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Reeti P., M1

If you’ve made it this far, chances are you already have a pretty good idea of how to navigate life with food allergies. Even so, I’m happy to inform you that the restaurant scene in St. Louis makes finding safe places to eat fairly easy. The variety of cuisines means that even if you can’t eat at the Thai place on the corner, you can probably grab something at the pizzeria or the taco place down the street. One of my favorite new discoveries is the website You just input your location and your food allergies, and they find a list of safe restaurants in the area. It’s a great way to explore the city without making the ER your final destination.

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Asian Grocery Stores

Ben K., M1

Have you ever felt like you were lacking for choice in the Central West End grocery store scene? Tired of Whole Foods and their prices which make you go over-budget, or Schnucks and their lack of variety? Even if you answered with a resounding “NO,” let me tell you that you can always be down for more choices. Olive Street (northwest of CWE) has you covered more than the omentum on your colon. Due to the large Asian population that has gathered near Olive Street, you can expect plenty of choice when visiting Seafood City, Olive Supermarket, Chinatown Market, or East Seoul Oriental. All of these stores have similar stocks of packaged goods, but are also known for slightly different things. Seafood City, as its name may reveal, is known for its fresh still-moving seafood along with a generous array of frozen goods. Olive Supermarket and Chinatown Market are known for their selection of Chinese products. Chinatown Market is especially known for its fresh selection of produce. East Seoul Oriental is a little ways down Olive Street from the first three stores, but boasts a surprisingly large collection of Korean groceries in a small hole-in-the-wall style store. Find a friend with a car and plan a trip down together, since these stores will let you spice up your life in a big way. I also definitely recommend stopping by at one of the restaurants in the area for authentic Asian cuisine!

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Madeline S., M1

During interviews, medical students would tell me about the glorious amounts of free food offered throughout medical school. Sadly, it is rarely gluten-free so my budget for food may be a little bit more than my classmates. But fear not! St. Louis has lots of great gluten-free options. Within Central West End, Pi Pizzeria, Mission Taco. and El Burro all have great gluten-free options (stay away from the chips at both Mission and El Burro if you are concerned about contamination). iTap is known for the beer, but there is a decent selection of cider and wine so you can join in on the iTap fun. Lonas LiL Eats (about 15-minute drive) is almost entirely gluten-free and has delicious Asian-fusion rice paper wraps. There is also a gluten-free bakery called New Day (about 10-minute drive) that has decent baked goods, but it’s main attraction is a sandwich that doesn’t fall apart (!!!!!).

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Michael N., M1

In the last month, I have eaten brunches at The Rooster and Mudhouse (two of my favorite brunch spots with vegan options), and dinners at Pizza Head (a punk rock-themed pizza shop that sells vegan slices), Vista Ramen, Meskerem Ethiopian, Cafe Natasha Persian, Guerrilla Street Food (a Filipino street food joint), probably a few other places, and lunches at the food trucks, many a lunch talk, Everest Cafe, and Layla’s burger joint — home of the best vegan patty in St. Louis…so far. Besides admitting that I have a problem saving money, I mean to convey that there are abundant vegan dining options in St. Louis, and I am continually finding new places to eat. Nearly all of the lunch talks on campus and multiple of the food trucks include vegan options for your convenience. More importantly, eating out is a passion of mine, and there are so many great vegan restaurants to taste and discover! Hit me up if you want suggestions or company!!!

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Lekha P., M1

Though you’ll hear a lot about St. Louis’s famous barbeque and toasted (classically beef) ravioli, the city is actually quite friendly to vegetarians. I’ve never had trouble finding an option that I liked at any of the restaurants I’ve been to here. There are also several vegetarian and even vegan restaurants in town. I really enjoy Lulu’s Local Eatery (in the Grove) and Gokul (by the Loop). On campus, I recommend the food truck K-Bop and Kaldi’s, which is all-vegetarian. The Kaldi’s black bean and sweet potato burrito has gotten me through many a long day of class! Hit me up if you’re looking for recommendations on places to try out.