Is the Piada Power Bowl gluten free?

Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people choosing to avoid gluten for medical or lifestyle reasons. For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, eating gluten-free is a necessity. For others, eliminating gluten is a preference for overall health or weight management. Regardless of the motivation, finding delicious gluten-free menu options when dining out can be a challenge. Piada Italian Street Food aims to make gluten-free dining easy with their Power Bowls, but are the Power Bowls really gluten-free?

What is the Piada Power Bowl?

The Piada Power Bowl is a signature menu item at Piada Italian Street Food restaurants. It consists of a bowl with a base of mixed greens or romaine lettuce topped with chicken, vegetables, cheese, and crunchy toppings. Some of the most popular Piada Power Bowl varieties include:

  • Santa Fe Power Bowl – Grilled adobo chicken, romaine, black beans, fire-roasted corn salsa, cheddar, avocado, crispy red corn tortillas
  • Italian Power Bowl – Grilled chicken, mixed greens, grape tomatoes, parmesan, Italian vinaigrette, focaccia croutons
  • Asian Power Bowl – Teriyaki chicken, mixed greens, edamame, carrots, Asian vinaigrette, crispy wontons
  • Southwest Power Bowl – Fajita chicken, romaine, pico de gallo, black beans, cheddar, guacamole, crispy tortilla strips

The Power Bowls combine lean protein, greens, vegetables, cheese, and crunchy toppings for a satisfying meal that claims to be packed with flavor. But can they be enjoyed on a gluten-free diet?

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found naturally in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Some examples of foods that contain gluten include:

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Cereal
  • Beer

For most people, gluten does not cause any problems. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten triggers an abnormal immune response that damages the small intestine. This can lead to symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, fatigue, headache, and more. The only treatment for celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is adopting a strict lifelong gluten-free diet by avoiding all foods and products containing gluten.

Is the Piada Power Bowl Gluten-Free?

After reviewing the ingredients and preparation methods of the various Piada Power Bowls, the answer is yes – Piada Power Bowls can be made gluten-free. Here’s a breakdown of each component:

Base Greens

The base of mixed greens or romaine lettuce is naturally gluten-free.


The grilled chicken and steak options are gluten-free. Piada prepares their meats separately from gluten-containing foods to prevent cross-contamination.


Fresh vegetables like tomatoes, corn, carrots, bell peppers, and edamame are naturally gluten-free.


The shredded cheddar and parmesan cheese toppings are gluten-free ingredients.

Crunchy Toppings

This is where things get a little tricky in determining if the Power Bowls are gluten-free friendly. Some crunchy toppings like tortilla strips, croutons, and wontons typically contain gluten. However, Piada prepares gluten-free tortilla strips, croutons, and wontons to accommodate gluten-free diets. So the crispy toppings can be made gluten-free.

Dressings and Sauces

Piada’s Italian vinaigrette, Asian vinaigrette, salsa, and guacamole toppings are all gluten-free. The adobo sauce on the Santa Fe Power Bowl is also gluten-free.

Cross-Contamination Risk

While the individual ingredients that make up the Piada Power Bowl are gluten-free, there is still a risk of cross-contamination with gluten during food preparation and service. Piada kitchens also prepare many items that do contain gluten like pasta, pizza, sandwiches on wheat bread, etc. To avoid cross-contamination, Piada takes the following precautions for gluten-free orders:

  • Cooks and prepares gluten-free dishes separately from gluten-containing foods
  • Uses separate prep surfaces, cooking utensils, and equipment
  • Employs strict cleaning protocols between preparing gluten and gluten-free items
  • Packages the completed gluten-free dishes separately

However, human error is always a possibility in busy restaurant kitchens. Those with celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity may want to use extra caution when dining at restaurants serving gluten-containing menu items as well.

How to Order a Gluten-Free Piada Power Bowl

To ensure you receive a gluten-free Power Bowl when ordering at Piada, follow these recommendations:

  • State that you need a gluten-free order when placing your request
  • Verify that gluten-free tortilla strips, croutons or wontons will be used
  • Confirm that grilled chicken, steak, or other gluten-free protein will be used
  • Request that your bowl be prepared separately to prevent cross-contact
  • Ask if there are any ingredients that can be left off to make the bowl gluten-free if needed
  • Check that your order is marked and packaged as gluten-free

Dining out gluten-free requires some extra care when ordering. With the right modifications and preparation, the Piada Power Bowl can be a delicious gluten-free option. But those with severe gluten intolerances may want to exercise extreme caution when eating at restaurants that also handle gluten-containing ingredients.

Gluten-Free Diet Tips

Following a gluten-free diet, whether for medical necessity or by choice, does require some adjustments to your approach to cooking and eating. Here are some tips for living well gluten-free:

  • Learn to read food labels – look for “gluten-free” labels and watch out for ingredients like wheat, barley, rye, malt, and oats
  • Stick to naturally gluten-free whole foods like fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, and seeds
  • Search for gluten-free substitute products like bread, pasta, and crackers
  • Be aware of cross-contamination when preparing foods
  • Communicate with wait staff when dining out and ask questions about how foods are prepared
  • Look for gluten-free menu items or modifications when eating at restaurants

While giving up gluten takes adjustment, a gluten-free diet should not mean giving up variety, enjoyment, or eating out. Restaurant chains like Piada make it easier to find tasty gluten-free meals with transparent menus and allergy protocols. With proper precautions, those avoiding gluten can eat well both at home and on the go.

The Bottom Line

Yes, the Piada Power Bowl can be prepared gluten-free by using gluten-free ingredients and modifications. Those with celiac disease or avoiding gluten should take extra precautions when ordering and communicate their needs clearly. While the risk of cross-contamination can never be fully eliminated, Piada strives to offer gluten-free friendly menu items to accommodate different dietary needs. Overall, the Piada Power Bowl can be a delicious gluten-free option for those looking for safe restaurant meals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the chicken at Piada gluten-free?

Yes, the grilled chicken used in Piada Power Bowls and other dishes is gluten-free. Piada uses dedicated grill surfaces and utensils to cook plain chicken and prevents cross-contact with gluten-containing ingredients.

Are the dressings and sauces at Piada gluten-free?

Many of Piada’s salad dressings, sauces, and salsas are gluten-free, including options like Italian vinaigrette, Greek vinaigrette, Caesar dressing, adobo sauce, salsa, and guacamole. Individual packaging should always be checked for gluten-containing ingredients.

Does Piada have gluten-free pasta options?

Yes, Piada offers gluten-free pasta substitutes such as penne, rotini, and spaghetti. The gluten-free pastas are prepared using separate cookware to prevent cross-contamination. Be sure to request gluten-free pasta when ordering.

Is Piada pizza gluten-free?

No, traditional Piada pizzas are not gluten-free because they use a wheat flour pizza crust. However, Piada does offer gluten-free pizza crust that guests can substitute when building their own pizza. Let the staff know you need a gluten-free crust.

What gluten-free side dishes are available at Piada?

Piada provides several gluten-free side dish options including fresh fruit, steamed veggies, side salads without croutons, roasted potatoes, and grilled asparagus. Sauces and dressings should be verified as gluten-free.

Other Italian Restaurant Meals to Enjoy Gluten-Free

Eating gluten-free doesn’t mean giving up your favorite Italian dishes. Many popular Italian restaurants offer gluten-free menus and options. Here are some meals you can enjoy gluten-free at different Italian restaurant chains:

Olive Garden

  • Gluten-free pasta dishes
  • Herb-grilled salmon
  • Herb-grilled chicken
  • Soups and salad without croutons

Macaroni Grill

  • Create your own pasta bowl with gluten-free pasta
  • Herb-crusted salmon
  • Chicken scaloppine
  • Ratatouille

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

  • Wood-fired grilled meats
  • Pollo Rosa Maria without croutons
  • Mangia e Bevi soup
  • Sliced tomatoes and mozzarella

Buca di Beppo

  • Chicken Limone
  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Italian chopped salad without breadstick croutons
  • Roasted garlic chicken

With the rise of gluten-free diets, many Italian restaurants now accommodate gluten-free needs with specialty menus and dishes. After asking the right questions, those avoiding gluten can find safe and tasty Italian cuisine when dining out.


Gluten-free diners need not avoid the Piada Power Bowl. While not an entirely gluten-free restaurant, Piada caters to gluten-free needs by making their signature Power Bowls using naturally gluten-free ingredients and offering modifications like swapping out wheat-based crunchy toppings. Careful ordering and clear communications with the kitchen staff is key to ensuring gluten-free preparation. While the risk of cross-contamination can never fully be eliminated in a kitchen that also handles gluten, Piada strives to accommodate gluten-free diets. Overall, with proper precautions, the Piada Power Bowl can be a delicious gluten-free meal option for those with celiac disease or avoiding gluten.

Leave a Comment