Are you looking for a fast food chain where you can grab a gluten free sub on the go? Or maybe you are looking for a spot where you can pick up a gluten free burger? Well either way, you are in the right place! In this article, we discuss all of the best fast food chains for gluten free foodies. In particular, we will focus on fast food chains that are safe for those who are sensitive to cross contamination.
For each gluten free fast food chain that we discuss in this article, we will provide additional information to help you determine which chain is the best for you. We start this article out by describing the characteristics that we will use to describe each fast food chain. After that, we discuss which fast food chains offer safe gluten free options.
Note. In this article, we will focus specifically on fast food chains rather than fast casual chains. We will discuss fast casual chains that have good gluten free options in a separate article. We will focus on fast food chains that are popular in the United States.
Characteristics of gluten free fast food chains
What characteristics will we use to provide more information on each of the gluten free fast food chains listed in this article? Here are the characteristics that we will use to provide more information on each of these chains.
- Location. First we will discuss the location of each fast food chain. Some of these fast food chains are national chains that have locations all over the United States. Others are regional chains that only have locations in specific regions.
- Type of food. After that, we will talk about the type of food that is served at each of these fast food chains. Some of these chains serve subs and sandwiches, whereas others are more focused on burgers and fries.
- Gluten free status. After that, we will discuss the gluten free status of each fast food chain. This will include information on whether the chain is dedicated to gluten free food or not. If a chain is not dedicated to gluten free food, we will provide additional information that can be used to assess the risk of cross contamination.
- Other dietary restrictions. Finally, we will discuss whether there are any other food allergies or dietary restrictions that each chain caters to.
Gluten free fast food chains
Now that we have discussed the characteristics we will use to provide information on each of these gluten free fast food chains, we will discuss the fast food chains that provide the best options for gluten free foodies. Note that these chains are listed roughly in order of preference, with the chains that provide the best gluten free options appearing closer to the top of the list.
In-N-Out is an amazing fast food chain that is known for having safe gluten free options. They have a small but focused menu that is made up of items like burgers, milkshakes, and fries. They do not have gluten free buns, but they do offer lettuce wrap burgers that are wrapped up in lettuce rather than being served on buns.
- Location. In-N-Out is located in the western portion of the United States. Most of their stores are located in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Texas.
- Type of food. In-N-Out is a burger chain, so most of their menu revolves around burgers. In addition to burgers, they also serve items like milkshakes and fries that are common to pair with burgers.
- Gluten free status. In-N-Out is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, they have good allergy protocols in place to prevent cross contamination. Most locations have separate food prep areas that are used to prepare food for people with food allergies. These areas are generally kept very clean. Employees are also instructed to use fresh utensils and change their gloves when handling allergy food. They also have dedicated gluten free fryers that are only used to make their fries. They do not have gluten free buns for their burgers, but they do serve lettuce wrap burgers that use lettuce in place of buns.
- Other dietary restrictions. In-N-Out provides an allergen matrix that labels items that contain common allergens like eggs, wheat, dairy, fish, and nuts. Their food does not contain peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, shellfish, or fish.
Jersey Mike’s is another fast food chain that is known for providing safe gluten free options. Jersey Mike’s is a sub shop that offers gluten free sub rolls and generally has decent allergen protocols in place to help prevent cross contamination. Their subs can also be turned into wraps or bowls if you are looking for something a little lighter.
- Location. Jersey Mike’s is a nationwide chain. They have locations located in all corners of the United States. They also have a few locations in Canada.
- Type of food. Jersey Mike’s is a sub shop, so the menu at their stores revolves around subs. Their subs can also be turned into wraps or bowls if you are looking for a lighter meal.
- Gluten free status. Jersey Mike’s is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, they do have gluten free sub rolls available at most of their locations. If you request a gluten free bun, they will generally ask you whether you have an allergy or a preference and act accordingly. If you do tell them that you have an allergy, they will change their gloves and prepare your food in a separate area with separate utensils.
- Other dietary restrictions. Jersey Mike’s provides tools that can be used to determine which items contain common food allergens like eggs, fish, dairy, nuts, soy, sesame, and wheat. They also mark items that are kosher and halal. They provide comprehensive information on the ingredients they use to make their food.
Five Guys is a burger joint that has a larger menu than most fast food burger chains. While they are most well known for their burgers, they also serve hot dogs, sandwiches, fries, milkshakes, and similar items. This is another chain that is known to take food allergies seriously, though some locations may adhere to allergen protocols better than others.
- Location. Five Guys is a national chain that has many locations across the United States. They also have locations in other countries, so you might see them during your international travels.
- Type of food. Five Guys is a burger chain first and foremost. That means that they have items like burgers, fries, and milkshakes. In addition to this, they also serve sandwiches and hot dogs.
- Gluten free status. Five Guys is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, they do take precautions to prevent cross contamination if you tell them you have an allergy. Their staff will change their gloves and prepare your food in a separate area if necessary. Their fries are the only thing that they fry in their fryer, so they do have dedicated gluten free fryers. They do not offer gluten free burger buns, but their burgers can be served with lettuce wraps instead of buns.
- Other dietary restrictions. Five Guys has an allergen matrix that shows which items contain common allergens like nuts, soy, dairy, eggs, fish, and sesame. They also mark items that contain MSG and high fructose corn syrup. They use peanut oil to fry their food and serve peanuts in their restaurants, so this is not a good spot for people with peanut allergies.
Chick-fil-A is a national chain with a menu that revolves around chicken. They serve both fried chicken and grilled chicken that can be dressed up with multiple different sauces and toppings. While they have some gluten free options, the adherence to allergen protocols can vary from location to location. If you are sensitive to cross contamination, we highly recommend looking into the specific location you intend to visit. That being said, some people have had great success with locations in their area.
- Location. Chick-fil-A is a national chain that has locations in most states in the United States. They also have locations in Canada.
- Type of food. The menu at Chick-fil-A revolves around chicken. They have a large array of chicken dishes that range from chicken nuggets to grilled chicken. They also serve salads that are topped with chicken and breakfast items in the morning.
- Gluten free status. Chick-fil-A is not a dedicated gluten free facility. That being said, they fry their fries in a separate fryer at most locations so their fries should be safe for those who are sensitive to cross contamination. They also have sealed gluten free buns that are made offsite in a gluten free facility. Chick-fil-A has allergy protocols in place to help prevent cross contamination, but adherence to these protocols may vary from location to location. This is a spot where we highly recommend looking into the specific location you plan on visiting to see whether that location has had positive reviews from other customers with gluten intolerances.
- Other dietary restrictions. Chick-fil-A provides an allergen matrix that shows which items contain allergens like soy, fish, eggs, nuts, dairy, and wheat.