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Your Ultimate Guide to Gluten-Free Fast Food

We’ve all been there. You’ve been in a rush, no time to shop for groceries, much less prepare and cook the meal; or you’re traveling and need a quick bite to eat on the road; or maybe you’re just craving some good old french fries.

But there’s a problem… no gluten free menu. [Feel free to gasp in horror.]

We know how difficult dining out can be when you’re gluten-free, especially when nutritional information isn’t readily available. That’s why we’ve done the heavy lifting for you so that you can stay safe even while dining out!

Important Gluten-Free Fast Food Note!

While the meals mentioned below are made without gluten-containing ingredients, there is still possibility (and probability) for cross-contact with gluten in these facilities. If you are extremely sensitive to gluten, are prone to anaphylactic reactions, or have been diagnosed with celiac disease, this list is not recommended.

Fast Food Restaurants & Gluten-Free Foods

Most Chains

Unlike diners, most fast-food restaurants do NOT batter their fries before frying! This means that french fries may be a good gluten-free option when you’re out and about, although they may share fryers with gluten-containing foods. Always use your discretion and do not be afraid to ask questions.  We have learned that not all restaurants can be treated the same, even under the same corporation! 

Additionally, salads are usually gluten-free at most fast-food restaurants but be sure to watch out for croutons. Now, let’s get into the specifics.



We all love a good Frappuccino, but let’s be real: Starbucks’ food menu looks delicious too.

What to Avoid

  • Protein Boxes
  • Bakery Items
  • Sandwiches that cannot be modified

What to Get

  • Bacon, Sausage, & Egg Wrap
  • Spinach, Feta, & Egg White Wrap

Starbucks Gluten-Free Wrap Tip

Request no tortilla ensure wraps are gluten-free. No flour tortilla for the bacon, sausage, and egg wrap. No whole wheat tortilla for the spinach, feta, and egg white wrap.

Our Favorite

Sous Vide Egg Bites! This quick breakfast option comes with three varieties: Bacon & Gruyere, Kale & Mushroom, and Egg White & Roasted Red Pepper. We love these egg bites because they require no modifications and have two vegetarian options!

Taco Bell

When you’re in the mood, you’re in the mood. Taco Bell actually has a very accessible GF Menu, but we’ll list our favorites here too!

What to Avoid

  • Soft Tacos
  • Burritos
  • Nacho Cheese Sauce
  • Fire Sauce Packets

What to Get

  • Crunchy Taco (including Supreme!)
  • Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco (including Supreme!)
  • Black Beans and Rice

Our Favorite

Power Menu Bowl! This bowl is the ultimate craving conqueror, and comes with grilled chicken or a vegetarian option.

Taco Bell’s Disclaimer

Taco Bell® does not claim “gluten-free” for any of its food. Some Taco Bell® items are made without gluten-containing ingredients but are prepared in common kitchen areas, including common fryer oil, risking gluten exposure. Taco Bell® does not recommend products for customers with celiac disease. Customers with gluten sensitivities should exercise judgment when ordering.



Now this one is tricky…

What to Avoid

Everything. Unfortunately, McDonald’s uses gluten-containing ingredients in nearly all of their meals and sides. Even dipping sauces (Sweet and Sour, Big Mac Sauce, and Tangy Barbecue) are made with gluten-containing ingredients. This also applies to commonly safe foods which are not gluten-free at Mcdonald’s:

  • French Fries
  • Hash Browns
  • Breakfast Oatmeal 

There are some rumors that McDonald’s is planning to have dedicated celiac-safe, gluten free fryers, and some locations may already have them so be on the lookout!


Who doesn’t love a good burrito bowl?! This restaurant is plentiful with GF foods and has a user-friendly allergy tool on their website.

What to Avoid

  • Burritos
  • Quesadillas
  • Soft Tacos
  • Side Tortilla

What to Get

  • Burrito Bowl
  • Lifestyle Bowl
  • Salad
  • Crunchy Tacos
  • Chips

Our Favorite

The classic Burrito Bowl! The build-your-own line allows customer’s freedom to choose protein, rice, toppings, and your favorite cheese sauce or salsa!

Five Guys

Our mouths are watering already…

What to Avoid

  • Burgers buns
  • Hot Dog buns
  • Milkshakes with Cherry, Oreo pieces, or Malted Milk.

 What to Get

  • Burgers without a bun (lettuce wraps are our fave!)
  • Hot Dogs without a bun
  • Fries
  • Cajun Fries

Our Favorite

The classic Hamburger with a lettuce wrap! Five Guys’ build-your-own burger allows you to choose as many toppings as you’d like – all of which are made without gluten-containing ingredients.



The comfort food haven! While their sandwiches are unfortunately off-limits, Panera’s menu features plenty of GF soup and salad-based options.

What to Avoid

  • All Sandwiches
  • Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  • Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
  • French Baguette
  • Bakery Items

What to Get

  • Green Goddess Cobb Salad
  • Fuji Apple Salad
  • Greek Salad
  • Baja Bowl
  • Mediterranean Bowl
  • Chicken Tikka Masala Soup
  • Caesar Salad (without croutons)
  • Creamy Tomato Soup (without croutons)
  • Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries
  • Kettle Cooked Chips

Our Favorite

The Mediterranean Bowl with Chicken! This filling meal is made with brown rice, quinoa, arugula, and a delicious lemon tahini dressing.


Tropical Smoothie

Tropical Smoothie’s menu features more gluten-free options than just smoothies!

What to Avoid

  • Sandwiches
  • Quesadillas
  • Thai Chicken Salad
  • Bahama Mama
  • Beach Bum
  • Chia Banana Boost
  • Mocha Madness
  • Peanut Butter Cup
  • Triple Berry Oat
  • Kids Awesome Chocolate

What to Get

  • Beach Club Salad (Remove Parmesan Crisps)
  • Supergreen Caesar Salad (Remove Parmesan Crisps)
  • Baja Chicken Wrap (No Flour Tortilla)
  • Kale & Apple Slaw
  • Jalapeno Corn
  • Sweet Potatoes

Our Favorite

The Beach Club Salad (Remove Parmesan Crisps)! This fresh meal pairs perfectly with your favorite fruit smoothie.



Another tricky menu…

What to Avoid

Everything. Arby’s menu falls into the ‘no options’ category with McDonald’s. All meals and sides, including french fries, are made with gluten-containing ingredients.


You’re always craving it on Sunday’s. Or at least we are. Luckily, Chick-Fil-A’s menu features a gluten-free bun option!

What to Avoid

Anything fried or breaded. They just disclosed that they will be adding sesame to their buns too, which were sesame free before. For sesame-free options, explore The Difference Baker products.

What to Get

  • Grilled Nuggets
  • Spicy Southwest Salad
  • Market Salad
  • Waffle Fries
  • Kale Crunch Side
  • Hash Browns
  • Greek Yogurt Parfait

Our Favorite

Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Substituted with a GF Bun)! Chick-Fil-A is one of the few, accessible fast food restaurants that offer a gluten-free bun for their sandwiches, and we’re loving it!



Wendy’s has a decent amount of menu options if you’re trying to avoid gluten and some of the other top 9 allergens.

What to Avoid

  • Sandwiches with A Classic Bun
  • Anything with Chicken

What to Get

  • Lettuce Wrapped Burgers
  • BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad (without chicken)
  • Bacon & Cheese Baked Potato
  • Broccoli & Cheese Baked Potato
  • Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • Anything with a Hamburger Patty
  • Chili
  • Fries

Wendy’s Gluten-Free Menu Tips

  • Sandwiches: Unfortunately, they don’t have gluten-free buns, but you have the option to order “no bun” or lettuce wrap.
  • Protein: The Applewood Smoked Bacon and Hamburger Patty are the only proteins that do not contain gluten.
  • Salads: the chicken is not considered safe as it is made in a shared kitchen space with wheat.
  • Dressings & Toppings: Most popular dressings and toppings are gluten-free including: BBQ Ranch Dressing, Lemon Garlic Caesar Dressing, Ranch Dressing along with Spicy Roasted Cashews, Roasted Pecans, and Sunflower Seeds. Wendy’s croutons are not gluten-free.
  • Desserts: Ice cream (Chocolate / Vanilla Frosty) is the only gluten-free dessert option at Wendy’s.
  • Condiments: Most condiments are GF including: Cheddar Cheese Sauce, Smoky Honey Mustard Sauce, and Buttery Best Spread.


What Gives! No Fast-Food Gluten-Free Desserts?

You might have noticed there are very few gluten-free desserts on this list but fear not! You still have access to The Difference Baker! We ship our award-winning donuts, cookies, gluten-free cinnamon rolls, and SO much more all across the U.S.


gluten free cinnamon roll on the left, cookies in the middle and donuts on the right

Virginia’s Best Gluten-Free Desserts

Even if you’re not local to the Washington D.C., Virginia or Maryland areas, check out our products to get your hands on the amazing gluten-free treats that people are raving about. If you are local to the DMV, check out our daily menu and stop by our Ashburn, VA location for tons of fast gluten-free food options.