creek in Watertown near Arsenal Mall. We have never gone, but I have heard it is safe or accomodating.

We also go to Wendy's on Rte 9 near Natick. My son has the chocolate frosty, baked potato, chicken nuggets, or hamburger including the roll and ketchup.

[This message has been edited by falcon (edited September 10, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by falcon (edited Septemb

On Mar 19, 2008

Thanks Falcon!!!

I will be sure to check these out, and also add to my list of "safe and comfortable" places that I find in my travels.

On Mar 20, 2008

Legal Sea Foods is excellent. They will actually shut down the grill and clean it to be sure there is no x-contamination. The servers know their stuff, too.

And of course, Blue Ginger (Ming Tsai's restaurant) His son has several severe FA's, so that is how the restaurant is run. The servers are vigilant about it!

On Mar 20, 2008

I LOVE Blue Ginger...unfortch, getting there with the little one is sometimes a hassle..haha

On Mar 22, 2008

I wish I was we could go to blue ginger, but my son is airborne sensitive to nuts and peanuts. Is yours? Do you eat there or just bring food home?

A new pizza and sandwich shop opened in west newton, exit 16 just off the turnpike. It is called Parrot Pizza. The manager was very helpful and let me read the ingredients on everything in the store! There are some cakes with nuts, but these are from somewhere else and cut in a different part of the kitchen. His staff is trained in food handling including allergies. I am in the process of calling a few manufacturer's that he uses for some of the premade frozen foods to double check their labeling for peanut and nuts, plus I also need to check on sesame and poppy. He does not have any of these on the premises.

We have eaten the pizza there so far.

On Mar 26, 2008

We just discovered Chipotle Mexican Grill and my son loves it! I guess it may be considered a fast food restaurant, but we like the burritos and fajitas. There is a Chipotle on Beacon Street in Cleveland Circle, and one in Dedham (Providence Highway?) near the Super Stop and Shop and Dick's Sports Store.

On Apr 1, 2008

are your north of town or south of town?

We eat at the 99 restaurants all the time.. they are very aware ( at least the few differento ne we have gone too). They do have a fe wnew things onthe menu that have cashews ( salad) and a one dessert that had PB. but the childrens menu is safe. and the pop corn is made with veg oil.


On Apr 2, 2008

Hi, I am acutally west of town in Hopkinton, but the drive is not bad at all.

On Sep 12, 2008

Stockyard Steakhouse in Brighton, MA was allergy friendly. The chef and other staff were really helpful. They have few if any foods that contain nuts. The chef assured me that the kitchen was set up to prevent cross contamination. I called and spoke to him before arriving. He told me to specifically tell the waitress that he would prepare my son's meal. He had steak and a baked potato.

On Sep 13, 2008

Also, the Red Robin chain is pretty good. They have allergen menus for the big 8 allergens and a policy of having the manager involved in following allergic customer's meals. There are a few locations in Massachusetts, Wareham, Foxboro, etc.

On Oct 10, 2008

Hi, We live between Hopkinton and Marlborough- we eat at the Chateau on RT9 in westborough, Papa Ginos in Westboro & marlboro, China Taste in Marlboro, The 99 restaurants(but not with the new menu yet!!) Chin Due on rt 9 in the house but my little guy did not want try anything, Pleasant pizza in Marlboro. Sergio restuarant in Marlboro. The Olive Garden in Marlboro,Bertucci's in both Marlboro & Westborough but it has been awhile my guy loves the rolls. JP"s in Westborough so affordable!!!!! We dont eat at UNO"S pizzeria THEY SERVE PEANUT CRUSTED FRIED CHICkEN and we did not trust them. Vinny T in shrewsbury but its been awhile 6months. I still try to eat in more than before because I trust myself more the some one else and my ds eats better at home. Good luck . Deb

On Oct 13, 2008

My son is airborne allergic as well. Blue Ginger does not serve nuts at all. Ming Tsai will not serve them because of his PA son. I think it would be very safe.

By Laifong on Feb 28, 2009

Hi, Blackers Bakery (formerly Bodavi Bakers) in Newton is still advertising itself as nut free and dairy free. I spoke to the owner who confirmed that they don't use any nuts and that they also don't use anything with a "may contain" warning. They do use sesame and poppy seeds, and I think I saw something with coconut.

By jenniferbfab on Mar 2, 2009

I hear mixed things about Blackers.
I know one person who buys their water challah every week for their egg allergic child and it works great for them. I received a message from a Food Allergy Buzz reader saying that her child ate a cookie from there and had a reaction. When she contacted Blackers, she reports that they checked the package (I think she said it was choc chips) and it was a "may contains". I visited there once and did not see any signs or any mention of it being nut free, though the Boston Globe mentioned it. Here is the link to the Globe's article:
I am not sure what to think about Blackers yet. It does seem that Cakes for Occasions (Danvers) and A & J Bakery (RI) are more focused on the nut-free thing. My impression (could be wrong!) is that Blackers is not nut-free by design but more by coincidence or happenstance.

By Mom2K on Jun 22, 2009

I'd ask at your Bertucci's again. My DD is peanut/tree nut and egg allergic and we eat at Bertucci's all the time because we've been assured that there are no nuts in sauce, pizza etc.

I don't think they even have nuts for the salad. I think one or two desserts might have nuts but those are made elsewhere.

I believe someone in NH died several years ago after eating their pesto (or maybe they had pine nuts in the red sauce), and they stopped having nuts around. Of course, ask your local Bertucci's.

By BestAllergySites on Mar 18, 2009

Welcome to the Massachusetts burbs Newallergymom! I'm very familiar with Hopkinton, use to live in Framingham and am now up on 495 in the Bolton/Stow area.

Unfortunately there isn't a lot out this way. There is Marlboro as others have suggested. Worcester might be a good option for you. And then Framingham would more than likely be the best given the amount of choices.

I have to put a vote in for Blue Ginger as well. I have a 6 and 4.5 yr old and they were surprisingly family friendly. We did an early dinner on a Sat night. Most couples don't eat out till 7. It was all families when we went. They made a special order dish of salmon, mashed potatoes, and green beans for my allergic son.

I have had pretty good luck with chain restaurants as well as long as we order something pretty safe and generic.

I don't know if things have changed but Bertucci's used to put pine nuts in their red sauce. A woman once had a reaction. We only get their Silano pizza which is a white sauce pizza.

I'd stay away from Melting Pot. They couldn't give me a firm answer on any of their ingredients.

Being in the burbs, we really don't eat out that much with the kids anymore.

Good luck!

By jenniferbfab on Mar 19, 2009

I must add that I have mixed feelings about Red Robin now. We went to the one in Foxboro and they were very discombobulated. My son had something off of the peanut allergy menu and ended up getting hives around his mouth. Maybe other locations are more with it,

By MissBoston on Mar 19, 2009

Hi Newallergymom, I'm from the Upton/Mendon area and went to school in Framingham. I have a severe peanut allergy and I can honestly say that I haven't had any serious incidents while eating out. (Which we do a lot) I've never had a problem with Bertucci's, although sometimes they have peas in their sauce. Another good restaurant, (which sometimes has beans on their menu, they change seasonally) is Tomasso's in Southboro, off of Rt. 9. Being in the Hopkinton area, there's Fresco's in Mendon, their prices aren't bad, it's a little towny and small, but very decent food. Across the street from there is Alicante, which I only when to once, its Meditteranean, so I'd be cautious. There's also a new Chipotle in Framingham in Shopper's World! What I would suggest to you, is get an opentable account, ( ) and if you know you are going out to dinner, you can find restaurants in the area, and look at their websites to see their menus. You can also make reservations on line, which turn into points...and help earn free meals!!! Have you ever heard of Mike's Pastries?! Also, if you are as addicted to Dunks as I am, always check your order when you get it before giving it to your kids!!! Good Luck!

By Mom2K on Jun 22, 2009

I'm going to put in my two cents with resaurants that we find to be allergy friendly:

Legal's Seafoods (We've been to Copley Place and Chestnut Hill in the past few months). Inform your waiter and they will check for you, typically the manager brings out the food and assures us it is allegen free

Bertucci's - I buy their pizza dough (and ask for rolls) and we eat there all the time. We've been assured there are no nuts/nut oils in the restaurant, aside from a few desserts that are made elsewhere. My DD eats pizza/pasta/salad/rolls without issue

Charley's in Chestnut Hill - they were very allergy aware/accomodating. I informed the waitress and she also sent the manager over. The manager came back to tell me the scoop on the bread for the grilled cheese etc. We were comfortable eating there.

Cafe Nicolas for pizza (Newton Center and Brookline).

I've also heard Blue Ginger is fantastic in regards to allergies. I've been there without my DD (4 years old) and if I thought she'd eat a meal there I'd go there ;)

I'm going to try Papa Razzi and Joe's American Bar and Grill next since they are owned by the same parent co. as Charley's.

By Mom2K on Jun 24, 2009

Thanks for checking. I'll send an e-mail via their "comments" section and call Corporate this week.

The response I got from the Norwood manager was disturbing but inconsistent with others so I'm going to call again this week and ask and see what they say.

I wish all "chain" restaurants would have the same training etc so the responses would be consistent. It's frustrating and nervewracking!

I'll post what I find.

By jenniferbfab on Jun 24, 2009

I am sorry, I cannot find the email from Bertucci's! So frustrating, because I remember thinking how uncaring the response was. I may have deleted it out of sheer frustration. The response was something to the effect of Bertucci's not being able to guarantee the safety of anything. I felt it was curt and seemed uncaring.

I suppose it wouldn't hurt to email again and see if we get a different response...

Jennifer B

By Mom2K on Jun 24, 2009

Jennifer, do you mind sharing what info you got?

OK, I just called the three I frequent the most to double check.

Norwood - the manager told me that there ARE peanuts in the cheesecake (made offsite) AND the PESTO. I'm surprised to hear about the pesto, he didn't seem that sure of what he was talking about. I called back to talk with the "carry out" area and asked if the pesto had any nuts/peanuts in it and they said no.

West Roxbury - The manager checked the pesto ingredients and told me there were NO peanuts or pinenuts in it.

Needham - The manager told me that the cheesecake has peanuts but the pesto has NO nuts/peanuts.

ETA: Atrium Mall - best response yet, manager sounded very confident and knowledgable. He said the only item that has nuts is the desserts, made elsewhere and most dont have nuts but could be cross-contaminated (sounded like he understood). He said the pesto is pinenut free. Red sauce only has soybean oil.

Now I'm a bit nervous. If I go again, I'm going to ask to see the pesto ingredients. I scanned the menu and don't see any peanuts or nuts specifically mentioned on the menu (salads etc.)

I've felt really safe there in the past (eat there at least once a month) and I hope it's still OK, I'll be double checking when I go in.

I always mention the nut allergy and the servers never really say much about it. They definitely don't have the same procedure as other places (having manager speak with you etc.) but I sort of felt it was because they don't really have nuts in the kitchen based on previous discussions. I'll have to quiz them again when we go (incidentally we were planning on it tonight but now I'm still nervous - we were going to go to Norwood).

Anyway, I guess this stresses the fact one should always check themselves!

By jenniferbfab on Jun 22, 2009

It's interesting about Bertucci's. I live closest to the one in Canton, MA, and neither the restaurant nor Bertucci's HQ gave me a very reassuring answer re: peanuts/nuts, so we avoid it. I am sure it varies from location to location, like so many chain restaurants. I must admit, though, before we knew about my son's allergy, we ate there every once in a while and never had a problem.

Jennifer B

By Mom2K on Jun 24, 2009

I agree 100%, definitely check EVERY time you go somewhere.

On another note we went to Joe's American Bar and Grill in Dedham tonight. We had a great experience.

We informed the waitress of DD's peanut/treenut allergy. She sent over the manager who went over what she recommended DD could and couldn't eat. She brought me the ingredient lists of the bread they serve at the table (in the breadbasket) no nut warning on it.

DD really wanted fries. The manager checked with the kitchen because she felt that so many things go into the fryer she doesn't recommend the fries. The chef offered to fry DD her own batch of fries in a clean pan with fresh oil.

The manager steered us away from grilled cheese because she said the sliced bread all says it's made in a facility with nuts present.

I felt they were very knowledgabe and careful. The manager brought her meal to the table.

By BestAllergySites on Jun 24, 2009

I think this entire thread goes to show you that there is NO such thing as a safe restaurant. The only thing you can do is try to make a best choice and be sure to discuss your allergies with the wait staff. ALWAYS discuss your allergies and never assume regardless of whether a restaurant (like Blue Ginger) is known for being safe.

That being said- a lot of people do not know what pine nuts are or that they are in products so you really need to double check on that one.

Lastly-while you can make pesto without pine nuts-many, many recipes call for pine nuts.

Oh-and we have gone to Tomasso's too and love it! But not with the kiddos often-it's more of a night out for DH and I. :)

By Mom2K on Jun 24, 2009


Here is a link to an article regarding the Bertucci's law suit due to a death of a woman who ate the pesto and was not told it contained nuts. Because of this incident, one would think they would be better at food allergy issues.

ETA: The incident was in 1994

By Mom2K on Jun 25, 2009

I've spent way too much time talking to Bertucci's ;)

I called Norwood again today and spoke with a different person who seemed much more knowledgable than yesterday's individual. He stated the cheesecake contains nuts and all the desserts "are at risk for being contaminated" with nuts since they are made elsewhere in a "facility that processes nuts". Pesto is definitely nut free. No loose nuts in the restaurant.

He also told me that I could request that the server use a "sanitized" cutter to cut our pizza.

I called Corporate and spoke with Jody (I think). She confirmed that all Bertucci's use the same ingredients. No nuts in the restaurant for salads but the desserts may contain nuts since they are made elsewhere. The pesto is nut free. She did say something like, "we can't guarantee the restaurant is nut free because of the desserts". I felt that was sort of a CYA comment. We don't eat the desserts there so I'm not too worried about those.

Just to be 100% crazy, I'm going to send them an e-mail asking about their "nut policy"

So I feel a little better about Bertuccis. I'll continue to grill them everytime I go there and push the issue even if I sound like a broken record.

DISCLAIMER: I encourage anyone considering to eat at any restaurant to ask EVERY time about allergens you are concerned about since it could change from restaurant to restaurant or time to time.

By jenniferbfab on Jun 25, 2009

Oh, those CYA statements. I remember one time when we ate at McCormick & Schmick in Philadelphia, the chef came out and spoke with us and said (in essence) "I will personally make your son's meal and supervise it from start to finish myself. I can assure you it will be safe. It will not contain any peanuts or peanut products or come into contact with any." I'd like to get that kind of reassurance instead of "We can't guarantee anything." I know that is asking a lot, sure does make the dining out experience much less stressful for me!

But getting back to Bertucci's, you should feel good--you've certainly done your due diligence. All we can do is ask and then assess the answers we get. Sounds like Bertucci's is staying on the safe list!

Jennifer B

By TracyC on Jan 1, 2010

We eat at Bertucci's a lot, no problems so far.

We also eat at the Border Cafe on Rt 1 in Saugus frequently. I feel comfortable enough eating there. I tell them our allergies (PA, TA and shellfish) and they tell the chef.

They certainly don't guarantee anything, but we've had no problem so far.

Those are about the only two places we go to with the kids. That, and we get a lot of takeout pizza from a local pizza place place that uses nuts on top of one of its salads, but we've not had any problems.

By Laifong on Dec 29, 2010

I wanted to add an update about Bertucci's. They now have a dessert with hazelnut that is baked in the brickoven. My family has been to many Bertucci's and the best so far is the one in the Chestnut Hill Atrium Mall. The manager has personally prepared all our entrees for us to ensure it was safe for my son who is allergic to all nuts and shellfish.