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Eating Vegan at Fast Food Chain Restaurants

Veggie BurgerAlmost every restaurant has at least one vegan dish available. By making educated choices and asking the server for assistance, dining out can be a delicious—and cruelty-free—experience! We put together this handy guide to help you navigate the chain restaurant world.

Arby’s offers a baked potato and a garden salad or side salad with Italian dressing.

Remember going to Baskin-Robbins when you were knee-high to a grasshopper? Awaken the kid in you by trying the chain’s dairy-free and gelatin-free ices and sorbets, which are just as yummy and cooling as ice cream—without the pus and hormones.

A delicious vegetarian Boca burger and a fresh garden salad are your options at Bennigan’s.

Bruegger’s Bagel Bakery has several breakfast and lunch options for vegans, including its blueberry, chocolate chip, cinnamon sugar, cranberry orange, pumpernickel, and rosemary olive oil bagels, which can be topped with fresh vegetables, Dijon mustard, or vegan hummus spread. Bruegger’s also serves several vegetarian sandwiches, which can be made vegan by leaving off the cheese and dressing.

Burger King’s BK Veggie™—a flame-broiled vegetarian burger (contains dairy products)—has enjoyed continued success. Every time a customer sees “BK Veggie™,” it is a reminder that “having it your way” doesn’t have to mean taking a bite out of Bessie.

The French fries, hash-brown nuggets, breadsticks, English muffins, and CrissCuts at Carl’s Jr. are all vegan. In the restaurant, there is an all-you-can-eat salad bar that offers a variety of fresh vegetables and a three-bean salad that can be topped with fat-free Italian dressing.

The grilled portobello mushroom sandwich and Boca burger are vegan at Cheeburger Cheeburger, which can be found throughout the Midwest and the South and on the East Coast.

Cheers offers a vegan veggie burger. Load it up with all the fixings for a filling meal.

At Chili’s, you can have the tostada chips and salsa as appetizers, followed by the veggie quesadillas—replacing the cheese and sour cream with extra vegetables—or the Cadillac Fajitas without the meat.

Chipotle offers braised tofu Sofritas, which you can order in a bowl, burrito, taco, or salad. You have the option of black or pinto beans and brown or white rice. Plus, the restaurant has a great selection of vegan toppings, including mixed fajita veggies, salsas, corn, lettuce, and guacamole. 

Cici’s Pizza is inexpensive and will deliver to your home. Just be sure to ask about the vegan status of each item on your pizza. Cici’s also offers a pasta-and-salad buffet with many vegan options.

The Broiled Portobello Stack at Claim Jumper is vegan if you ask for an unmarinated portobello mushroom.

The Daily Grill, located throughout California, offers a vegan grilled vegetable plate.

Dairy Queen offers a vegan “ice cream” bar called Star Kiss. Dairy Queen also has vegan slushes in cherry, grape, blue raspberry, lemon lime, watermelon, and kiwi strawberry flavors. The selection varies by location

Even Denny’s—known for its traditional breakfasts, lunches, and dinners—has some vegan options. Denny’s vegan foods include oatmeal, English muffins, bagels, grits, applesauce, fresh fruit, vegetable plates, seasoned French fries, baked potatoes with several vegetable toppings, garden salads with light Italian or oil-and-vinegar dressing, and sandwiches that can be made with several vegetable options. It also serves a vegetarian burger.

5 & Diner has several vegan options, including a vegetarian burger and the Veggie Delight.

The vegan option at Flamers Grill is the Veggie Pattie.

Hard Rock Cafe offers a vegetarian burger, a veggie sandwich, and salads.

You have several vegan options at Hard Times Café, including the Café Veggie Burger and the Veggie Chili. Be sure to tell your server that you don’t want any dairy products in your Veggie Chili.

Houston‘s offers a veggie plate and the Vegetarian Burger. Just be sure to order the burger on vegan bread.

Swing by a Petro truck stop and you’ll find the Iron Skillet restaurant, where you can refuel with the stacked salad bar and spaghetti with meat-free sauce.

The Garden Po’ Boy, the Portobello Wrapini, and the Spinach Veggie Wrap are your vegan options at Jason’s Deli. Be sure to ask about the vegan status of each of these dishes—it varies by location.

John Harvard’s offers a grilled portobello mushroom sandwich and a veggie burger. Be sure to check the vegan status of your choice when ordering.

Johnny Rockets features the Streamliner, a vegan Boca burger with grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and mustard.

Kelsey’s, with locations in Canada, has several vegan options, including Kelsey’s Vegetable Burger, the Roasted Vegetable Wrap, and the Vegetable Fajita. The vegan status of these dishes varies by location, so be sure to check with your server when ordering.

Kona Grill now has a vegan menu! For appetizers, you’ve got edamame and seaweed salad. For sushi, there’s a cucumber roll, an avocado roll, and a vegetarian roll (with asparagus, avocado, yamagobo, cucumber, and sprouts). There are three vegan salads, including the house salad, the roasted asparagus salad, and the oriental salad, along with many vegan dressings, including onion soy, sweet soy, oil and vinegar, and balsamic, red, or white wine vinegar. Finally, both the Pan-Asian noodles and the linguini with marinara sauce are vegan, as are the sides of steamed baby bok choy, white rice, and seasonal vegetables.

The pizza sauce and dough at Little Caesars, and Papa John’s are vegan, while Pizza Hut uses vegan sauce, and its Thin ‘n Crispy and dessert crusts are vegan. By omitting the cheese and choosing your favorite vegetable toppings, you can easily make a delicious vegan pizza.

All of Manhattan Bagel’s bagels are vegan, except for the jalapeño cheddar cheese and egg varieties, and its bialys—a flattened onion-and-poppy-seed bagel—are also vegan. The Manhattan Grille and Vegetable Garden sandwiches can be made on a bagel, a roll, or a tortilla and are vegan if you omit the spreads and cheese.

The Veggie Stack sandwich is your vegan option at Mimi’s Café, which is located on the West Coast and in the Midwest.

All of Moe’s tacos, fajitas, salads, and burritos can be made vegan by substituting tofu for meat and skipping the cheese. Just be sure to ask for a vegan tortilla.

O’Naturals, a restaurant chain in New England, offers healthy, all-natural fast food for diners who want great food to go. Its menu features a large vegetarian selection, and vegan items are marked for easy identification.

A great place for breads, soups, salads, and sandwiches is Panera Bread. Each location varies its menu options, so just ask about the vegan options before ordering.

P.F. Chang’s is one of the most vegan-friendly restaurant chains around. Its vegetarian menu is terrific, and everything can be made vegan, from appetizers such as Tofu Lettuce Wraps to entrées like Orange Peel Tofu.

Located throughout Florida, Pollo Tropical offers Caribbean-inspired fast food, including several vegan options such as the Vegetarian TropiChop entrée. Other vegan items include Balsamic Tomatoes and Bananas Tropical. The chain’s black beans, French fries, white rice, yellow rice, boiled yucca, and corn are vegan too.

Pyramid Brewery offers a Boca burger that can be substituted for any nonvegan burger on its menu. The Margarita Pizza is also vegan.

A great alternative to Subway is Quiznos Subs. It offers a veggie sub that’s filled with guacamole, black olives, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and mushrooms—just be sure to order it without the cheese and ask for the balsamic vinaigrette instead of the red wine vinaigrette. Grab a side garden salad and some potato chips, and your stomach will be appeased in no time.

If you stop at Roy Rogers, you’ll find baked potatoes, sides of veggies, and a salad bar. And its mashed potatoes are vegan if you forgo the gravy.

Ruby Tuesday has an Endless Fresh Garden Bar where you can make your own vegan salad.

Starbucks has a sesame noodles dish, made with noodles, broccoli, carrots, red pepper, snap peas, tofu, pickled cucumbers, and sesame peanuts. The dish comes with a bar of Starbucks dark chocolate for dessert.

Subway’s Veggie Delite—on Italian bread and without cheese and mayo—is delish! Want to spice things up a bit? After visiting Subway, visit the nearest grocery store, purchase some fake lunch meats, and load up your sub!

Sweet Tomatoes, located throughout the South and the West, has a variety of salads, sandwiches, and soups.

Ohio’s Swenson’s Drive-In offers the Veggie Special.

Taco Bell has many great options for vegans! The fast-food chain has a variety of sides that are vegan—including the cinnamon twists, chips and guacamole (or pico de gallo), cilantro rice, black beans, and Mexican rice—and all its salsas are vegan. You can also order the fresco bean burrito, the veggie Cantina bowl without sauce, or the regular bean burrito without cheese. Several of Taco Bell’s other dishes can be veganized simply by omitting a few ingredients. The 7-Layer Burrito can be vegan with five layers—just forgo the cheese and sour cream. The tacos, nachos, and Mexican pizzas are vegan when you ask the cashier to hold the meat, cheese, and sour cream.

Tubby’s, with locations in Michigan, has the vegan Hot Veggie Stir-Fry Sandwich.

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt offers vegan soy flavors such as peanut butter, soy latte, and plain soy. It also offers fruity sorbets, including raspberry, strawberry, pineapple, and more. Top your frozen yogurt off with some fresh fruit, nuts, or other vegan toppings, and you’ll have a delicious treat.

Village Inn has a Boca burger that is vegan if ordered without mayonnaise and cheese.

Head to Wendy’s for a plain baked potato, the Deluxe Garden Salad with red Italian dressing and no cheese, or French fries. You can also ask for a veggie sandwich, which includes everything that would normally be on the burger except the meat—there’s even a button for it on the cash register.

World Wraps, with locations in Washington and California, offers its vegan customers the Tofu and Mushroom Teriyaki and the Bombay Curry Veggie.

Need more information? VegGuide.org is a world wide, community-maintained guide to veg-friendly restaurants and shopping.

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  • sarah says:

    taco unfortunately is not vegan, found on there site- We do offer meatless options, but none of our products are certified as vegetarian. Please note that in some restaurants we use the same frying oil to prepare menu items that may or may not contain meat. All meatless ingredients are handled by our employees in common with meat ingredients, which may not be acceptable to certain types of vegetarian diets.
    bev hills

  • Britta C. says:

    Green mill also has great veggie burgers!! Although I’m not 100% sure as to whether or not they are vegan. But still for those that are just vegetarian its pretty tasty.

  • Christy says:

    GrillSmith has a great black bean burger with mango salsa

  • Jess_B says:

    This is another great article on vegan takeaway options. Although it’s UK-focused, it has some good advice on what to look for in a takeout to ensure its vegan.

  • Molly says:

    Red Robin has a lot of great vegan options. They will print out a menu specifically for what your needs are.

  • marcy says:

    Sammy’s woody fire pizza has an option to get daiya cheese

  • Sean says:

    Mexican restaurant BLOCKHEADS in nYC offers a bunch of vegan/vegetarian slections. I had the grilled tofo burrito w/ vegan cheese and vegan sour cream…it was off the hook!!!

  • Tori says:

    OrignialJoes offers a vege burge, Flafel burger, Quiona Salad, and many more options because they also have soya chicken that can substitute for regular chicken.

  • jamiz1969 says:

    Chili’s Black Bean Burger is vegetarian, not vegan. it has eggs in it!

  • Shannon K. says:

    Native Foods Cafe’s entire menu is vegan and delicious! The Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger is to die for. Oh and Sweet Tomatoes was mentioned here. Their soup base has beef in it,even the vegetable soup, or at least it used to.

  • lola says:

    Little Caesars bread sticks, if asked with no cheese, are vegan! The “butter” they coat it with is soy based, no dairy! (I worked there)

  • StefRob says:

    Hopie,
    Olive Gardens Pastas DO NOT contain any eggs. I found this from their allergy information sheet which lists which items have eggs, dairy, meats, etc. Most items have dairy because of the cheese but you can ask that they serve these items with no cheese. Their Salad dressing however contains both cheese and egg whites.

  • Toni says:

    Ruby Tuesday’s does an amazing deal! $10 for 3 cooked veggie side + salad bar which has soy beans on it.

    Also Charlie Brown’s has a great salad bar with chick peas. Also you can order sides of veggies.

    Most middle eastern restaurants are good choices for vegan eating – hummus, falafel, babaganoush! Great stuff!

  • Tammy says:

    BJs Brewhouse also has a lot of vegan options. And the Chef’s are always willing to substitute any items in a vegan dish to make it non-vegan dish. :)

  • Janelle says:

    Yardhouse has awesome vegetarian and vegan options! They use Gardein for their vegetarian/vegan dishes and the mushroom lettuce wraps are AMAZING!!! =]

  • Ricky says:

    Ruby tuesdays also offers a Zuchinni Mini Combo, That is meatless.

  • Anne Markel says:

    Cook up a bag of lentils. You can use them as ground beef in any recipe. Just season as you would ground beef. In tacos, they are excellent!

  • Kristiina says:

    Noodles & Company has vegan noodle dishes, soups and salads. They also use organic tofu.

  • Jeremy says:

    I’ve found Taco Bell to be great. For 30 cents more I can replace meat on any menu item with black beans.

  • Jazmin Lazaro says:

    I recently made the change of becoming vegan with my husband & we feel its the best decision we have ever made! Thank you for all the info we have received on this site!!!!

  • Melissa says:

    I went online to order cheeseless veg pizza last night from Pizza Hut and was rather appalled to learn that they charge you more, yes more, to order pizza without cheese.
    I called the local (Toms River, NJ) restaurant where the woman was truly wonderful, apologized for that, and took my order without charging more, even offering extra sauce for no additional cost.

    But I find this practice from a national chain outrageous…charging more for leaving cheese OFF your pizza? Madness.

  • Jennifer says:

    Souper Salad is a great restaurant chain that offers a salad bar, potato bar, and soup bar with fresh breads. It is very vegan/vegetarian friendly.

  • maria says:

    subway’s white bread is vegan, and they also offer a garden patty.

  • Audrey says:

    I would just like to thank you, PETA, for making being a vegan so simple! I thought I would have a difficult time with this, but you make it easy to make the right choices. THANK YOU!

  • Luciana says:

    Red Robin also have a vegan garden burger

  • kristy says:

    Well freddy no fast food joint is going to have a completely healthy organic whole foods spread, of you need that, make your own, peta is concerned only with not using animals and the options they list do not contain animals, except the bk veggie, seriously, fast food is never going to be good for you, but if you only have a couple of bucks and a few minutes, picking up a veggie sub or side salad and mini pie is quick and can fill you up if you do it right

  • Bryan says:

    Yardhouse is also a good choice. They have an entire “Gardein” section with great faux meat options!

  • Sherry says:

    Red Lobster has a veggie skewer option for $15!!!

  • Kelli says:

    What about McDonald’s? They put meat in everything….

  • Freddy says:

    Vegan, yes, but there’s so much else to consider. How many veggie burgers, including BK’s, contain GMO soy? What else is in the desserts? Corn syrup? Gee, that’s vegan, right?

  • Eselpee says:

    Do you (or are you considering) an app so we can access this info – as well as that of “accidently vegan”, in the moment? I can’t remember this when I am starving on the road. :(

    …It would be beyond wonderful if some nutritional info was also included…

  • abrham buchnik says:

    very helpful i dident know this before i read it

  • Alek says:

    Pollo Tropical’s French fries are NOT vegan as they contain dairy. My friend also found pork in his rice, today. Weve also been lied to by employees about vegan items. I’d suggest vegans just steer clear.

  • Michelle says:

    I have a soy-sensitivity and unfortunately soooo many veggie/vegan items have soy or sub only tofu or soy-based cheeses, ARGGHH!! :(

  • Shorty says:

    R Altman – it may just be a Canadian thing, but all advertising for the Subway Veggie patty claim that it’s vegan, although it is a little too high in sodium so some people may need to watch their levels.

  • R Altman says:

    Subway veggie patty has eggs so it is vegetarian but not vegan.

  • Sam says:

    Very Helpful for everyone on the planet.

    If more people are aware of what stores have selections for non-meat, non-dairy…. I think people will have more choices to save the animals that are being slaughtered daily. We in america grew up to the commercials “Got Meat: It’s what’s for Dinner” lie, that we think that meat is the normal way to eat (and without thinking of the suffering animals). So sad.

  • Shawnalicious says:

    Chilli’s has a black bean patty. You can substitute any of their burgers with the black bean patty and it’s delicious. I don’t think it’s written on the menu anymore (not sure why) you just have to ask for it.

  • Ashlee0711 says:

    For subway it only has listed the veggie delight. They also have a garden “burger” that’s not on the menu but almost all subways have it. And it also taste delicious!!!

  • Amanda says:

    Red robin was missed on this list. So you know they have boca burgers you can lettuce wrap and they’re delicious!

  • Jenn says:

    Chuck e cheese pizza dough has whey. :(

  • budcakez says:

    In-and-Out burger also has a veggie burger that is vegan if you get no cheese on it. You can also get grilled onions on your burger and fries.
    Starbucks also has salads and other vegan options sometimes I think

  • Katie says:

    From my research, Manhattan Bagels have eggs in them. Noah’s, on the other hand, do not.

  • alex says:

    the Dairy Queen Cherry “Star Kiss” bar IS NOT vegan. They specifically list milk as an allergen on their website. PETA, do a little bit more research :/

  • Polyesterdress says:

    I was going to make the same comment about Taco Bell’s beans but I just checked the nutrition on their site and their shortening is listed as “soy oil.”
    Olive Garden does have a delicious selection of meatless items. Also, Jimmy John’s vegetarian sub is amazing, as is the veggie burger offered at my local Culver’s.

  • jimmmmm says:

    At taco bell you can replace that beef/chicken on any item with beans

  • Alex says:

    Your completely wrong about P.F.Chang’s. Many of the seemingly vegan items on there menus are not vegan. All fo their sauces are not vegan, and even their sugar is not vegan. If you speak to the Chef’s or a manager they will tell you that the only vegan items are the steamed Buddha’s Feast, garlic snap peas, and garlic spinach.

  • Hopie says:

    Olive Garden is not on the list. For years I have eaten spaghetti marinara, minnestrone soup or pasta and eggplant, and salad. I haven’t asked about source of fats, et al. I really thought these were okay, at least for a vegetarian. Any info?

  • Taco Bell? says:

    I thought that the beans at Taco Bell had lard in them???

  • Joe@StLouis says:

    I just had my lunch at Red Robin Gourmet Burger. I was served a vegan boca burger with fries( the server promised me the fries was not in the same fryers as the other fried stuff that contains meat/fish or anything else)

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