Gluten-free Subway: New City Announced

In January, Subway announced a gluten-free program testing in the Dallas area. And you were all pretty excited (we had more comments on that post than any other I can think of).

Today, I’m quite pleased to share with you Subway’s next gluten-free test market.

Drumroll please…and the gluten-free sandwiches go to:

Portland, Oregon!

Currently there are 100 locations in the area that are serving both gluten-free rolls and individually-wrapped gluten-free brownies. As in Dallas, Subway employees are being trained on proper handling techniques to minimize the chances of cross-contamination – and over the next few months, the gluten-free options should spread to all Subways in the area.

There are three sandwiches not available in gluten-free form (Meatball Marinara, Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki, Subway Seafood Sensation), but otherwise the entire menu is a celiac’s oyster, so to speak.

Portland station KATU had Matt Starr, owner of several of the area’s Subway locations, on to chat about the addition to the menu. Unsurprisingly, he has a personal connection: a gluten intolerant daughter. To watch the interview and take a good peak at the gluten-free sandwiches in their natural (un-Photoshopped) environ, click here.

Within the Portland area, there’s a website to allow folks to find their closest gluten-free franchise: Note that it doesn’t work for Dallas-area locations.

For more information, I recommend this article from It has a great interview with Mark Christiano, Subway’s Baking Specialist in R&D, who gives some more insight into the motivation and process behind Subway’s foray into gluten-free. Kudos to them for spending a few years on the process, as it seems they’re doing the best they can to ensure a safe experience – which is just smart business, as safe customers are repeat customers.

I still have yet to taste a Subway gluten-free sandwich, but I’ll be in Dallas for the GFAF Expo in a few weeks and I think I’ll have to make time to check it out.

Have you had one? What did you think?

52 thoughts on “Gluten-free Subway: New City Announced”

  1. I have tried the gluten-free sandwich, we’ve had them in Portland for about a month now.

    I was actually really impressed with the steps they took to try and keep things from getting contaminated.

    They have a round sandwich roll that is wrapped and sealed. Pretty much the perfect sandwich size and the texture is not bad. It’s not too dense and crumbly.

    They prepared it for me in the to-go section since it doesn’t have as much sandwich-making traffic. They would change their gloves if they touched certain things or only certain people were allowed to touch it. They used the single use plastic knives, also sealed in plastic. It’s nice to see that they took these sort of steps into consideration, since there are so many restaurants that call themselves gluten-free friendly but really are not.

  2. I did not have a good experience in the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport. The same knife was used to cut my bread [and counter]. When I stopped her she seemed very annoyed and did not understand. Another employee took over and started over. I have not tried again and probably will not.

  3. You guys are killing me. I’m DYING to be able to enjoy a gf sub with my family!!! There’s a Subway in our local Walmart and THAT SMELL is just about the hardest smell to have to walk by and know I don’t get to enjoy with my family.

  4. Wondering why since Subway’s World Headquarters is here in Milford, CT, they aren’t doing any type of Gluten Free trials in it’s own state? Can’t wait & hopefully Subway’s in CT will start to offer GF bread. I miss having a sandwich.

  5. I’ve eaten GF subs in several Subways in the DFW area. Employee training is very iffy. You have to watch them through the whole process to try to avoid cross contamination. I’m unsure who the GF bread vendor is but, as with all GF breads I’ve tried, it HAS to be toasted. All in all I appreciate Subway adding GF bread to the menu.

  6. OH WOWSERS! We gluten free folks are quite excited about Subway seeing the needs of us Celiac folks, as well as others. Thank you one and all~~how bout coming to Northwest Arkansas? There are many Subway resturants here and many other types of resturants that serve Gluten Free food. Thank you!

  7. I have a friend who works at a Portland Subway that started carrying the GF menu. He told me not to eat there because the risk of cross contamination is too high. Yes, the employees are “trained” for about 2 minutes about it. However, in the rush of making sandwiches they can’t be that careful. Subway makes them be able to make a sandwich in less than 90 seconds. The prep areas are the same. The crumbs get into the dishes that house the vegetables and other toppings. I wont risk it. Glad they are trying it but there needs to be separate prep stations and containers for toppings. Most Subways don’t have the space for it and are not willing to waste extra product for GF prep containers.

  8. I was in a Subway last week picking up lunch for my family. Although I knew, I had to ask if they had gluten free sandwiches. The worker was clueless, not surprisingly. I’d love to have a delicious Subway sandwich like back in the day prior to being diagnosed with Celiac Sprue disease.

  9. I never ate at Subway before my diagnosis because I wasn’t much of a sandwich lover. But now that I can’t just walk into a restaurant and order one, it seems that’s all I want! Go figure. We always want what we can’t have… I’ll be deliriously happy when ALL Subways offer GF sandwiches — why waste time with test markets??? We’re everywhere, and we’re hungry!

  10. I wonder how they’re really handling the cross-contamination, though. Has anyone seen this in action? I imagine with them reaching in to the same containers over and over while handling the regular bread would lead to trouble.

  11. I’m very intersted in the attempts of the franchises, e.g. Subway, California Pizza and others, both local establishments and national franchises to offer gluten free. The findamental issue is that these places do not meet the standards for GF certification. Given the increasing number of gluten intolerant folks in the US, food eateries are increasingly eager to market to a captive audience –gluten intolerant folks. I propose that before Subway, California Pizza and other eateries must go through the GF certification process and all employees, national and local must be specifically trained and updated through the GF certification program.

  12. I’m in Central Oregon and they too have gluten-free sandwiches! I was so impressed at the care they took in preparing my sandwich. I have to say I felt like a kid in a candy store to be able to have something as simple as a sandwich!!! THANK YOU SUBWAY!!!

  13. They have been in Portland for more than a month now. I have had at least 10 sandwiches from 5 different locations. All have been prepped with great care and enthusiasm, and are delicious. The employees wipe down the counter, wash hands and change to new gloves to prepare the sandwiches. Other employees have to open/close the toaster so that the person preparing the GF sandwich doesn’t touch anything.

  14. Yup, I saw them advertised around town and yet I still refuse to try their gluten-free bread until they have dedicated toppings. Ones that are NOT contaminated by being used on both kinds of bread.

  15. I have had the sandwiches several times now in the Portland area. Just the option had me going back over and over. I watch the employee making the sandwich like a hawk. They have all been very well trained….but that is the key….keep an eye on them. The buns aren’t the best out there but hey!! It’s a sandwich I can enjoy with my family and not be stuck with the salad anymore!! I haven’t gotten sick.

  16. Thank you for having gluten free sandwiches on gluten free bread for those of us who have a hard time dealing with take out menus. Where are all of the locations that offer gluten free bread?

  17. Hey Subway, why test market this? There are many of us, just waiting for the GF menu. I would personally love to bite into a sandwich once again at Subway. Salads are great………… but I miss ordering a sandwich. Please, there are more people out there awaiting a GF menu at Subway and we don’t live in Texas or Oregon. Can’t wait for a GF menu to be nationwide!!!

  18. we take a Udi’s GF hot dog bun to our Subway and they make my daughter a sandwich on it,which she loves.When will you test the rolls in Ohio?

  19. Once again excited about GF offers in any form or fashion.
    Would love to see testing come to the state of Florida.
    Exciting to see a chain like Subway reaching out to the GF community

  20. As someone with Celiac who is very sensitive to gluten, I will avoid Subway due to the chance of cross contamination. I once tried a salad at Subway, thinking that since there was no bread, it would be okay for me. NOPE. I became very ill. The workers touch sandwich bread and dip their hands repeatedly into the vegetable bins. The amount of cross contamination is unacceptable for me. It isn’t going to matter if the individual worker who prepares my GF sandwich takes precautions as long as crumbs from regular bread are falling into the topping containers. Those who are not as sensitive as I am may have a good experience, but for those of us who are very sensitive the risk of becoming ill through cross contamination is too high.

  21. I worked at a very busy nd if u ask me I think its impossible to have a no-cross contaminted, gluten free sndwhich at subwy. Evrythng there is processd nd contains gluten. It is all prep on same tables and in same room as bread. Not to metion all the crumbs nd dffernt products that fall into food cambros on the sandwhch line. Corperate checks once a month, so ur relayn on guy makn $7/hr to be truthful. Not me!!

  22. I really hope G-Free makes it to RI, the field I work in has a large population of G-free people, and my company relizes these benefits for our people we support. G-Free options are limited. Very happy to see this trend. thank you

  23. I have to applaud Subway for at least trying. That’s more than a lot of other takeouts are willing to do. Just have to watch the employees and if they are not that well trained, help them along. It is hard enough for us who are celiac/gluten intolerant to understand what being gluten free really means, let alone someone who has no clue as to what it is all about. So be patient with them so they can work it out for you. No, I am not an employee of Subway but would love to have one of their sandwiches again here in San Diego.

  24. I’m glad Subway is jumping on the GF bandwagon, I miss eating their sandwiches! I do hope they realize, and have taught their employees, that gluten is not just in bread. A misnomer I come across in many restaurants. Meats, cheeses, mayo, spices, etc. all have some form of gluten in them. I have found GF-DF deli meat at Whole Foods to enjoy until Subway’s gluten free subs come to Kansas City and Overland Park, KS where we have a hand full of gluten free restraurants already (hint, hint ;).

  25. I have been hearing about this for soooooo long i can’t belive you are still testing it can’t you understand what you are doing to us (people who can’t eat regular wheat) This has been aganizing give it to ALL of us already. The people that don’t want it won’t order it .

  26. I live in the Dallas area and eat at Subway regularly now. It’s great! I’ve never had any trouble with cross-contamination. You do have to watch them though. I have had someone start making my sandwich and someone else take over because they were more trained in what to do. MOST of the time, the sandwich turns out great. There have been a few occassions where the sandwich was so crumbly, it just fell apart. One thing I’ve found that makes a HUGE difference is that the bread has to be toasted twice, once before anything is put on it and then again after the meat and cheese is on it. One time, they didn’t toast it the first time and it was so dry and crumbly I could not eat it. I had them re-do it and the 2nd one was great. To avoid cross-contamination, they get the ingredients from the middle of the stack/container instead of the top. I’m very sensitive to gluten and so far, have not had any problems. I can’t wait until they start offering the GF rolls at ALL Subway locations nationwide! It will make traveling SOOO much easier!

  27. I have been eatting the Subway Sandwiches in Dallas since earlier this year. The employees are always very careful with the sandwiches and pretty much stop production of other sandwiches until the gluten free one has made it to the check out area. They have done an excellent job training the staff on how to properly handle the sandwiches in all of the locations I have visited.

  28. I have had a Subway sandwich twice. The first time, I ordered a very basic turkey with cheese and mayo and some vegetables. It was great and no problems although the employee did not appear to be confident about how to make it. The second time, same guy. Obviously the GF sand is not a big seller in this location and he seemed even more nervous than ever. I ordered a BLT with ranch. He did manage to follow the steps and I devoured the sandwich. It tasted great and I really like the bread. However, later, I began to have symptoms and then I had MAJOR symptoms for 2 days. I don’t know if the problem was cross contamination or if an ingredient was not gluten free, but I would not go back to this location. I have not yet contacted the manager but will do so.

  29. I am sixteen and a few months ago I found out that I can’t have any gluten. Subway has done an awesome job and I am very pleased with what I have seen (and tasted (: ). Hopefully Subway will do this nationwide, it’s so nice to be able to have a yummy sandwich with delicious bread!!

  30. I too have had a cross contamination problem with Subway in both Portland, Or. at the Clackamas store and in Vanc. Wa. at the Orchards store. The problem is they said you need to tell them if you don’t want them dipping into the same condiments, veggies as they do for non-gf. Otherwise, even though the gloves are fresh the food is contaminated by having touched wheat bread. I filled out a comment card and sent comments to our GI groups. Claudia Frahm

  31. Wow…why can’t all subways in every state do this and see which one state has the most gluten free customers and how it all works out. Hope we get some in Connecticut. It sure would be nice to have a sandwich again. Am getting pretty sick of the salads.

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