El Pollo Loco


El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco has a gluten-free section on their website (http://www.elpolloloco.com/our-food/no-wheat-gluten.html) but no allergen information. They say “Customers with general allergy-related questions can contact the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) on the web at foodallergy.org or by telephone at (800) 929-4040.”

They were accomodating when I contacted them. Below is the information I received on dairy-free (milk-free) products with some other food allergy notes from their customer service …


To the best of our knowledge,  The following items DO NOT contain dairy:

  • Flame Grilled
  • Mexican Chicken
  • Pinto beans
  • Flour and Corn tortillas
  • Coleslaw does NOT contain milk.
  • Corn on the cob without added margarine is dairy free. (Corn on the cob is not served pre-buttered; The corn on the cob does not contain dairy provided the Promis Margarine is not applied by the guests since Promis Margarine does coantain whey which is a dairy ingredient.)
  • Fresh Vegetables ordered without added margarine
  • Chicken taquitos

Some items may contain or have been in contact with either dairy, soy or nuts in some form:

  • Popcorn Chicken – The popcorn chicken currently being served at EPL does not have dairy in listed in its ingredient statement. The oil that the popcorn chicken is fried in, however, is not segregated for allergens and therefore this product is fried in oil with products that do contain dairy. Depending on your (the guest’s) level of sensitivity, this may or may be a consideration.
  • Chocolate Chunk Cookies  – Chocolate Chunk Cookies may contain the following allergens: Tree Nuts; Peanuts; Wheat and Soybean [According to a follow-up I did with their CS, “The chocolate chip cookies do not list dairy as an allergen alert”]
  • French Fries – French fries served at El Pollo Loco are cooked in soybean oil.  Unfried french fries do not contain dairy or other allergens, however, they are fried in oil that also fries other items that may contain dairy and other allergens.  El Pollo Loco does not segregate frying oil for allergens. Depending on the your (the guest’s) level of sensitivity, this may or may not be a consideration.
  • Coleslaw – Coleslaw does NOT contain milk. Coleslaw does contain soy.

Additonal Soy Note: We received a message from a concerned viewer about soy. They had heard that all chicken from el pollo loco is marinated in oil that contains hydrolyzed soybean oil. However, we contacted el Pollo Loco directly, and their customer service responded with the following, “No, it is just marinated in fruit juices, herbs and spice.”


Restaurant Website: www.elpolloloco.com

* 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 9, 2016


About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior 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. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. I just called and was told their flame grilled chicken IS cooked in soybean oil. I pressed her on it because I was confused after reading this…and she seemed like she wasn’t 100% sure of her answer…so she may have been wrong. But anyone who is also sensitive to soy might want to call first to see if their cooking methods have changed since this post.

  2. My nut and dairy allergic daughters eat the chicken, tortillas, chips and guacamole. One used to eat the rice until one of the managers told us they wouldn’t trust that the rice is dairy free. Thanks for posting this info!!

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