A&W (U.S.) – Dairy-Free Root Beer, not Much Else


Go Dairy Free - The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein-Free LivingUpdated 2020! A&W is an iconic restaurant chain best known for its root beer. They serve classic fast food burger fare in the U.S. and in several countries throughout the world. However, their Canadian restaurants have been run as a separate, unaffiliated chain since 1972. For that reason, and because their menus do differ significantly, we have a separate A&W Canada listing. The listing below is for the U.S. restaurants and might carry over to some other international locations.

A&W Restaurants (U.S.) - Dairy-Free Menu Items and Allergen Notes

No Dairy (Milk-Based) Ingredients (see disclaimer below)

  • Fish and Shrimp – Crunchy Shrimp
  • Sides – French Fries, Cole Slaw, Mott’s Applesauce
  • Dipping Sauces – Honey Mustard, Spicy Papa, BBQ
  • Frozen Drinks – Slushees (Cherry, Watermelon, Lemon, Blue Raspberry)

Other Allergen Notes

  • Their beef patty doesn’t contain dairy (the chicken and hot dogs do). But somewhere in the bun, liquid butter substitute, and/or seasoning there is some sneak dairy in the additives.
  • They disclaim “milk” in all of their burgers, but there isn’t an obvious or clearly marked ingredient that jumps out.
  • The iconic A&W Root Beer is dairy-free on its own, but it surprisingly contains gluten.

More Details from A&W

Allergen Disclaimer from A&W: Variations may occur due to differences in suppliers, revisions, ingredient substitutions, recipe and/or product production at the restaurant. In some restaurants fish, shrimp, chicken, potatoes, and other fried menu items may be prepared in the same oil (fish and/or shrimp (shellfish) are NOT served in all restaurants).

Restaurant Website: www.awrestaurants.com

Allergen Information: awrestaurants.com/sites/default/files/Allergens%20-%20Core%20Supplemental%20Nutritionals%20-%20August%202018.pdf

* The above information was supplied by the corresponding restaurant via their website, customer service, or other published nutritional information.  Ingredients and menu offerings are constantly changing in the food service industry, and can be subject to interpretation.  For this reason, Go Dairy Free does not guarantee nor take responsibility for the accuracy of this information.  If severe allergies or intolerances are a concern, contact the restaurant directly before purchasing or consuming one of their products.  Cross-contamination of potential food allergens should always be considered a possibility in a fast food restaurant.  

Last Updated: January 4, 2020

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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.

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