BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – For many, a typical date night in Baton Rouge involves dining on delicious Creole-Cajun specialties unique to Louisiana, but people with certain food allergies and chronic conditions can’t enjoy these popular meals without consequences to their health.

Baton Rouge has lots of options for memorable date night experiences that are friendly to food allergies and sensitivities.

The capital region features a variety of non-food-related activities that can be great alternatives to dinner and drinks. And diners can select one of the city’s many restaurants that offer specialty food options for people with specific health requirements. 

A local restaurant with gluten-free options

One such restaurant is MJ’s café

Not only is MJ’s entire menu plant-based, it also features a wide variety of gluten-free dishes. 

MJ’s founder Maureen Joyce says, “Our daily soups are always vegan and gluten-free. Gluten-free bread is available for all the sandwiches. We also have vegan, gluten-free cookies and desserts.”

This Valentine’s Day, the café is resurrecting Tables and Tunes, a monthly event featuring live music that took place regularly prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mark your calendar for 6-9 p.m., so you can enjoy a performance by local musician Ashley Orlando.

Innovative date night ideas

Everyone likes a good meal, but fun doesn’t always need to center around food. 

Couples with food allergies, sensitivities or related illnesses can enjoy lots of other date night adventures in the capital area. 

“There’s a lot of ways to get creative with your plans in Baton Rouge this Valentine’s Day. Get sporty at Uptown Climbing or Topgolf. Book a crafty night at the new DIY Disco. Check out the live music schedules at Chelsea’s, Teddy’s Juke Joint or Phil Brady’s,” says Laura Cating, Visit Baton Rouge’s senior vice president of marketing & communications.

“If you love the outdoors, treat yourself to a stroll along the Mississippi River levee or explore the AgCenter Botanic Gardens. Snap some artsy pics with your loved one exploring street art and wall murals around town.”

Click here for more exciting date night ideas from Visit Baton Rouge.

Chronic conditions that limit food options don’t have to limit fun

If you have a condition that limits what you can eat, you may feel like “a drag” when with friends who want to go out, and this can lead to feelings of loneliness. 

But you’re not alone. 

Researchers claim that nearly 32 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with food allergies and six in ten adults suffer from a chronic disease. 

There’s a silver lining in this. As an increasing number of people are diagnosed with food allergies and chronic illnesses, there’s also an increase in the number of restaurants featuring alternative foods and the amount of non-food-related activities you can enjoy.