Updated in 2021! As Sarah mentioned, American Girl is making great efforts to address all types of needs, including food allergies and sensitivities. They created a Dairy-Free Doll, who has a dairy sensitivity, they’ve released some food allergy accessories in the past, and the American Girl Café (sometimes still referred to as American Girl Bistro) goes above and beyond for dietary needs. But we do have a few tips to make your visit positively memorable.
American Girl Café Gives Food Allergic Guests the Full Experience
American Girl Cafés have implemented a food allergy policy that is second to none. It’s thorough and attentive to ensure that every young guest feels special. Nonetheless, it helps to be a little prepared before you go.
Plan Ahead with a Reservation
It’s rare that I see a negative food allergy review for American Girl Bistros. But when I do, it’s always by someone who just decided to drop in. You can visit without a reservation, and they do their best to accommodate food allergies on the fly. However, their staff performs much better when they have warning. If you just show up, it’s possible that you’ll be met with an inexperienced server, or some food options might not be available. They can more easily make arrangements if you book a reservation and give them a heads up on your dietary needs.
When you make the reservation, you can also request to be contacted by the Bistro. A cafe staff member will call you, and you can discuss your dietary needs directly.
Let Them Know Why You Are Visiting
Is your little one celebrating a birthday? They’ve got you covered! American Girl Bistros have been known to bake dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, or gluten-free cakes for birthday girls.
Don’t Expect an Allergen Menu
They do have some gluten-free items, but other allergens are accommodated on an as-need basis. They don’t offer a specific allergen menu, and most the items on their regular menu do contain dairy. But they typically provide dairy-free meals and even a dairy-free dessert on request. The servers and chefs at American Girl Bistros are uaually quite attentive to special diet needs.
Don’t Fret If Your Daughter Doesn’t Have a Doll
American Girl Bistros loan young guests a doll to dine with if they don’t have their own. But they might not have the dairy-free Blaire doll on hand.
Enjoy the Experience
American Girl Cafés provide more than a meal. The dining experience includes non-food keepsakes and games for everyone to enjoy. It’s actually a rather affordable outing to enjoy with kids.
At most locations, they also have salons so you’re daughter and her friend can get all dolled up before dining!
And Did You Know There is a Dairy-Free American Girl Doll?
The 2019 Girl of the Year For American Girl was Blaire Wilson, and she has a food sensitivity to dairy. Sarah shared more details on this new doll and American Girl’s commitment to food allergy awareness in this article: American Girl of the Year Blaire Wilson has a Food Sensitivity to Dairy.
You can buy a Blaire Wilson doll while visiting an American Girl Bistro, or order one online. They’ve made all types of wonderful accessories for her, including her garden kit and outfit, her piglet, and her family’s farm restaurant.
Where to Find American Girl Cafés and Bistros
Dining is part of the store experience at American Girl, so many of their shops in major U.S. cities have a Bistro. See their retail website below for bistro locations under “dining.”