Vegan fast food options are, as you might expect, fairly limited. It’s increasingly possible to find great vegan options at places that once had nothing for vegans.
Subway and Taco Bell
Subway offers a filling if uninspired vegan meal: just order a Veggie Delight without cheese or mayo. Note that if you wish to avoid honey you must order your sandwich on white bread. Since Subway has even more U.S. locations than McDonald’s, you’re never far from a vegan sandwich.
The easiest vegan meal to order at Taco Bell is a “fresco-style” bean burrito. Order any item fresco-style at Taco Bell andthey’ll leave off all the dairy ingredients and replace them with a chunky salsa. For an extra charge you can add rice, guacamole, tomato, or lettuce—all of which are vegan.
Between Taco Bell and Subway you can impulsively leave anytime for a long-distance road-trip, knowing that you’ll have vegan options every few exits.
Upscale Vegan Fast Food
Your vegan choices expand dramatically in both number and quality if you can spend a few dollars more to migrate from conventional fast-food to what the restaurant industry calls “fast casual.”
For vegans, the best fast-casual food probably comes from Mexican-inspired chains like Chipotle, Taco Del Mar, and Qdoba. They all offer gigantic vegan burritos for a relative pittance. At all of these places, the tortillas, rice, beans, salsa, and guacamole are always vegan.
Alternately just keep your eyes open for a falafel stand. There, you can get falafel or hummus either in pita or served as a wrap. Note that Greek falafel restaurants typically put yogurt in their tahini dressing whereas the tahini at Middle Eastern restaurants is vegan.
Vegans certainly have fewer fast food options than omnivores. But that’s not exactly devastating news since you probably don’t want to eat much of the stuff anyway. For a little more money, you can generally find far better food than anything offered by the fast food chains. Regardless, it’s good to know that if vegan fast food is what you want, you can easily find it in almost any town.