No popular authors found.

Get's E-Newsletter


No categories found.

Ads by Google:

Questions? Join Our Forum:
~1 Million Posts
& Over 66,000 Members!


America's Best Gluten-free Mexican Fast Food Chains 03/20/2015 - Mexican food and tacos are one of my most consistent gluten-free food options. If I'm on the road, or pressed for time, sometimes fast food chains are the only option.

Photo: CC--Shane AdamsBut not all Mexican fast food chains are created equal when it comes to gluten-free options. Some do a good job, others do not.

So here is a list of Mexican fast food chains that do a good job with gluten-free food options. As always, your individual experience at any of these restaurants may vary, so observe, ask questions about any item you're not sure about, and gauge your comfort level accordingly.

If you have feedback, or know of any other Mexican fast food chains that offer good gluten-free food options, be sure to tell us in the comments below.

Best Mexican Fast Food Chains:

#1: Chipotle
Chipotle gets high marks for gluten-free options. Pretty much everything that is not served with a flour tortilla is gluten-free.

So, at Chiptole, that means all soft and hard corn taco shells, all meats, beans, vegetables and sides are gluten-free.

#2: El Pollo Loco
El Pollo Loco is another chain where you can get a good, healthy meal without thinking too hard about gluten.

El Pollo Loco gluten-free menu includes their flame grilled Mexican chicken, corn tortillas, pinto beans, refried beans, avocado salsa, Cotija Cheese, mixed vegetables, and flan.

Basically, avoid any flour tortillas, and you can easily eat gluten-free at El Pollo Loco.

Ads by Google:

#3: Jimboy's Tacos
Jimboy's has long been a favorite of mine, because they prepare all their food fresh from scratch and offer a pretty robust gluten-free menu that includes Jimboy's original tacos, including bean, ground beef, chicken, steak, and carnitas, Tacoburgers, Taquitos in both ground beef, and chicken, Tostadas, including bean, ground beef, chicken, and steak, Ground Beef Kid's Taco, Ground Beef Pepper Poppers, and Jimboy's Guacamole & Sour Cream.

#4: Baja Fresh
Baja Fresh offers a pretty good range of options for gluten-free eaters. Gluten-free options include Baja Tacos made with corn tortillas, any “Bare style” burrito, and any Baja Ensalada with choice of steak, chicken, or grilled shrimp, as well as grilled vegetables, carnitas, rice, and both varieties of beans.

All Baja Fresh dressings and salsas are gluten-free.

#5: Qdoba
Qdoba is another fast Mexican food chain that offers a solid eating experience for gluten-free diners. Qdoba's gluten-free menu options include all Chicken, Chorizo, Flat Iron Steak, Ground Sirloin, Pork, and Seasoned Shredded Beef.

Also gluten-free are their Soft White Corn Tortilla, Cilantro Lime Rice, Black Beans, Tortilla Soup, all Salsas and Dressings, 3 Cheese Queso and Guacamole.

#6 Taco Cabana
I had the good fortune of trying Taco Cabana on a trip to Albuquerque a while back. I was not disappointed.

Taco Cabana does gluten-free eaters right with a wide variety of gluten-free options, including their Black, Borracho, and Refried beans, their Barbacoa, Chicken Fajita Meat, Rotisserie Chicken, Shredded Chicken Taco Meat in their Crispy Tacos, Chorizo, Chalupas or Nachos Steak Fajita Meat, Ground Beef Taco Meat (Crispy Tacos, Chalupas or Nachos), and Street Tacos in both Chicken & Steak.

As with most places on this list, diners can substitute corn tortillas for flour tortillas in all tacos, fajitas, & plates.

Other gluten-free options include Guacamole, Hash Brown Potatoes, Pico de Gallo, Rice, and Salsas – Fuego, Roja, Verde, Ranch, and Sour Cream.

#7: Mighty Taco
Mighty Taco makes it easy on gluten-free eaters by offering any taco with a corns shell, and most anything else on their menu except flour tortillas.

Mighty Taco's gluten-free menu includes: Mighty Taco with Seasoned Ground Beef or Chicken, Mighty Pack with Seasoned Ground Chicken, Refried Bean and Cheese, Meatless Mighty, Veggies and Cheese, Seasoned Ground Chicken, Seasoned Ground Beef, Fajita Chicken, Buffito Chicken, and the Taco Beef Salad, Mighty Chicken Salad, Chicken Fajita Salad, and the Chicken Buffito Salad. welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).

Related Articles

17 Responses:


said this on
23 Mar 2015 4:54:47 AM PST
Sorry but I disagree. I went to a local Chipotle and within 2 minutes I knew I could not eat there. They were using the same spoon for everything. I when they put the food onto each plate they would touch the Wheat Flour items that were already on the plate. That created a problem with contamination.

Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
30 Mar 2015 2:48:46 PM PST
This was my experience as well. The person serving me changed his gloves and was going to follow my order all the way through while the person next to him was putting a spoon in containers of food that had touched a flour tortilla.

Jared M
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
23 Mar 2015 7:42:57 AM PST
I love Taco Cabana! Nothing beats a salsa bar. Chipotle is also nice, but a bit pricier.

I hope we get El Pollo Loco in the Dallas area soon. We have similar Mexican chicken places like Pollo Regio.

Bruce Adolphe
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
23 Mar 2015 7:59:47 AM PST
I am very disappointed in this article and I do not think it can be trusted. I say this because I called Chipotle myself and asked if they were serious about the gluten-free items listed on their menu, specifically asking if they could guarantee their gluten-free options were safe for celiacs. They said absolutely NO, their wheat-flour tortillas and gluten-free corn tortillas and all other such foods were all handled by the same people in the kitchen and no one changes their gloves or even wipes up the counters. They said it was more for people with a mild gluten intolerance, whatever that is supposed to mean. They recommended to me that a person with celiac NOT eat at their restaurants and offered an apology for the misleading menus. Did you do any research or just read menus? Restaurants are not to be trusted.

( Author)
said this on
25 Mar 2015 11:21:18 AM PST
No restaurant that serves regular gluten options, and certainly not a chain restaurant, would ever "guarantee" that their food will always be 100% gluten-free. Many celiacs still eat at them without issues by taking very basic steps and speaking to those preparing the food about their condition. Obviously this article is not for those celiac who never eat out.

sandra clapham
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
23 Mar 2015 8:18:52 AM PST
Too bad Canada does not have these Mexican restraunts!

Donna Torraca
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
23 Mar 2015 8:32:20 AM PST
Moes is a great option too.

Cynthia Swift
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
23 Mar 2015 9:02:49 AM PST
Observations of assembling a GF bowel is Chipotle uses the same ingredients that touch flour tortillas and may cross contaminate them. I love their food but it isn't enough for celiacs with high sensitivity to gluten. Sad but true.

Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
23 Mar 2015 1:52:25 PM PST
Great info! Will share this with my family soon. This will help when we go out to eat in the next few weeks.

Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
23 Mar 2015 2:42:10 PM PST
El Pollo Loco home page states their kitchen area along with prep areas, utensils are not dedicated for gluten free safety therefore cross contamination is highly probable.

( Author)
said this on
25 Mar 2015 11:13:22 AM PST
We think the work "possible" rather than "highly probably" is more accurate.

R. Borg
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
23 Mar 2015 3:12:11 PM PST
Just to be safe, I order the burrito in a bowl at Chipolte.

Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
24 Mar 2015 8:09:23 PM PST
An interesting list. My personal experiences with Mexican chains or restaurants has been marginal however. The food may be GF but cross contamination has always been a big concern (and a problem in my area). Even when I have been assured of good practices that has not been the case so I just don't take the chance any more.....

Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
26 Mar 2015 1:45:53 PM PST
As has been reiterated in sever responses, cross contamination is the real issue at any establishment that offers gluten-free options. for those of us with serious celiac sensitivities it is always important to know what cross contamination are "highly probable", "slightly probably" or "possible"!

Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
27 Mar 2015 2:36:22 PM PST
Actually, the staff at Chipotle changed his gloves when I said I had celiac. Then he did all the prep himself instead of handing my bowl down the line!

Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
30 Mar 2015 10:40:14 AM PST
This cavalier attitude about recommending restaurants that have "gluten free" options is disappointing. I went in to Chipotle when it opened in my town after hearing they had a gluten free menu and took one look and turned straight back out. People with celiac disease are truly broken hearted by articles that get their hopes up only to smash them once again. Thankfully there are a few restaurants in my area that do understand. Shame on you Mr. Adams for not getting it right!

No Quit Mom
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
15 Mar 2017 11:15:39 AM PST
The street tacos at Taco Cabana are NOT GF. They have a pepper sauce mixed in with the meat that contains wheat.

Rate this article and leave a comment:
Rating: * Poor Excellent
Your Name *: Email (private) *:

In's Forum Now:

In Austin, Wildwood Bakehouse and Wilder Wood Restaurant are totally gluten free. I had the chicken fried steak and gravy and onion rings!!! Awesome!!!

Hi there I have this exact same thing.. however I don?t have celiac that I know of.. I found this when google searching for what the heck is wrong with my face. I was wondering if you ever found out.. or if it just went away. Thanks

I have read the newbie 101 and have been careful about reading labels. I'm the only one that's gluten free in my household, so they could be contaminating me. I was eating gluten for 6 weeks after my blood test because it took that long to get an official diagnosis and my GP told me to still be e...

Hi and Welcome to the Forum. I am glad that you are here! As with a lot of things in life, try not to compare yourself to other people. You are trying to be the best version of yourself - not Jill, Annie, or Maya. People make a lot of foolish decisions in the world and it does not mean tha...

If Small was going to get rid of anything in a takeaway meal, it would be the bread with all its dreaded gluten. However, many scientists and nutritionists argue gluten is not a problem for people who do not have celiac disease or who are not "gluten-sensitive". Massey University senior lecturer ...