The irresistible smell of a Subway outlet can grab you like a lasso and drag you across the street and through the door! When you’re on the move it’s also a convenient way to eat some fresh, healthy veggies and whole foods before saying ‘to hell with it!’ and ordering meatballs and pepper jack cheese.
While there are plenty of gluten-free toppings and meats, the submarine is simply not the same without the roll. So I needed to know, does Subway have gluten-free bread?
After vetting Subway’s website I discovered they do not have gluten-free bread in all outlets. Its famous options are Artisan Italian, Italian Herbs & Cheese, Hearty Multigrain, Artisan Flatbread, Spinach Wrap, and Tomato Basil Wrap. None of which are gluten-free. However, select restaurants do stock gluten-free bread.
A Brief History
The very first Subway opened in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1965. College freshman Fred DeLuca was just 17 when he was loaned $1000 to start a submarine sandwich business by family friend Peter Buck.
He wasn’t the R.E.M. guitarist of the same name, although it was very much the end of the world as we know it because Subway went on to be the largest fast-food outlet on the planet.
It currently has over 40,000 outlets worldwide with over half in the US. Subway encourages us to “Eat Fresh!” to emphasize its use of fresh bread and veggies. But its image as a healthy alternative is questionable.
Recently an Irish court ruled that Subway bread is not bread. Due to its high sugar content, Subway bread is now considered a confectionary in Ireland and is subject to higher tax.
In fact, a footlong contains 10g of sugar in the bread alone. On top of that, you have the high sugar, salt, and fat content of its sauces, meats, and cheeses. If you’re having a soda and a dessert with that then you have one indulgent lunch! As much as I enjoy Subway, I see it as a fast-food chain and not a health store.
But how can you enjoy a gluten-free Subway meal?
Does Subway Have Gluten-Free Bread?
Subway does have gluten-free bread in limited outlets and many stores in Canada do too. Unfortunately, the Subway website doesn’t provide details on which outlets carry it.
The subs are manufactured in dedicated gluten-free facilities to prevent cross-contamination and they are individually sealed so they aren’t exposed to gluten until your sandwich is prepared. That means they aren’t baked on-site like other Subway bread. They only come in 6” versions, but there’s nothing to stop you from ordering two!
Of course, a small amount of cross-contamination on a sandwich counter is almost inevitable. So if you have a severe reaction to gluten then Subway might be the wrong way for you.
The franchise now offers a convenient curbside pickup service but I would recommend that you don’t use it if you’re gluten-free. You need to explain your dietary requirements and watch your meal being prepared for peace of mind.
If like me, your intolerance is manageable enough to deal with a little cross-contamination then you might want to know what you can—and can’t eat from the Subway menu.
What Are Subway’s Gluten-Free Options?
Subway now offers the option to have your sandwich filling in a salad bowl. You can enjoy your veggies, meat, and cheese with a delicious dressing for a meal that’s low on carbs and high on taste. If you happen to be in Europe, many Subway outlets also have gluten-free wraps, but they are not available in the Americas.
So that takes care of bread! What about fillings?
Meat, Poultry, Seafood, And Eggs
While you may not find GF bread at all locations you won’t be disappointed by their meat and patty selections. The following fillings are all gluten-free:
- Bacon Strips
- Oven Roasted Chicken Patty
- Grilled Chicken
- Cold Cut Combo Meats
- Egg Omelet Patty (Regular)
- Egg White Omelet Patty
- Genoa Salami
- Black Forest Ham
- Italian BMT® Meats (ham, pepperoni, salami)
- Rotisserie-Style Chicken
- Spicy Italian Meats (pepperoni, salami)
- Tuna Salad
- Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
Local and regional variations include the following options which are all gluten-free:
- Grilled Chicken (with Buffalo Sauce)
- Cage-Free Eggs
- Cage-Free Egg Whites
- Veggie Patty
Cheese lovers can rejoice that all of Subway’s cheeses are gluten-free. Here’s the list:
- Processed American
- BelGioioso® Fresh Mozzarella
- Shredded Monterey Cheese Blend
Regional variations include Shredded Mozzarella and Swiss which are also both gluten-free.
Subway prides itself on providing fresh, ethically sourced veggies, and of course, they are all gluten-free. Here are your options:
- Banana Peppers
- Black Olives
- Green Peppers
- Jalapeno Pepper Slices
- Smashed Avocado
Have you noticed that some people who work at Subway wear a shirt that reads “Sandwich Artist”? Have you ever questioned whether sandwich-making can truly be an art form? Then take a look at this guy.
He has the poise of a ballerina and the strategy of a chess grandmaster. Things get real at around 09:40s when he makes two subs simultaneously. You can also see the effort that Subway staff put into preventing cross-contamination. The timing! The precision! The lens flare! Enjoy!
Condiments And Dressings
Whether it’s a salad, sandwich, or wrap, no Subway meal is complete without your favorite sauce! All but one of Subway’s condiments are gluten-free. Here are the options:
- Buffalo Sauce
- Caesar Sauce
- Chipotle Southwest Sauce
- Honey Mustard Sauce
- Light Mayonnaise
- Regular Mayonnaise
- Mustard (Yellow)
- MVP Parmesan Viniagrette™
- Peppercorn Ranch Sauce
- Ranch Sauce
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Sweet Onion Sauce
The only Subway condiment that isn’t gluten-free is Sweet Onion Teriyaki because of the gluten in soy sauce. Select stores carry Creamy Srircha which is gluten-free.
Not all Subways stock soup but the ones that do only have one that is gluten-free and it’s Broccoli & Cheddar.
Cookies & Desserts
Another quick one! The only gluten-free sweet treat that’s available in all stores is Applesauce. None of Subway’s cookies are gluten-free. However, select stores now offer gluten-free brownies.
If you have gluten issues then you now know the options and also the risks of visiting your local Subway. Personally, I love their salads, and when I can find the gluten-free bread at select locations, I like their subs too. Mostly I’m fine after a Subway meal, but occasionally my belly bloats and I feel a little discomfort. But hey! Everybody hurts, sometimes.
Why not make your own gluten-free subs at home? Be sure to check out my article on How To Store Gluten-Free Bread: 4 Step Process.