Living and travelling gluten free in the UK, Australia & around the world!

Lunch on the run – gluten free sandwiches & wraps

By on June 16, 2014 in Product Reviews with 7 Comments

It is frequently commented that lunch is one of the hardest meals for coeliacs – probably because the usual grab and go items are full of wheat!  Sandwich – no.  Pie – no.  Pasta salad – no.

The UK is a mass market sandwich machine – they are available everywhere, including the Boots the chemist (often a source of amusement to newly arrived Aussies that food is sold at a chemist).  In Australia most sandwich shops make to order, but even if they have gluten free bread, cross contamination (and taste!) is a big issue.

There are now a number of pre-prepared gluten free wrap, roll and sandwich offerings by chain coffee shops and supermarkets which has made lunch on the run far easier for coeliacs.  This weekend I did a return train trip from London to Edinburgh and was saved from starvation by buying a Starbucks GF wrap for lunch before boarding in both directions (rightly presuming that sandwiches would be the only thing on offer).

This post sums up the sandwiches I have tried and also lists some others I am aware of – let me know what you have tried in the comments area at the bottom of the page!  As I don’t live in London anymore, some of these photos will be out of date, but the stores listed will still have GF options.

Starbucks (coffee shop & pre-packaged sandwiches)
Veggie good houmous wrap – 352 kcal per pack
Starbucks Veggie Houmous box_optThis is one of my favourites!  It uses Newburn Bakehouse seeded wraps which are soft and don’t fall apart and is wrapped with the bottoms tucked in, so the filling does not fall out. The filling is roasted mixed vegetables, grated carrot for a bit of crunch, lemon & coriander houmous, orange chutney and spinach leaves.  I love the coriander flavour, with pumpkin seeds for some added goodness and crunch.  It is vegetarian and dairy free.  It does contain onion & garlic so caution is needed if you are on a FODMAPs diet, but the onion can be quite easily removed.  I first bought one of these at Heathrow Terminal 5, so it is good to see a gluten free offering at airports.

Note – you have to look hard to see that it is labelled gluten free.

Starbucks Veggie Houmous wrap_opt

Launched May 2014 across 750 stores.

Take away: £3.29, Eat in: £3.99

(Note:  higher price in some stores, I paid just over £4 takeaway at King’s Cross station.)



Costa coffee (coffee shop & pre-packaged sandwiches)
Chicken & basil salad wrap – 330 kcal per pack

Costa wrap_opt

This wrap has been certified by Coeliac UK.   As with Starbucks, it uses Newburn Bakehouse seeded wraps which are soft and don’t fall apart, but this is not wrapped with the ends folded in, so you do lose a bit of filling while eating.  Some people have felt there hasn’t been enough chicken, but in the first week of launch I had three wraps from different stores (I was on the road a lot ) and was happy with the amount of chicken.  There is quite a lot of lettuce, but the basil gives it a really nice flavour.

Costa wrap on plate_optLaunched nationwide May 2014.  Cost £3.75





Caffe Nero (coffee shop & pre-packaged sandwiches)
Chicken, salad & pesto roll – 357 kcal per pack

Caffe Nero roll_optThis uses a Genius roll, which I think are very good for a gluten free roll.  It contains chicken, sun blush tomato mayo, tomato & rocket and tastes good.

Caffe Nero roll inside_optLaunched in  600 stores including airports & train stations (not Nero Express) May 2014.

Take away: £3.50, Eat in: £3.60




M&S Simply Food supermarket

My local M&S Food does not stock gluten free sandwiches, but some of the bigger stores do.  There is a Cheddar Cheese Ploughman’s and a Ham & Cheese.

M&S GF sandwich

Sainsbury’s supermarket

Sainsbury’s used to do rolls (2013), but now do sandwiches.  I preferred the rolls as the sandwich bread goes a little bit soggy, but they are still fine for an occasional lunch.  As sandwiches, it is also quite hard to find them in the sandwich section as they are lying flat and the labels are not visible – have a good look for them!  They are also eligible for ‘meal deals’ when you buy selected fruit packs and a drink.

Chicken salad sandwich (picture is of the roll)

Sainsbury's FF roll2_optSainsbury's FF roll section_opt

Egg & rocket sandwich

Sains Egg & Rocket sandwich_opt Sainsbury's FF Egg & Rocket section1_opt

Tesco’s supermarket

At the end of April 2014 Tesco introduced several new sandwiches using Genius bread at selected stores, but despite looking in some very large stores I have never seen them.   Some of the options are listed below.

Egg Salad (£2.80) – suitable for vegetarians Ham & Cheddar Ploughman’s (£3.00) Chicken Salad (£3.00) Carrot & Houmous (£3.00) – suitable for dairy free & vegetarians – See more at:
Egg Salad (£2.80) – suitable for vegetarians Ham & Cheddar Ploughman’s (£3.00) Chicken Salad (£3.00) Carrot & Houmous (£3.00) – suitable for dairy free & vegetarians – See more at:

Tesco sandwich

Egg Salad (£2.80) – suitable for vegetarians

Ham & Cheddar Ploughman’s (£3.00)

Chicken Salad (£3.00)

Carrot & Houmous (£3.00) – suitable for dairy free & vegetarians
Waitrose Egg Salad


Waitrose supermarket

My local Waitrose doesn’t seem to have any free from items, except the gluten free Amoy rice noodles (review here), however some larger stores have an egg salad sandwich  for £2.80 – you can see the details here


Budgens Supermarket

I have never been to a Bugdens,  but ‘glutenfreefortea’ has found an Urban Eat chicken roll (Genius roll) there.  You can see some her review of this and other sandwiches on the glutenfreefortea blog (October 2013).

Pret a Manger

In early 2019 they released a gluten free open sandwich, but note that the bread contains oat flour and there is a risk of cross contamination.  Read more about it here.


If you are looking for food options while travelling, see my post of gluten free at London train stations and London airports.

Please click here for London restaurant reviews.

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About the Author

About the Author: Caroline was diagnosed with Coeliac disease in 2006 and likes to share her gluten free finds around the UK, Australia and the rest of the world! See more on her in the 'About' page. .


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There Are 7 Brilliant Comments

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  1. kristina jasmin says:

    Are these still available? I was doing some googling and didnt find anything but old posts. We are going in June 2017.

    • The Coeliac Plate says:

      Hi Kristina, yes there are still many GF sandwiches and wraps available (there may just be different fillings). I have a number of updates ready to make to the post, just haven’t got to it. The date doesn’t change on the post when it is updated, but it has already had several updates. Enjoy your trip next year!

  2. Michael says:

    Useful posts…in Barcelona Pans and Co do GF prewrapped hot lunch in the Ramblas!!

  3. Eddie says:

    The Gluten Free Sandwich Company is going live in September!
    Manufacture of six varieties are set to begin in early September from our dedicated facility in Scotland. We envisage rapid adoption of the range nationwide and we aim to offer a delicious alternative to the limited ranges offered by other suppliers to date. We will only be offering Gluten Free products, so no issues with cross contamination.
    To ensure that customers can get the product we are keen to receive nominations for retail vendors to stock the range. So if you use a particular establishment, let us know and we’ll approach them. Our Facebook page and website are under a phase of construction, please like and watch this space…!

    • Jackie says:

      I use Costa and pret a manger. Virtually nothing to choose from so it would be FANTASTIC! I live in Hertfordshire. Thanks

  4. Amy griffiths says:

    So I saw this article and got very excited. I went to town and thought I can grab a take away sandwich. Cafe Nero had none. Waitrose had none. Costa coffee had no chicken basil only egg and tomato -who eats egg and tomato what a horrible combination???

    • The Coeliac Plate says:

      Hi Amy, sounds like you were very unlucky! I usually try and get to the shop as early as possible to nab the gluten free option, but it is not always possible I know 🙁 I don’t think I would try egg & tomato either!

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