How to Avoid Common Food Allergens in the Drive Thru

How do you avoid common food allergens when you dine out?

I’m on a pretty hardcore elimination diet to try and pinpoint what is causing The Kraken to break out in a massive rash. No dairy, soy, nuts, eggs, or fish. I’m also trying to avoid corn, as that’s a pretty big allergen, and watching my gluten intake (because it makes me feel better).

Being on this diet makes it difficult to plan ahead. Everything needs to be made fresh, for the most part. I’ve found a few quick snacks that tide me over (sunflower seed butter and jam on a brown rice cake, for instance), but, in general, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen cutting up fruits and veggies.

Which brings me to my dilemma.

I want to take the kids on a roadtrip over spring break.


Aside from being insane, it is going to be next to impossible for me to prepare and have Elimination Diet friendly food handy.

So, I started perusing the sites of various fast food establishments on our road trip route to come up with a list of things I can eat should we need to hit the drive thru. I thought I’d share that list with anyone else who may be needing a few pointers on what they can have, as opposed to what they can’t.

All of this information can be found simply by Googling the restaurant name + allergy menu.

Like I said, I’m avoiding Dairy (milk), Soy, Nuts, Eggs, and Fish. This is what I pulled together to help me avoid all of those things simultaneously.


Papa Johns (I know, technically not a drive thru, but I had to include a pizza option for our Family Friday pizza and movie night)

Original Hand Tossed Dough- Wheat
Pizza sauce
BBQ sauce
All toppings (except chicken (which contains soy!) and anchovies (because fish, duh))
Pizza dipping sauce
BBQ dipping sauce
Buffalo dipping sauce
I had a Papa’s Works with no cheese and it was BOMB.

Burger King

Apple slices
French fries
Hash browns
BBQ Roasted Jalapeno sauce
BBQ dipping sauce
Sweet and Sour dipping sauce
Chicken nuggets
Artisan Style Bun
Whopper and Hamburger patties
Crispy chicken patty
If you feel like building your own sandwich, ask for an Artisan bun, no cheese, with ketchup and mustard. Just avoid the pickles; they have soy!


Beef patties
Artisan roll
Bakery style bun
Chipotle bbq sauce
Grilled chicken fillet
Sweet chili sauce
Chicken nuggets/Mighty wings/Mcchicken (use your best judgement: all breaded chickens here are prepared in veg oil blend that may include soy)
English Muffin
Oatmeal (w or w/o brown sugar)
Sausage patty
Salads (no cheese; grilled chicken)
If eggs are no problem for you, AVOID getting them from McD’s, as they are prepared with soy!


Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Italian Vinaigrette
Light Honey French Dressing
Garden Side Salad
Apple Slices
Plain Baked Potato
Rich and Meaty Chili
Regular Chicken Nuggets (may be cooked in oil with fish and eggs, so use your best judgement)
Fries (again, the oil)
BBQ Sauce
Sweet and Sour Sauce
Jr. Hamburger
Jr. Patty
¼ lb. Patty
Ultimate Chicken Grill Fillet
Homestyle Chicken Fillet (oil)
Applewood Smoked Bacon
Oatmeal with Summer Berries
Plain Oatmeal (w/ or w/o brown sugar)
Homestyle potatoes (oil)
Plain toasted bagel
Sausage patty
As far as options go, Wendy’s ranked the best IMO. Potato + Chili; Garden Side Salad + Grilled Chicken Fillet; a Jr. Hamburger + Apples; Bagel with bacon and sausage; or Oatmeal with berries.

Taco Bell and Taco Time disappointed me something fierce. Nearly everything had soy. If you’d be satisfied with a side of black beans topped with guacamole, then go ahead… otherwise, steer clear.

Never fear, though, for there is a place you CAN have a tasty burrito!

Taco Del Mar

Black/Pinto/Refried beans
Shredded beef
Black bean and corn salsa
Pork Carnitas
Seasoned rice
Taco shell 7”
Tortilla chips/strips
Tortilla shells
This is about the only choice for gluten free options, too. Plus, they’re used to everyone customizing their food, so they won’t look at you like you’re nutso!!

and lastly…


Every bread on Subway’s menu may contain soy. I’d spring for a salad, but, if you’re dying for a sandwich…
9 grain wheat
Oven roasted chicken (also may contain soy)
Cold cut combo meats
Black forest ham
Italian BMT meats
Roast beef (the only meat not containing something!!)
Turkey breast (again, potential soy)
Buffalo sauce
Sweet Onion Sauce
Although, if eating yoga mat material isn’t your thing, I’d avoid Subway’s breads altogether.

There you have it!  I’m looking forward to being able to make informed decisions on our road-trip.

Is there something in particular you take pains to avoid while on the road, for you or your family?

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