Find out what menu items from Starbucks do not contain gluten and what you need to know about their food options.
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If you love coffee, you very likely have stepped foot in a Starbucks in your lifetime. That, or been through their drive thru lines while in your car on the way to work.
Starbucks is by far the most popular coffee shop in the world, which makes finding one wherever you live pretty darn easy. It feels like there’s one every few blocks no matter where you are in the US, let alone the world.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, you know that coffee is a safe option for you. But what about coffee from Starbucks? And better yet, what about their bakery items so you can grab a bite for breakfast before work or during your lunch break?
If you love Starbucks and you’re looking to find out if you can keep visiting this coffee shop regularly while following a gluten-free diet, keep on reading.
In this post, we’re going to talk about the basics of gluten and where you can find it in food and at restaurants, as well as do a deep dive into the menu at Starbucks.
Let’s go over what we know about how Starbucks handles allergens, plus go over what you need to know about cross contamination before you order anything from these coffee shops.
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 and drinks?
Gluten can be found in the form of wheat and grain products, like bread or flour in the more obvious places.
You can also find gluten as a binding ingredient, an ingredient added for texture like to make a 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.
Starbucks allergen statement
Starbucks offers no official allergen statement on their website. That said, there is a customer service Q&A from 2012 that is on their website:
“Where can I find allergen information?
For packaged foods and beverages, allergen information can be found on the product label.
For handcrafted beverages and non-packaged foods, allergen information can be found in the Menu Section, or you can just search for the item in the search field on this site. For any items that are not found on the website, please ask a barista to show or read you the ingredient information on the labels.
To our customers with allergies: We openly handle several allergens throughout our stores, including dairy, soy, tree nuts (e.g., almond, coconut, etc.), eggs, wheat and others.
While we take precautions to keep ingredients separate, we cannot guarantee that any of our beverages or foods are allergen free as we use shared equipment to store, prepare and serve them. Examples of shared equipment include the espresso machine steam wand, blender and pastry case. Please consult your doctor if you have questions about food allergies, so that you can make the decision that is right for you.”
Unfortunately, an update from 2012 is the most recent information Starbucks officially provides on their website.
They do share information on their individual product pages about allergens:
“We cannot guarantee that any unpackaged products served in our stores are allergen-free because we use shared equipment to store, prepare, and serve them. Customers with allergies can find ingredient information for products on the labels of our packaged products or online at Starbucks.com/menu.”
What you need to know about the gluten-free options at Starbucks
It might be easy to assume that all the drinks from Starbucks are gluten-free, but unfortunately that just isn’t the case.
Some drinks, especially cold blended drinks and Frappuccinos, contain gluten. It would be easy to look past this if I’d not done the research on ingredients while looking at their menus for this post.
As for their food items, all food in Starbucks are handled with shared gloves, utensils, and kitchen surfaces for gluten-containing foods and foods without gluten.
They also use a shared blender, espresso steam wand, and the pantry case keeps foods with and without gluten right next to each other.
Keep this in mind before you decide on what menu options work best for you on your gluten-free diet.
What to know about cross contamination at restaurants
Most coffee shops and 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 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 restaurants that offer any bread products or items 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.
Starbucks Gluten-free Menu Items
Starbucks doesn’t offer any specific gluten-free items nor make any statements about being careful with handling food or drinks for people with allergies.
That said, these are the menu items that Starbucks serves that do not contain gluten-containing ingredients as indicated on their website.
- Caffe Americano
- Veranda Blend
- Caffe Misto
- Featured Starbucks Dark Roast Coffee
- Featured Medium Roast – Pike Place Roast
- Decaf Pike Place Roast
- Espresso Con Panna
- Flat White
- Honey Almondmilk Flat White
- Caffe Latte
- Starbucks Reserve Latte
- Starbucks Reserve Hazelnut Bianco Latte
- Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte
- Caramel Macchiato
- Espresso Macchiato
- Caffe Mocha
- Starbucks Reserve Dark Chocolate Mocha
- White Chocolate Mocha
- Chai Tea Latte
- Chai Tea
- Earl Grey Tea
- Teavana London Fog Tea Latte
- Royal English Breakfast Tea
- Royal English Breakfast Tea Latte
- Emperor’s Clouds & Mist
- Matcha Tea Latte
- Honey Citrus Mint Tea
- Jade Citrus Mint-Brewed Tea
- Mint Majesty
- Peach Tranquility
- Hot Chocolate
- White Hot Chocolate
- Steamed Apple Juice
- Steamed Milk
- Vanilla Creme
Frappuccino Blended Beverages
- Espresso Frappuccino Blended Beverage
- Cafe Vanilla Frappuccino Blended Beverage
- Caramel Frappuccino Blended Beverage
- Coffee Frappuccino Blended Beverage
- Mocha Frappuccino Blended Beverage
- White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino Blended Beverage
- Strawberry Creme Frappuccino Blended Beverage
- Chai Creme Frappuccino Blended Beverage
- Matcha Creme Frappuccino Blended Beverage
- Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino Blended Beverage
- White Chocolate Frappuccino Blended Beverage
- Chocolate Cream Cold Brew
- Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew
- Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee
- Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew
- Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee with Milk
- Nitro Cold Brew
- Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew
- Iced Caffe Americano
- Iced Coffee
- Iced Coffee with Milk
- Iced Espresso
- Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
- Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
- Iced Chocolate Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
- Iced Shaken Espresso
- Iced Flat White
- Iced Honey Almondmilk Flat White
- Starbucks Reserve Iced Latte
- Starbucks Reserve Iced Hazelnut Bianco Latte
- Iced Caffe Latte
- Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte
- Iced Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte
- Iced Caramel Macchiato
- Iced White Chocolate Mocha
- Iced Caffe Mocha
- Starbucks Reserve Iced Dark Chocolate Mocha
- Teavana Sparkling Unsweetened Peach Nectarine Green Tea
- Teavana Mango Black Tea
- Iced Black Tea
- Iced Black Tea Lemonade
- Iced Royal English Breakfast Tea Latte
- Iced London Fog Tea Latte
- Iced Chai Tea Latte
- Iced Peach Green Tea
- Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade
- Iced Matcha Tea Latte
- Iced Green Tea
- Iced Green Tea Lemonade
- Iced Matcha Lemonade
- Iced Passion Tango Tea
- Iced Passion Tango Tea Lemonade
- Dragon Drink Starbucks Refreshers Beverage
- Mango Dragonfruit Starbucks Refreshers Beverage
- Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade Starbucks Refreshers Beverage
- Paradise Drink Starbucks Refreshers Beverage
- Strawberry Acai Lemonade Starbucks Refreshers Beverage
- Pineapple Passionfruit Starbucks Refreshers Beverage
- Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade Starbucks Refreshers Beverage
- Pink Drink Starbucks Refreshers Beverage
- Strawberry Acai Starbucks Refreshers Beverage
- Starbucks Baya Energy Mango Guava
- Evolution Fresh Organic Vital Berry
- Evolution Fresh Organic Defense Up
- Evolution Fresh Orange
- Evolution Fresh Organic Super Fruit Greens
- Evolution Fresh Mighty Watermelon
- Tree Top Apple Juice Box
- Starbucks Baya Energy Raspberry Lime
- Blended Strawberry Lemonade
- Horizon Chocolate Organic Milk
- Horizon Organic Lowfat Milk Box
- SBC Milk
- Horizon Organic Vanilla Milk Box
- Galvanina Sparkling Water
- Spindrift Grapefruit Sparkling Water
- Spindrift Raspberry Lime Sparkling Water
- Galvanina Sparkling Water – Lime
- Dasani Bottled Water
- Ethos Bottled Water
- Hawai’i Volcanic Water
- Kale & Mushroom Egg Bites
- Bacon & Gruyere Egg Bites
- Egg White & Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bites
- Avocado Spread
- Marshmallow Dream Bar
None of the Lunch menu items from Starbucks are considered safe for a gluten-free diet.
Snacks & Sweets
Some may be gluten-free but these are all third party snacks. You can review packaging at the store as snacks can vary location to location.
Oatmeal & Yogurt
You’ll always want to be careful about oats and oatmeal on a gluten-free diet as there is a chance for cross contamination during manufacturing and processing with other gluten grains. Keep this mind before ordering their oatmeal options.
- Rolled & Steel-Cut Oatmeal
- Berry Trio Parfait
- Strawberry Overnight Grains
If you enjoy eating at Starbucks or grabbing a quick drink on your way to work and have wondered if certain items on their menu are safe for your gluten-free diet, I hope this information has been helpful for you.
Many of their drinks do not contain gluten ingredients, but a lot of their food items do. Be aware of this as well as the possibility of cross contamination before ordering from this coffee shop.
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