I am not an advocate of fast food chains, and don’t really visit these all that often, but there was a period in my life when I was hanging out in such places more frequently. You may still have friends, who prefer dining at fast food chains, or you may simply like to have an easy option when you are out, you feel like you are going to faint if you don’t have a bite soon, and there is nothing but a fast food restaurant around.
Some of these places are not that bad in fact! Almost every restaurant has at least one vegan dish. By making educated choices and asking the server for assistance, dining out can be a delicious—and cruelty-free—experience!
offers Sofritas—organic tofu braised with peppers and spices—which you can order in a bowl, burrito, taco, or salad. You have the option of black or pinto beans and brown or white rice. Plus, the restaurant has a great selection of vegan toppings, including mixed fajita veggies, salsas, lettuce, and guacamole.
has a sesame noodle dish made with broccoli, carrots, red pepper, snap peas, tofu, pickled cucumbers, and sesame peanuts. The dish comes with a bar of Starbucks dark chocolate for dessert. Other options include a plain or multigrain bagel, classic or blueberry oatmeal, the Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend, and the Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl.
has many great options for vegans! The fast-food chain has a variety of sides that are vegan—including the cinnamon twists, chips and guacamole (or pico de gallo), cilantro rice, black or refried beans, and Mexican rice—and all of its salsas are vegan. You can also order the Bean Burrito “fresco style,” the regular Black Bean Burrito without cheese, or the Veggie Cantina Power Bowl (ask for no sauce). Several of Taco Bell’s other dishes can be veganized simply by omitting a few ingredients or asking for it “fresco style.” The 7 Layer Bean Burrito can be made vegan if it has five layers—just forgo the cheese and sour cream.
offers vegan starters such as gazpacho soup, a trio of hummus, sweet potato fries, and herbed brown rice with almonds. Vegan entrées are also offered, including penne pasta primavera, angel hair pasta pomodoro, and a grilled vegetable plate. You can also get a house salad with Asian ginger dressing or balsamic vinaigrette.
known for its traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare—has some vegan options. Denny’s vegan offerings include oatmeal, the Fit Fare® Veggie Skillet (ask for no egg whites), English muffins, bagels, grits, applesauce, fresh fruit, vegetable plates, seasoned French fries, baked potatoes with several vegetable toppings, garden salads with light Italian dressing or oil and vinegar dressing, and sandwiches that can be made with several vegetable options. It also serves a Boca burger.
offers four vegan tortilla options and a choice between cilantro-lime or Spanish rice and black, pinto, or refried beans. Add additional toppings, such as roasted vegetables, guacamole, jalapeños, cilantro, tomatoes, tortilla strips, pico de gallo and a variety of other salsas.
Jack in the Box‘s
black beans, potato wedges, seasoned curly fries, and breakfast blueberry muffin oatmeal are all vegan.
uses vegan marinara sauce and its Thin ‘N Crispy Pizza crusts are vegan. By omitting the cheese and choosing your favorite vegetable toppings, you can easily make a delicious vegan pizza.
Noodles & Company
is noodle heaven for vegans. It has five vegan dishes: the Chinese Chop Salad without wontons, the Indonesian Peanut Sauté, the Japanese Pan Noodles, the Penne Rosa without
breadsticks are vegan, as the butter topping is made with soy, not dairy products. There are many vegan pasta options: angel hair, cavatappi, fettuccine, gluten-free rotini, rigatoni, small shells, spaghetti, and whole-wheat linguine. All these can be topped with the vegan marinara sauce or kid’s tomato sauce. The minestrone is now dairy-free at all locations, too, so you can order the soup, salad, and breadsticks combo! Simply hold the croutons and choose the oil and vinegar dressing. You can also get a side of steamed broccoli to round out your meal. cream and cheese, and the Whole Grain Tuscan Fresca without cheese. Tofu can also be added to any dish.
has vegan sausage at many of its locations when you’re in the mood for a hearty pizza, and it also offers vegan cheese. Choose either the original or gluten-free crust, which are both vegan, and top it with some veggies.
Do you grab a bite at fast food restaurants when you’re in a hurry? What’s your favorite choice?
Dea is passionate about pursuing gentle, pure living in all its forms. She’s a veg and fruit foodie, who loves to explore the healing properties of plant-based foods and then fully indulge in their sun-filled taste. She believes that “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”