Vegan Options at Popular Chain Restaurants

Kathryn Vera
Woman eating a salad

When you're vegan, going out to eat can sometimes be a challenge. Fortunately, the restaurants listed below all offer options for hungry vegans who are craving something out of the ordinary.

Olive Garden

When it comes to making pasta, most basic re cipes are quite simple - semolina flour and wate r. It should come as no surprise, then, that Olive Garden is a fairly good choice when it comes to choosing vegan meals. In addition to the g arden salad with olive oil and v inegar dressing, Peta notes th at the following typ es of pasta featured at Olive Garden all are vegan:

Garden Salad
Garden Salad
  • Linguine
  • Fettucine
  • Angel Hair pasta
  • Capellini
  • Penne
  • Shell pasta
  • Spaghetti

Ask your waiter to top any of these pastas with a simple sauce made of olive oil and garlic for a vegan dish that can't be beat. For a more well-rounded meal, steamed veggies may also be added as a side or to the pasta dish.

Cheesecake Factory

Vegan options are also quite plentiful at the Cheesecake Factory, reports Munchyy Menus. For an appetizer, consider fresh asparagus or edamame, or a bowl of fresh strawberries without whipped cream. For salad lovers, consider:

Chicken Free Asian Salad
Chicken Free Asian Salad
  • Endive salad with no cheese: Contains endive, radicchio, maple syrup glazed peca ns, and the vinaigrette of your choice
  • French country salad with no cheese: Contains various mixed greens, grilled asparagus, beets, candied pecans, a nd the dressing of your choice
  • Fresh vegetable salad with no cheese: Contains asparagus, green beans, tomato, cucumber, roasted beets, apple, edamame, radicchio, romaine and pomegranate vinaigrette
  • Greek salad with no cheese: Contains tomato, cucumber, kalamata olives, red onions and vinaigrette dressing
  • SkinnyLicious Asian chicken salad with no chicken: Contains romaine, carrots, bean sprouts, green onions, cilantro, rice noodles, wontons, almonds and sesame seeds , with your choice of dressing
  • Skinnylicious pear and endiv e salad with no chicken or cheese: Contains endive, radicchio, arugula, butter lettuce, roasted pear, candied pecans and tomato, with your choice of dressing
  • Tossed green salad with no croutons: Contains chopped greens, carrots, zucchini, beets, tomato wedges and cucumber slices

Vegans can top their salad with a variety of different dressings, including:

  • Asian Vinaigrette
  • Chinese Dressing
  • Citrus Vinaigrette
  • Japanese Dressing
  • Lime Vinaigrette
  • Oil and Vinegar
  • Peanut Vinaigrette
  • Shallot Vinaigrette
  • Sheila's Vinaigrette

Those who prefer a heartier meal may want to choose from a vari ety of types of pasta, including Angel hair, farfa lle, or penne, topped with marina ra sauce, roasted tomato sau ce, or Thai peanut or pasta sauce. Finally, add a side of veggies, broccoli, or hummus with celery sticks for a tasty meal that will please even the fussiest vegan diner.

P.F. Chang's

P.F. Chang's is a great choice for vegan diners. For an appetizer, vegans can choose from edamame, garlic snap peas, spicy green beans, spinach stir-fried with garlic, or edamame dumplings, among other starters.

Vegan entrees at P.F. Chang's include:

Stir-fried Eggplant with Spicy Green Beans
Stir-fried Eggplant with Spicy Green Beans
  • Baby Buddah's Feast: Contains snap peas, carrots and broccoli served steamed or stir-fried
  • Buddah's Feast: Contains soy sauce tossed with baked tofu, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli and carrots, served steamed or stir fried
  • Ma Po Tofu: Contains spicy garlic-red chili sauce with crispy silken tofu, in a ring of fresh steamed broccoli
  • Stir-Fried Eggplant: Contains Chinese eggplant tossed in a spicy vegetarian sauce with chili paste and scallions

California Pizza Kitchen

At California Pizza Kitchen, the sky is nearly the limit for hungry vegans. Start your meal with bread, steamed or mixed vegetables, or hummus with Neapolitan crust. For entrees, vegans can choose from:

Tuscan Hummus
Tuscan Hummus
  • California Veggie Pizza with no cheese: Contains baby broccoli, eggplant, corn, red onions, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and tomato sauce on whole-grain crust
  • Margherita Pizza with Neapolitan crust with no cheese: Contains Italian tomatoes and basil
  • Tricolore Crust Pizza without cheese: Caramelized parmesan pizza crust with field greens, tomatoes and tossed in Dijon balsamic vinaigrette
  • Wild Mushroom Pizza with Neapolitan crust with no cheese: Contains cremini, shiitake, Portobello and white mushrooms with scallions, cracked black pepper and extra virgin olive oil
  • Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza with Neapolitan crust and no cheese: Contains bosc pears, caramelized onions, hazelnuts, and field greens

Vegan diners who are interested in a lighter meal may prefer a salad, include one made with field greens, grilled vegetables, or a house salad with no croutons.

Cracker Barrel

While pickings may be somewhat slim at Cracker Barrel, Urban Taste Bud notes that vegans can still find something to eat. For breakfast, consider oatmeal, and for lunch or a light dinner, a baked potato with a side salad topped with apple cider vinegar and olive oil.

Vegan Dining

Eating out as a vegan doesn't have to mean nursing a glass of water and a bowl of lettuce. In fact, a number of restaurants offer tasty options for vegan diners. Be sure to mention to your waiter that you are a vegan to avoid any mistakes in the kitchen.

Vegan Options at Popular Chain Restaurants