Whether you’re a celiac, or just intolerant to gluten like myself – grabbing a quick bite can be a minefield. Subway was always one of my favorite places to eat pre-diagnosis; and thankfully, still is. That’s right – Subway has plenty of gluten-free options available!
There’s a wide selection of bread available in every store. One of their most popular choices being the flatbread – but is Subway flatbread gluten-free? Unfortunately, the flatbread isn’t suitable for us, along with almost all other breads. There is hope though – don’t give up yet!
What Subway Gluten-free Options Are Available?
In fact, almost all of the fillings and condiments are suitable for us. Does subway have gluten-free bread available? which is made in a separate gluten-free bakery? It’s important to remember, Subway doesn’t have a designated gluten-free area, so there is a risk of cross-contamination.
Learn more about: Is Unleavened Bread Gluten Free?
Top Tips For Ordering in Subway
- Firstly – tell your server of your allergies! Most servers are knowledgeable and helpful.
Whenever I ask for gluten-free bread, I ask for the surfaces to be wiped and extra care to be taken; even if the server is aware of allergies, and their risks.
- I don’t usually ask as I’m not a celiac, but many places will open new bags of ingredients to ensure it’s safe – this is probably worth asking if you are a celiac, as it minimizes cross-contamination.
- If it’s your first time, and you’re anxious about forgetting what’s gluten-free, plan your meal beforehand or print out Subway’s allergen and sensitivity information and take it with you (US) (UK)
- If you’re not comfortable trying the gluten-free bread, opt for a salad or soup – very little surface preparation is needed for either of those, and they’re probably the safest of all the options available. (I opted for salads my first few times, but now I’m a sandwich girl all the way!)
What Can You Order Gluten Free At Subway?
In terms of bread, there’s just one option available – which tastes very similar to the standard gluten-containing bread, the Italian. It’s delicious and isn’t crumbly like most gluten-free breads tend to be.
ALL cheeses, condiments (country dependent, some UK condiments contain gluten), and vegetables Subway offers are completely gluten-free. Most desserts aren’t suitable for us, but some branches now offer gluten-free brownies (which will be clearly labelled) – yum!
- Bacon Strips
- Chicken patty (roasted)
- Chicken strips (plain)
- Cold cut combo meats
- Egg Omelet
- Egg white patty
- Ham (Black Forest)
- Italian BMT (ham, pepperoni and salami)
- Rotisserie-style chicken
- Spicy Italian meats (pepperoni and salami) – my go-to!
- Turkey breast
Some branches may offer additional protein selections to the ones listed above, and the full range of allergens, can again, be found here.
Let’s Get Saucy!
Gluten-free condiments that are available are:
- Chipotle Southwest Sauce
- Mayonnaise Light
- Mustard (Deli Brown, Yellow and Seed Spread)
- Ranch Dressing
- Savory Caesar
- Herb Garlic Oil
- Sweet Onion Sauce (contains poppy seeds)
Looking For Something Different?
Subway also offers a range of soups suitable for us – and there are quite a few to choose from!
- Black Bean
- Broccoli and Cheddar
- Mediterranean Vegetable
- Spicy Chicken Tortilla
- Tomato Basil
Again, options will differ depending on which country you live in.
Things To Remember
It’s easy to get excited at the prospect of finally eating somewhere that used to be one of your favorites. And you see the words, “gluten-free”, and naturally, assume that the product will contain no gluten. Whilst this is true for the gluten-free bread at Subway, once the bread has left its sealed packaging, the end product could easily become not suitable for us.
With small preparation areas and limited work surfaces – Subway kitchens are rife with gluten crumbs. Gluten and non-gluten foods are prepared in the same area, and even with the best care and attention – accidents can happen.
As mentioned earlier, if you’re extremely sensitive, or celiac, ask for the surfaces to be cleaned well before preparation. Their policy states that gloves should be changed, and surfaces should be cleaned before handling gluten-free bread, but I’ve encountered some that need a gentle reminder. It also may be best to avoid toasting – as branches don’t have a separate gluten-free toaster.
Subway’s website states that their gluten-free bread is, “*Not baked in-restaurant. The Gluten-Free bread is manufactured in a gluten-free facility. However, other menu items and ingredients in our restaurants contain gluten and are prepared on shared equipment, so we cannot guarantee that our menu items are 100% gluten-free.”
As you can see, there is always a potential risk – but I have always had positive, helpful experiences in Subway. My local branch’s owner is gluten-intolerant himself, which I was pleasantly reassured to find out.
It really comes down to how sensitive you are, as to whether or not I’d suggest going. And also how confident you are. It took me almost a year to try eating out for the first time once I’d been diagnosed! Some of us may never be comfortable eating outside of our homes, and that’s okay too.
Do It Yourself?
If you want to try making gluten-free Subway-style bread from your own home, I found this delicious recipe, with very few ingredients. I would love to see if you give it a try – I’m sure it would be better than any of my attempts!
It has taken years, but I’m so happy that well-known fast food outlets are catering for us now. Maybe it’s taken a while to get there, but we are definitely heading in the right direction. Subway are constantly adapting their policies and updating their menus; so who knows what might be in store for us soon?
What’s your go-to Subway order? Mine is Spicy Italian with cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, onions, and sweet onion sauce. Strangely, that was my go-to order before diagnosis. So although my eating lifestyle may have changed – my eating habits certainly haven’t.
If you’ve eaten in Subway whilst following a gluten-free diet, what has your experience been? Whether good or bad, I would love to know.