Top 5 Sensory-Friendly Restaurants

It can be challenging to discover restaurants that are accommodating to individuals with disabilities or heightened sensitivity. We believe that everyone deserves to feel comfortable when dining out. Luckily, we’ve found the top five sensory-friendly restaurant chains that are mindful of sensitivities and stimulations. 

What does it mean to be a sensory-friendly restaurant?

Becoming sensory-friendly is a conscious implementation of accommodations to make spaces more accessible! Sensory-friendly restaurants strive to create an environment in which individuals who are reactive to certain senses can have a positive experience. These restaurants may implement:

  • Customizable food options
  • Comfortable and flexible seating options
  • Loud noise and music cautions
  • Physical accessibility
  • And more!

Here are five examples of sensory-friendly restaurant chains:


With simplistic menu items including chicken tenders, french fries, cheeseburgers, and more, Culver’s offers fast-food classics in a straightforward ordering environment. Food dishes are customizable by toppings but also provide a variety of accompaniment options. Different sauces and toppings allow guests with food sensitivities to adjust their foods and flavors. 

With the option of booths or traditional seating in their large dining rooms, customers have the accessibility to choose their preference of seating as well as location within the dining area. Staff are trained for efficiency and kindness, making Culver’s a great lunch or dinner option when considering sensory-friendly options!

Panera Bread

From original menu items to seasonal changes, Panera’s menu provides customizable food options in a relaxed atmosphere. A popular menu item includes their “You-Pick-2” where guests can choose two halves of any menu item, instead of being limited to one meal option. Their menu offers a variety of dishes such as soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, flatbreads, desserts, coffees, teas, smoothies, and more. Aside from their food options, their service methods are also accommodating for individuals with sensitivities. Customers can order on their own through a tablet ordering station or on the Panera app. Some beverage options such as sodas and iced teas are also self-service. Their dining rooms are uniquely laid out as their cafes are larger than most. Seating options vary from small 2-top tables to larger booths tucked into corners. 

Mod Pizza

As a slightly newer chain, Mod Pizza brings customization and creativity into the pizza restaurant market! Guests curate their own pizza creations and get to watch the staff bake it to perfection. Aside from their uniquely personalized pizzas, their dining setting presents a calm atmosphere. With dim lighting and simplistic interior decor, Mod Pizza provides a relaxing environment to enjoy a meal. Their restaurants follow a minimalistic design with typical restaurant seating options: booths, barstools, and chairs. 

The Melting Pot

For a fancier dining experience, The Melting Pot offers a meal with versatility and fun! With their focus being fondue, their menu is highly customizable as guests order dippers and dips to their liking. Guests can interact with their food and have some form of control over their food tastings. Additionally, their dining setting includes very dim lighting and semi-private dining options. 

Noodles & Company

Although Noodles & Company has a more simplistic menu, they provide customizable

options in a relaxing dining environment. Their restaurant ambiance strives to be clean and comfortable through their neutral color palette, quiet music, and warm lighting. With add-on varieties, noodle-shape preferences, varying meat inclusions, cheese toppings, and more, their meal options are adjustable to accommodate certain dietary restrictions and preferences. Their menu provides clear options with nutritional facts. Noodles & Company’s beverage options are also highly customizable as they use a unique soda machine enabling different flavor add-ins and options. 

To understand the best accommodations for sensory-friendly restaurants, visiting an establishment’s website or calling ahead can provide further information to achieve a positive dining experience!


At Covey, we are devoted to helping adults with disabilities live life to its fullest potential. That’s why we started Meaningful Meals, a program where our participants are invited to share a meal at a local restaurant, allowing them to advocate for themselves, explore different cultures, and gain familiarity with the process of gratuity. In turn, restaurants in the community are educated on inclusion, empathy, and understanding. 

Our visit to Culver’s was a huge hit among participants, their families, and the staff. Covey participant, Kyle, had such a great time at our outing, that he returned the next day! Because of the kind, welcoming nature of Culvers’ staff, it is now Kyle and his family’s go-to establishment for dining out. 

For more information about Meaningful Meals, head to Covey’s website or contact us at