The usual warnings apply: these are just our own personal experiences. Use this information as a guide, but always take it with a grain of salt, and use at your own risk. Only you know how bad your allergy/sensitivity is, and how it affects you. Always ask your servers about canola, and even better, talk to a chef if you can.
Jose's Restaurant: NOT safe.
Blue Ribbon Bakery – Avoid the muffins. Everything else is guaranteed canola-free by the soux chef and several managers, as of 10/07.
Carnation Café – Everything here is guaranteed canola-free, as of 10/07. And because they were so good about taking the time to check, literally, every single ingredient in the kitchen, here and at the Blue Ribbon Bakery, we ended up eating here for our entire trip. It was true: not a thing that was tried had any canola at all.
Hook's Pointe – NOT safe.
Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen – NOT safe.
Wine Country Trattoria – (Italian) Very helpful. Most everything except the lasagna can be made without canola.
Big Sur :
Nepenthe – NOT safe.
Bluewater Steakhouse - We were a little nervous when the server confidently left to tell the chef of the allergy, and then never reported back to us, but everything from the appitizer to the entree to the dessert came back without a trace of canola. A good place for a meal.
Paradise Beach Grille – Very helpful.
Shadowbrook – NOT safe.
Hola - This place does use it, so avoid the chips, but the staff is very good about making sure it modifies your order to make it safe .
Li Yuen - We've never had problems here, so we consider it to be safe.
Ambrosia (Indian) - They don't use canola in anything.
Amir's Kabob House (Afghan) - Does not use canola oil. We consider this to be a safe place.
Bullwacker's- This place might now be safe. Their sister restaurant doesn't use canola, so it's possible this place has switched, too.
Cibo- (Italian) Very helpful.
East Village Coffee Lounge - Their primary oil is safflower, and they are more than happy and willing to double-check anything they sell. No worries at this place.
Epsilon – They cut their olive oil with canola, which leaves maybe three items that can be eaten, all of them boring.
Hula's – (Polynesian) They use only 100% rice bran oil in their meal preparations. No worries here.
Koko's Cafe - (Mediterranean) Very helpful , and very good food.
London Bridge Pub - Double-check with the server to make sure, but this place is generally safe.
Mucky Duck - Most everything on the menu that's not deep-fried can be modified to be canola-free. The service here is great, and the allergy can easily and cheerfully be accomodated.
Persian Grill - This is definitely a safe place.
Peter B's BrewPub - NOT safe.
Santa Lucia Cafe - (German/Italian) They are canola-free.
Schooner's - (Seafood) Apparently, canola oil is their primary oil, but they've always been so very helpful that we never even knew this until last night. You may end up with a sandwich and a side of fruit if you come here, but there certainly won't be any canola oil in it.
Sly McFly's- NOT safe.
Trailside Café- We're almost positive that they don't use it, but if you want to double check, the service here is always outstanding, and the food is exceptional.
Haute Enchilada – Should be safe.
Moss Landing Café – Should be safe. They use a corn oil. Double check things such as mayo, but everything should be okay. We've never had problems here. Also, the best clam chowder on the peninsula, so don't be disappointed that you can't eat at the famous Phil's, as they never lived up to the hype, anyway.
Phil's Fish Market – NOT safe.
Phil's Snack Shack – NOT safe.
Whole Enchilada – Most things are safe, but not all, so be sure to ask your server, and avoid the chips, and things should turn out well.
Whole Enchilada Market – They seem to use it in all of their food, but we've also never tried asking for specific ingredients. A basic sandwich with no mayo seems to turn out okay.
Red House Cafe - The staff here is extremely willing to make sure that no canola ends up at your table. That does limit the menu choices a little bit, but since everything tastes so wonderful, you likely won't even notice. A good place to try.
Gino's: NOT safe.
Hullaballoo - NOT safe.
San Diego -
Magnolias: NOT safe.
Roberto's Taco Shop: Uses lard for everything, so should be safe.
Royal Spices Thai Cuisine: We forgot to ask about canola, and luckily, lots of food later, there was no reaction. This place is probably very safe.
San Diego State: NOT safe.
Brothers Pizza - As long as you avoid the pizza, everything else seems to be safe.
Chiaroscuro - Able and willing to work with you to make a safe meal.
San Luis Obispo:
Cafe Roma - We found this to be a safe place to eat.
Crow's Nest - Most items can be modified, and with excellent results.
Crepe Place - They do not seem to use any canola oil, and we consider them to be safe.
El Palomar – (Mexican) They use only olive oil in all of their cooking.
Kianti's : (Italian) They use only olive oil. Double check things like mayo on sandwiches, but everything should be fine. We've never had problems here.
Rosie McCann's: (Irish) Fairly helpful . They're good with telling you what you can't have, but not big on making substitutions or recommendations.
Firehouse Café: They don't use canola oil as their primary oil, and they'll double check to make sure that it's not in anything else they serve.
Boca Raton -
Draft House - NOT safe.
Tampa (Thank you to Alison) -
Bonefish Grill - Very accommodating, and had a great attitude towards helping me.
GEORGIA: (Thank you to Michelle):
The Varsity - NOT safe.
Ina's Kitchen: NOT safe.
West Town Tavern: NOT safe.
Indianapolis State Fair: NOT safe.
Wheat State Pizza: NOT safe.
Monjunis: NOT safe.
New Orleans -
Mr B's Bistro: NOT safe.
Governor's Restaurant - NOT safe.
Pat's Pizza - NOT safe.
Senator Inn and Spa: NOT safe.
Old Town -
City Park Grille: NOT safe. Karen says, "They use canola in everything."
Piccadilly Pub: The oil they use is that soybean/sunflower (or safflower?) blend that everyone and their mother has been switching to lately, and we love it! They will deep fry just about anything your little heart desires, and they'll even double check just to make sure that no canola sneaks in anywhere unexpected. This place is very safe.
Sel de la Terre: Wonderfully helpful.
Back Bay Restaurant Group: NOT safe.
Grafton Street: Very helpful. No problems here.
Jackson's Restaurant: NOT safe.
Brandeis: NOT safe.
NEW HAMPSHIRE -
Papagallos: NOT safe.
Fritz's Belgian Fries: NOT safe.
NEW JERSEY -
Old Man Rafferty's: Rachel writes: "I almost didn't make it home before being violently ill. Avoid at all costs! (A pity too, since I loved the food there!)"
Newark Airport: The Out of Bounds Sports Bar in Terminal C offers canola-free sandwiches. Avoid the wraps, though.
New York -
Babycakes Bakery: NOT safe.
At the buffets, even talking to the chef rarely gets you more than fruit, and, at lunchtime, a sandwich. Breakfast buffets just mean fruit, yogurt, and, if you're really lucky, a cook who will make you an omelet with olive oil.
However, the Il Fornaio in New York, New York is a lifesaver!
Dick's Last Resort in Excalibur is also fully canola-free.
Aside from those two restaurants, though, expect to eat a lot of Subway while you're in Vegas.
Ohio State U - NOT safe.
Burrito Amigos: NOT safe.
Gustav's: Actually has an ingredient list, if you ask the server! Wonderfully helpful.
Heathman: Extremely helpful .
Higgins: Very helpful .
McMenamin's: Sadly, all McMenamin's use only 100% expeller-pressed canola oil in all of their cooking. Especially their fries. Fortunately, they are willing and able to help in preparing any food that isn't deep-fried.
Nicholas Restaurant: (Mediterranean) We know that they use canola oil in their cooking, but we've also never tried asking them not to. Worth a shot, as the food is delicious and inexpensive.
Pok Pok: (Thai) They use only rice bran and soybean oils! This is a safe place.
Tom's Pizza and Sports Bar: The pizza here contains only olive oil, and we consider it to be safe.
Alle-Kiski Medical Center - NOT safe.
Penn State - NOT safe.
PUERTO RICO (thanks to Alison for these!):
San Juan -
OOF-owned Restaurants (Aquaviva, Dragonfly, etc.) - Use canola in their fryers.
Belly Button's Cafe: Uses soybean oil in their fryer! And they have French fries there.
Peters: Uses no canola oil in anything and accommodates vegetarians.
Loews-Vanderbilt Hotel: NOT safe.
University of Texas: NOT safe.
VIRGINIA (thanks to Alison for these):
Carribean Breeze: Uses canola in their fryer, but not for other cooking.
Eventide: Alison writes: "I wanted to share with you a great experience I had today at the Eventide restaurant in Arlington, VA. The waiter was very accomodating, respectful, and detailed in his efforts to help me enjoy my canola free meal. I asked him to check on the canola oil in the fries and mushroom veggie burger. He stated that he would and returned quickly. He told me that they can cook my fries in olive oil but that they mushrooms were pre-prepared in canola oil. So, I ordered a frittata with the fries. There were no questions like oh what's canola oil? Oh we use vegetable oil... I don't know with a blank stare. I'll see and then some other dumb response. He checked with every piece of the meal and told me exactly what it was used in. He had a great attitude and did not behave like I was a bother. I appreciated it so much I asked to speak with the manager. I told him it really meant a lot to me how the waiter handled the situation because I've been treated poorly in so many restuarants, even very expensive and nice ones. The manager empathised with me and told me that he knows everyone has been mistreated in one restaurant or another and that he never wants that to happen in his restaurant so they tell all of their servers to find out if they don't know something and never to guess and never give a wrong answer. I told him I would be writing to you about the good experience!" This sounds like a great place.
Liberty Tavern: Uses canola oil in all their cooking and salad dressings, but were knowledgable and offered to saute food in olive oil.
Mei's Asian Bistro: Says they don't use canola and I've had no reactions to any of the vegetarian food there.
Mister Days: Very rude about my question and said they could only tell me it was vegetable oil in the fryer. So who knows?
Pollo Rico: Use soybean oil in their fryer.
Summers Restaurant: Use soybean oil in their fryer.
Amphora: Really good, and they told me they use sunflower oil. And so far no reactions for the six or so times I've been there.
WASHINGTON DC (thank you to Alison):
Acadiana Restaurant: Horrible! It took the waiter 3 long trips to the kitchen to proudly announce "We don't use any canola oil! We use only rapeseed oil in everything." after I had already told him it was the same thing. They cooked my veggie platter in butter and it was gross. The vegetarian accommodation was really sad for this upscale restaurant. It was just a bunch of poorly cooked/spiced side dishes. Also all their salad dressings had canola.
"From Java Green (an excellent vegetarian cafe) in Washington DC:"
We do use many kind of oils . Soy, canola,olive,seaame and flex.you will find most of them without canola.
When I went to Java Green I noticed that many of their cookies and desserts had canola.
Seattle State Fair: NOT safe.
Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital: NOT safe.
Little Village Cafe: NOT safe.
Milwaukee area –
Karl Ratzch's: We had no issues here.
Tulip: Very helpful.
Lara's Tortilla Flats: NOT safe.