Vegan Fast Food

Vegan fast food options are, as you might expect, fairly limited. It’s all but impossible to find acceptable choices from burger and fried chicken chains. The good news is that both Subway and Taco Bell offer vegan items.

At Taco Bell you can order a “fresco-style” bean burrito. When you order an item fresco-style at Taco Bell, that means they’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.

Subway is likewise a reliable place for 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.

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.

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 terrific huge vegan burritos for only a few dollars more than what Taco Bell charges for a lot less food. At all of these places, the tortillas, rice, beans, salsa, and guacamole are always vegan.

Alternately you can keep your eyes open for a falafel stand, where you can get falafel or hummus either in pita bread or served as a wrap in lavash bread. Note that Greek falafel restaurants typically put yogurt in their tahini dressing whereas the tahini at Middle Eastern restaurants is vegan.

There’s no doubt that vegans have fewer fast food options than omnivores, but that’s hardly terrible 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.

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