Ohio

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Last Updated September 2020! We’ve created this ever-growing guide to restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and ice cream shops in Ohio that are friendly to dairy-free diners. It’s a collection based on research and reader recommendations (send yours!), that’s divided into local restaurants (first) and chains (second).

Note: You can ignore the date on this post going forward. We’ll update the information below whenever we’re alerted to a new restaurant recommendation, change, or closure. 

Local Ohio Restaurants Recommended for Dairy-Free Eats

We’ve listed these recommendations alphabetically by city, and then by the restaurant or shop name.

⭐️ = Restaurant is either dairy-free, has a dairy-free menu, has dairy-free labels on their menu(s), or lists top allergens with menu items. (At the time of our last review.)

Akron

  • Mustard Seed Market & Cafe ⭐️ – This locally owned grocery store has two locations and a cafe at each site. The menu is extensive, with icons for dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan. They serve starters, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more. They also whip up dairy-free smoothies and have some vegan desserts available.

Boardman

  • Ely’s to Go ⭐️ – They have some seating, but everything at this vegan restaurant is packaged ready to go. Their daily menu includes soups, salads, spring rolls, rotating sandwiches, muffins, cookies, and scones.

Cincinnati

  • Happy Chicks Bakery ⭐️ – This quirky bake shop and cafe is completely vegan. They serve a savory menu of sandwiches, salads, soups, and sides for lunch, and offer many items to go, like empanadas, quiches, croissants, and savory scones. On the sweet side, they bake daily cakes, cupcakes, cookies, breakfast pastries, and more. They also take custom cake orders for any occasion, including weddings.

Cleveland

  • Café Avalaun – This certified gluten-free cafe and bakery has a varied menu for breakfast and lunch. As is, most of the menu items contain dairy, but they have options to make most dishes dairy-free. For example, they have two dairy-free crepe batter options for their popular crepes. Sandwiches can also be made dairy-free, and they usually have a vegan soup on hand. The bakery side is filled with dairy-free cookies, bars, muffins, donuts, cakes, and breads. Some paleo treats are also available.
  • Piccadilly Artisan Creamery – They specialize in nitrogen ice cream, so it’s made quickly and to order. They have a couple creamy vegan ice creams available and actually have a vegan topping menu.

Columbus

  • Alchemy Cafe – This modern counter-serve cafe is mostly dairy-free, and serves many vegan and gluten-free items as labeled on their healthy all-day menu. They focus on sandwiches, toasts, smoothies, and smoothie bowls. They also have a unique coffee drink menu that uses oat milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, and almond milk for making various beverages and superfood lattes.
  • Alchemy Kitchen – This casual spot serves most of the same smoothies, smoothie bowls, toasts, sandwiches, and beverages that you can find at their Cafe location. But they also serve a small menu of burgers, burritos, and bowls for lunch and dinner, and have a more extensive breakfast menu. Many dishes are dairy-free, or can be made dairy-free, and vegan and gluten-free items are clearly labeled.
  • Destination Donuts – Located inside the North Market, this all-natural donut purveyor bakes fresh throughout the day. They typically have at least a couple of vegan donut varieties available each day. The selection rotates, but they could include Butterscotch Sea Salt, Cookies & Cream, Dueling Vanilla, or Blueberry Lemon. Sometimes they also bake vegan cinnamon rolls in fun flavors like maple or citrus.
  • Matt’s Bakery ⭐️ – This husband and wife run bakery is a kosher and dairy-free establishment (they do use eggs). Their baked goods are also nut-free, with the exception of pecan pie, which he says is baked separately. Their selection includes tons of breads, cookies, pies, pastries, and more. They also bake custom cakes for weddings and other celebrations.
  • Pattycake Bakery ⭐️ – All of the handcrafted sweets at this quaint little bake shop are vegan. They bake cupcakes, cakes, cookies, whoopie pies, muffins and more daily. They also serve gluten-free baked goods, and take custom orders for celebration cakes and cupcakes.
  • Soodles Cake Shop ⭐️ – To round out the mix, this bakery is dedicated free of gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, sesame, peanuts, and all tree nuts except coconut. They can often accommodate other allergens upon request. Their best seller is Cinnamon Coffee Cake, but they offer a huge selection of breads, crusts, pies, and other sweets. They can also bake a cake for your special occasion.

Lakewood

  • Ice Cream Joy – The owner said to us, “I love my vegan ones sometimes more than my regular ice creams.” You can tell! Their menu now has more creamy dairy-free vegan flavors than dairy ones, and they have vegan options for everything on the menu. You can order a vegan scoop, sundae, float, or milkshake.

Lancaster

  • The Well – At this gathering place, they roast their own direct trade coffee beans, source local and organic foods whenever possible, and have a wholesome menu filled with special diet options. Almond milk is on hand for drinks, their dairy-free smoothie options are expansive, and they’re always baking vegan and gluten-free desserts. You can even enjoy them a la mode with coconut ice cream. On the savory side, they serve breakfast and lunch with an array of fresh dishes with house-made sauces. Many of the options are dairy-free, gluten-free, and/or vegan.

Most Popular Chains in Ohio for Dairy-Free Diners

There are many more chains in this state, but these are the ones we recommend most for dairy-free options.

This Guide is Continuously Updated with Recommendations

We welcome you to recommend other dairy-free friendly restaurants. Leave a comment or contact us and tell us why you like a certain restaurant. Restaurant owners and employees are also invited to reach out and let us know how you welcome dairy-free customers.

Please kindly let us know in the comments if any of these restaurants close. We want to keep this list current for you, but aren’t always notified when a restaurant closes. Let us know and we will quickly update!

This Guide is for Informational Purposes Only

Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, and restaurants are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure that they can accommodate your situation.

There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.

For More Dairy-Free Guidance, Get Go Dairy Free!

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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