Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause serious health issues. So for those who need to avoid gluten, it’s important to know which menu items at popular restaurants are safe to eat.
Five Guys does not currently have gluten-free fries. Their regular fries are seasoned with a gluten-containing blend before being cooked in shared fryers, making cross-contact likely. However, Five Guys says their unseasoned fries can be prepared gluten-free.
Are Five Guys fries gluten free?
No, Five Guys’ standard seasoned french fries are not gluten-free. According to Five Guys, their fries contain wheat as an ingredient, meaning they are not safe for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Five Guys seasons their fries with a signature blend that includes flour, which contains gluten. Specifically, their fry seasoning contains wheat flour, maltodextrin (derived from corn and potato starch), salt, corn starch, rice flour, dextrose, and other natural flavors.
So right off the bat, the wheat flour in Five Guys’ fry seasoning makes their standard fries unsafe for anyone avoiding gluten. Additionally, because the fries are cooked in shared fryers, there is a high risk of cross-contact with gluten from other fried menu items.
Can you get gluten-free fries at Five Guys?
While their seasoned fries contain gluten, Five Guys states that they can prepare unseasoned fries that are safe for gluten-free diets. Customers need to request the fries be made without seasoning.
To get gluten-free fries at Five Guys, follow these steps:
- Ask for “no seasoning” on your fries
- Verify with the staff that they can prepare plain, unseasoned fries
- Confirm that new oil will be used to avoid cross-contact
- Check that staff change gloves and use clean tools to prepare your fries
Be aware that even if made without seasoning, Five Guys’ gluten-free fries are still at risk of cross-contact with gluten because they use shared fryers. If you have celiac disease or are highly sensitive, cross-contact may still cause issues.
What about Cajun fries?
No, Five Guys’ Cajun style fries also contain gluten. The Cajun seasoning blend contains wheat flour as well as spice mix made with wheat.
So while you can get plain fries without seasoning, avoid the Cajun spice fries if you need to avoid gluten.
French fry ingredients at Five Guys
Here are the ingredients in standard Five Guys french fries, according to the company’s website:
- Wheat flour
- Corn starch
- Rice flour
- Natural beef flavor
The wheat flour, maltodextrin, and natural beef flavor (which can contain wheat/gluten) make their standard fries unsafe for those avoiding gluten.
How to order “protein style” at Five Guys
In addition to getting gluten-free fries, you can also order a “protein style” sandwich at Five Guys to make it gluten-free. This means they will serve the burger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun.
Follow these steps to order protein style:
- Choose any burger or sandwich on the menu
- Ask for it “protein style” without a bun
- Verify they will wrap it in lettuce
- Check for cross-contamination with staff
The burger itself and toppings should be gluten-free, but double check for sauces and seasonings with gluten, like malt vinegar.
Are milkshakes at Five Guys gluten free?
According to Five Guys, their hand-spun milkshakes are gluten-free, made with just milk, cream, and ice cream. The vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry shakes do not contain cookies, malt, or other gluten ingredients.
However, those with celiac should use caution due to some risk of cross-contact from equipment and shared blenders. Trace amounts of gluten could end up in the shake from other menu items.
Other tips for eating gluten-free at Five Guys
Here are some other tips for avoiding gluten when dining at Five Guys:
- Ask about all ingredients and preparation methods
- Check if fried items share oil with breaded foods
- Request new gloves and clean tools to prepare your food
- Avoid malt vinegar (contains gluten)
- Get sauces and toppings on the side
- Skip the bun when ordering hot dogs
- Opt for fresh-cut fries over Cajun fries
Does Five Guys have gluten-free buns?
No, as of now Five Guys locations do not offer gluten-free bun options. The buns contain enriched wheat flour, wheat gluten, and malt syrup.
Instead of a bun, your best option is to order a burger or sandwich “protein style” wrapped in lettuce at Five Guys to make it gluten-free.
Five Guys gluten-free menu options
Here is a quick rundown of menu items that can be made gluten-free at Five Guys:
|Menu Item||How to Order Gluten-Free|
|Burgers/sandwiches||Protein style in lettuce wrap|
|French fries||Plain fresh-cut fries with no seasoning|
|Milkshakes||Vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry shake|
|Hot dogs||Without the bun|
Keep in mind that while these menu items are gluten-free as prepared, there is still some risk of cross-contact at Five Guys. Use precautions and check with staff when ordering.
Is Five Guys safe for celiacs?
Due to the risk of cross-contact from shared equipment and fryers, eating at Five Guys is not considered safe for those with celiac disease or who are highly sensitive to gluten. Even gluten-free menu options could be contaminated with small amounts of gluten.
However, Five Guys may be an option for those with milder gluten sensitivities who don’t get sick from trace amounts. Just be aware there is some risk involved.
Those with celiac disease are better off choosing a restaurant that has dedicated equipment and strict protocols to avoid cross-contact. Check out our list of 11 Fast Food Places Safe for Gluten-Free Diners.
What is Five Guys’ gluten-free policy?
On their website’s allergen information page, Five Guys states:
“Our kitchens are not gluten free environments. While we take steps to minimize the risk of cross-contact, we do not have separate gluten free preparation areas.”
They recommend that those with wheat allergies or celiac consult their doctor before eating at Five Guys because the risk of gluten exposure is high in their kitchens.
Five Guys also confirms they do not have gluten-free buns or any certified gluten-free menu items. They do not make any guarantees regarding menu items for people with gluten issues.
Should I trust gluten-free at Five Guys?
While Five Guys is very transparent that their kitchens are high risk for cross-contact, some people who need to avoid gluten still choose to eat there occasionally by following precautions.
For those highly sensitive or with celiac disease, it’s likely safest to avoid Five Guys altogether. But if you do choose to eat there, stick to basic fresh-cut fries without seasoning or a lettuce wrapped burger, and verify food handling protocols with staff each time.
In general, it’s wise to be extra cautious at any restaurant that cooks gluten-containing items in shared fryers and does not make guarantees about avoidance of cross-contact.
The bottom line
Five Guys french fries, one of their most popular menu items, are not gluten-free unless specially requested without seasoning due to containing wheat flour. Their Cajun fries also contain gluten. However, plain fresh-cut fries made without seasoning can be prepared gluten-free.
While their burgers, milkshakes, and hot dogs can also be made gluten-free, there is a high risk of cross-contact at Five Guys. Special care must be taken each time you order to verify ingredients and preparation. Even then, those with celiac disease or wheat allergy should use extreme caution when eating at Five Guys.