While Panera may seem like an odd place to eat for a celiac I have recently discovered that they have a "secret menu" online where most of those options are gf! You have to find it online as they don't advertise it in store. I have gotten the Power Steak Lettuce Wraps (fresh steak, pesto lettuce, tomatoes, onions) and loved it everytime. Just ask the server to change their gloves before making your food to avoid cross contamination. Panera is a great place to hang out with friends, grab a bite to eat, or study and now us gf folks can enjoy it too.
Because of the bakery items and bread they make daily, they are very up front telling you there is a LOT of flour in their kitchens. They can offer options that don't contain gluten ingredients, but they can NOT assure you there will have been no cross-contamination. So, Celiacs are taking a risk. We have had smoothies here a few times & been fine. But that was with a manager overseeing the prep.
I have celiac disease. I have never before been able to eat at Panera bread until recently. It was an amazing experience! I ordered online and I could easily find gluten free options by putting "Panera Bread gluten free" into Google. The official Panera Bread website came up with a list of gluten free soups and salads, a long with a choice of sides. The only downside is that the online ordering didn't have a gluten free section so you did have to Google for the separate menu and in order to signify the need of gluten free I put Gluten Free under special instructions. Tasty food! Definitely would eat there again.
If you tell cashier you have an allergy, they will help you make decisions wisely. I was able to eat a salad & soup, both w/o croutons. And instead of bread I was given kettled GF chips. Awesome staff. Used new gloves and very understanding. Only thing is, is that they switch out their soup options
Panera disclaims that it cannot guarantee against cross contamination, but per their website, they do offer quite a few salads, soups and other items that do not contain gluten. I was especially excited to see their triple chocolate cookie is a flourless cookie. I had no issues after eating here, but they do not have a designated gf area.
We were shocked at the options for soup and salads and cookies that are gluten free. other family members wanted to go and we were resigned to have only a salad. It was a pleasant and tasty surprise.
Not a full Panera. Mostly for take out and not full menu. Items listed on website as gluten free not available, at least according to staff who was not knowledgeable. My husband is the gluten free person in our family. I had the Quinoa Greek Salad which would have been perfectly good for himWithout the dressing but they didn't know anything about it.
I am gluten intolerant. I started eating gluten free this very week so I am new to this. I looked at @ their website but forgot what is gluten free. I asked an older woman, who was very friendly and seemed like a manager, if they have a gluten free menu. She showed me a small list in their menu. I ordered the greek salad & vegetarian butternut squash soup. I think they were the half & half combo (8$) it came with a sude of potato chips and I ordered a soda (2.39$). She suggested I grt 1 of the 2 gf desserts, I picked the triple chocolate walnut brownie cookie thing. I asked if her staff knew about cross contamination and she had them make me a fresh new salad and use new gloves. I had a very good experience.
2016 update- I have eaten the green goddess salad several times this summer with no reaction. Still not many choices for those with celiac or extreme sensitivities. If you risk it, order your meal separate from anyone else in your party. They get confused easily with allergy issues. 2015--Not many choices, but I understand and tend to avoid due to the amount of bread they have. I almost always get the turkey chili and a bag of chips and have had no GI issues after consuming this meal. I have had a few salads that were on the GFree menu but have had issues often and avoid them now.
GF menu online. Knowledgable staff. Food was good. Several different choices of soups and salad and even a couple GF cookies. Tomato soup was excellent.
WARNING TO THOSE WITH CELIAC DISEASE: If you have celiac disease or are allergic to wheat be VERY careful if you eat here or better yet, just go elsewhere. At least some of the employees have no idea what gluten free means, and I just got a Feta and Watermelon salad that I ordered to be gluten free that had wheat and barley grain (ancient grains) on it. Great, now I get to suffer for weeks with celiac rash... I guess I'm lucky that I don't get DEATHLY ILL like some people do, I just get a terrible rash that makes me want to jump off of a bridge..... all because someone who is working in a restaurant who SHOULD know what gluten free means, doesn't have a clue. Everyone who works in food service should know about food allergies, it could be a matter of life or death to a customer.
cashier was very helpful and made sure the ingredients on my salad were all acceptable. she even said she would put a comment on my panera card that I had a gluten allergy. great that a bread restaurant is so accommodating when some steak restaurants won't even try!!
this isn't even close. corporate will tell you NOT to eat here if gluten free.