Got a hankering for french fries and need a list of restaurants with gluten-free french fries or more specifically, celiac-safe french fries? This is your post.
We’ll be talking about where to order gluten-free french fries plus, if you want to make them at home, we’ll also be talking about the best french fries to buy!
BUT before we dive in, don’t forget to grab my FREE Gluten-Free USA Restaurant Cheat Sheets to help simplify dining out for you. Visit this webpage to download them!
Before we talk about restaurants with gluten-free french fries, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Aren’t french fries just fried potatoes? Doesn’t that make them gluten-free?
Yes, and no. French fries are basically sliced potatoes cooked in oil and if we stop there, then yes they are gluten-free. However, things get complicated fast.
First, some restaurants and even food producers coat their french fries in flour or batter for a crispier fry. Coating french fries in flour or batter makes them not gluten-free. For example, some of the Target brand frozen french fries are coated in wheat flour and are not gluten-free. Alternatively, another example is McDonald’s french fries which are coated in wheat beef flavoring in the USA, making them not gluten-free.
Second, even if fries aren’t made with gluten-containing flour or batter, if they are fried in the same fryer as foods that are, then they are not safe due to cross-contact.
Meaning if someone is frying breaded onion rings in the same fryer as fries, those french fries are now not gluten-free anymore due to cross-contact
So French Fries are gluten-free if they just potatoes and salt and they aren’t fried in the same fryer as gluten containing products. French fries are NOT gluten-free if they are flavored, breaded, or coated with gluten ingredients or have been fried in oil that has fried gluten.
Here is where things get a little trickier.
If you have celiac disease, any gluten-free food sharing a fryer with gluten-containing food is not considered gluten-free or celiac-safe. So if gluten-free food shares a fryer with not gluten-free food, it is not safe for people with celiac.
However, the story might be different if you have non-celiac gluten-sensitivity. People with non-celiac gluten-sensitivity have a wide range of varying gluten-exposure tolerance levels.
So some people with non-celiac gluten-sensitivity might be fine with french fries sharing a fryer and some may not.
It really just depends. Check out my post on the difference between celiac disease and gluten intolerance to learn more.
Now that we’ve cleared the air over french fries, who has gluten-free french fries? You can buy them from some restaurants and grocery stores.
If you’re looking for restaurants with gluten-free french fries, Five Guys, Penn Station, Red Robins, Chick-Fil-A, and In-N-Out all have or may have options. Keep reading to get the details on each restaurant to make sure they are suitable for you!
(disclaimer – always double check before ordering that the fries are made in a dedicated fryer)
Five Guys has gluten-free fries made in a dedicated fryer.
You can also order a burger wrapped in lettuce here, just be sure to let them know you have celiac disease and need them to change their gloves when the prepare your order. Typically you’re able to watch them go through the entire process of cooking your food so you can watch for cross-contact if it makes you feel better.
BONUS: they have free peanuts to eat while you wait!
Penn Station is my favorite place to get gluten-free fries made in a dedicated fryer. Sometimes they will give you extra fries than the container you bought and that is always a treat. Just like Five Guys, you can watch them prepare them to make sure no cross-contact occurs. Unfortunately, they don’t have gluten-free sandwich options as I write this.
I used to stop by Penn Station in high school for fresh fried fries weekly… the memories.
If you’re cool to dine in, Red Robins is a great place to get celiac-safe french fries.
They have separate dedicated fryer for gluten-free fries (but you have to request it) and on top of that, they have bottomless french fries. Pay a little extra and you can have bottomless sweet potato fries (my favorite!).
They also have a vast gluten-free menu and have a strong allergen protocol. The Red Robins I have been to make sure to mark the gluten-free food before it arrives to you.
Wendy’s french fries used to be gluten-free by ingredient but often were made in shared fryers. The advice used to be to ask the Wendy’s if the fryers were dedicated gluten-free or not.
However, as of 2021 Wendy’s reformulated their fries and cook them now in the same fryer as the crispy chicken to for added crispiness and flavor. Because of this, they are no longer ever considered safe.
Their political stances aside… Chick-Fil-A does usually cook their waffle fries in a dedicated fryer but make sure to check with your location. I don’t know if this is a popular opinion, but personally, I think waffle fries are the best. More surface area to carry sauce…
And gluten-free french fries aren’t the only thing you can get here. You can also order a gluten-free chicken sandwich here that comes disassembled. But as always, be sure that you’re asking for the proper cross-contact precautions so you’re staying safe.
Another place you may be able to get gluten-free french fries from is Culver’s. However please note that is considered uncommon but it’s been reported that some Culver’s have dedicated fryers for their french fries.
If you’ve got a Culver’s near you and you want a drive-through were you can order gluten-free fries, it couldn’t hurt to call and ask them to see if they’ve got a dedicated fryer.
P.s. Culver’s also has many other gluten-free options, so even if the fries aren’t an option, you can get other food from them through the drive-thru. Check out my Complete Guide to Culver’s to learn more about our options.
In-N-Out Burger has gluten-free fries made in a dedicated fryer. In fact, the only thing at In-N-Out that contains gluten are their buns.
Make sure when you order you let them know you have a gluten allergy to make sure they take the proper precautions when serving you your fries.
Found this helpful? Want more help with finding safe gluten-free restaurants, reducing your chances of getting glutened, and becoming more confident in speaking up at restaurants? Check out my Gluten-Free Dining Course.
So we talked about the restaurants that have gluten-free fries, what about restaurants that definitely don’t have safe french fries? Below are common restaurants and the status of their fries.
Moral of the story, ask if you’re unsure about the gluten-free status of the fries! And just because french fries are gluten-free by ingredient, doesn’t mean they aren’t contaminated during the actual frying process.
Want to skip the restaurants and make your own gluten-free fries? Try this homemade oven fry recipe OR my air-fryer carrot fries recipe.
Want to skip the cutting and prep? Below are some gluten-free frozen french fry options you just throw on a pan and bake!
This is not an all-inclusive list but a list of brands that generally have gluten-free french fries. As always, check the label for safety. Generally you’re looking for any seasonings that may contain or hide gluten and flour.
Whether you want to dine-in, go through the drive-through, grab takeout, or cook them yourself: there are plenty of places to grab gluten-free french fries.
Just make sure you’re checking the ingredients of the french fries to make sure they aren’t coated in flour or seasonings that may contain gluten. And if they are being prepared in a restaurant, make sure the french fries are cooked in a dedicated gluten-free fryer.
On same rare occasions you may find locations clean out their fryers to serve gluten-free fried food on certain days (if you’re in Columbus, Hot Chicken Takeover does this). In this case, this would be fine but of course, assess the suitability of this for yourself.
And don’t forget! If you want more help with dining out and grabbing delicious gluten-free food from restaurants, be sure to grab my FREE Gluten-Free USA Restaurant Cheat Sheets to help simplify dining out for you. Visit this webpage to download them!