As a college student on a dairy-free diet, I have a lot of experience ordering foods without cheese or butter at fast food restaurants. The trickiest part about this lifestyle is the sneaky additions that restaurants put in their food to make it unexpectedly dairy-filled, like using buttermilk in fried chicken. Luckily, there's at least one dairy-free fast food option at every restaurant that you can rely on.

1. Chick-fil-A 

The best dairy-free menu item to order at Chick-fil-A is the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. The chicken breast is marinated in spices but doesn't use butter, so it's the perfect example of dairy-free fast food. While the buns at Chick-fil-A usually have butter on them, like the original and spicy chicken sandwiches, this bun does not. 

The Grilled Chicken Nuggets are also completely dairy-free. The side sauces would be the only things that could contain dairy, so be sure to read the ingredients. The regular chicken nuggets or chicken strips do contain dairy, as they're dipped in milk before being fried. 

#SpoonTip: When ordering at Chick-fil-A, you can ask for any of their sandwiches or salads without cheese, but a lot of times this can be a problem because they pre-make a lot of their menu items. 

2. McDonald's 

french fries, ketchup, sweet
Alex Frank

Unfortunately, most of the chicken sandwiches at McDonald's are fried with buttermilk, which isn't dairy-free. The exception is their Chicken McNuggets. They're cooked in the fryer that also cooks the buttermilk chicken, but if this doesn't affect you then they're technically dairy-free. 

If you pair the McNuggets with fries, you have a dairy-free fast food meal that all your friends can enjoy without missing out. Another meal that qualifies as dairy-free is a regular McDonald's hamburger. The bun doesn't contain dairy, and the toppings are only ketchup, mustard, and pickles, so it's safe to eat. 

3. Burger King

Burger King's Whopper Burger Sandwich is also completely dairy-free. Again, since the bun is listed without milk and there's no cheese on top, this would be a great option for dairy-free fast food. 

4. Wendy's 

Another dairy-free fast food option is Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich. The chicken isn't fried in buttermilk, which means the breading is safe to eat. This is surprising because it's a popular order for all different types of diets, and yet it's completely dairy-free. 

5. Bojangles'

Thanks to the list of dietary restrictions on the Bojangles' website, it's easy to see which meals are dairy-free. I was really surprised to see how many dairy-free fast food options there are at Bojangles' because its food is southern-inspired. The Cajun Filet Sandwich, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, and Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich are all dairy-free. This provides a lot of options for meals along with the sides that are also dairy-free. 

Overall, the biggest things to look out for at Bojangles' are the biscuits and sides like macaroni and cheese, which all contain a form of dairy. 

6. Domino's Pizza

chicken, chicken wings, Bowl
Casey Tang

While most dairy-free people will not be ordering the typical late night Domino's pizza, there are a few options on the menu you can enjoy. Pretty much any variety of Domino's chicken wings and nuggets are dairy-free, which can still be a great tailgate snack. 

#SpoonTip: Some of the wings are topped with cheese or are served with a buttermilk ranch dipping sauce. Ask for these to be omitted from your order. 

7. KFC

Shockingly, KFC's chicken doesn't contain dairy. This means anyone looking for dairy-free fast food can indulge in KFC's Chicken Buckets or Chicken Nuggets. With the KFC allergen search tool, it's easy to look up the items that have dairy. 

8. Popeyes 

At Popeyes, dairy-free options include the Naked Tenders and the Naked Chicken Wrap. Their seasoning for some of the other chicken dishes includes forms of dairy, but the naked version is safe to eat. 

Fries All Around

french fries, salt, potato, ketchup, fries
Amelia Hitchens

Although some fast food chains may have limited options for dairy-free diets, almost all fast food restaurants have dairy-free fries. So if all of your friends decide to stop on a road trip, there will most likely be something satisfying at every place with fries. 

Overall, these popular restaurants all offer some variety of dairy-free meals, even if it's just fries. Stop at any of these restaurants on your next road trip and give their dairy-free items a try.