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 2021! 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 Dairy-Free Menu Guide with Allergen Notes

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

Please note that the A&W Allergen Chart and Ingredient Guide do not match up. The Allergen Chart was updated much more recently, so we’re using that as our base. But we’re pretty sure their Ranch Dipping Sauce contains dairy, even though the Allergen Chart shows it as milk-free. So we’ve omitted it from this list. We are pursuing more information and will update when we can obtain it.

  • Burgers – Hamburger
  • Chicken – Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Freezer to Fryer Chicken Tenders
  • Hot Dogs – See Allergen Notes below
  • Sides – French Fries, Chili Fries, Cole Slaw, Onion Rings, Mott’s Applesauce
  • Dipping Sauces – Honey Mustard, Spicy Papa, BBQ
  • Kids – Kids’ Hamburger Meal (with water)
  • Frozen Drinks – Slushees (Cherry, Watermelon, Lemon, Blue Raspberry)

Other Allergen Notes

  • The Hand-Breaded Chicken items contain dairy. These are different from the crispy and freezer to fryer items noted above, which might not be available in all locations.
  • On their Allergen Chart, the Coney Dog, Footlong Coney Dog, Hot Dog, and Footlong Hot Dog are listed as milk-free, but on their online menu, they state contains milk. In their ingredient guide, the hot dogs they use contain milk, but this might be outdated.
  • In their ingredient guide, they disclaim “milk” in several items, despite no notable sources of milk. That was last updated in July 2018. On their more recent allergen chart (without ingredients), updated in 2020, these items are listed as milk-free. We are trying to get an updated ingredient guide, but make sure you check in store beore orderng.
  • The iconic A&W Root Beer is dairy-free on its own, but it surprisingly contains gluten.

A&W Restaurants Dairy-Free Menu Guide with Allergen Notes

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: https://awrestaurants.com/sites/default/files/A%26W%20Restaurants%20Nutrition%20Guide%202020.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: February 13, 2021

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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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