Fast Food Options for Vegetarians and Vegans

Karen Frazier
Apple turnover

For most people, fast food options abound, but most restaurant menus are geared for meat eaters. However, many fast food joints offer foods that fit into a vegetarian and vegan diet.

Fast Food Options

The following list includes vegetarian and vegan selections from popular fast food restaurants. Egg and dairy items are included since they are eaten by lacto or lacto-ovo vegetarians. Items that are vegan (no known animal products) are specified. Although French fries, other fried menu items are usually considered vegetarian, they may be cooked in oil also used to fry fish or chicken. Check with the restaurant manager to determine if cross-contamination is possible.

If you're a vegan, opt for a balsamic vinaigrette or Italian dressing when choosing a salad. Vegetarians who eat dairy or eggs have a wider selection of dressings to choose from. Sodas, bottled water, coffee or iced tea are vegetarian and vegan. Milkshakes, cakes and cookies can be enjoyed by lacto-ovo vegetarians but are not options for vegans or vegetarians. Most items on the following list are self-explanatory; those that aren't are described.

Arby's

Although Arby's is known for roast beef, there are several meat-free choices. Vegan choices include the following, but it should be noted all fried foods are cooked in a shared fryer with fish and chicken products.

  • Apple slices (vegan)
  • Apple and cherry turnovers (vegan)
  • Side salad without cheese, no dressing
  • Homestyle fries (although cooked in a shared fryer with fish and chicken products)
  • Crispy onions (although cooked in a shared fryer with fish and chicken products)
  • Light Italian dressing
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Marinara sauce
  • Bronco berry sauce

Vegetarian options include:

  • Garlic Parmesan chips (dairy)
  • French toast sticks (dairy and eggs)
  • Curly fries (milk and eggs)
  • Potato cakes (milk and eggs)
  • Onion rings (milk)
  • Mozzarella sticks (milk)
  • Jalapeño bites (milk)
  • All shakes (milk)
  • Side salad with cheese (dairy)
  • Triple chocolate cookie (eggs and dairy)
  • Apple crisp (dairy and eggs)
  • Apple turnover (dairy and eggs)
  • Cherry turnover (dairy and eggs)
  • Honey mustard dressing (eggs)
  • Buttermilk ranch dressing (dairy and eggs)
  • All soft drinks
  • Coffee
  • Orange juice

Burger King

Burger King fries
Burger King fries

If you're a vegetarian looking to "have it your way," Burger King has several choices for you. Be aware that for vegan options, all fried foods are cooked in shared fryer with fish and chicken. Vegan options include:

  • French fries
  • Hash browns
  • Quaker Oatmeal original or maple flavor (vegan when made with water)
  • French toast sticks
  • Apple slices
  • Applesauce
  • Garden side salad without cheese
  • Apple juice

Vegetarian options include:

  • Egg and cheese muffin, biscuit or croissant (eggs and dairy)
  • French toast sticks (eggs and dairy)
  • BK veggie burger (contains eggs and dairy)
  • Morningstar veggie burger (eggs and dairy)
  • Garden salad with cheese (dairy)
  • Onion rings (dairy)
  • Cheesy tots (dairy)
  • Pancakes (contains eggs and dairy)
  • Egg and cheese Croissanwich (eggs and dairy)
  • Cinnamon roll (contains eggs and dairy)
  • Milk
  • Shakes (dairy)
  • Sundaes (dairy)
  • Chocolate chip cookie (eggs and dairy)
  • Smoothies and frappes (dairy)

BK's English muffins, biscuits and croissants contain dairy.

Carl's Jr.

Vegetarians and vegans can choose from the following foods at Carl's Jr. Vegans should note fried foods are cooked in a shared fryer with fish and chicken.

Vegan items include:

  • Criss-cut fries
  • Natural cut fries
  • Side of beans, no cheese
  • Chips and salsa or guacamole (vegan)
  • Side salad, no cheese or dressing
  • Hash brown nuggets
  • Low-fat balsamic dressing
  • Sweet and bold BBQ dipping sauce
  • Spicy buffalo dipping sauce
  • Soft drinks

Vegetarian items include:

  • Bean and cheese burrito (dairy)
  • Cheese quesadilla (dairy and eggs)
  • Side of beans with cheese (dairy)
  • Onion rings (dairy)
  • Fried zucchini (dairy)
  • Jalapeño poppers (dairy)
  • Side salad with cheese (dairy)
  • Biscuit (contains dairy)
  • House dressing (dairy and eggs)
  • Blue cheese dressing (dairy and eggs)
  • Buttermilk ranch dipping sauce (dairy and eggs)
  • Chocolate chip cookie (dairy and eggs)
  • Strawberry swirl cheesecake (dairy and eggs)
  • Chocolate cake (dairy and eggs)
  • Shakes (dairy)
  • Malts (dairy)

Chipotle

Chips and guacamole
Chips and guacamole

Chipotle has many alternatives available to create a vegetarian or vegan culinary masterpiece.

Vegan items include:

  • Soft flour tortilla
  • Crispy corn tortilla
  • Cilantro-lime rice
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Fajita veggies
  • Sofritas
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Lettuce
  • Chips
  • Chipotle-honey vinaigrette

Vegetarian items include:

  • Queso (dairy)
  • Cheese (dairy)
  • Sour cream (dairy)

Jack-in-the-Box

Pair a side salad with black beans and roasted corn and you'll have a nice vegetarian meal from Jack-in-the-Box. Vegan choices include the following, but keep in mind fried foods may be cooked in a shared fryer.

  • Black beans
  • Broccoli and carrots
  • Roasted corn (vegan if no butter)
  • French fries
  • Potato wedges
  • Seasoned curly fries
  • Hash browns
  • Side salad (no cheese)
  • Low-fat balsamic dressing
  • Salsa
  • Soft drinks
  • Lemonade
  • Orange juice

Vegetarian options include:

  • Apple bites with caramel (dairy)
  • Croutons (dairy)
  • Creamy southwest dressing (dairy and eggs)
  • Ranch dressing (dairy and eggs)
  • Spicy corn sticks (eggs)
  • Garlic herb fries (dairy)
  • Stuffed jalapeños (dairy)
  • Onion rings (dairy)
  • Pancakes (dairy and eggs)
  • Shakes (dairy)
  • Mini churros (eggs)
  • Grilled cheese (dairy)
  • Garlic herb butter (dairy)

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)

KFC Coleslaw
KFC coleslaw

KFC is the last place you'd think of for vegetarian food, but in a pinch you can find some items. Vegan items include:

  • BBQ baked beans
  • House side salad
  • Corn on the cob (no butter)
  • Green beans
  • Potato wedges
  • Corn
  • Light Italian dressing
  • Applesauce
  • Soft drinks

Vegetarian options include:

  • Caesar side salad (eggs and dairy)
  • Apple turnover (eggs)
  • Biscuit (dairy)
  • Coleslaw (eggs)
  • Cornbread muffin (eggs and dairy)
  • Macaroni and cheese (eggs and dairy)
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy (contains dairy)

Little Caesar's

Pizza loving vegetarians will rejoice when they find our about Little Caesar's meat and/or dairy free options.

Vegan options include:

  • Vegetable pizza without cheese
  • Crazy bread without cheese

Vegetarian options include:

  • Cheese pizza (contains dairy)
  • Cheese pizza with vegetables (contains dairy)
  • Crazy bread (contains dairy)

Moe's Southwest Grill

Art Vandalay vegetarian burrito
Art Vandalay vegetarian burrito

Moe's Southwest Grill is vegan friendly. You can watch them prepare your food to be sure you're getting exactly what you ordered.

Vegan options include:

  • Fried corn chips, taco shells and tortillas
  • Tofu
  • Black or pinto beans
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Seasoned rice
  • Art Vandelay vegetarian burrito (omit cheese and sour cream to make it vegan): Seasoned rice beans, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo in a soft tortilla
  • Unanimous Decision vegetarian taco (omit cheese and sour cream to make it vegan): Beans, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, and guacamole in a soft or crispy tortilla

Vegetarian options include:

  • Super Kingpin vegetarian quesadilla (contains dairy): Beans, cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream wrapped in a soft tortilla
  • Julia Gulia vegetarian stack (contains dairy): Beans, cheese, pico de gallo and queso between two crunchy corn shells and wrapped in a tortilla
  • Ruprict vegetarian nachos (contains dairy): Beans, queso, pico de gallo and jalapeños, and black olives
  • Band Camp vegetarian burrito bowl (cheese)
  • Personal Trainer vegetarian salad: Chopped romaine lettuce, black olives, pico de gallo, beans, cheese, and cucumbers in a crispy tortilla bowl

Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company is a vegetarian and vegan's dream. They have a great selection of items that contain no animal by-products.

Vegan options include:

  • Japanese pan noodles: Udon noodles with broccoli, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, sprouts, and sesame seeds in a sweet soy sauce
  • Bangkok curry: Coconut curry and vegetables with rice noodles, served over cabbage
  • Indonesian peanut saute (vegan): Spicy peanut sauce stir-fried with vegetables, lime, and crushed peanuts
  • Spaghetti with marinara (vegan without cheese)
  • Cucumber tomato salad
  • Tossed green side salad
  • Balsamic dressing
  • Thai curry soup (vegan): A coconut curry broth with vegetables and rice noodles

Vegetarian options include:

  • Penne Rosa: Spicy cream sauce with tomatoes, penne pasta, mushrooms, spinach, Parmesan cheese, and feta cheese
  • Wisconsin mac & cheese (contains dairy): Elbow macaroni mixed with cheddar cheese, Jack cheese, and cream
  • Pesto cavatappi (contains dairy): Pesto, garlic, mushrooms, cream, tomato, and wine blended with curly pasta
  • Whole grain Tuscan fresca (dairy): Whole grain linguine with white wine, tomato, spinach, Parmesan cheese, and feta cheese
  • Buttered noodles (dairy)
  • Tomato basil bisque soup (dairy): Contains tomatoes, cream, basil, sherry, and garlic
  • Margharita flatbread (dairy and eggs)
  • Cheesy garlic bread (dairy)

Papa John's

vegetarian pizza
Veggie pizza

You can build your own vegetarian pizza using veggies you like at Papa John's or go with these options instead. Omit cheese to make it vegan)

  • Garden Fresh veggie pizza with or without cheese (dairy)
  • Spinach Alfredo pizza (dairy)
  • Cheese sticks (dairy)
  • Breadsticks (vegan)

Panera Bread

Panera Bread is known for fresh, wholesome food and doesn't disappoint vegetarians and vegans.

Vegan options include:

  • Classic cafe salad
  • Greek salad
  • Fruit cup
  • Soba noodle bowl with edamame: Soba buckwheat noodles with vegetables and edamame in a soy miso broth

Vegetarian options include:

  • Mac & cheese (dairy)
  • Vegetarian creamy tomato soup (dairy)
  • Low-fat garden vegetable soup (contains dairy - leave off pesto to make it vegan)
  • Bistro French onion soup (contains dairy -- omit cheese and croutons to make vegan)
  • Pasta primavera (dairy): Noodles with a blend of vegetables in a garlic lemon cream sauce
  • Tortellini Alfredo pasta (dairy): Tortellini made with three cheeses and topped with Alfredo sauce.
  • Fontina grilled cheese sandwich (dairy): Made with white cheddar and Fontina cheese, reduced fat onion chive cream cheese spread, and a four-cheese Italian blend
  • Mediterranean veggie sandwich (dairy - omit feta for vegan): Peppers, feta cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro -jalapeño hummus on tomato basil bread
  • Classic grilled cheese sandwich (dairy)
  • Tomato mozzarella flatbread (dairy)

Roy Rogers

baked potato
Plain baked potato

Even though Roy Rogers excels at fried chicken and burgers, vegetarians on the road can still find something to eat. Vegan options include:

  • Plain baked potato
  • Fruit cup
  • Side salad
  • Garden salad
  • French fries
  • Baked apples

Vegetarian options include:

  • Mashed potatoes (contains dairy)
  • Macaroni and cheese (contains dairy)
  • Baked apples (vegan)
  • Biscuit (contains dairy)

Subway

Vegetarians who want to "eat fresh" can do so by creating a custom sub at Subway using any of the following ingredients for vegan:

  • Hearty Italian bread
  • Honey oat bread
  • White Italian bread
  • Sourdough bread
  • 9-grain wheat bread
  • Wrap
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Veggie Delite sub
  • Veggie Delite salad

Vegetarian options include:

  • Cheese slices (American, Provolone, Swiss, Monterey, Pepper Jack, Cheddar)
  • Fresh vegetables (vegan)
  • Veggie patty (eggs and dairy)
  • Cheese or veggie flatizza (dairy)
  • Cheese pizza (dairy)

Taco Bell

black beans
Black beans

If you're craving Mexican food, Taco Bell has the following vegan choices:

  • Black beans
  • Cinnamon twists
  • Nacho chips
  • Salsa

Vegetarian choices include:

  • Taco salad (substitute beans and rice for beef; omit cheese and sour cream to make vegan)
  • Bean burrito: Made with beans, rice, red sauce and diced onions
  • Black bean burrito: Prepared with black beans, Latin rice, red sauce, and three cheese blend
  • Seven-layer burrito: Includes rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole
  • Veggie cantina burrito
  • Crunch wrap (substitute beans for beef))
  • Tostada: Includes beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, red sauce and chipotle sauce

Wendy's

Vegan options at Wendy's include:

  • Plain baked potato
  • French fries
  • Garden salad (no croutons)
  • Apple slices
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Italian vinaigrette
  • Taco chips
  • Soft drinks
  • Juice
  • Lemonade
  • Fruit punch
  • Iced tea
  • Coffee
  • BBQ dipping sauce
  • Sweet and sour dipping sauce

Vegetarian options include:

  • Broccoli and cheese potato (dairy)
  • French fries
  • Croutons (dairy)
  • Chocolate or vanilla Frosty (dairy)
  • Roasted pecans (dairy)
  • Ranch dressing (dairy and eggs)
  • Light ranch dressing (dairy and eggs)
  • Thousand Island dressing (dairy and eggs)
  • Sugar cookie (dairy and eggs)
  • Chocolate chip cookie (dairy and eggs)
  • Chocolate chunk cookie (dairy and eggs)
  • Buttermilk ranch dipping sauce (dairy and eggs)
  • Sriracha dipping sauce (dairy and eggs)
  • Oatmeal bar (dairy)

On-the-Go Options

At one time, meat-free food options were few at fast food restaurants. However, with a surge in the number of people going meat and/or dairy and egg-free, restaurants responded, and most have at least some foods for hungry vegetarians and vegans on the go. Besides the choices above, most restaurants will make a custom sandwich or dish upon request. Keep in mind that recipe ingredients sometimes change, so it's a good idea to check out restaurant websites from time to time or before leaving on a road trip to be sure items are still OK for your specific dietary needs.

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Fast Food Options for Vegetarians and Vegans