So we all know that fast food is generally bad for you, but we all also know that sometimes it’s necessary. When I first became gluten and dairy free I had the hardest time finding fast food places that served things I could eat. After about a year of this new diet, I’ve finally compiled a list of places that are quick and serve options that are both gluten and dairy free.
My saving grace. Chipotle is by far the easiest fast food place for me to eat at. I don’t have to make any special requests, they just make my bowl as I go down the line exactly how I want it. The only ingredient that contains gluten at Chipotle is the flour tortilla. There are also only three ingredients that contain dairy: cheese, sour cream and queso.
Here’s the link to their allergen menu if you would like to see for yourself.
2. Panera Bread
Okay so this one is kind of cheating. Panera Bread is sort of a weird hybrid between sit down and fast food. However, I’m going to count it because you can find them literally everywhere and I love them.
The only thing that’s annoying about Panera, is that they don’t have a nice, clean master chart with allergen information like Chipotle does. You have to visit multiple pages and click on each item individually to see if they contain allergens. What IS nice though, is that they give you ways to alter certain items to make them free of your allergen. Their gluten and dairy free items are as follows:
– Seasonal Greens Salad
– Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa
– Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken
– Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken
– Turkey Chili
– Steel Cut Oatmeal with:
☐ Almonds, Quinoa & Honey
☐ Strawberries, Pecans & Cinnamon Crunch Topping
☐ Apple Chips, Pecans & Cinnamon Crunch Topping
…and here are the items on Panera’s menu that can be easily modified to be gluten and dairy free:
– Caesar Salad (remove croutons and cheese)
– Caesar Salad with Chicken (remove croutons and cheese)
– Ancient Grain & Arugula Salad with Chicken (remove ancient grain blend)
– Greek Salad (remove cheese)
– Fuji Apple Chicken Salad (remove cheese)
– Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup (without croutons)
Panera provides a clear list of gluten free items on their site here, as well as additional information about the use of wheat in their facility. They do not have an equivalent list to dairy unfortunately. As I said above, I looked up each item’s specific information here.
Wendy’s has always been my parents’ favorite fast food when we take family vacations. They will order spicy chicken sandwiches and Frosties without fail at least once per road-trip. I also used to order this combo myself. However, since the diet change, these are a few of my favorite menu items:
– Taco Salad (no sour cream or cheese)
– Garden Side Salad
– Light Balsamic Vinaigrette
– Italian Vinegarette
– Light Honey French Dressing
– Thousand Island Dressing
– Plain Baked Potato
– Rich and Meaty Chili (my favorite!)
– Natural Cut Fries
Wendy’s allergen chart can be found here. It is definitely not the most easily read chart, but it’s better than nothing!
Culver’s may be my favorite fast food place. This is probably because it’s the only fast food restaurant (that I know about) that offers a Udi’s gluten free bun for a slight upcharge. I usually will get a ButterBurger basket with fries, but here are a few other items on the menu that are gluten and dairy free:
– Crinkle Cut Fries
– Mashed Potatoes
– George’s Chili
– Beef Pot Roast (GF bun)
– ButterBurger Patty (GF bun)
– Corned Beef (GF bun)
– Grilled Chicken (GF bun)
Most of their salads are also gluten and dairy free without croutons and cheese. Many people squint at the ButterBurger being dairy free, but fun fact: the ButterBurger is it is called a BUTTERBurger because they put butter on the toasted bun, not the burger itself. When you order a gluten free bun, it comes in a sealed bag so they obviously can’t toast or put butter on it. You can find Culver’s handy-dandy allergen chart here.
I’m sure there are other options from these four fast food restaurants that can be modified to be gluten and dairy free in ways that I haven’t listed. Feel free to comment below with what I missed. Considering my diet is so restrictive as is, I’m always happy to learn about new things to try!