Vegan fast-food options have increased substantially over the past decade. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are working with the likes of Burger King, McDonald’s, and others. Completely vegan fast-food chains are expanding across the country. But, it’s still likely that you’ll consider ordering a quick, cheap meal at a chain where the animal-free choices aren’t obvious. Like Arby’s, the meat-centric chain from Ohio. As it turns out, Arby’s vegan options are pretty decent.
Does Arby’s have vegan options?
Arby’s is best known for its meaty sandwiches and, despite the existence of some fantastic plant-based deli meats, not a single one of them is vegan. It’s not entirely surprising that a chain that once launched a 100-percent meat-based sandwich whose slogan is “Arby’s, We Have The Meats!” wouldn’t have much in the way of plant-based meat.
It feels as if the fast-food chain is actively resisting embracing plant-based meat, as other fast-food chains have. Back in 2019, after a rumor circulated the web that Arby’s may add the Impossible Burger to its menu, former president Rob Lynch took to the media to say, “It won’t happen on my watch.” The chain then debuted a fake marketing campaign about its new “meat-based vegetables” to show what a hardcore anti-vegan restaurant it is. Let’s also not forget its 2015 “vegetarian hotline” number that promoted its new bacon.
But, despite all of this, the chain does actually have a surprising number of plant-based options.
How to eat vegan at Arby’s
So, what’s vegan at Arby’s? We’re here to answer your pressing questions like: Are Arby’s fries vegan? And, are the fruit turnovers really vegan? From fries to sides, here’s what to order when you need a meat-free meal.
1 Curly fries
Potatoes are the saving grace at most fast-food establishments and Arby’s curly fries are no exception. These crispy fries are seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, and salt—no beef seasoning here. Pair it with any of the vegan-friendly sauces listed below.
2 Crinkle fries
Arby’s happens to have a lot of vegan-friendly, potato-based ingredients and we’re not mad about it. The pillowy crinkle fries are free from all animal ingredients, so you can order without fear that the fries contain milk.
If you’re lucky, your location might carry Arby’s homestyle fries. These thick-cut french fries are a regional item only, so your location might not carry them. But if they do, rest easy—they’re yet another style of fries on the Arby’s menu that’s 100-percent vegan.
3 French toast sticks
Breakfast is served! French toast usually contains eggs, but not Arby’s French toast sticks. Sweet and gooey, you might want to double your order of these and get a cup of coffee to counterbalance the sugariness. Who could have guessed that you’d find vegan French toast at Arby’s of all places? It’s a pleasant surprise.
4 Apple and cherry turnovers
For many people, no meal is complete without dessert. Thankfully, you don’t have to skip all of the sweets at Arby’s. Much like McDonald’s apple pie, Arby’s fruit pastries are “accidentally” vegan. Their flaky exteriors are made with vegetable shortening instead of butter. They’re currently available in two flavors—apple and cherry—that are both made with real fruit.
Some vegans might avoid the turnovers because the shortening is made with palm oil, an ingredient that’s connected to deforestation and habitat loss for many endangered animals, like orangutans. The decision ultimately falls to the individual.
5 Chopped side salad
Truth be told, Arby’s chopped side salad leaves a lot to be desired. If you order it without cheese, you’re left with chopped green lettuce leaves and diced tomatoes. It’s not much, but at least it’s a way to add fresh vegetables to your order if that’s something you want.
Thankfully, the Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing and the Light Italian addressing are both vegan. Plus, Arby’s has vegan bread that you could order on the side so you can get your carb on.
6 Vegan bread
Arby’s may be known for sandwiches, but there are no vegan sandwich options. In theory, you could choose one of the types of bread below and ask for it with lettuce, tomato, sauerkraut, and other vegetables that the restaurant has available, but it’s not exactly a substantial meal. Use any of the following types of bread as a companion to your cheese-free chopped salad:
- Harvest Wheat Bun
- Marble Rye Bread
- Mini Bun
- Sourdough “Breakfast Bread”
Arby’s may not have dairy-free milkshakes, but at least it has vegan drinks. Soda may not be a health food, but most of it is vegan. Arby’s has coffee for the early birds and night owls, orange juice, soda, and more:
- Barq’s Root Beer
- Brewed Iced Tea
- Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
- Diet Coke
- Diet Dr Pepper
- Fanta Orange
- Hi-C Flashin’ Fruit Punch
- Mello Yello
- Minute Maid Light Lemonade
- Powerade Mountain Berry Blast
- Simply Orange Juice
8 Vegan sauces
Food would be too boring without sauce. Arby’s gets that and many of their sauces are vegan by default. Its signature sauce, Arby’s Sauce, is essentially the chain’s version of barbecue sauce. It’s made from a base of tomato sauce, vinegar, and spices.
Here’s the full list of vegan sauces at Arby’s:
- Arby’s Sauce
- Bronco Berry Sauce
- Spicy Three Pepper Sauce
When you consider that Burger King, KFC, Del Taco, Taco Bell, Chipotle, and so many other fast-food chains have launched or trialed vegan meat, Arby’s isn’t doing all that it could with its vegan menu. In fact, its ad campaigns make it feel like the chain is actively dragging its feet. But when it comes down to it, Arby’s accidentally vegan options will do the job of keeping you full enough until your next meal.