Can celiacs eat at Buffalo Wild Wings?

For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, dining out can be challenging. With gluten lurking in sauces, dressings, and fried foods, it’s difficult to find gluten-free options at many popular restaurant chains. Buffalo Wild Wings is one such chain that celiacs often wonder about. Known for its wide selection of chicken wings paired with tangy sauces, this sports bar favorite doesn’t immediately come across as a good option for gluten-free diners. However, with some modifications and careful choices, there are ways for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance to enjoy Buffalo Wild Wings. Here’s what celiacs need to know about eating at this popular wing spot.

An Overview of Celiac Disease

First, it helps to understand celiac disease and how gluten impacts those who have it. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. When someone with celiac disease eats gluten, their immune system attacks the small intestine, damaging the villi which are tiny, finger-like projections that line the intestinal wall and absorb nutrients from food. This damage leads to symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, fatigue, weight loss, neurological issues, and nutrient deficiencies. The only treatment for celiac disease is strictly following a 100% gluten-free diet, avoiding even small traces of gluten from cross-contamination.

What Foods Contain Gluten?

Since celiacs must avoid all sources of gluten, it’s important to know where gluten hides:

  • Bread, baked goods, crackers, cookies, cereal – these all contain gluten from wheat/barley/rye flour.
  • Pasta, pizza, sandwiches – these are made with wheat flour.
  • Beer and malt beverages – contain barley.
  • Soy sauce, salad dressings, sauces, gravies – these often contain wheat.
  • Breaded and fried foods – the breading is usually made with wheat flour.
  • Soup bases, stock cubes, bouillon – may contain wheat.

Even trace amounts can trigger reactions in celiacs, so ingredients must be checked carefully.

Can Celiacs Safely Eat at Buffalo Wild Wings?

Now that we understand celiac disease and what must be avoided, can celiacs dine safely at Buffalo Wild Wings? The answer is a cautious yes, with some modifications. Here are some tips:

Choose Plain Chicken Wings

The classic Buffalo Wild Wings style chicken wings are a good gluten-free choice. Opt for naked, plain wings without any breading or sauce. Request fresh oil to avoid cross-contamination. All plain chicken wing options are safe, including bone-in or boneless.

Verify Gluten-Free Sauces

While many Buffalo Wild Wings sauces contain wheat, there are some that are gluten-free:

  • Classic Buffalo
  • Desert Heat Dry Rub
  • Lemon Pepper Dry Rub
  • Salt & Vinegar Dry Rub

Be sure to double check for gluten-free certification and cross-contamination risk with your server.

Avoid Breaded, Fried Foods

Fried foods like chicken tenders and snacks often have wheat-based breading and are fried in shared oil, making cross-contamination likely. Stick to plain wings or salads instead.

Ask About Gluten-Free Prep

Request wings and any other food to be prepared in a designated gluten-free fryer or area of the kitchen with fresh oil and utensils to prevent cross-contamination.

Choose Gluten-Free Side Dishes

Fill up on naturally gluten-free sides like celery, carrots, and gluten-free dressings like ranch. Salads are also a good option, but make sure croutons are left off.

Avoid Risky Sauces

Many Buffalo Wild Wings sauces contain wheat, malt vinegar, or soy sauce, including popular flavors like Hot BBQ, Mango Habanero, and Jammin’ Jalapeno. Steer clear of these.

Check Beverages

Soft drinks and iced tea are fine, but beer is off-limits. Even though Blu Moon and Redbridge say “gluten-removed,” most celiacs react to these and should avoid them.

Bring Your Own Food

If unsure about choices, bringing your own gluten-free bun, dressing, or dipping sauce helps ensure you have a safe meal.

Key Things to Remember

Dining at Buffalo Wild Wings with celiac disease involves caution, but is possible by following these key tips:

  • Opt for plain, naked wings with gluten-free dry rubs or classic Buffalo sauce
  • Avoid breaded, fried items and risky sauces with soy, wheat, malt
  • Request wings to be prepared in fresh, uncontaminated oil
  • Double check food prep procedures and ingredients with staff
  • Stick to naturally gluten-free sides like veggies, salads without croutons
  • Check beverages – beer contains gluten
  • Bring your own bun or gluten-free sauce if unsure of options

With the right precautions, celiacs can enjoy boneless wings tossed in gluten-free sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings.

What to Order at Buffalo Wild Wings with Celiac Disease

Making sure your meal is 100% gluten-free at a restaurant with shared kitchen equipment is tricky. Here are some of the safest gluten-free orders at Buffalo Wild Wings for celiacs:

  • Bone-in or boneless chicken wings with dry seasoning rub
  • Celery and carrot sticks with ranch dressing
  • House or Caesar salad without croutons
  • Fruit cup
  • Chips and salsa
  • Coca-cola, Sprite, or iced tea

Stick to simple foods that are naturally gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination from breading or sauces.

Full Gluten-Free Meal

Here is an example full gluten-free meal at Buffalo Wild Wings:

  • 6 traditional bone-in wings with Salt & Pepper dry rub
  • Side house salad with ranch dressing
  • Fresh vegetables and dipping sauce
  • Iced tea

This meal minimizes risk with uncomplicated foods that don’t have sauce or breading.

How to Order Gluten-Free at Buffalo Wild Wings

Ordering gluten-free at a restaurant requires extra care and communication. Here are some tips for ordering gluten-free at Buffalo Wild Wings:

  • Tell your server you have celiac disease and need 100% gluten-free options.
  • Ask if they have designated fryers for gluten-free foods.
  • Request wings, vegetables, and any sides to be prepared in fresh, uncontaminated oil.
  • Verify ingredients of sauces and seasonings to ensure they are gluten-free.
  • Avoid breaded, fried items and beer.
  • Ask about their protocols to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Have backup options in mind if needed, like bringing your own gluten-free sauce.
  • Thank your server for helping accommodate your gluten-free needs.

With good communication and clarity, you can safely enjoy Buffalo Wild Wings with celiac disease!

Gluten-Free Sauces at Buffalo Wild Wings

For those with celiac, sauce choices can make or break whether a meal at Buffalo Wild Wings is safe. Many popular Buffalo Wild Wings sauces contain gluten – soy sauce, malt vinegar, and wheat are common culprits. However, these sauces are gluten-free:

Gluten-Free Sauces
Classic Buffalo
Desert Heat Dry Rub
Lemon Pepper Dry Rub
Salt & Vinegar Dry Rub

Some locations may also offer gluten-free versions of other sauces or have additional gluten-free options, so always double check with the restaurant. Many celiacs also bring their own gluten-free sauce to be on the safe side when dining at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Is Buffalo Wild Wings Gluten-Free Chips and Salsa Safe?

Chips and salsa can be a tasty gluten-free appetizer option at many Mexican restaurants, but is this menu item safe for celiacs at Buffalo Wild Wings? Unfortunately, the tortilla chips served at Buffalo Wild Wings are not gluten-free. The chips likely contain wheat flour and are fried in shared oil, posing a high cross-contamination risk. The salsa may also contain gluten from added thickening agents. Those with celiac disease are better off choosing carrot and celery sticks with gluten-free ranch dressing for dipping instead of the chips and salsa at Buffalo Wild Wings.

What About Gluten-Free Beers at Buffalo Wild Wings?

Those avoiding gluten know that regular beer is off-limits due to the barley it contains. At first glance, the gluten-removed beers like Redbridge and Bud Light Chelada offered at Buffalo Wild Wings may seem like a promising option for celiacs. However, most experts advise avoiding these beers with glutenremoved claims. The gluten is reduced to under 20 ppm, but many celiacs still react to these levels so they are not considered safe. Additionally, the equipment used to brew these beers likely contacts gluten grains, increasing the risk of cross-contamination. Plain cider, wine, or gluten-free certified beer brought in by the customer are safer bets for celiacs dining at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Tips for Eating Out Gluten-Free at Restaurant Chains Like Buffalo Wild Wings

Those with celiac disease know that eating out gluten-free requires extra care and planning, especially at popular chain restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings. Here are some useful gluten-free dining out tips:

  • Research the restaurant’s gluten-free options online first.
  • Call ahead to ask about their gluten-free preparation policies.
  • Explain your needs clearly to your server, emphasizing cross-contamination.
  • Ask questions about how foods are prepped and cooked.
  • Specify no croutons on salads or bread on the table.
  • Request plain proteins and simple sides like fruit and veggies.
  • Avoid breaded, fried items and flours in sauce.
  • Check ingredients of dressings, seasonings, marinades.
  • Consider bringing your own gluten-free bun or sauces.
  • Make sure kitchen staff and servers understand celiac disease.
  • Thank staff for accommodating your needs.
  • Provide feedback to the restaurant on how they can improve.
  • Trust your instincts – if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t eat it.

With the right game plan, those with celiac disease can safely enjoy a night out eating gluten-free even at restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings known for their flour-coated wings and beer selection. Planning is the key!

Are Gluten-Free Chicken Wings Healthy?

Chicken wings are a staple menu item at many restaurants, from sports bars like Buffalo Wild Wings to pizza joints and pubs. But are these wings still a reasonably healthy option when prepared gluten-free? Let’s take a look at the nutrition profile of gluten-free chicken wings.

Plain chicken wings contain protein, fat, and no carbohydrates or gluten. Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles and bones, while the fat provides flavor. Going gluten-free removes the main concern for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. However, plain deep-fried wings can still be high in calories and saturated fat, while providing minimal nutrients.

To make gluten-free wings healthier:

  • Opt for baking instead of frying
  • Use minimal oil for baking, or dry rubs
  • Choose leaner cuts like breast or tenderloins
  • Load up on veggie sides like celery and carrot sticks
  • Dip in Greek yogurt instead of creamy dressings
  • Avoid sugary sauces like BBQ or sweet chili
  • Eat in moderation – 6 wings or less per serving

With smart preparation methods and sides, gluten-free chicken wings can be a lean protein choice that’s safe for those avoiding gluten.

Gluten-Free Kids Menu Options at Buffalo Wild Wings

Having a child with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity doesn’t have to mean missing out on dining at favorite restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings. There are kid-friendly gluten-free options available. Here are some good bets from the Buffalo Wild Wings kids menu:

  • Naked chicken wings with gluten-free dry seasoning
  • Grilled chicken strips
  • Carrot and celery sticks with ranch
  • Apple slices or fruit cup
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Soft drinks like Sprite, Coke, lemonade

Stick to simple foods without breading or sauces. Verify preparation methods and ingredients with the staff. Bringing your own gluten-free sauce or dressing is also an option. With planning, kids with celiac disease can still enjoy restaurant trips like a family outing to Buffalo Wild Wings for chicken wings and ice cream!


Dining with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance may seem daunting, but with smart strategies, those avoiding gluten can eat safely even at restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings known for their floury fried food. The key is understanding risks – from sauces to fried items – and knowing the right questions to ask. Opt for plain wings and sides, bring your own gluten-free accouterments if needed, and maintain good communication with staff. While modifications and special requests are needed, following these tips makes it absolutely possible for those with celiac disease to enjoy an evening of boneless Buffalo wings and more at this popular sports bar. With the wealth of knowledge now available and improving restaurant awareness, the gluten-free community has more dining options than ever before, including at fun chains like Buffalo Wild Wings.

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