Tip #12: Vegan Fast Food Meals

It's easy to find delicious vegan options at most fast food restaurants.

Fast food was once difficult for vegans to find and enjoy, but today it’s easy to find vegan options at almost all fast food restaurants. While this is not a food category you’re well-advised to eat much of, when you’re in a crunch or on the road, you can find these vegan meals just about anywhere. Here are six of your best bets, when it comes to eating vegan in fast food establishments.

  • Chipotle: Coming in at #1 on our list, Chipotle offers giant burritos, tacos, rice bowls, and salads packed with grains, greens, veggies, and guacamole—all for just $7. Plus, they’ve added tofu sofritas to their menu at many locations! In fact, the only non-vegan items on Chipotle’s menu are meat, cheese, and sour cream. Their guacamole is always vegan and typically sensational.
  • Taco Bell: You never would have guessed it, but Taco Bell is incredibly vegan friendly. All of their beans, rice, guacamole, and salsas are vegan—you simply need to avoid the meat, cheese, and sour cream. You can always substitute beans instead of meat, add potatoes, and when you order a burrito “Fresco Style,” they’ll use pico de gallo tomatoes in instead of cheese. My favorite order is a Crunchwrap Supreme® with beans instead of meat, hold the cheese and sour cream, and add potatoes. As complicated as this seems, they have never once messed up my order!
  • Subway: Order the Veggie Delight on Italian white bread, and have them hold the cheese and mayo. Even when loaded up with veggies and avocado, this is a pretty boring sandwich, and the fact that it’s almost as expensive as their meat-based sandwiches is totally unfair. But with more than 40,000 locations worldwide, you can always turn to subway when there are no other options. This is especially true on road trips, because it seems like there’s a Subway on the Interstate every few exits.
  • Pizza Hut: Ask for a pizza made on their thin ‘n’ crispy crust with no cheese. Top it with their all-natural pizza sauce and toppings like banana peppers, black olives, mushrooms and onions. You can see all of Pizza Hut’s ingredients here.
  • Starbucks: Now in more than 50 countries, you’ll never be far from a Starbucks soy latte or dairy-free frappuccino. You can also order their oatmeal topped with brown sugar and a nut and fruit medley or a plain bagel for breakfast. A few years ago Starbucks also introduced some packaged vegan lunch items, although their availability is far from consistent.
  • Denny’s: Diner food is notoriously unfriendly towards vegans, but Denny’s actually has some solid vegan options. Their vegan menu items include oatmeal, english muffins, plain toasted bagels, grits, applesauce, fresh fruit, vegetable plates, seasoned french fries, baked potatoes, garden salads (choose the light Italian or oil-and-vinegar dressings), and veggie sandwiches. Be sure to emphasize to your waiter that you cannot have dairy and to hold the butter on everything, because butter seems to make it’s way onto most of their food otherwise.