What you need to know about eating gluten free at Wetherspoons

gluten free wetherspoon

NOTE: As of Sep/Oct 2019, Wetherspoon has chosen to remove its gluten free menu. 

A lot of people have been visiting this post recently and I am sad to report that Wetherspoon has chosen to remove its gluten free menu. The pub chain used to have a specific menu (as below) which was gluten free, but now it has chosen to remove this. When I questioned them, they cited cross contamination risks. 

I will post the full response from Wetherspoon below but I just wanted to say personally I am really sad about this. I know there have been some issues with Wetherspoon in the past. Apparently they fry the halloumi fries in the same oil as the chips, which are not gluten free – yet they were on the gluten free menu!? They allegedly claimed this killed off the gluten – which is simply not true.

But to completely remove all traces of a gluten free menu is a real step backwards. It’s such a shame they couldn’t put better processes in place. Instead, customers will now be ‘treated’ to the dreaded blue allergen folder, where you have to sift through every element of a meal to try and figure out what the hell you can eat.

Why has Wetherspoon removed its gluten free menu?

When I asked Wetherspoon for a statement, this was what I received via the press team from Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson. I am pasting in full as I think anyone searching for Wetherspoon’s gluten free options deserves to be able to read it:

Allergen information has been the subject of greater scrutiny by operators and government agencies alike, in an effort to better provide customers with accurate information, and this is why we do not feel we are able to label our meals as ‘gluten free’ going forward.
 
Whilst a number of meals do not have any gluten containing ingredients, we cannot make claims about the complete absence of allergens when there is a risk of cross contamination within the kitchen, however small.
 
Our meals and cooking processes have not changed, and we have undertaken extensive testing at a UKAS (United Kingdom’s National Accreditation Body) accredited laboratory, which did not identify cross contamination.
 
Despite this, we cannot guarantee that specific meals will be allergen free in every kitchen, and for every meal sold, because of the inherent risk of cross contamination.
 
The law requires us to provide information about 14 specific allergens in the food and drink sold, and this information is available at the bar.
 
The ‘Allergen Guide’, currently in a blue folder, provides information on the allergens contained within dishes or drinks, and also explains the cross contamination risk.
 
Our staff are trained to provide the allergen guide when it is requested, and to pass on any particular dietary requirements to the kitchen and floor staff when these are highlighted by customers. They are not able to offer advice or make recommendations.
 
I apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of the withdrawal of the ‘gluten free’ menu but we feel the changes we have made are the safest way to provide information.

2016 post: What WAS on the gluten free menu at Wetherspoon?

Note:  I wanted to keep the original post below so you could see what WAS gluten free at Wetherspoon. This might help if you are visiting the pub and making choices on food – but always check with the staff and see what they say.

So today during my marvellous breakfast with the girls on my course in Wetherspoon, I picked up “Our Foodie Guide” from the condiments table!

The new gluten free menu at Wetherspoon.

The new gluten free menu at Wetherspoon.

This guide is amazingly useful – I’ve been impressed for a while with Wetherspoon’s acceptance and help with gluten free eating, and I felt that this deserved a mention!

Their labelling is great, their gluten free crumble is delicious, and they even advise and give extra options of GF meals!

One thing to be noted is their chips contain gluten, so you can order any meals with a jacket potato instead of chips to keep it gluten free.

So, here’s the low-down, courtesy of the foodie guide, on what you can eat in Wetherspoons!! (Although they can’t guarantee any of the products are free from traces of gluten, the following are made with gluten free ingredients)

  • Nachos
  • Jacket potato with baked beans
  • Jacket potato with mature cheddar cheese
  • Jacket potato with tuna mayo
  • Gammon steak and free range eggs (ask for jacket potato not chips)
  • Cod fillet (on the afternoon deal)
  • 5oz gammon steak (on the afternoon deal – with jacket potato)
  • Salmon salad
  • Salmon fillet (ask for jacket potato not chips)
  • Ham and eggs (ask for jacket potato not chips)
  • 8oz Sirloin steak (ask for jacket potato not chips)
  • 8oz Rump steak (ask for jacket potato not chips)
  • 28-day-matured British Isles 10oz rib-eye steak (ask for jacket potato not chips)
  • Mixed grill (ask for jacket potato not chips)
  • Skinny steak
  • Chicken Tikka Masala (ask for extra poppadums instead of the naan bread)
  • Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry (ask for extra poppadums instead of the naan bread)
  • Full rack of BBQ ribs
  • Chicken and rib combo
  • Tandoori chicken

Gluten free desserts

Mexican Monday

  • Naked burrito
  • Nachos
  • Small nachos

Chicken Club (Wednesday)

  • Peri-peri chicken breast and pepper skewers
  • Peri-peri boneless chicken breast
  • Peri-peri half roast chicken (ask for side salad and dressing or rice)
  • Grilled halloumi
  • Half rack BBQ pork ribs
  • Mini corn on the cob

Curry Club (Thursday)

On Thursday 3pm-10pm, Wetherspoons also offer the following curry club dishes that are gluten free – just make sure to ask for all of them with extra poppadums instead of the naan bread which isn’t gluten free!

  • Chicken Korma
  • Lamb Rogan Josh
  • Beef Madras
  • Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry
  • Chicken Jalfrezi
  • Chicken tikka masala
  • Poppadums with mango chutney
  • Tandoori chicken skewers

Sides

  • Coleslaw
  • Side salad
  • Avocado
  • Half rack BBQ pork ribs
  • Grilled halloumi
  • Mini corns on cob

Breakfast

  • Fresh fruit
  • Fresh fruit and organic, greek style yoghurt
  • MOMA gluten-free porridge

Or make up your own breakfast from the following items:

  • Bacon
  • Fried egg
  • Baked beans
  • Flat mushroom
  • Tomato

Please note: Wetherspoons no longer offer this gluten free menu, instead always refer to the allergen folder and double check with staff what is safe re: cross contamination processes.

What do you think about Wetherspoon removing its gluten free menu? A disappointing step in the wrong direction, or does an allergen folder make dining easier if, for example, you have multiple allergens? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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18 Comments

  1. Sue
    November 4, 2010 / 19:25

    Hi Sarah – there is a discussion on the gluten free message board from yesterday about Wetherspoons. Seems some branches are more clued up than others. I agree the crumble is great tho someone mentions the custard is not guaranteed gluten free, and someone else says they have nothing for breakfast but yoghurt. Well, can’t see anything wrong with the egg and bacon, mushroom and beans.

  2. sarahhowells
    November 4, 2010 / 20:53

    We were actually discussing over breakfast how there seems to be a variation in menus and prices in wetherspoons – including two right opposite each other with completely diff prices!! Fortunately every spoons I have been to has been fine and really clued up, well, as clued up as the menu indicates I guess! I had the bacon eggs and mushrooms today and have no ill effect – have had the crumble with custard and that seemed fine too but will have to look into that one! I think unfortunately they dont GUARANTEE anything gluten free (as most places dont grr) althought reasonable chance would indicate that it is? I’ll try find out 🙂
    Sarah

  3. Claire
    June 26, 2014 / 10:29

    Hi, I go to Wetherspoons every week and they have some fantastic gluten free curries as mentioned above. You can also have the salmon, baked potato, hollandaise sauce and vegetables which is delicious. If you want steak, just ask for a baked potato instead of chips as they are not gluten free.

    Thanks for this website it is brilliant and full of great information.

  4. Michael
    July 11, 2014 / 20:23

    Yep I love my own gluten free cooking but when we are on hols or iam lazy it’s off to wetherspoons for what they have on gluten free is brill , what other bigger pub chain has such a larger gluten free menu than spoons , I don’t think they know of intolerences .but why don’t spoons bring black g f chips and have g f gravy or mashed spuds .

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  7. julie sweet
    January 30, 2016 / 15:19

    Why do you not serve gluten free chips. Will you be doing a gluten free lager. Otherwise fantastic never have a bad meal in any of chains hitchin and stevenage old town wetherspoons the best

  8. February 29, 2016 / 17:58

    I would like to see gluten free fish, chips, and sausages at wetherspoons.

  9. April 14, 2016 / 19:31

    I’m in a wethers now with a karma. Thank god for wetherspoons, and thank you to you x

  10. Michael
    April 14, 2016 / 19:46

    Cool not , stopping Sunday dinners for cost cutting no more and saying that you are putting more veggies food on ,rubbish ,being veggie is a believer , gluten free is an intolerence,

  11. Tony Machin
    August 27, 2016 / 11:12

    I ordered full rack of ribs with jacket from the gluten free menu at your Greenwich branch. This meal was for my daughter who has an intolerance. It came with onion rings on the plate. my daughter carefully removed them but was very ill last night as a result. I believe the onion rings contain gluten. perhaps your staff need retraining in this matter.

  12. Ann Dorman
    September 14, 2017 / 22:12

    I can’t find mention of gluten free bread/roll and they could not provide one with my soup at Ryde Wetherspoons, 14 Sep. Had to wait 15 mins at a hotel bar nearby for one to be heated up to take away.

  13. Patricia
    July 21, 2018 / 16:52

    I’m new to gluten free , now I’m baffled …. went into a jdwitherspoons today and had the gluten free tikka curry ….it was bought out with naan bread and poppadoms lying across my dish . I said it was a gluten free …. so he took off the naan bread … !! Bit odd …. I asked if he was sure no gluten was in the rest …. well that’s the gluten free one was his reply. So I asked about the poppadoms as they looked greasy and I was told the difference between the gluten free popperdoms at another of your pubs is that they were oven cooked. The manager said that the poppadoms were cooked in the same fat as the chips and always have been so he ended up whipping the poppadom off the plate too ! I asked why they have a gluten free menu then if the poppadoms are cooked in the gluten laden chip fat …. he said they always have been . I think someone is not doing the right thing here ….even if it is in this particular branch . I ended up with a curry which was small and rice , paid full price and didn’t eat it as I was worried I would be ill…and wasn’t even offered my money back. Not good enough Mr Witherspoon … people can be very ill this needs to be looked at carefully .

  14. Paula Carter-Lockwood
    August 23, 2019 / 08:26

    I am gluten and dairy intolerant often go 2 wetherspoons 4 food and some meals include a drink which is really good value 4 money. The only downside is their gf breakfasts do not come with gf toast, sorry but u can’t have a fry up minus the toast/bread, they just need a separate toaster for this, wouldn’t cost much and wld make a real difference!

  15. Phoebe Manley
    October 6, 2019 / 16:46

    Wetherspoons seem to have gotten rid of their gf menu altogether now! Are you able to update us?
    Thank you!

  16. Olga Lilian Caddock
    October 14, 2019 / 19:39

    I’m not sure when this article was produced.

    At the moment, (October 2019), Wetherspoons DO have a current Gluten Free Menu – at least they do in all my local ones.

    What I WOULD AVOID are the Halloumi Fries that ARE listed on the GF Menu. While it’s true that they are free from gluten containing ingredients, they are Deep Fried in the same oil as the Regular Fries, so by the time that they’ve been cooked they cannot possibly be considered as ‘Gluten Free’.

  17. Silverain
    October 19, 2019 / 14:51

    Wetherspoons have removed the Gluten free menus and replaced them with an allergy guide that is worse than the previous one available before the menus introduction.

    There are nearly no gluten free items on the menu and they have also banned staff from providing advice on items for example: Asking if a curry is gluten free
    Without a naan bread included.

    This is in response to a incident where a youtuber was made ill after her gf halloumi fries was cook in same oil as non gf chips resulting in cross contamination.

    There response was a complete denial of responsibility and it seems to avoid any future issues they have decided to make Coeliac disease suffers unwanted and unwelcome in their restaurants.

  18. Claire
    October 26, 2019 / 15:11

    I experienced this when in Weatherspoons last week. Like you rightly said, this is a huge step backwards.

    The pub was extremely busy and the bar staff gave me a huge folder to go through. Feeling pressured I politely said I’d go for the easy option of a jacket potato (I’m so sick of jacket potatoes I can’t begin to tell you) because I felt like I was holding up other customers.

    I can only assume they’ve had a big issue surrounding contamination as its seems crazy to of put the gluten free menu out there and then pull it.

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