There are so many cinema snacks but not all of them are gluten free. You could take your own but where is the fun in that? If you want to indulge in expensive cinema snacks here is our quick guide to what you can have.
Cinema snacks aren't the easiest thing to navigate when it comes to gluten, we have been asked by so many people whether the popcorn in safe, even seen many people choose not to have popcorn in case the flavouring includes gluten so we thought we'd put together a quick guide on what you can have at the cinema. Or the mainstream cinemas anyway!Odeon
Odeon make it pretty straight forward to find out what is safe to have, they have a nice file on their website that marks what is safe for Coeliacs. Both sweet and salt popcorn are safe and since nothing else goes in with the popcorn there isn't really a risk of cross contamination. Hot dogs and nachos are both out, the hot dog sausage is fine but the bun isn't (obviously) and with the hot dog neither the chips or half of the toppings are good, so safe to say both those options are out.
All the cold drinks are fine apart from the Tango Ice Blasts, none of those are safe, we presume they probably contain barley. (EDIT: after checking the slush puppy website they state that all the Tango Ice Blasts are free from all allergens, we we are unsure why these are marked as unsafe, we are trying to find out)
Most Odeons contain a pick and mix bar, NOTHING on the pick and mix is marked as safe, we would assume this is to do with cross contamination rather than anything else, some of the sweets would usually be ok but some will have wheat or barley, people use the same scoops in different sections, high cross contamination risk, so good to know they have marked them as unsafe for Coeliacs. There is usually a choice of bagged sweets available which are gluten free, check our sweets blog
out to find out which of these are safe.
Some Odeons still have the Ben and Jerrys bar and there are certain options you can have off there, just be sure they use a clean scoop before serving you to be sure you don't get cross contamination. The options you can have from the ice cream bar are Caramel Chew Chew, Phish Food, Cherry Garcia, Vanilla Fairtrade, Chunky Monkey, Mint Choc Chunk, Greek Honey Caramel and Save Our Swirled. Also some of the toppings are fine too if you want to add a bit more to your ice cream, choose from Hot Choc Fudge Sauce, Caramel Fudge Sauce, Chocolate Drops, Rainbow Sprinkles and Hazelnut Crunch.. Cineworld
It is not as easy to find what is gluten free in Cineworld as with Odeon. According to multiple branches the popcorn, both sweet and salted is gluten free and like with Odeon, are in their own containers. Cineworld also tend to have expensive bagged popcorn too, which are usually in a variety of flavours and in our experience the majority have been gluten free.
The nachos and sauce are apparently gluten free but are subject to cross contamination so we're not sure you would be safe eating those! Hot dog is also out the window thanks to the bread.
Like with Odeon you have a choice of bagged sweets usually too, these vary per cinema so check our sweets blog
to see what is safe.
The drinks fall the same as Odeon with the Tango Ice Blast being the only one that isn't gluten free (see an edit regarding this on Odeon)
Ben and Jerrys stand is the same as Odeon, but a lot of Cineworlds have changed to Baskin Robbins ice cream stands, looking at the nutritional info for Baskin Robbins it appears all but Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough are free from gluten, but you will want to make sure that they use clean scoops to prevent cross contamination.
Some of the Cineworlds now have VIP experiences where you get a full meal cooked by a chef, when they are asked in advance a gluten free meal can be prepared for you, when booking online it should ask if you have any dietary requirements.Vue
Vue have an allergy list online however customer services have stated before to ask at indivual cinemas as it can vary from branch to branch.
The allergy list states both sweet and salt popcorn are safe just like the other two and again they are in their own containers so should be free from cross contamination. They also list the prepacked popcorn they have which are free from gluten, all the Thomas Tucker Popcorn and Metcalfes Popcorn and Rice Cakes they have are safe, the candy floss is also fine for Coeliacs too. A selection of prepacked sweets same as Odeon and Cineworld are also ok for Coeliacs, again check the sweets blog
All the nachos are marked as "made in a factory which handles gluten", and since they use Doritos nachos we can assume they are made by Walkers which are definitely a may contain so best to steer clear. Hot dogs are out the window as definitely contain gluten, even all the sauces are marked as a may contain.
All the drinks except hot chocolate are marked as gluten free, hot chocolate is marked as "made in a factory which handles". We would be wary of the Tango Ice Blast as this is marked as unsafe in the other two cinemas but safe at Vue. (see an edit regarding this on Odeon)
Some Vues also have the Ben and Jerrys stand, check the list above on the Odeon part to see which ones are safe and again make sure they use a fresh scoop. They also have a selection of wrapped ice cream, all of which are marked as safe on the allergy sheet except the Cornettos.