Whether you need to eat in a rush, have screaming kids in the backseat, or you’re just having cravings, fast food serves its purpose. Now that vegan products have integrated into so many chains, it’s easy to pop by nearly any drive-thru window and find vegan options. Don’t hold up the line scanning the menu—rely on this guide to order with confidence at 10 of your favorite fast food restaurants in the US
1. Del Taco
No modifications needed; Del Taco offers a Beyond Meat-based crunchy taco that is vegan from the start. Order a few of the Beyond Avocado Tacos made with vegan beef crumbles, lettuce, diced tomatoes, and slices of avocado. The Beyond Tacos are also vegan if you order them without the cheese. The Crinkle Cut Fries, Hash Brown Sticks, and Avocado Veggie Bowl are also vegan-approved.
2. Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
Little-known vegan fast-food fact: Auntie Anne’s Original, Cinnamon Sugar, Sweet Almond, Garlic, Jalapeño, and Raisin pretzels can be veganized by ordering them without the butter. This process takes an extra five minutes, but it’s worth it for a hot, soft mall pretzel.
3. Burger King
Breakfast, lunch, or dinner—Burger King has the vegan options covered. In the morning, opt for the French Toast Sticks served warm with a side of maple syrup. During the day, quell your burger craving with the Impossible Whopper (ask for no mayo) and a side of fries, then polish off that sweets craving with a Dutch Apple Pie. Yes, the pie is “accidentally vegan.”
4. Carl’s Jr. (and Hardee’s)
Get your Famous Star fix with the Beyond Famous Star burger made with Beyond Meat. Ask for no mayo or cheese and you’re set. Accompany the sandwich with a crispy fried potato side—the French fries, CrissCut fries, hash rounds, and hash-brown nuggets are all vegan.
5. Chipotle Mexican Grill
There are so many options, but let’s start with the Plant Powered Vegan Bowl. It’s a deep dish of rice, Sofritas (the chain’s signature spicy braised tofu), black beans, tomato and corn salsas, and shredded lettuce. Of course, you can also customize your own bowl, burrito, salad, or tacos with the plethora of vegan ingredients. Bonus: when you order the “Vegetarian” option, there’s no extra charge for guac!
The rise in popularity of vegan burgers has given way to two passionate fan bases—in the same vein as the unending rivalry between Coke and Pepsi die-hards, the world has split into Beyond Meat and Impossible factions. If you’re grabbing food with mixed company, Bareburger is the perfect compromise, offering both Beyond and Impossible patties. The Beyond Burger is vegan as-is; order the Impossible Burger with vegan cheese and a sprout bun instead of the brioche. Other vegan options include two housemade veggie burgers (the Thai Chia and Guadalupe), Beyond Sausage, Farmstead (a collard green sweet potato wrap), various salads (look for the “V”), Sweet Fries and French Fries, Sweet and Dill Pickles, and Napa Slaw. Feast on!
7. In-N-Out Burger
While the quality of In-N-Out Burger fries is highly contested, there’s no argument over the deliciousness of The Veggie secret menu item. Tell your cashier that you would like “One sandwich, no patty, no spread, and no cheese. Add the grilled onions, please.” You’ll receive a meat-free handhold with lettuce, tomato, and juicy grilled onions on a fresh vegan bun for a mere $1.50. Score!
8. Taco Bell
Not only does this chain feature a vegetarian menu, but you can also veganize nearly any item on the menu by subbing the meat for beans and using the magic words “Fresco style.” This phrase replaces the cheese, ranch sauce, and sour cream with fresh pico de gallo. From the vegetarian menu, seek out the 7-Layer Burrito, Black Beans and Rice, Spicy Tostada, and Power Menu Bowl and use those magic words. The chips, cinnamon twists, side of beans (without cheese), and Mexican rice are also vegan.
Sometimes you just want a comforting baked potato (sprinkled with salt and drizzled with ketchup) and that is when you go to Wendy’s. Order a Plain Baked Potato and grab some ketchup and mustard packets on your way out. For some greens, accompany your spud with the Garden Side Salad which comes with mixed greens, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Top it with Italian Vinaigrette Dressing, but skip the croutons as they contain dairy.
10. White Castle
Harold and Kumar approve of White Castle’s vegan sliders made with the Impossible Burger. Order these bite-sized beauties plain or with a sweet Thai sauce. You also have the option of a vegetable-based Veggie Slider, French fries, and applesauce.
Eric Lindstrom is the Director of Marketing for Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) and the author of The Skeptical Vegan and 2018’s Mind Your Peas and Cukes: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Vegan Kids.
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