Struggling to figure out what and how to order gluten-free at Starbucks? Below are Starbucks Gluten-Free Drinks to order and how to order to manage cross-contact.
NOTE: This was written with USA Starbucks fans in mind. As always, do your own research to determine safety and suitability for yourself.
Based on Spring 2019 Allergen Sheet (if you find a more recent one please contact me!)
The following drinks are gluten-free at Starbucks with out asking for cross-contact precautions:
Basically anything that is made in a cup without flavoring can be gluten-free but always double check with your barista. You can also request your drink be made in a cup to reduce cross-contact if needed (more on that later).
Cross-contact is important to take seriously if you have celiac, and in some cases of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This is something I coach all of my clients on getting comfortable with. If you have celiac, here are the cross-contact precautions to ask for when ordering from Starbucks!
Want to know what’s definitely off-limits if you have celiac at Starbucks? Here’s what’s not gluten-free at Starbucks:
Be mindful of the drinks with Oat Milk if you’re sensitive. Starbucks uses Oatly in the USA which is certified gluten-free by the GFCO. However verify this is the oat milk your Starbucks uses because some Starbucks are switching their source.
Starbucks is really playing it safe when it comes to making gluten-free claims about products and I think that’s because their drinks change so often it’s hard to have a plan to minimize cross-contact.
That being said, Starbucks directs your to their online menu on their App and Website to check the status of allergen in different menu items.
The problem is a lot of Allergen sections for their drinks on the Starbucks menu come up with “Not available for this item” which can make it hard to know the status. However, on the website you can see the ingredients to determine the safety on.
You can see in the attached picture the struggle I’m talking about. The main questionable ingredient in drink items is “Natural Flavors” which can contain a gluten-containing grain but usually is safe.
What’s interesting to me is that in the Ice Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso Drink is not gluten-free and the ingredients specifically declare that it’s not gluten-free because of the natural malt flavor derived from barley. Which implies to me, they’d likely declare other gluten-derived ingredients in the ingredients too. That’s just my thought process.
The Fall 2021 Seasonal Drinks at Starbucks are gluten-free with the exception of the Apple Crisp Macchiato which contains wheat in the drizzle. If you want to try this drink, just ask for them not to add the drizzle.
Yes, that means the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes are gluten-free. Just be sure if you’re ordering the Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino that they are washing the blender before making your drink.
When ordering gluten-free drinks at Starbucks, make sure you’re skipping out on the Chocolate Cream Cold Brew as this new flavor has Chocolate Malt Powder, which is not gluten-free.
And if you’re ordering gluten-free drinks with cold foam, this is one of the many reasons you’re asking to have the blender washed to prevent cross-contact.
Gluten-free Starbucks drinks might not be super obvious so when if in doubt, order something simple like a coffee with cream and sugar.
What’s your go-to Starbucks order?
Disclaimer: As always, this post is not to take the place of you doing your own research to determine appropriateness, suitability, and safety of drinks ordered from Starbucks. Always confirm with the Barista and do your own research on the safety.