5 Gluten-Intollerant Friendly Places to Eat When You’re on The Road and In a HURRY!

imageLife gets busy. Some days feel like they’re spent fully in the car. Dropping kids off. Going to the store. Don’t forget the bank and your cousin’s birthday cake. No, not the town office!!
Then you feel it. Your stomach, it’s growling. The grouchiness you shared with the bank teller and shaking hands you assumed were due to too much, or maybe not enough, Starbucks are really symptoms of HUNGER!
You can’t always stop to eat a decent meal, and “packing a lunch” sounds kinda silly. What’s a hungry human gonna do?
(Insert dramatic music here)

Sometimes you just have to do it- eat at a fast food joint.

Not all fast food restaurants are created equal, and some have more gluten free options than others. Below are some suggestions for a quick meal on-the-go, and for when you have a few more minutes to spare, in no particular order:

(Links are as of 6/4/2015. Always double check, as ingredients and suppliers do change)

Fast food with drive-thru:

1. Chic-fil-a

My go-to: Waffle Fries and Lemonade. Other options include the grilled chicken breast and new fruit cup. Just double check that the oil the fries come from is not shared with gluten coated items. I miss the carrot and raisin salad they used to carry.

http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Food/Allergen-Gluten-Diabetic

2. Wendy’s

My go-to: Baked potato with chili, but I’ll eat a potato with ANY topping. TIP: don’t try to eat the potato while driving. It will not end well.
https://www.wendys.com/redesign/wendys/pdf/en_US_gluten_free_list.pdf

3. McDonald’s

I don’t usually go here except for the awesome little hot fudge sundae or a shake, but they do have some new salad options. Stay away from the fries if you have Celiac, the coating has wheat in it.
http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/full_menu/full_menu_explorer.html

Order and sit down:

1. Five Guys

The reason why I like Five Guys so much is the taste. It’s simple. The burger comes with the toppings you want (when you ask for no-bun, they offer to serve it in a lettuce wrap or a bowl instead). The fries are double-fried for extra flavor. Caution- everything is coated in grease- that’s what makes it taste so good. I never said it was healthy, just gluten-free. Stay away from the malt vinegar!!!
http://www.fiveguys.com/media/73980/us_ingredient_allergenguide_2014.pdf

2. Chipotle

Chipotle is my number 2 go to place because the ingredients are a little bit healthier than the other options. You can have a bowl or a salad, and whatever you want to go on it. The only thing NOT gluten free here is the burrito wrap. Make sure to tell them you have a gluten allergy. The person in front will make sure that the person helping you has clean gloves and follows your order down the line. I’ve never had a problem with this.
https://chipotle.com/allergens

Just keep driving- these restaurants offer little to no gluten free options:

1. Subway. Too much cross-contamination risk.
2. KFC. (almost) Everything. Has. Flour. Period.
3. Taco Bell. Risk of cross-contamination is too high for Celiacs
4. Panera. Their bread is made in house. That’s a lot of flour in the air and a big cross-contamination risk for anyone with Celiac or severe gluten sensitivity.

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