Find out what menu items from First Watch do not contain gluten and what you need to know about their gluten-free options.
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If you love to go out to eat, you may have found a First Watch near you and been curious about their menu. With great breakfast, brunch, and lunch options, you may have wondered if this restaurant offers any gluten-free options.
If you’re like me, you’re always looking for some restaurants to visit that offer gluten-free menu items across all meals of the day. I often find that breakfast is one of the harder meals to find options for as so many breakfast dishes center around bread, batters with flour, or are served with toast.
In this post, we’re going to dig into the First Watch menu to find out what their offerings are for folks who are trying to stick with a gluten-free diet. We’ll discuss some basics of dining out while avoiding gluten, as well as go through a list of First Watch’s menu options that may work for you.
This review of their menu will hopefully give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not you want to visit this restaurant.
If you’re looking for gluten-free options, you won’t want to miss this post!
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
Gluten is naturally occurring, and therefore is impossible to strip away from the grain. If a grain naturally has gluten in it, there’s no way to make that food gluten-free.
Where can you find gluten in food?
Gluten can be found in the form of wheat and grain products, like bread, pasta, pizza crust, or flour in the more obvious places.
You can also find gluten as a binding ingredient, an ingredient added for texture like to make food more crispy, or as a thickening agent.
Where can you find gluten in restaurants?
Depending on the restaurant you’re visiting, you may find gluten in a variety of places.
At fast food restaurants, there will be gluten in hamburger buns, the breading of crispy chicken sandwiches or chicken nuggets, some French fries, salad dressings, croutons on salad, and chili or soup options.
At other restaurants, you’ll find gluten in flour in sauces, in pizza or other pastry dough, pasta, and as a thickener in some soups.
Where gluten is found in the menu items will vary from restaurant to restaurant. That’s why it’s always a good idea to review menus from home, and see if you can find any allergen information before you get to the restaurant itself.
Being able to review nutritional information and allergen statements before visiting a fast food restaurant can be the difference between ordering something that you think is safe for your gluten-free diet and getting sick.
Being knowledgeable about what specific menu items you’ll be able to eat without any worries of later reactions is crucial to sticking with your gluten-free diet.
First Watch allergen disclaimer
In the Allergen Guide on the First Watch website, they have a few disclaimers about their menu in addition to a full list of what allergens are in their menu items and offerings.
“Please inform your server or manager before ordering if you or someone in your party has a food allergy, sensitivity, or special dietary requirements.”
“All ingredient statements were found on manufacturer-generated spec sheets. It is possible that formulations may change or an ingredient or vendor substitution might be made which may not be immediately reflected in this chart.”
“Note we try to exercise caution and follow certain allergen procedures to prevent cross contact, but our ingredients containing milk, egg, fish, peanut, sesame, tree nut, shellfish, soy, wheat, and other allergens are made in the same kitchen and there is still a risk of cross contact with shared surfaces and equipment.”
What you need to know about the gluten-free options at First Watch
First Watch doesn’t offer anything in their menu that is truly considered “gluten-free” because of the risk of cross contamination in the kitchens with cooking surfaces and utensils.
They do have an Allergen Guide on the website that is helpful to find out which menu items do not contain wheat or gluten. If you are Celiac, you know that going to almost any restaurant is going to be a risk if the restaurant serves anything with wheat or gluten-containing ingredients. Because of that, it’s probably a good idea to avoid this restaurant as well.
If you have a gluten intolerance and know that you can tolerate small amounts of gluten in your diet due to cross contact, you may be able to enjoy menu items that contain no wheat or gluten ingredients.
Of course, this is up to you to decide as only you know how your body reacts to foods with gluten. Use your best judgment here and don’t eat something just because someone on the internet (me) says it doesn’t contain gluten.
First Watch does offer gluten-free toast if you wish to substitute that for a ciabatta roll or whole grain artisan toast. I am uncertain if you can make substitutions for their breakfast sandwiches, but it looks as though you can substitute this for a side.
What to know about cross contamination at restaurants
Most fast food and carryout restaurants are not considered gluten-free establishments so it’s useful to keep this in mind when making decisions about where to go and what to order.
It’s important to know that even if a fast food restaurant claims that their menu items do not contain gluten, that the possibility and probability of gluten in their products is going to be high if there is even one menu item with gluten available.
Depending on your level of sensitivity to gluten, this can be make or break information for you.
If you are Celiac and are allergic to trace amounts of gluten, you’ll likely want to avoid most fast food restaurants that offer any bread products or French fries that are cooked in a shared fryer with other gluten-containing ingredients.
If you are not sensitive to gluten at the trace level and have adverse reactions to gluten due to a food intolerance, you may decide that these trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination are worth risking for a quick, easy, and convenient food option.
Being aware of how you have reacted to gluten in your diet in the past and how much gluten it takes for your body to react is useful knowledge when it comes to situations like these.
Use your best judgment about what you know about your body, how you react to gluten, and what the risks are for you specifically.
First Watch Gluten-free Menu Items
The information listed here are the menu items that First Watch lists as not containing wheat ingredients on their Allergen Guide page of their website.
This list doesn’t mean that these options are necessarily gluten-free or safe for folks on a gluten-free diet, just simply that these ingredients and options do not have wheat-containing ingredients in them.
Since I also follow a dairy-free diet in addition to avoiding gluten and I know many of my readers do as well, I’ve marked those that contain no dairy ingredients with an asterisk (*) below.
- Tangerine Dream*
- Chicken Pesto Hash
- Mango Passion Palmer*
- Million Dollar Bacon*
- Lemon-Dressed Organic Mixed Greens*
- Barbacoa Chilaquiles
- Mint Mocha Iced Coffee
- Honey Crunch Iced Coffee
- Spiked Lavender Lemonade*
- Blackberry Bramble Sangria*
- The Traditional Breakfast: Cage-Free Whole Eggs
- The Traditional Breakfast: Egg Whites*
- The Traditional Breakfast: Bacon*
- The Traditional Breakfast: Chicken Sausage*
- The Traditional Breakfast: Smoked Ham*
- The Traditional Breakfast: Pork Sausage*
- The Traditional Breakfast: Turkey Sausage*
- The Traditional Breakfast: Seasoned Potatoes with Onions*
- Trifecta: Bacon*
- Trifecta: Chicken Sausage*
- Trifecta: Pork Sausage*
- Trifecta: Turkey Sausage*
- Trifecta: Cage-Free Whole Eggs
- Trifecta: Egg Whites*
The Healthier Side
Many of the Healthier Side options only contain wheat or gluten ingredients in the side of a ciabatta roll or whole grain artisan toast. You may be able to omit this from your order to make it gluten-free or ask for a substitute of gluten-free toast instead.
- Healthy Turkey (without whole grain artisan toast)
- Tri-Athlete (without whole grain artisan toast)*
Many of the Egg-sclusives menu items are considered to contain wheat or gluten only in the ciabatta roll or whole grain artisan toast that comes with it. This includes both the omelets and their sandwich options.
I’m uncertain if you can substitute their gluten-free toast for the sandwiches, but you can definitely either substitute or order their gluten-free toast as a side dish.
- Classic Benedit (without toasted ciabatta)
- Florentine Benedict (without toasted ciabatta)
- BLT Benedict (without toasted ciabatta)
- Smoke Salmon Benedict (without toasted ciabatta)
- Elevated Egg Scramble (without toasted ciabatta)
- Farmhouse Skillet Hash (without whole grain artisan toast)
- Market Skillet Hash (without whole grain artisan toast)
- Parma Skillet Hash (without whole grain artisan toast)
Omelets and Frittatas
- Bacado Omelet (without whole grain artisan toast)
- Ham & Gruyere Omelet (without whole grain artisan toast)
- Chile Chorizo Omelet (without whole grain artisan toast)
- Morning Market Veg Omelet (without whole grain artisan toast)
- Inspired Italian Omelet (without whole grain artisan toast)
- The Works Omelet (without whole grain artisan toast)
- Frittata Rustica (without whole grain artisan toast)
- Smoked Salmon & Roasted Veggie Frittata (without whole grain artisan toast)
- Gluten-free Toast with Preserves
From The Griddle
None of these items
- Super Food Kale Salad (without ciabatta)
- Chicken Avocado Chop Salad (without ciabatta)
- Cobb Salad (without ciabatta)
- Sweet Honey Pecan Salad (without ciabatta)
All sandwiches come on bread that contains wheat or gluten. You may be able to ask to substitute for a gluten-free bread option, but I’m not certain if this restaurant accommodates this request.
- Market Vegetable Soup (no crackers)*
- White Bean Chicken Chili (no crackers)
All the Kids Meals from First Watch contain wheat or gluten ingredients.
Their Bacon and Pork Sausage sides do not have wheat or gluten ingredients.
Sides and Small Plates
- Plain Grits with Butter
- Cheesy Grits
- Fresh Seasonal Fruit*
- Fresh Seasoned Potatoes with Onions*
- Gluten-free Toast with Preserves*
- Hardwood Smoked Bacon*
- Smoked Ham*
- Pork Sausage Links*
- Savory Chicken Sausage Patties*
- Turkey Sausage Links*
- Lemon Dressed Organic Mixed Greens*
- Million Dollar Bacon*
- Project Sunrise Coffee – Regular*
- Project Sunrise Coffee – Decaf*
- Cold Brew Coffee*
- Iced Coffee
- Herbal Tea*
- Fresh-brewed Iced Tea – Unsweetened*
- Fresh-brewed Iced Tea – Sweetened*
- Fresh-brewed Iced Tea – Seasonal Blackberry*
- Hot Chocolate
- Low-fat milk
- Coca-Cola Soft Drinks*
- 100% Cold Squeezed Orange Juice*
- Grapefruit, Apple, or Cranberry Juice*
- Morning Meditation*
- Kale Tonic*
- Purple Haze*
- Add Immunity Boost*
Bar – Signature Cocktails
- Cinnamon Toast Cereal Milk*
- Morning Glory*
- Pomegranate Sunrise*
- Vodka Kale Tonic*
- Bourbon Blackberry Palmer*
Bar- Brunch Classics
- Million Dollar Bloody Mary*
If you’ve been looking for information on what you can eat at First Watch while on a gluten-free diet, I hope this information has been helpful for you. Or at least given you enough info to decide if this is a good restaurant option for you.
While nothing on their menu is truly gluten-free due to the possibility of cross contamination, they do have some menu items that contain no wheat or gluten ingredients.
More Gluten-free Restaurant Menu Items
If you’re looking at other popular restaurants and wondering what gluten-free menu items they offer, be sure to check out my Gluten-free Restaurant Guide. I’ve outlined all the gluten-free options from 45+ popular restaurants and fast food chains.
- Gluten-free Fast Food: Options from Major Chains
- Gluten and Dairy-free Diet: 4 Restaurant Tips
- Applebee’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Arby’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Blaze Pizza Gluten-free Menu Items
- Boston Market Gluten-free Menu Items
- Buffalo Wild Wings Gluten-free Menu Items
- Burger King Gluten-free Menu Items
- California Pizza Kitchen Gluten-free Menu Items
- Cheesecake Factory Gluten-free Menu Items
- Chick-Fil-A Gluten-free Menu Items
- Chilis Gluten-free Menu Items
- Chipotle Gluten-free Menu Items
- Cracker Barrel Gluten-free Menu Items
- Crumbl Cookies Gluten-free Menu Items
- Culver’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Denny’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Domino’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Dunkin Donuts Gluten-free Menu Items
- Einstein Bros Bagels Gluten-free Menu Items
- Firehouse Subs Gluten-free Menu Items
- First Watch Gluten-free Menu Items
- Five Guys Gluten-free Menu Items
- IHOP Gluten-free Menu Items
- Jack In The Box Gluten-free Menu Items
- Jimmy John’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- KFC Gluten-free Menu Items
- Little Caesar’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Longhorn Steakhouse Gluten-free Menu Items
- McDonald’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- MOD Pizza Gluten-free Menu Items
- Nothing Bundt Cakes Gluten-free Menu Items
- Olive Garden Gluten-free Menu Items
- Outback Steakhouse Gluten-free Menu Items
- Panda Express Gluten-free Menu Items
- Panera Gluten-free Menu Items
- Papa Johns Gluten-free Menu Items
- Papa Murphy’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- P.F. Chang’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Pizza Hut Gluten-free Menu Items
- Qdoba Gluten-free Menu Items
- Red Lobster Gluten-free Menu Items
- Red Robin Gluten-free Menu Items
- Ruby Tuesday Gluten-free Menu Items
- Shake Shack Gluten-free Menu Items
- Smashburger Gluten-free Menu Items
- Sonic Gluten-free Menu Items
- Starbucks Gluten-free Menu Items
- Subway Gluten-free Menu Items
- Taco Bell Gluten-free Menu Items
- Texas Roadhouse Gluten-free Menu Items
- Wendy’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Whataburger Gluten-free Menu Items
- Wingstop Gluten-free Menu Items