Eating Gluten Free on Road Trips

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Eating gluten free can be a big adjustment to your diet, but really not that difficult to do at home once you’ve made the commitment. You can even eat gluten free at restaurants — look up menus on the Internet and/or call the restaurant before you leave for dinner. However, driving cross-country and finding restaurants along the Interstate highways that provide gluten-free meals is another challenge. Having Internet access and a good GPS while on the road is helpful, but isn’t much help finding restaurants with gluten-free meals at a specific exit, say 90 miles down the road when you need to fill up the car with gas. Fortunately, I found two books extremely helpful in making it a whole lot easier.

the Next EXIT

This is a great book to have for road trips. As you are traveling on the Interstate highways, you can look ahead and see what restaurants and services are listed for each exit. McDonald’s aren’t hard to find at any random intersection, but Chik-fil-a, Outback, and P.F. Chang’s may be a little more difficult to find without this book. The book also lists gas, lodging, grocery and retail stores, rest areas, etc. and which side of the highway you will find them.


Triumph Dining Restaurant Guide

This book lists, by state, restaurants, bakeries and cafes that offer something gluten free to eat. It also has a list of gluten-free menu items from national chain restaurants. I found it very helpful when trying out eateries that I hadn’t been to before. I have the second edition, but have realized that I really need to get the current, fourth edition that I’m sure has a lot of updates in it.

So, start with the Next EXIT to see which restaurants will be at the intersection where you want to stop. Then, look in the Triumph Dining Restaurant Guide to see if it has menu information on the restaurants. Then you’ll know exactly where and when to stop to find gluten-free meals for everyone in the family. No need to worry about battery life or Internet connection. Just look through the books to find what you need.

Notable Links:

  • Check out the page Eating Out for links to restaurants which provide information on their websites about eating gluten free in their establishments.
  • Triumph Dining also has dining cards in various foreign languages (perfect for authentic ethnic restaurants) and a grocery guide for helping you find gluten-free food at the grocery stores.



You must have been reading my mind. I just typed this in my search engine yesterday. Only I’m not looking for restaurants but rather stuff to pack.


Great tips, Heather. We have the Triumph Dining Guide and I always have my youngest use her iPhone.


Lisa – Did you find what you were looking for elsewhere? I assume you’re talking about packing food? For a week-long trip, or just for snacks and/or meals on the road?


You are so sweet to follow up with this. We are actually going to Disney. I contacted them and they were so awesome letting the chefs now in advance as well as having allergy designated quick service locations. With that search I was specifically looking for snacks to pack.


Lisa – We had good luck eating at Disney’s parks last year. Every place we stopped to eat, had an ingredient list and gluten-free options. For traveling, I usually make a trail mix, and take some energy bars, fresh fruit or vegetables and bottled water.

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