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Best Gluten free Fast Food Options | Things to Know

Sometimes our cravings for fast food, like burgers and fries, are at their peak, but you are gluten-free, it’s hard to find the Best Gluten-free Fast Food options. Fast food outlets available are not coming up with a gluten-free menu, but do not worry some food chains have started gluten-free menus. There aren’t too many options in chains like KFC and Popeyes, I know we all love their fried items.

gluten-free-fast-food

It’s a positive sign that some restaurants are coming up with GF food and we have tried our best to rounded up the best gluten-free fast-food items on the menu.

Are they actually Gluten-Free Fast Food?

First, we should know about Gluten. It’s a protein mostly found in wheat, rye and barley. People on a gluten-free diet avoid food that contains this protein. When we talk about the GF diet, bread and pasta come to our mind first but we should know that gluten can be found in other foods as well.

It’s very hard to find GF food, as our favourite food items like sandwiches, salads, all include gluten. Even after searching for GF food, cross-contamination can happen in the pantry and there might be some traces of Gluten in the food. So, now what?

What could be the reason for cross-contamination? It’s frying oil. Yes. Especially in restaurants where fast food is the speciality. Do not worry, Oil itself is GF, but in restaurants, the same oil is used to cook and fry different foods. The same oil is used to cook gluten-containing foods, which means it’s now contaminated. The same way other food items like French fries are dipped in the same oil afterwards.

(Also Read: What is Low Carb Meal Plan | Low Carb Meal Plan & Types)

How to Choose the best GF fast-food options?

It’s difficult to find gluten-free food and if you are wondering what you can actually eat, do not worry, we have come up with all the options available and what’s good and what’s potentially risky at different food chains in the US.

  • A gluten-free menu? What we did was, searched each restaurants website and menus to see which options are there related to gluten-free food and are they labelled on the menu or not.
  • Looking for the Best gluten-free options. Every restaurant has its own speciality, we looked for whether that item is gluten-free or not? We also searched what the GF community loves and either that is available in GF or not?
  • Risk of Cross-contamination. It’s important to know either the same oil is being used to fry other food items or not. Even we checked for fryers and other possible means of risks of contamination.
  • Transparency. It was interesting to find some restaurants clearly stating that the restaurant is GF.

We Should know before we eat.

Other than GF restaurants, there is always a risk of cross-contamination. Our best tip to avoid such circumstances is to ask the waiter or any staff about your intolerance while ordering the food. We must tell you there is still chances of contamination, so always be cautious and vigilant. If your Gluten sensitivity isn’t normal, the ultimate option may be to avoid fast food completely.

Best GF fast-food options

  • Five Guys

For the people who love five guys, it’s a sigh of relief. There are a lot of options on their menu. Check their website, they have charts uploaded with details explained for specific allergies.

The best thing is you can find GF fries. Woah….they are cooked in GF fryers and other toppings on their menu are also GF.

Best gluten-free options in Five guys:

  • Burgers (no bun or with lettuce wrap)
  • Fries
  • Plain milkshakes
  • Hot dogs (no bun)

They have a Gluten-Free menu and the risk of cross-contamination is very low. Before putting your order, always tell them about your allergy. The good thing is, they have mentioned some foods to avoid due to Gluten in them.

  • Malted milk and cherry milkshake mix-ins
  • Oreo piece mix-ins
  • Malt vinegar
  • Fry Sauce

Note: If you don’t like or any allergy to Peanut oil, do ask them to cook in any other oil, because they mostly use peanut oil.

  • Wendy’s

They don’t have a specific GF menu but there are a number of options that are gluten-free. You can skip the bun and opt for a GF burger and find salads but without chicken and croutons. Check their website, they have clearly mentioned that it’s not a GF restaurant but some items GF.

Here are some of the best gluten-free options you can find in Wendy’s restaurant:

  • Taco salad
  • Chilli
  • Baked potatoes with toppings
  • Frosty

Once again not that they don’t have a gluten-free menu, but there are few options available and can be tried if you are looking for GF food.

  • Chick-fil-A

This is also not considered gluten-free, but some of the food items are gluten-free especially bun, that’s a big deal, right?

Some of the best gluten-free options are:

  • Side salads
  • Waffle potato chips
  • Fruit cups
  • Added bacon
  • Grilled chicken nuggets (not breaded)
  • Grilled chicken

The golden rule which applies to almost every restaurant is to just give them a heads up when you order your food so that they could be extra conscious regarding cross-contamination.

  • Chipotle

Except for the four tortillas, everything in this restaurant is gluten-free. Good news right. You can look for their website, they have a list of all items for anyone with certain allergies or restriction from certain food items.

Best gluten-free options which are available:
• Burrito bowl
• Corn tortillas

Chipotle can be the best option for people who have certain restrictions related to food.

  • In-N-Out Burger

You must be happy to see your favourite on the list. Yes, all the items are GF, without the bun. The burgers are wrapped in lettuce and free of gluten, in protein style. The best part is, your fav fries are fried in sunflower oil, which means completely free of gluten.

The best gluten-free options:

  • Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry shakes
  • French fries
  • Hamburger with onion (no bun)
  • Cheeseburger (no bun)
  • Double-Double Burger with onion (no bun)

Just OK Gluten-Free Foods

  • Shake Shack

We have to give Shake Shack major respect for providing a comprehensive allergy section on its website, which includes wheat. It describes what contains wheat and what may include a trace of wheat.

When it comes to fried stuff, all of them have cross-contamination, so it is better to forsake fries.

Look down to the best gluten-free options:

  • Burger patty with a gluten-free bun
  • All floats
  • Vanilla, chocolate, coffee, strawberry, and Peachtree milkshakes

Who adores ice creams, of course, we all do, but before jumping into your ice cream make sure you take it in a cup better to ignore the cones, it’s not for you.

However, you will find a lot of stuff that includes a large amount of gluten in it.

  • Arby’s

Arby’s is one of the great choices to pick, it lets its visitors know which food items are free of gluten and which can be contaminated. Speaking honestly, if you skip bun all your problems will be resolved.

Moreover, Arby’s has another benefit that it tells its customers about potato-based food to avoid because the same oil is being used to fry gluten-containing items.

You should know about these items they are the best gluten-free options:

  • Vanilla and chocolate milkshakes
  • Chopped Farmhouse Salad with roasted turkey
  • Sausage and bacon
  • Angus beef (no bun)
  • Roast beef (no bun)
  • Panera Bread

Don’t fool yourself by its name. Panera bread has a variety of items except for sandwiches on their menu that are completely gluten-free. You can look for salads and soups here without crouton, they are amazing.

You should know about these items they are the best gluten-free options:

  • Baja Warm Grain Bowl
  • Mediterranean Warm Grain Bowl
  • Greek salads
  • Fuji Apple Salad
  • Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken
  • yogurts and oatmeals
  • Southwest Chicken Tortilla Soup

All dessert lovers, Panera bread is the place to go, it has delicious gluten-free desserts like the coconut macaroon and the triple chocolate cookie with walnuts. Go and enjoy…

The most dangerous gluten-free fast-food options

  • Taco Bell

Taco Bell is not a good option for gluten-free food items to look for. However, it doesn’t pretend that its items are GF because they are fried in the same oil so it is possible that during the preparation the item can be contaminated.

However, their website has something for us to look like the guide to what should be gluten-free.

You should know about these items they are the best gluten-free options:

  • Power Menu Bowl
  • Black Beans and Rice
  • Crunchy Taco
  • Hash Brown
  • Doritos Locos Tacos
  • McDonald’s

Who doesn’t know about McDonald’s, all our childhood we had run after it’s a happy meal. However, please consider that McDonald’s doesn’t offer you gluten-free meals. Yeah, it is sad, but any burger without a bun can be gluten-free so keep it this way…

 

You should know about these items they are the best gluten-free options:

  • Burgers without buns
  • Most salads (grilled chicken only!)
  • McFlurry with M&Ms
  • yogurt parfait

The takeaway for fast-food chains

Indeed, everyone doesn’t know everything, same goes for fast food restaurants. Every single restaurant has its different cooking styles so they may not know every single allergy of yours. Even, if a restaurant is gluten-free, don’t miss the chances of cross-contamination.

There is no shame or embarrassment in asking the chef or manager of a restaurant about the cooking process, please let them know if you have any allergies or gluten intolerance.

If you are thinking about McDonald’s, Burger King, or KFC, forget about them because they are not options. Look for other amazing restaurants like Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, or In-N-Out Burger.

Honestly speaking before heading toward any restaurant. Call out them to inquire about the menu and what they are offering so that you can decide best for you.

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