Cracker Barrel Breaks it Down for this Dairy-Free Menu Guide

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Updated 2021! Many years ago, a Go Dairy Free fan named Sharon let us know on Facebook that she enjoys dining at Cracker Barrel because they have a great allergen list. We posted about them, which led to mixed reviews from readers. Some have found their local restaurant safe and helpful, but others haven’t. Of course, we can’t guarantee what type of experience you will have. But we’ve used their menus, allergen information, and corporate guidance to create this useful “dairy-free menu” guide with precautions.

Cracker Barrel Dairy-Free Menu Guide - This popular U.S. Country Store and Restaurant Chain offers a detailed Allergen List

Dairy-Free Menu Guide to Cracker Barrel

As you would with any restaurant, use caution and speak to a manager, if needed, when ordering. Dairy is used liberally at this chain, and might be inadvertently added to your order if dairy-free isn’t explicitly specified. Below are the dairy-free items, per the company, but sourcing, preparation, and allergen protocols can vary by location.

Ordering Breakfast at Cracker Barrel

Heads Up! Some of their Traditional Favorite Breakfasts can be special ordered dairy-free. But “All the Fixins’ that come with these breakfasts contain dairy (all of them). So it’s usually cheaper to order individual side items and build your own breakfast. We’ve listed the dairy-free side items, per Cracker Barrel, in the sections below. Also, make sure no butter is used in the preparation of your food or added as a garnish – this is customary at some Cracker Barrel locations.

Breakfast – Pancake Menu

  • French Toast (order with no butter)

Breakfast – Eggs

  • Two Farm Fresh Eggs (prepared without dairy)
  • Egg Whites (prepared without dairy)
  • Eggs-in-the-basket
  • Egg Sandwich (with Sourdough Bread and Duke’s Mayonnaise)

Breakfast – Meats

  • Thick-sliced Bacon
  • Smoked Sausage Patties
  • Turkey Sausage Patties
  • Hickory-Smoked Country Ham
  • Southwest Sausage
  • Sugar Cured Ham
  • S. Catfish Fillet (grilled or fried)

Breakfast – Other Sides

  • Course Ground Grits
  • Tater Rounds
  • Fried Apples
  • Fresh Apple Slices
  • Fresh Seasonal Fruit
  • Multigrain Toast
  • English Muffin, Plain (regional)
  • Kid’s Milk Straw (but bring your own dairy-free milk!)

Breakfast – Sweet Toppings

  • 100% Pure Natural Syrup
  • Our Blueberry Syrup
  • Sugar-Free Syrup
  • Low-Sugar Fruit Spread

Heads Up! Some of their other fruit toppings might be dairy-free, but come with whipped topping, which is not dairy-free. Speak to the server if you’re interested in the fruit toppings.

Lunch & Dinner – Sandwiches

  • Homestyle Chicken BLT (grilled Smoky Southern Chicken Breast)
  • Open-Faced Roast Beef

Lunch & Dinner – Meats

  • Grilled Chicken Tenders
  • Meatloaf
  • Barrel-cut Sugar Ham
  • Southern Fried Chicken
  • Lemon Pepper Grilled Rainbow Trout
  • Roast Beef

Heads Up! On the menu, these items are often listed with sides and sometimes sauces that contain dairy. Be sure they swap in dairy-free sides and sauces for your order. We’ve listed the dairy-free side items and sauces below, according to Cracker Barrel. You will also want to make sure that no butter is used in the preparation.

Lunch & Dinner – Sauces & Dressings

  • BBQ Sauce
  • Honey Mustard Sauce
  • Balsamic Herb Vinaigrette
  • Honey Mustard
  • Thousand Island (regional)

Lunch & Dinner – Sides

  • Steak Fries
  • Tater Rounds
  • Mixed Green Side Salad
  • Boiled Cabbage
  • Bowl of Turnip Greens (egg wedge garnish with greens)
  • Breaded Fried Okra
  • Cole Slaw
  • Country Green Beans
  • Fresh Steamed Broccoli
  • Sweet Whole Baby Carrots
  • Whole Kernel Corn
  • Beans n’ Greens (egg wedge garnish with greens)
  • Bowl of Pinto Beans
  • Lima Beans

More Allergen Notes for Cracker Barrel

Heads Up Soy-Free Diners! Many unexpected items, like their eggs, contain soy. It’s possible that Cracker Barrel uses soy in the grilled preparations. They do use soy oil for frying.

Allergen Disclaimer from Cracker Barrel: “Our normal kitchen operations involve shared preparation and cooking areas, including common fryer oil; therefore, cross-contact of all our menu items is possible.”

This Post is for Informational Purposes Only

Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, and restaurants are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure that they can accommodate your situation. This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as advice.

There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.

Cracker Barrel Dairy-Free Menu Guide - This popular U.S. Country Store and Restaurant Chain offers a detailed Allergen List

Where to Find Cracker Barrel

This is a Southern-style restaurant has over 600 restaurants in 45 U.S. states. See their website below for addresses, hours, and online ordering. For their full allergen chart, see the FAQ section on their website.

Website: www.crackerbarrel.com

Average Reader Review

3.7
Rated 3.7 out of 5
3.7 out of 5 stars (based on 3 reviews)
Excellent67%
Very good0%
Average0%
Poor0%
Terrible33%

Rate Your Dairy-Free Experience with this Restaurant

What Others Are Saying ...

Great food

Rated 5 out of 5
October 4, 2021

The food was really good and the only problem there was a line ahead of me. The waiting time was well worth it the food was excellent.

Avatar for Bill
Bill

Manager didn’t know anything

Rated 1 out of 5
September 7, 2021

I needed to know if the sourdough bread had dairy in it. Employee asked manager on two attempts as they were selling me a loaf with NO ingredients on it at all. Isn’t that illegal? The employee thought a 3rd party made the bread and didn’t have any ingredient labels to check..and believe me she searched . I was looking on line to find out and saw this page..hope it’s not for a certain store because I’m talking about one in phoenix Arizona.

Avatar for Claudia Bulriss
Claudia Bulriss

Response from Go Dairy Free

As per our guide above, and information from the company (Cracker Barrel), their sourdough bread (plain, not buttered) does not contain dairy. As noted, it’s used on the egg sandwich, which is dairy-free.
Our information is from corporate, so it is supposed to apply to all locations. That said, different locations in chains can source some foods/ ingredients locally, and sourcing and ingredients are subject to change. As you have attempted, it’s always essential to verify with the location you are eating at before ordering.
Unfortunately, the FDA labeling laws do not apply to restaurants in the U.S. There are many cases, particularly with things like fresh bakery items, where ingredients are not listed.

Safe breakfasts while traveling

Rated 5 out of 5
February 16, 2021

Cracker Barrel is a chain my family looks for when we are traveling. We have had good luck with Cracker Barrels in various states serving my daughter safe dairy-free breakfasts. She usually gets eggs, bacon, and dry multigrain toast. The fried apples are a great breakfast side dish; they taste like homemade apple pie filling!

Avatar for Sarah Hatfield
Sarah Hatfield

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

20 Comments

  1. Kristie Kimmel on

    They must have removed their allergen menu because the link is broken. After searching online for several minutes i couldn’t find anything besides the nutritional menu.

  2. My waitress was very unknowledgable and told me after I ordered that something I ordered had gluten in it. When I tried to explain that dairy wasn’t gluten, she seemed very confused. Needless to say that made me nervous enough that I won’t be going again.

  3. You should update the article and say that Cracker Barrel is unsafe. If the premise has changed it is misleading to force folks to the comments section. The grill coating has dairy and there is cross contamination everywhere even if they cook in oil. The cook told me it was simply not safe. Cracker Barrel is not dary free.

    • Hi Brian, thank you for your concerns! I have updated this post with their latest Allergen menu and it’s disclaimer. I cannot speak to every person’s experience. I’ve had many readers contact me about how accommodating and safe they are, so I can only assume that it varies by location – which is very common with chains.

  4. Echoing other users:

    I asked for an allergen menu and was brought their Nutritional guide. Um… no. It only contained items recommended for: low carb, low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium, and gluten-free. NOTHING about any of the other main allergens. 🙁 The server seemed confused. He said that was all they had besides a braille menu.

    I was starved, so I ordered 2 fried eggs cooked in OIL and on a clean grill (hopefully this doesn’t bite my son in the butt). I specified that I had allergies. I hope they understood. NOT a place I’ll be going again unless I’m not hungry and am OK with just having some coffee and watching others eat.

    This was in Mesa, Arizona.

  5. Leaving Cracker Barrel now. ALL of their food is cooked in dairy-containing margarine and butter. They will not clean the grill because it requires them to shut it down. They asked us to leave.

  6. Kim Tullbane on

    I was able to go to Cracker Barrel in Louisville, KY and a new server was very accommodating. I ate a BLT…I am soy and dairy free. Make sure you only get sourdough bread. When I go for breakfast I just get toast, jelly and bacon.

  7. I didn’t even feel comfortable enough to try eating there after talking to them on the phone. None of them seemed informed enough for me to feel okay eating the food. I talked to the people at the location on Turfway Road in Florence, Kentucky and they were fairly rude as well. The people who spoke with me said, “I think you can have the majority of our food but I’ll check.” I had heard that plenty of times before but when the woman came back to speak with me she sounded irritated and just confirmed what she had already said. This was unsettling to me since I know their menu and used to eat plenty of things that bluntly had a form of dairy in it before I found out about my allergy. It also didn’t match up with what I had read so far. I just wasn’t okay with the fact that they seemed like they were guessing.

  8. I found this page while searching for an allergen menu for Cracker Barrel. As you well stated, there isn’t one. But, I did want to mention that there is an app we use all the time called Allergy Eats. Allergy families download this for free and go in and rate restaurants on how well they can accommodate food allergies. It’s a great resource, especially when on vacation.

  9. Allison Gaskins on

    I found the staff at Cracker Barrel to be extremely friendly. I mentioned that I have a dairy allergy and asked to speak to the manager. He came to our table and I told him about my allergy and asked if he could suggest some dairy free foods. He informed me that I could probably eat most of their foods since they use margarine and no butter. I was so surprised that a manager didn’t know that margarine can cause problems for milk allergies. I did ask for an allergen menu but it did not list any information on items which contained milk. I ordered a chopped steak, plain baked potato, and salad. The waiter brought my salad and said they had cleaned the grill to cook the bacon bits so I would not have any issues. He also checked the ingredients of the dressing, which I appreciated. When the server brought my dinner, my baked potato was served with a huge dollop of margarine and also included sour cream. I mentioned this to the person who delivered the food (not our original waiter) and she said, “Oh, I see that on the order right here. Sorry about that.” They took it right back and corrected the mistake. After this experience, I doubt I will be eating there again. While the staff was very friendly and kind, I do not feel that they were well informed or had any literature for someone with a severe dairy allergy.

  10. We just had to walk out. The allergen menu does not include butter and they confirmed almost all sides are cooked in butter. Also anything grilled or fried is contaminated and they were out of meat loaf and roast beef. Beef stew is no longer on the menu. Basically I could eat a salad and applesauce 🙁

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