6 Gluten-Free Apps to Help You Shop, Eat Out

These six apps can make living gluten-free a lot easier

Have you ever stood in the grocery store holding a package and wondered if that food truly was gluten-free? What about when you find yourself wandering around a new town or city, enjoying the scenery but wondering if there's a gluten-free restaurant where you can eat?

Several app developers have taken on the challenge to create iPhone and Android apps that help you identify gluten-free foods and ingredients, along with restaurants with gluten-free menus. There are 

Just one caveat: When you're shopping for apps, check on their most recent update date, since that could affect their accuracy (brands and ingredients change all the time, and something that was safe three years ago when the app last was updated may not be so safe today).


Find Me Gluten-Free

find me gluten-free app
© Findmeglutenfree.com

Find Me Gluten-Free, a free app for both iPhone and Android that claims a community of more than 3 million, allows users to view local business reviews and look at gluten-free menus from local and chain restaurants. It uses your current location to search, or you can input a town or city and use as your starting point. Users also can get directions and call businesses directly from the app. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android.


Gluten-Free Restaurant Cards from CeliacTravel.com

gluten-free restaurant cards app
© CeliacTravel.com

This free iPhone and iPad app includes images of restaurant cards in more than 40 different languages (ranging from Ahmaric to Vietnamese) that can be shown to a server, chef or manager to help ensure a safe meal. It's easy to use and handy to have when traveling abroad.


Gluten Free Scanner

gluten-free scanner app
© Lluis Guiu

The Gluten Free Scanner allows you to scan the barcodes of some 500,000 different products in the grocery store and get an instant verdict on whether they're considered gluten-free or not (based on their ingredients, not on manufacturers' gluten-free labeling or disclosure of potential gluten cross-contamination risks). The app, from developer Lluis Guiu, is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. There's a free version you can download to try before purchasing the full version, which costs $3.99. It offers unlimited scans, and allows you to search by product name, category or brand. According to the developer: "Our team of registered dietitians, nutritionists and researchers take care of the accuracy of the database."


iEatOut Gluten & Allergen Free

ieatout app
© AllergyFree Passport

This gluten-free and allergy-friendly iPhone and iPad app from Allergy Free Passport allows you to select different allergens (dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, soy and tree nuts along with gluten) and then look through ingredient lists from various sample ethnic and international restaurant menus to determine what selections might be suitable for you. It does not include actual restaurant menus with allergen information—you'll still need to talk to the chef or the manager to double-check ingredients and to make sure the restaurant can make the meal without cross contamination. iEatOut Gluten & Allergen Free, which sells for $4.99, covers Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Steak & Seafood and Thai restaurants.


iCanEat Gluten-Free Fast Food

iCanEat Out Gluten-Free
© AllergyFree Passport

iCanEat Gluten-Free Fast Food is another app from Allergy Free Passport. It lists gluten-free items from 45 major fast food chains in the U.S., including the biggest ones (McDonald's and Domino's) and also smaller chains (such as Five Guys and Corner Bakery Cafe). Like iEatOut Gluten & Allergy Free, it allows you to choose multiple major allergens to exclude in addition to wheat and gluten. The app is $4.99 and is available for iPhone and iPad.


Is That Gluten Free? for Groceries

is that gluten-free? app
© Garden Bay Software

Is That Gluten Free? from Garden Bay Software is designed for "those with gluten sensitivities, celiac disease, or anyone wanting more information on gluten-free products or leading a gluten-free lifestyle." The iPhone and iPad-compatible app includes more than 36,400 verified gluten-free products from more than 1,650 brands, including private-label grocery store brands. The app also includes a searchable ingredients tab that designates safe, unsafe and possibly unsafe ingredients. It's possible to search for gluten-free food items by category, brand or product name, and you can follow one-touch links to company websites to search for additional information. The app costs $7.99, with free updates and no monthly fees.


Is That Gluten Free? Eating Out

is that gluten-free for restaurants
© Garden Bay Software

Is That Gluten Free? Eating Out, also from Midlife Crisis Apps, covers 36 national and regional restaurant chains with gluten-free options, including fast food restaurants such as Arby's, fast casual restaurants such as Red Robin, and casual restaurants such as Outback, Red Lobster and P.F. Chang's. The app also includes a list of restaurants that do not provide gluten-free menus, and includes those chains' statements and disclaimers. Is That Gluten Free? Eating Out, which costs $3.99, provides details on more than 1,700 gluten-free menu items. It's possible to search by menu item or ingredient in each restaurant.


A Word from Verywell

Although apps can make living gluten-free easier, remember that these are designed only to provide you with information, and that information can sometimes be outdated or inaccurate.

If something seems "off" with a food product or a menu item that's listed as "safe" by one of these apps, don't consume it without double-checking with the company or the chef.

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