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What Is The Best Café In Melbourne For People With A Shellfish Allergy?

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Writer's Answer:
by Monique Thorpe (subscribe)
Globe-trotting nomad life since April 2015.
Published October 9th 2014

As a person who has a shellfish allergy, I can tell you first hand that it is difficult to find cafes and restaurants who are sympathetic or who understand the dangers of cross-contamination. There is increasing understanding of gluten intolerance and nut allergies, however we of team no-shellfish seem to have been missed. I have also had no end of trouble searching for shellfish-free cafes and restaurants online - searches tend to take me to seafood buffets. Not helpful Google.

Here are my suggestions for a few establishments that I have found good over the years. Please feel free to add to the list.

Also note that cafe and restaurants do change their menus from time to time, so these are to the best of my knowledge and you should always check first before ordering - but you know that!

Kau cafe
Address: High St, Northcote

Kau is a relaxed child-friendly cafe on the boarder of Northcote and Thornbury. Home of great coffee and simple food, this is a go-to for me whenever I'm in the area. Owned by two sisters, this cafe is full of friendly staff, and has a relaxing open courtyard.

You can view the menu here . Everything on the menu is great, and they have a a board of daily specials also. I've been eating at Kau for just over 3 years and have never seen any fish or sea creature besides smoked salmon on the menu.

Kau cafe, Northcote, coffee
Kau cafe, Northcote. Image from Kau facebook page

Grace cafe
Address: 76 Rose St, Fitzroy

Grace cafe is a pleasant cafe, always buzzing with creative types thanks to it's super hipster location near to the Rose Street Markets. The food is clean and simple, perfect for allergy sufferers and the cafe is very vegan friendly with a rotating range of vegan cakes and sweet things available for afternoon tea.
You can find the menu here. Personal favorites are the BRAT and Avocado Toast. Like Kau, I've never seen any sea creature besides Salmon on the menu. Unlike Kau, Grace does not have a daily changing specials menu, but a seasonal specials menu, so you can feel safer in knowing that the menu does not fluctuate dramatically (a great thing for allergy sufferers)!

Grace Cafe, rose street, fitzroy
Grace cafe, Fitzroy. Image from Grace Website.

Mr Niceguy's BakeShop
Address: 151 Union Rd, Ascot Vale & 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra.

Everything in the Mr Niceguy's BakeShop is vegan. So egg-free, dairy-free, cochineal & gelatine-free, as well as certified Kosher, with soy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, corn-free, Fructose free & low gi options! Wow right! My initial fear was that the food just simply would not taste nice with all these allergen substitutions. I was wrong, the food is great!
They stock not only cupcakes and sweet treats but also bagels and brunches. You can find the menu here .

Personally, I love this cafe because I have a couple of gluten intolerant friends and we really struggle to find cafes that cater for us all, and all our allergies and food intolerances. Word to the wise though, no dairy means no dairy. So no cows milk latte here.

Mr Niceguy cupcakes vegan
Mr Niceguy BakeShop. Image from Mr Niceguy website.

Trippy Taco
Address: 234 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

If Mexican is more your style and you've just been diagnosed with a shellfish allergy or moved to town, then get well acquainted with Trippy Taco. It's difficult to find Mexican restaurants who do not use fish in their sauces or serve fish tacos. I stay away from fish all together and can still eat at Trippy's. The menu is basic however covers everything you need to fill that spicy craving. You can see the menu here. There are a lot of eggs and cheese thought, so if you're lactose intolerant, steer clear.

Trippy Tacos is only small but very popular, you can find yourself waiting for a table on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.My preference is to grab takeaway anyway, that's the way street-food should be eaten, in the streets.

Mr Naturals Pizza
Address: 469 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Nth & 223 Barkly st, St Kilda

In need to delivery food? Mr Natural's Pizza has you covered. With two stores, one in Fitzroy and one in St Kilda, their delivery boundaries are quite broad. A small family-run business, Mr Natural's in the home the vegetarian Pizza in Melbourne. You can see the menu here, just choose your location first. The pizzas are delicious and filling, plus taste really great cold for breakfast the next morning!

There is no meat of fish on the premise, and they cater for gluten and other food intolerances also.

Mr Naturals Pizza, fitzroy, st kilda, vegetarian, vegan
Mr Naturals Pizza, image from Mr Natural's website

Know of another cafe/restaurant that is shellfish allergy friendly? Please feel free to list it below.
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