Let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with a lunchtime sandwich. They’re filling, they’re versatile, they’re tasty—they’re the ultimate midday classic. In fact, on any given day, around half of all Americans will treat themselves to a sandwich. But while it’s easy to throw together a quick (vegan) BLT at home or a grilled cheese, sometimes, you can’t beat a big, juicy, professionally-made sandwich. Sure, you can pop to Subway for your fix, but Mendocino Farms has tasty plant-based sandwich options, too, as well as plenty of vegan-friendly salads, soups, and sides.

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What is Mendocino Farms?

Founded back in 2005 by husband-and-wife duo Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen, Mendocino Farms is a fast-casual chain with a mission. And that mission is to provide its customers with as many hearty, tasty sandwiches, all of which are made with top-quality, fresh ingredients, as possible. But that’s not all. It also specializes in tasty salads and soups, too. Fun fact: Mendocino Farms used to be known as Mendocino Farms Sandwich Kitchen, but the name was shortened in 2022 to better reflect the brand (the menu is actually 45 percent salad).

Mendocino Farms’ ethos is to help people “Eat Happy,” according to the chain, and to help people expand their idea of what a simple lunchtime sandwich can look like. In fact, in 2022, CEO Kevin Miles described the fast-casual chain’s menu as a “culinary adventure” to QSR Magazine.

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RELATED: Yes, It’s Possible to Order Vegan at Chick-fil-A. Here’s How

Is Mendocino Farms only in California?

It might be named after Mendocino County, where Del Pero grew up, but the fast-casual chain has expanded beyond California. It has more than 50 locations, which granted, are mostly in California, but it also has restaurants in Texas and Washington. 

In fact, the chain opened its second Seattle spot last year, in Rainier Square (the first was in South Lake Union). And there are many more to come. “We’re looking forward to fueling even more Seattleites with our flavorful food as we expand into downtown and beyond in the coming years,” Miles said in a statement in 2023. “We are so honored and proud to be a part of the community.”

What’s vegan at Mendocino Farms?

Mendocino Farms is not a vegan chain, but the good news is it has not one, not two, but multiple plant-based options on the menu to choose from. Find out what’s on the vegan menu at Mendocino Farms below. And keep your eye on the menu in the future, because the brand has pledged to keep improving its vegan offering. “Introducing more plant-based options has been a priority for us,” said the chain’s executive chef Jeremy Bringardner earlier this year.

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1 Philly Shroomsteak

The Philly Shroomsteak sandwich hit the Mendocino Farms menu in January. Developed in partnership with the mushroom meat brand Fable, the sandwich is juicy, meaty, and incredibly satisfying. It’s loaded with shiitake steak, roasted red peppers, giardiniera, and plant-based American cheese.

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2 The Happy Hippie

Arguably, the best types of sandwiches are loaded with as many vegetables as possible. The Happy Hippie (which comes vegetarian but can be requested as vegan) is packed with avocado, cucumber, carrots, Kumato tomatoes, beet caviar, and sprouts. Our mouths are watering already. 

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3 Vegan Banh Mi

Mendocino Farms’ Vegan Banh Mi is all the proof you need that this traditional Vietnamese sandwich, which is often made with pork, is incredibly delicious when it’s plant-based. Organic, marinated baked tofu is paired with vegan aioli, sweet chili sauce, pickled daikon, carrots, and more tasty vegetables for a flavor-packed delight.

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4 The Impossible Taco Salad

If you’re craving a salad, but you want it to be filling, meaty, and plant-based, The Impossible Taco Salad is well worth a taste. It’s loaded with vegan chorizo from Impossible Foods, as well as ingredients like housemade “superfood krunchies,” chopped romaine, black beans, and vegan chipotle ranch.

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5 Spicy Dijon Potato Salad

Perfect for fans of spicy food, this creamy, flavor-laden Spicy Dijon Potato Salad has just the right amount of kick. But if you want to order it, you’ll have to move fast because, at the time of writing, it’s on the limited-time menu.

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6 Spicy Curried Couscous

Another delicious spicy side option from Mendocino Farms is this Spicy Curried Couscous, which is made with the brand’s own signature spice mix, as well as plenty of tasty roasted cauliflower and carrots.

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7 Thai Sweet Potato Soup

Another limited-time option is this ultra-creamy, super-flavorful Thai Sweet Potato Soup. Of course, it features nourishing sweet potato puree in the recipe, but it’s also made with red bell peppers, shallots, coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass, and even almond butter for that delicious velvety texture.

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8 Housemade beverages 

A hearty lunch isn’t complete without something delicious to wash it all down with. Mendocino Farms has plenty of refreshing drink options, including Passion Fruit Black Tea, Rose Lemonade, and Get Your Greens Agua Fresca.

For more on vegan menu items, read:
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