Eating at Chipotle When You Have Food Allergies

Eating Out: Allergy-Aware Restaurants

Eating at Chipotle When You Have Food Allergies

Fresh Mex1,450+ restaurants in the U.S., Paris, London, Toronto and Vancouver

The ability to accommodate food allergies is a helpful by-product of Chipotle’s simple menu. Though wheat (flour tortillas), dairy (cheese and sour cream) and soybean oil are used in their eateries, along with eggs (for frittatas) at two airport locations, their menu is free of peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.

With an allergen request, Chipotle’s staff is taught to change gloves, protect the workspace and use clean serving utensils. They are then trained to prepare every order exactly what the customer asks for, whether it’s omitting the dairy toppings, preparing a burrito bowl sans tortilla, or skipping the warmer with corn tortillas to avoid cross-contamination.


Sandwiches and salads39,000+ locations globally

This ubiquitous sandwich shop is a haven for transparency. Both online and onsite, they offer a cross-referenced allergen menu plus ingredient lists for each menu component. The mix and match format offers numerous choices for dining without dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts or seafood.

Diners oversee the entire food preparation process, and can ask that the staff use cross-contamination precautions, from new gloves to a pre-packaged knife for sub slicing.

At test market locations in Duluth, Minn., Dallas/Fort Worth and Tyler, Texas, Gig Harbor/Tacoma, Wash., and Portland, Ore., you can request gluten-free bread for your sub and enjoy a gluten-free brownie for dessert.

Zpizza (U.S. only)

Pizza, sandwiches and salads100+ locations in 16 states

Would you shiitake mushrooms and a drizzle of truffle oil on your Top 8-free pizza? The crafty artisans at Zpizza will be happy to oblige.

With a focus on quality ingredients, this rapidly growing chain offers a traditional, organic wheat or gluten-free pizza crust; your choice of organic tomato, pesto or garlic sauces; mozzarella or vegan Daiya cheese alternative; nitrate-free meats or veggie crumbles; and an abundance of fresh produce toppings.

To ward off cross-contamination of food allergy orders, their pizza tossers use clean cutters and a separate preparation area.

Pizza Pizza (Canada only)

Pizza, sandwiches and salads380+ locations in Ontario, Quebec, Winnipeg, Regina and Halifax

Besides providing a diverse menu that is free from peanuts and sesame, this trend-setting eatery introduced a gluten-free pizza crust in 2008, along with stringent procedures aimed at preventing cross-contamination.

Food suppliers are closely reviewed and must submit all nutritional and allergen information. For easy accessibility, Pizza Pizza provides allergen information in-store, online and via their call centre.

“We’ve had very positive response to our food allergy innovation,” says a Pizza Pizza spokesperson. Beyond the pies, guests can order a salad, chicken wings, pasta or hot Italian sandwiches.

Next: More Allergy-Friendly Restaurant Reviews


Where Do People with Severe Allergies Go To Dinner?

Eating at Chipotle When You Have Food Allergies

I’ve been hesitant to write about dining out with allergies, knowing it would interrupt my fantasy: that I am an eater just everyone else, as adventurous and curious and game for whatever falls on my plate as Elizabeth David in the Provençal countryside or Calvin Trillin at the local fair. The truth is, I am extremely allergic to peanuts, and eating out in New York City, where I live, can make me feel a kid in a very hazardous candy store.

“That’s the whole myth about eating out: you’re supposed to relax and someone else worries about your food,” Michael Mezzina, a Brooklyn-based video editor who also has a serious peanut allergy, told me recently.

But for people with the most severe allergies, certain foods can cause life-threatening anaphylaxis, whose symptoms include difficulty breathing, sudden low blood pressure, hives, dangerous swelling, and loss of consciousness.

Even a trace amount of an allergen ( almonds chopped on the cutting board that a sandwich is later sliced on) can mean a trip to the ER.

Even so, people with food allergies can eat out, and with gusto. The keys to success are clear communication, patience, and, when possible, researching ahead.

How Diners Strategize

It’s hard to overstate how stressful eating out with a severe allergy can be. But the stress isn’t just from knowing that if one link in the chain of communication is broken, a trusted dish could actually kill you.

It’s also because food is bound up in our social lives, family gatherings, even our jobs.

Serendipitous dinners with new friends or lunch meetings with co-workers can be difficult to navigate, especially if you don’t to attract attention.

Mezzina knows that silence can be dangerous, but he still wants to avoid the social discomfort. “If I’m out with a group of people, sometimes I’ll ask [my girlfriend] to [mention my allergy], because then at least it’s someone who cares about you…not just you looking to be taken care of. It’s a stupid line of reasoning, but that’s how I feel,” he told me.

Rachel Miller, a teacher and musician who is severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, agreed. “The biggest battle is not the food itself, it’s the stigma,” she said, whether imagined or real.

“Sometimes you feel as though you’re just making the waiter’s day harder, and you’re , ‘Oh, it’s that guy,’ you know?” Miller confided.

To help, she’s started carrying cards that clearly outline her allergies with notes about cross-contamination, a tactic that FARE recommends. “It took some time for me to really be confident about presenting [the food allergy card].

But when you give it to [the waiter]…it’s almost they’re relieved. You’re taking a little bit of the responsibility off the waiter’s shoulders.”

FARE offers food allergy templates on its website in a variety of languages. If you’re traveling and the language you need is missing, one allergic friend of mine has this tip: carry blank cards.

“I was traveling in Southeast Asia, and I would ask bilingual people at the hotel to please write out on a card, ‘If I eat peanuts, I will die.

’” Having this blatant translation is better than asking to translate “allergy,” he said, because in some countries severe allergies are not common, and the seriousness may be lost in translation.

Thankfully, in the United States, the restaurant industry is increasingly aware of how serious allergies can be (some states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have laws requiring food professionals to complete food allergy training, and some states require that menus tell diners to declare their allergies).


Gluten Free at Chipotle – 2020 – Gluten Free Menu

Eating at Chipotle When You Have Food Allergies

  • Staff is knowledgeable and can answer questions
  • Staff will clean kitchen space or change gloves if asked

They will wash their hands and change out their gloves before starting.

For things cheese or lettuce where someone could have touched a tortilla and then touched the cheese or lettuce, they grab it from storage so it has no contamination.

Only one person touched your food the entire time and you watch it.

The only thing with gluten is a tortilla. Everything else is safe so tons of options!

The staff is well trained.

848 N. Route 59, Aurora, IL 60504Updated 4 days agoread full review

My mom and my son always get the hard tacos. Neither have had any sickness after eating there.We have always had good experiences here. The staff will change gloves and get ingredients from the back containers for us.

Not celiac

They do offer foods that do not contain gluten for those who are just intolerant to gluten. I personally got chips, salsa, and queso which are shared with equipment where cross contamination is available. They have a sheet that tells you which items contain gluten! Very helpful and happy I was able to eat something at the airport. (Terminal B)

222 Market St, Newark, NJ 07102Updated 1 month agoread full review

None of the staff seemed to know what celiac disease was. They didn’t know to change gloves, or why we needed fresh lettuce.

Our 2 girls have Celiac so I explained and they were willing to change gloves and get us some “salad lettuce” since all of there lettuce containers had had employees hands in them with potential cross contamination.

The one employee that new where uncontaminated lettuce was started to leave and the other guy was getting the wrong lettuce. I would NOT recommend eating here if you have celiac disease!!

4485 Miller Rd, Flint, MI 48507Updated 1 month agoread full review

Server was annoyed when I asked him to change his gloves for GF protocol. Asked another server to get cheese a fresh bin in the back and that server did not change gloves. Bins of chicken and guacamole were low and looked stale. Food did not pass Nima sensor test so bad to throw it away

They do not have corn tortillas but everything else is safe. EDIT: got sick here from cross contamination. I read other reviews on the chain and some people suggest not getting lettuce. I got lettuce so that could have been what glutened me. Everything else they use spoons for.

Please read this review. The guy or the girl takes off the gloves and his or her hands. Then washes his or her hands and then put new gloves on. Change the spoons and fresh toppings. Wipe down the surface. For the soft corn tacos they put tinfoil on it no cross-contamination for the soft taco warmer. This place is celiac friendly 🙂

My first time there after being diagnosed. I just told them first thing that I have celiac disease and immediately they changed their gloves and knew exactly which ingredients to pull from fresh containers. I was impressed!

the nicest people ever changed their gloves for me, changed the scoops to clean ones, and cleaned off the counter. in case I got glutened from the tortillas other people get. I have never gotten sick and most of their ingredients are gluten free. I love Chipotle!

Came in for lunch and had a burrito bowl.

The manager held the line to remove and replace all utensils being used as well as have the employee making my meal wash her hands and replace her gloves!He also carefully watched to make sure she didn't automatically grab the lettuce from the same tub. She got out a separate tub of cheese and lettuce.Great job of avoiding cross contamination!!!

515 N. Hillside, Wichita, KS 67204Updated 2 months agoread full review

chipotle definitely has gluten free items. I ordered a burrito bowl with white rice, black beans, steak, lettuce, corn & cheese. Definitely stay away from their tortilla chips, torillas or beer to avoid problems. Also if you ask for them to replace their gloves for you they will 🙂

I'm celiac, and when I told the woman working behind the counter she changed her gloves and also took it upon herself to carefully get me a take-out bowl and lid from midway down the stacks to avoid cross-contact. Chips and queso are GF as well, not sure on processing cross contact with them but I did not get sick. So pleased I can still enjoy one of my favorite lunches!

Staff was awesome! Washed hands, changed gloves and spoons, got some items from separate bins. (Granted they were not that busy at that time, so that was good, but it was still very much appreciated!)

890 N. 54th St., Chandler, AZ 85226Updated 2 months agoread full review

Don't do it.I ate lunch there last Sun and was sick all day and night into Monday.I told them I had a gluten allergy and ordered a Burrito Bowl with chicken.

She changed her gloves, but then preceded to use the same bins and the same spoons to serve my ingredients. At the end, a different server with glutened gloves put the lid on my bowl.They clearly had no clue.

I'm newly diagnosed with celiac and thought I'd be fine; I was very wrong. Never again.

— No gluten-free information on the menu

Bathroom was really filthy

961 Dana Dr., Redding, CA 96003Updated 2 months agoread full review

The employees and management at this location are AMAZING.

They change their gloves, clean the entire line, get new spoons, get new containers of cheese and lettuce (so they don’t touch something someone else touched with gluten hands) and best of all are so nice about it all.

they never make me feel bad for taking up more time or anything. i told the cashier thank you so much and she said “everyone deserves chipotle!!” This is one of the only places I feel safe eating at!

815 East Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283Updated 2 months agoread full review

Gluten Free Features

  • Allergen List
  • Gluten Free Menu
  • Tacos
  • Tortilla Chips


  • Dairy-Free Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Lunch
  • Mexican
  • Nut-Free Friendly
  • Paleo Friendly
  • Peanut-Free Friendly
  • Quick Service Restaurant
  • Takeout
  • Vegan Friendly


Chipotle Mexican Grill: Dairy-Free Menu Items and Other Allergen Notes

Eating at Chipotle When You Have Food Allergies

Updated 2020! Chipotle Mexican Grill has over 2000 locations in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and France. They specialize in San Francisco-style burritos, and have numerous options for dairy-free diners and other special diet needs. In fact, they’ve recently put paleo, whole30, and vegan bowls right on their main menu.

We’ve got the details on those bowls, and ingredient and allergen information so you can build your own meal.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Bowls Over Dairy-Free Diners with Dietary Options

This year, Chipotle has added new “Lifestyle Bowls” to their menu. They’re crafted from ingredients the brand already serves, but cater to different dietary needs. And they include the following dairy-free options:

  • Whole30 Salad Bowl: carnitas, romaine lettuce, fajita veggies, tomato salsa, and guacamole.
  • Paleo Salad Bowl: barbacoa, romaine lettuce, fajita veggies, green salsa, and guacamole.
  • Vegan Bowl: plant-based sofritas, brown rice, black beans, tomato salsa, chili-corn salsa and lettuce.

But you don’t have to order a prefix bowl at Chipotle. You can build your own non-dairy burrito, taco, salad, or bowl with the ingredients below.

The menus and allergen charts across the different countries appear to be close to identical. So this list might be relevant for Chipotle worldwide.

Nonetheless, I’ve included links to the allergen charts we could find in the next section, so you can verify.

  • Tortilla Products – Soft Flour Tortillas (Burrito & Taco), Crispy Corn Tortilla (Taco), Tortilla Chips
  • Meat and Tofu – Barbacoa, Carne Asada, Carnitas, Chicken, Chorizo, Steak, Sofritas (vegan tofu with sofrito herbs & spices)
  • Other Toppings – Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Cilantro-Lime Rice (White & Brown), Fajita Vegetables, Romaine Lettuce
  • Sauces – All Salsas (Roasted Chili-Corn, Tomatillo-Green Chili, Tomatillo-Red Chili, Fresh Tomato), Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette, Guacamole

Other Allergen Notes

  • At last check, Queso (sauce), Cheese, and Sour Cream were the only dairy-containing items.
  • According to Chipotle’s website, they do not use eggs (except at locations where breakfast is available), mustard, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, shellfish, or fish as ingredients in their food.
  • Gluten-free diners (or those who don’t want a burrito) can order any of the burritos as a bowl (no tortilla, layered in a bowl), salad (no tortilla, layered in a bowl over greens), or as crispy tacos. At last check, their flour tortillas were the only menu items that contain gluten.
  • It looks the vegan Sofritos is the only menu item that contains soy.

Vegan Menu Items at Chipotle

Obviously, the meats, cheeses, sour cream, and honey vinaigrette are not vegan. But the other menu items are, including tortillas, both types of beans, rice, fajita vegetables, raw vegetables, salsas, and guacamole.

More Details from Chipotle Mexican Grill

Allergen Disclaimer from Chipotle Mexican Grill: Individual foods may come into contact with one another during preparation, which is not reflected on this chart. Although we do not use eggs, mustard, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, shellfish, or fish as ingredients in our food, Chipotle cannot guarantee the complete absence of these allergens in its restaurants.

Restaurant Website:

Allergen Information for the United States:

Allergen Information for Canada:

Allergen Information for the United Kingdom:

Last Updated: January 2, 2020


Allergy-Friendly Fast Food: These Are the Best Places to Eat If You Have Food Allergies

Eating at Chipotle When You Have Food Allergies

Eating out with a common food allergy isn’t always as easy as you think it should be. Many restaurant servers and managers believe people with food allergies can tolerate small amounts of allergens when they cannot — and that can turn a would-have-been fun night into quite a miserable one.

There are many restaurants, however, whose staff are trained and willing to help their guests dine safetly at their establishments. AllergyEats’ listings offer ratings and reviews of many chains throughout the United States — some good; some not so great.

Here are some of the best restaurant chains to choose from if you or someone in your family has one or more food allergies.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Chipotle | SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

  • AllergyEats rating: 4.3 5

Before you head to a Chipotle near you, take a few minutes to view their allergens and special diet menu. This page lists each of the restaurant’s menu items and lets customers know whether or not they contain milk, soy, wheat, gluten, or sulphites (a preservative some people are sensitive to). This menu also makes it easy to pick out vegan and vegetarian options.

  • Gluten-free: corn tortillas, rice, beans, vegetables, meat
  • Milk: tortillas, meat — basically everything but queso, cheese, and sour cream
  • Soy: Everything but the sofritas (shredded soy-based tofu)

Perhaps most appealing is that Chipotle allows you to build your own meals. They’re very clear about what they don’t use as ingredients in their food — no eggs, peanuts, fish, etc. — and customer reviews have praised the staff’s gentle handling of special orders.

Maggiano’s Little Italy

  • AllergyEats rating: 4.7 5

Similar to Chipotle and other restaurants on this list, Maggiano’s offers a downloadable menu specifying which items contain certain food allergens. It also specifies vegetarian and vegan options.

  • Gluten-free: Some salads, steaks, vegetables, and some sides
  • Peanuts: Most menu items are peanut-free
  • Soy: Some salads and fish
  • Eggs, milk, and seafood

As long as you mention the food allergy in question to your server or manager once you sit down at the restaurant, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll be taken care of.

P.F. Chang’s

  • AllergyEats rating: 4.4 5

P.F. Chang’s offers an online “allergen matrix” that allows you to cross-reference any item on the menu with the allergy or allergies you’re trying to avoid. You’re strictly limited to mostly rice and soup if you’re allergic to soy, but other than that, the range of options is friendly to most interested in dining there.

  • Gluten-free: lettuce wraps, some soups, rice and noodles
  • Milk and eggs: Chicken and fish, rice
  • Soy and wheat
  • Peanuts, corn, and tree nuts

Red Robin

Red Robin sign | ivanastar/ iStock/ Getty Images

  • AllergyEats rating: 4.2 5

Red Robin offers an online interactive menu that allows prospective guests to search menu options by food allergy. For example, checking the “vegan” filter only allows you to select applicable menu options. Categories that don’t apply appear greyed out. You can select multiple filters at once.

  • Gluten-free: Salads, burgers (with bun modifications), sandwiches, appetizers
  • Vegan: Appetizers, veggie burgers, salads, and friendly side dishes
  • Milk, eggs, and dairy
  • Peanuts and tree nuts

Outback Steakhouse

  • AllergyEats rating: 4.2 5

Outback Steakhouse has a separate menu specifically designed for individuals with Celiac disease who cannot safely consume gluten. This menu also lists nutritional and ingredient info to help customers steer clear of other potential allergens.

  • Gluten-free: Salads and dressings, steaks, chicken, seafood, and sides
  • Peanut and tree nut allergies
  • Egg and dairy/casein-free

AllergyEats users and other customers have noted that Outback’s managers and waitstaff (depending on the location) are often accommodating and make sure all who dine in their restaurants do so safely and comfortably.


Is Chipotle allergy friendly? • Allergy Girl Eats

Eating at Chipotle When You Have Food Allergies

Chipotle is known for being allergy aware and it just so happens to be my go-to eatery when visiting the USA.

We just spent ten days travelling through five states, and I can tell you that Chipotle was my food allergy lifeline – I never worried about a safe meal because I had them to rely on.

Gotta love that they have no sesame, peanuts, or tree nuts in their kitchen. This being said, not all Chipotles’ are created equal.

When allergens may be a problem

You may have noticed Chipotle has been in the news lately because of their new menu item: queso. Lucky for me, dairy is not an allergen, but I can see it being a concern. Beyond the queso, cheese and sour cream are also offered.

On our trip, we ate at Chipotle three times and at one of them I saw cheese amongst the lettuce and guacamole. So as allergy aware as Chipotle is, there are high risks of cross-contact for dairy.

An article from AllergyEats states that you could ask for new lettuce and guacamole to ensure it is cross-contact free.

The only one of my allergens that Chipotle carries is soy in the sofritas. My concern is they are positioned behind the beans, which means they are served over them and run the risk of dripping.

I understand why they are set behind the beans since sofritas are probably one of the lesser used ingredients. They are also conscious of vegetarians and vegans who don’t want their food near the meat.

If this makes you worried, you can ask for fresh beans, but be prepared to wait since they may need to make a new batch.

Is Chipotle allergy friendly around the word?

Chipotle may be my go to fast food in North America, but Chipotle in Europe and the UK are no-go. Chipotle in England, France, and Germany all cook with sunflower oil so I cannot eat the rice, beans, meats, veggies, chips, or some of the salsas (basically everything but the dairy and lettuce lol).

One of my worst allergy experiences

I’ve had one of my worst allergy experiences at the Chipotle on Baker Street in London. I checked online about their ingredients and saw they used sunflower oil.

In hopes that maybe… just maybe… things had changed ( they did in the US moving from soybean oil to rice bran), I asked the employee behind the counter what oil they used. He flat out said that they don’t use oil.

I explained to him that online it says they use sunflower oil and I was just checking that this was still the case. Again, he insisted they used no oil. Determined to find out if I could eat there, I asked if he could check.

Frustrated he yelled: ‘listen WOMAN we DON’T use oil’. He said it so loud the manager heard and rushed over – talking while moving as to diffuse the situation – explaining: “yes yes they use sunflower oil”.

At being called ‘woman’ and shown no respect I had to walk away as not to create a scene. Thankfully I had just done yoga so was still pretty mellow if not who knows what I might have said! The employee learned they do indeed cook with sunflower oil and being schooled in front of a group of shocked people was enough of a lesson in customer service.

This situation was an excellent reminder to always check ingredients – even if you have eaten there a thousand times before.

 You never know if something has been changed that particular day and you can’t rely on a restaurant to be the same in different countries. You may be able to eat Chipotle at home, but maybe not in France.

Oh and sometimes people working at the restaurant have no idea what is in the food.

The takeaway

The takeaway here is that yes Chipotle is very allergy friendly and will try to accommodate your allergies, but all things it depends. It depends on the staff, it depends on how busy the restaurant is, and it even depends on what country you are in.

Have you dined at Chipotle? Share you experience in the comments below!


Allergens & Special Diet

Eating at Chipotle When You Have Food Allergies

No matter what your unique dietary needs are, Chipotle has options for you. Unless you have an allergy to delicious food, in which case, we might have an issue.

Black Beans
Carne Asada
Tortilla Chips
Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice
Cilantro-Lime White Rice
Crispy Corn Tortilla
Fajita Vegetables
Flour Tortilla (Burrito)
Flour Tortilla (Taco)
Fresh Tomato Salsa
Monterey Jack Cheese
Pinto Beans
Queso Blanco
Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa
Romaine Lettuce
Sour Cream
Tomatillo Green-Chili Salsa
Tomatillo Red-Chili Salsa
Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette
Black Beans
Carne Asada
Tortilla Chips
Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice
Cilantro-Lime White Rice
Crispy Corn Tortilla
Fajita Vegetables
Flour Tortilla (Burrito)
Flour Tortilla (Taco)
Fresh Tomato Salsa
Monterey Jack Cheese
Pinto Beans
Queso Blanco
Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa
Romaine Lettuce
Sour Cream
Tomatillo Green-Chili Salsa
Tomatillo Red-Chili Salsa
Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette

* Wheat & Gluten categories are combined since all Chipotle gluten-containing items contain wheat.

** All sulphites present in Chipotle food items come exclusively from vinegar – in which sulphites occur naturally below the concentration (10 ppm) to be required as a listed ingredient under federal law.

However, with an interest in transparency and for any customers with extreme sensitivities, we chose to label menu items containing vinegar as possible allergens.

*** We do not use eggs, except at locations where breakfast is available, as ingredients in our food.

1. FOR THOSE WHO AVOID PORK: Our carnitas are made with pork.

Individual foods may come into contact with one another during preparation, which is not reflected on this chart. Although we do not use eggs, mustard, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, shellfish, or fish as ingredients in our food, Chipotle cannot guarantee the complete absence of these allergens in its restaurants.

For general information on food allergens, visit the Food Allergy Research & Education website at For more information on our food, see our Ingredient page


If you avoid gluten, don't eat our flour tortillas. If you are highly sensitive to gluten and would us to change our gloves, just let us know at the start of your order.

You should be aware items containing corn, including corn tortillas (chips and crispy corn tortillas) and corn salsa, may have trace amounts of gluten from potentially co-mingling with gluten-containing grains in the field.


Our Sofritas is vegan and vegetarian approved. Vegans should avoid our meats, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, queso, sour cream, and chipotle-honey vinaigrette.

Our tortillas, vegetables, rice, beans, salsas, chips and guacamole, are vegetarian and vegan.

If you eat dairy, our shredded Monterey Jack cheese and queso are made with vegetable-based rennet and our sour cream is 100% cultured cream.