Some of us might avoid fast food at any measures, but some of us may still want or need to visit these eateries from time to time. Maybe we’re with friends who won’t be talked out of it, maybe we’re on the road and drive-thrus are our only option. Whatever the reason, the big question is: is it possible to eat vegan food at fast food restaurants?
The answer is increasingly “yes.” More and more fast food restaurants are offering vegan options. And it figures as Americans are eating less meat and also looking for more plant-based options. There is even an app called Vegan Xpress that will help you find vegan options at national chains and fast-food restaurants. Perfect for the busy vegan on the go! So whether you need to or you want to, the next time you visit a fast food restaurant, here are 20 vegan options available at your favorite fast food chains.
1. Au Bon Pain Soups and Chili
Au Bon Pain offers several soups and vegetarian chili that are vegan. Soups include Tuscan White Bean, Black Bean, Curried Rice and Lentil, 12 Veggie, Barley and Creamy Lentil, Harvest Mushroom and Wheatberries, Swiss Chard and Three Bean, and French Moroccan Tomato Lentil. Check their menu for gluten-free options.
2. Burger King French Fries
There isn’t much you can get at Burger King that’s vegan. Their Morningstar Veggie Burger has both milk and eggs and their oatmeal contains dairy. The French Fries, however, are vegan as are their Apple Slices.
3. Chick-Fil-A Hash Browns and Waffle Fries
Unless you’re want one of their salads minus the chicken, the only cooked vegan options at Chick-Fil-A are the Hash Browns (served only at breakfast) and the Waffle Potato Fries. They do serve a fresh Fruit Cup and Cinnamon Apple Sauce on the kid’s menu.
4. The Cheesecake Factory Vegan Cobb Salad
There is plenty to eat at The Cheesecake Factory if you ask them to keep the chicken and cheese out of the dishes. However, there is also the Vegan Cobb Salad, which contains lettuce, grilled asparagus, green beans, roasted beets, avocado, cucumber, tomato, chickpeas, quinoa, almond, and sunflower seeds with a house vinaigrette.
5. Chipotle Mexican Grill Sofritas
The Burritos, Bowls, Tacos and Salads at Chipotle Mexican Grill can be made vegan by ordering sofritas instead of meat. The tortillas, fajita vegetables, rice, beans, salsas, chips, and guacamole are all vegan. Note: their chipotle-honey vinaigrette is not vegan.
6. Denny’s Build Your Own Burger
You may not think of Denny’s when you think of vegan food, but Denny’s serves Amy’s burgers as the veggie patty for the Build Your Own Burger. The sesame seed and whole wheat buns are vegan, and you can even have fries on the side.
7. Domino’s Pizza
Domino’s Pizza has one vegan crust that is the Thin Crust (the Gluten-Free crust contains honey). Top it with their Original Pizza Sauce and a bunch of veggies. You can order a Garden Salad (hold the cheese) with Balsamic or Italian Dressing, and you’ve got a vegan meal. Check out How to Order Pizza From Any Delivery Store for other pizza options.
8. Mellow Mushroom Vegan Menu
Mellow Mushroom is a vegan’s dream. They offer a separate vegan menu and Daiya cheese can be substituted for dairy cheese on any menu item. The vegan menu has pretzels, hummus, several salads, pizzas (including build your own), calzones and several hoagies with tofu, tempeh or mushrooms.
9. Noodles & Company Indonesian Peanut Saute
Noodles & Company has several dishes suitable for vegans. The menu has a “v” next to vegetarian dishes; then you need to make sure there are no eggs or dairy. The Indonesian Peanut Saute is a spicy peanut sauce and rice noodle stir-fry that is vegan. You can also order the Japanese Pan Noodles, Bangkok Curry, soups, and salads. You can also add tofu to any dish.
10. Panera Bread Low-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup
Panera Bread’s Vegetarian Black Bean Soup is vegan. It has black beans cooked in a spicy vegetarian broth with onions, peppers, garlic, and cumin. Other vegetarian soups have dairy or honey so be sure to check the ingredients. Have your soup with some ciabatta bread on the side.
11. P.F. Chang’s Vegetarian Menu
Chinese food is usually vegan-friendly, and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro has a separate vegetarian menu. They say they can make any dish vegan. Try their Buddha’s Feast, Coconut Curry Vegetables, Stir-Fried Eggplant and Ma Po Tofu. They also have Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps, Orange Ginger Edamame, and gluten-free options.
12. Quizno’s Veggie Guacamole
The Veggie Guacamole can be made vegan by leaving off the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Then it has guacamole, your choice of veggies and a red wine vinaigrette. Get it on White or Wheat bread or on ciabatta, grilled flatbread or an Italian herb wrap.
13. Red Robin Garden Burger
Red Robin offers a Gardenburger made with a BOCA Original Vegan Burger patty. It’s topped with pickles, tomatoes, lettuce and Dijon sauce on a whole-grain bun. They also offer a hummus plate, wedge salad, and steamed veggie sides.
14. Ruby Tuesday’s Create Your Own Garden Bar
At Ruby Tuesdays, they have a Create Your Own Garden Bar where you can make a hefty vegan salad. There is spring mix, fresh greens and lots of toppings such as tomatoes, edamame, olives, green peas and sunflower seeds. For dressings, choose from balsamic vinaigrette or olive oil and vinegar. You can also make a Veggie Trio Combo where you choose three side dishes. Fresh sides can include grilled asparagus, baked potato, grilled zucchini, steamed broccoli, fresh green beans, and roasted spaghetti squash. Just be sure to request the veggies not be cooked with butter.
15. Starbucks Classic or Blueberry Oatmeal
At Starbucks, you can get either the Classic or Blueberry Oatmeal. The Classic Oatmeal is a blend of rolled and steel-cut oats with dried fruit, a nut medley, and brown sugar as optional toppings. The Blueberry Oatmeal has blueberries and a touch of agave syrup. The only other vegan food at Starbucks is the Plain Bagel and the Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend. The Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl is vegan but the lemon-tahini dressing it comes with is not. Starbucks says they are testing new vegan products.
16. Subway Veggie Delite
Subway is always a savior when it comes to finding a vegan sandwich. The Veggie Delite® has lots of veggies that you choose such as lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, onions and even avocado (for a few extra pennies). Have it on Italian, Hearty Italian or Sourdough Bread. Top it with oil, vinegar, mustard, deli mustard, sweet onion sauce or fat-free Italian dressing. If you’re not up for a sandwich, order The Veggie Delite Salad and toss in a bag of chips or apple slices.
17. Taco Bell Black Bean Burrito
There are a lot of vegan options at Taco Bell. In fact, Taco Bell has made history by being the first-ever fast food joint to offer menu items certified by the American Vegetarian Association (AVA). There are 13 ready-made menu items, plus 35 a la carte ingredients and 26 of which are also vegan – remember to hold the cheese and sour cream for items that are vegetarian. The Black Bean Burrito is vegan. There are also lots of sides to enjoy like chips with pico de gallo or guacamole, refried beans, cilantro rice, and Mexican rice.
18. TCBY Silk Almond and Coconut
In 2013, TCBY partnered with Silk and created the first ever national dairy-free almond milk-based frozen yogurt option in Chocolate. It was so successful, they then created Vanilla Almond. Now they offer both of these as well as Silk Almond Nog and Coconut made with Silk Coconut milk. Get yours with toppings such as almonds, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, coconut, dried fruits, mangos, peaches, raspberries, and of course, Oreo pieces.
19. Wendy’s Baked Potato and Side Salad
If you go to Wendy’s, you can order a Plain Baked Potato and a Garden Side Salad (the dinner salads have chicken and cheese). The salad has mixed greens, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Top it with Italian Vinaigrette Dressing but skip the croutons – they have dairy in them.
20. White Castle Veggie Slider
White Castle finally has a Veggie Slider, and it’s vegan. They use Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger that vegan. White Castle states, “The Veggie Slider is cooked separately from our other meat products, so it does not come in contact with them. The grill is cleaned each time before cooking the Veggie Slider. We also use a separate green spatula for cooking the Veggie Slider.” It can be topped with the sweet Thai sauce that is vegan. Unfortunately, at this time the bun is not vegan but you can make a bun out of the French Fries because they are.
It’s nice to know that so many fast food chains have options that are delicious and more sustainable!