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 something to fill you up. 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 has partnered with Beyond Meat to create a designated Vegetarian & Vegan menu. The new one-pound Epic Beyond Fresh Guacamole Burrito is vegan as-is, along with the Beyond Guacamole Taco. Both feature seasoned Beyond Beef crumbles that are accompanied by an assortment of fillings including cilantro-lime rice, fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa, and seasoned black beans. The Beyond Taco is also vegan if you order it without the cheese. The Crinkle Cut Fries, Hash Brown Sticks, and 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, alapeño, 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 Mott’s Applesauce. For a comprehensive look at BK’s menu, check out our Vegan Guide to Eating Plant-Based at Burger King.
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. Plant-curious patrons can also order the Beyond Fiery Famous Star with jalapeños—remember to ask for no cheese or fiery sauce, as these aren’t vegan. Another handy hack: customization. Order a plain hamburger with a Beyond Meat patty, then add your choice of toppings: raw onions, ketchup, mustard, pickles, barbecue sauce, jalapeños, tomatoes, and lettuce are all fair game. Accompany the sandwich with a crispy fried potato side—the French fries, CrissCut fries, and hash rounds are all vegan.
5. Chipotle Mexican Grill
There are countless build-your-own options with Chipotle’s offerings! You can customize your own bowl, burrito, salad, or tacos with a plethora of vegan ingredients—including beans, lettuce, cilantro-lime rice, veggie fajitas, and fan-favorite Sofritas—the chain’s signature spicy braised tofu. When in doubt, rely on Chipotle, and keep our vegan guide to Chipotle handy when you open your mobile ordering app.
This chain has seriously stepped up its vegan game in the past year. What began as a partnership between Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods sprouted into a fully developed vegan menu—complete with vegan cheese, plant-based buns, non-dairy milkshakes, and vegan chicken and fish sandwiches. The menu features sandwiches and sides, nuggets and melts, and even kids’ meals and carrot cake. The most challenging part of ordering at a Bareburger isn’t finding something you can eat, but deciding how much can fit in your stomach.
7. Dog Haus
Best known for their hot dogs, this chain offers a selection of plant-based fast-food favorites. Choose between an Impossible Burger (hold the cheese and secret sauce), Beyond Brat, Impossible Slider (ask for no mayo and skip the cheese), and Sooo Veggie dog. When ordered on a French roll or lettuce-wrapped, these options are perfectly vegan-friendly. And, if you’re lucky, you may see Beyond Meat’s recently launched Beyond Chicken Tenders on the menu at select locations. The chain’s tots, sweet potato fries, and regular fries are also fair game.
8. Taco Bell
Like its competitor Del Taco, this fast-food Mexican chain was early to jump on the vegan bandwagon. While the chain is testing vegan protein options and plant-based chicken chalupa shells in one Southern California location, Taco Bell does offer a fairly extensive vegetarian menu that is easily veganizable. Just use the magic words: “Fresco style.” This phrase replaces the cheese, ranch sauce, sour cream, and essentially any dairy-based condiment with fresh pico de gallo. Add potatoes to customize other vegetarian favorites including the Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme, Power Menu Bowl-Veggie, and simple Beans and Rice bowl. No matter what you order, grab a side of accidentally vegan Cinnamon Twists for dessert. When in doubt, read up on our How to Order Vegan at Taco Bell Guide.
9. El Pollo Loco
Introducing the new and improved Chickenless Pollo. The nationwide chicken chain first launched this vegetarian option in February 2020, but it was simmered in a sauce made with an egg enzyme. As of July 2020, the reformulated recipe is completely vegan. After chowing down your Chickenless Pollo burrito, complete your meal with a vegan-friendly side such as the broccoli or Loco Side Salad (hold the cheese). Refrain from the corn side—it contains 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, but hold the cheese. The chain started testing out vegan cheese options using GOOD PLANeT cheese in March 2020, but only in select markets for a trial period. Complete your order with a side of fries.
Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.
Love the plant-based lifestyle as much as we do?
Get the BEST vegan recipes, travel, celebrity interviews, product picks, and so much more inside every issue of VegNews Magazine. Find out why VegNews is the world’s #1 plant-based magazine by subscribing today!