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Brunch at Panera Bread ~ Gluten-Free!

Today I went to Panera bread to meet up with a couple of friends. I am always leary of places like this because there is such a large potential for cross-contamination with gluten due to all of the bread in the place (and in the name of the establishment ;) ). However, I received an email the other day from a nice woman, named Pat, at Panera Bread who gave me a list of items on their menu that would be safe for me to eat, proper precautions taken to avoid CC, of course. It was nice to have a choice of what I wanted to eat and drink, not be “forced” to make a decision based on the one or two things that were GF. Here is a list of what gluten-free items they have:

GLUTEN FREE LIST – Panera Bread **

**Although we do our very best to meet your special requirements, we cannot rule out the possibility of cross contact between these items and gluten-containing foods in our bakery-café.

Salads: (including the salad dressing)
(source of modified food starch is corn)
Greek Salad
Fandango Salad
Caesar Salad (without croutons)
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (without croutons)
Asian Sesame Chicken Salad (without Won Ton noodles)
Classic Cafe Salad
Strawberry Poppyseed Salad
Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken
Fuji Apple Chicken Salad
California Mission Chicken Salad
Orchard Harvest Chicken Salad

Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean
Cuban Black Bean and Lentil
Vegetarian Roasted Red Pepper & Lentil
Vegetarian Butternut Squash
Creamy Tomato (without croutons)
Low-Fat Vegetarian Southwest Tomato & Roasted Corn
Turkey Chickpea Chili
Summer Corn Chowder

Salad Dressings:
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Raspberry Vinaigrette
Asian Sesame Vinaigrette
White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Roasted Garlic & Meyer’s Lemon Vinaigrette

Juice, both apple and orange
Soda, fountain and bottled
Tea, regular and Chai Tea
All lattes & Frozen beverages
Strawberry Smoothie

I ended up enjoying the Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup and Half Asian Sesame Chicken Salad (sans wontons & sesame seeds) and a Chai Latte to drink. It was amazing. I know that may seem silly, it is just soup and salad. I think it was more the experience. I have been gluten-free almost 3 years and have never eaten at Panera during that time. I am glad I took this step and have another choice to add of my list of establishments that I can dine out at. BTW, I have never had a Chai Latte before, anywhere, and it was TDF! I will be chosing that to drink more often, for sure!

7 comments to Brunch at Panera Bread ~ Gluten-Free!

  • noahfons

    Kim, Their creamy tomato is OUT OF THIS WORLD! I swear they put a whole block of cream cheese in it. If you get a chance to try it, definitely do…I wouldn’t even miss the crouton. Probably a couple more calories than your bean soup!

  • Kimberly

    I am all about cream cheese, so that sounds right up my alley. I will have to see what days they serve that soup on and go that day! :)

  • garmonjulie

    My brother just started working at Panera Bread (in Georgia). I asked him to find out the scoop for me. I told him to suggest they try and make a GF bread for us. I hadn’t yet heard back on their acceptable items. This is so good to know!


  • Kimberly

    Oh, wow, if they made GF bread, I think I would eat there every day! LOL! :)


  • AWESOME! They just opened a Panera Bread not to far from my house. I never even thought of going inside because I didn’t want to be disappointed with yet another restaurant. Now I can add it to the CAN EAT AT List!

  • Carol

    I had read that Panera made a gluten-free muffin, but I asked at Panera bread in Lakewood, CO. and was told they absolutely did not have any gluten-free muffins or other breads. I am wondering where they are available.

    • Carol,

      I haven't heard anything about Panera making a gluten-free muffin. I did just send them an email asking for their latest updated list of gluten-free products, so I will make sure to pass it along once I get it.


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