Vegan at Chain Restaurants - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-17-2015, 12:51 PM
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Thumbs up Vegan at Chain Restaurants

Of course there are explicitly vegan or veg-friendly restaurants, but this thread is for your favorite meals at chains, which might be more convenient when eating with non-vegans, or when you don't have the time or money to head elsewhere.

One of my favorite meals, at Panera Bread:

Mediterranean veggie sandwich with no feta, add avacado. On an Everything bagel because I like it better than the tomato basil bread, and it's a veg option.

Cup of black bean soup with the Southwest corn mix that is supposed to go on the BBQ salad (they added this for free for me last time, I got the idea from a blog)

Chips and/or apple as side

Hazelnut coffee with almond milk
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#2 Old 11-17-2015, 08:19 PM
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At Denny's, I like the red-skinned potatoes, the whole grain rice pilaf, and the corn. Just tell the server that you want them prepared without any butter. They also have a baked potato (order plain, have with ketchup or A-1 sauce) and grits (order without butter)..

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#3 Old 11-18-2015, 02:21 PM
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I like the Veggie Fit Fare skillet at Dennys, made without egg white, and maybe add avacado.

Also I used to go to Chipotle and get the sofritas, but today I went to Wahoos, and got their Banzai veggie burrito with tofu, black beans, white rice, pico de gallo, and extra teriyaki sauce...and I am never looking back! The flavor fusion of teriyaki vegetables with mild Baja style burrito imo was superior!

..but there are several options there, you could make it spicier, or with a more traditional Mexican flavor.
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#4 Old 11-18-2015, 03:10 PM
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Red Robin has both garden burgers and boca burgers.
You can sub a meat patty with a veggie one on any of their burgers.
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#5 Old 11-18-2015, 03:24 PM
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At my job my line was told to pick a restaurant for a free lunch and I was astounded by how limited every single menu was to veganize!
I felt thrilled that I was able to sway them from Buffalo Wild Wings, which I doubt even fries or lettuce could get past absorbing all the meat and grease!
We chose Harry Buffalo and I emailed them about how to order vegan, and if the Wicked Garden burger was vegan. I haven't heard back yet, but they did send me a coupon for a free appetizer! They do have a nice selection if you're lacto-veg
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#6 Old 11-18-2015, 06:03 PM
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I just found out the white rice at Wahoos has butter in it. ..I apparently just assumed that it would be like Chipotle. ..so opt for the brown rice then, which is vegan.
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#7 Old 11-18-2015, 07:53 PM
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Chipotle's is the only chain I will trust to make a vegan meal for me. They have some very nice vegan fillings, one of them is a spicy tofu based filling (forgot what it is called off the top of my head).

For me, if I cant see them making it, I do not trust it. But that's me. I even make sure to spy which "milk" a barista is using when making my decaf soy latte (when I can afford such a luxury) just to make sure they use soy milk and not cow's milk.
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#8 Old 11-18-2015, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Trippy View Post
Red Robin has both garden burgers and boca burgers.
You can sub a meat patty with a veggie one on any of their burgers.

Red Robin does have veggie burgers, but did they have to advertise them in such a snarky way? I'll never go to Red Robin:



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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#9 Old 11-19-2015, 03:49 PM
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^^^ Huh- there's a Red Robin near me and I've always wondered if they had a vegan option.

I sometimes go to Taco Bell. As I understand it, their refried beans are vegan (although I haven't been to a Taco Bell lately, come to think of it, and I don't know if they've changed). Some other nice things about this chain: they have an ingredient list for their offerings, which you can get a copy of at any of their locations; staff have been very accommodating at the restaurants in my area; and they do have a lot of vegan options for a fast-food place, especially their Fresco(?) options. Maybe they're not the healthiest food around (probably high in salt), but I've seen worse, and I wouldn't want to eat it every day anyhow. They're a handy option when I'm hungry and/or in a rush.

By comparison, I don't think Burger King's veggie burger is vegan; Pizza Hut has no vegan cheese, although perhaps they would leave off the cheese altogether if one were to ask them (don't know about their crust); Kentucky Fried Chicken has nothing other than their potato wedges (and how many of us would want to be seen walking into or out of a KFC? ; and the infamous McDonald's doesn't even have vegetarian (let alone vegan) French fries (beef flavoring) (and see note about KFC, above)!!!

Probably some of the chain restaurants mentioned above have tastier or healthier options but I don't seem to eat at them much. Anyway, I don't like asking a restaurant to make major substitutions or changes to an item- I've seen places get it wrong too often, and even if they just throw it out and remake it, I've still added to the demand for nonvegan food, which I don't want to do. I prefer a place where they're accustomed to making vegan dishes often enough that it doesn't "throw" them, even though most of their common items might not be vegan.
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#10 Old 11-19-2015, 07:53 PM
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Of course there are explicitly vegan or veg-friendly restaurants, but this thread is for your favorite meals at chains, which might be more convenient when eating with non-vegans, or when you don't have the time or money to head elsewhere.

One of my favorite meals, at Panera Bread:
This encouraged me to search a bit, since a Panera Bread restaurant just opened in the small town in which I live. I found this link: https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/fe...nus.html#Vegan which lists some vegan options on the menu at Panera Bread.
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#11 Old 11-20-2015, 01:07 AM
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We ordered Papa John's pizza last night. In the UK, their original crust is vegan and they'll make your pizza cheeseless if you ask. I had the "Hot Pepper Passion" pizza, which has jalapenos, chili peppers, sweet pepper and onions. Yum!
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#12 Old 11-20-2015, 08:19 AM
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Even when ate meat, i still hated chain restaurants and avoided them at all costs. these days, as far as franchise/ fast food places, I don't stray too far from chipotle, but they did just open up a fancy giant shopping and eatery down the street from my work and I've become a pretty big fan of Noodles & company I believe its called. they offer online pickup and phone app ordering so I can save time on lunch hour, they are very specific about their vegetarian and vegan options, tastes great and is pretty cheap. I don't know how they prepare their tofu, but its amazing!

I think this was $8 (Indonesian peanut stir fry with lime if I remember correctly)


I did just get an email about an after work lunch with the rest of the group in the laboratory....at Texas roadhouse. I think I will have to miss that one

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#13 Old 11-21-2015, 07:25 PM
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Red Robin does have veggie burgers, but did they have to advertise them in such a snarky way? I'll never go to Red Robin:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG0EYDeHTgQ
Eh, I don't really think they meant for it to be offensive.
I saw that ad when it first came out but didn't think much of it. I still really love their burgers.
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#14 Old 11-22-2015, 08:48 AM
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Eh, I don't really think they meant for it to be offensive.
I saw that ad when it first came out but didn't think much of it. I still really love their burgers.

True enough. The direct goal of advertising is not to offend, but rather to increase business. If ridiculing certain sectors of the population will result in increased profits, so be it.

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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
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http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#15 Old 11-24-2015, 08:07 PM
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In Australia, Nandos has recently added a Mushroom Hummusphere Burger, which looked to be accidentally vegan when I checked the allergen list. Most of the sides seem ok too (luckily because our work is ordering the catering from there for the Christmas function :/ ). Hungry Jacks (Burger King in the US) has a Veggie Whopper which is vegan if you ask for no mayo. When I checked the allergens on the website, the Oporto veggie burger also looks to be ok if you omit the cheese and mayo. A few of the burrito chains have an option too (Zambrero and Guzman Y Gomez).

I don't eat this sort of stuff too often, but it's nice to have options when a hangover cries out for processed grease
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#16 Old 11-24-2015, 08:39 PM
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Hungry Jacks (Burger King in the US) has a Veggie Whopper which is vegan if you ask for no mayo.

Unfortunately, U.S. Burger King's veggie patty is not vegan; it contains milk and eggs: http://www.bk.com/menu-item/veggie-burger
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#17 Old 11-25-2015, 08:40 PM
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poorly phrased on my part - I wasn't suggesting the US one was fine, just that that was our equivalent of the chain.
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#18 Old 11-25-2015, 10:08 PM
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True enough. The direct goal of advertising is not to offend, but rather to increase business. If ridiculing certain sectors of the population will result in increased profits, so be it.
I think the ad is fairly funny, actually.
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#19 Old 11-26-2015, 03:43 AM
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Even when ate meat, i still hated chain restaurants and avoided them at all costs. these days, as far as franchise/ fast food places, I don't stray too far from chipotle, but they did just open up a fancy giant shopping and eatery down the street from my work and I've become a pretty big fan of Noodles & company I believe its called. they offer online pickup and phone app ordering so I can save time on lunch hour, they are very specific about their vegetarian and vegan options, tastes great and is pretty cheap. I don't know how they prepare their tofu, but its amazing!

I think this was $8 (Indonesian peanut stir fry with lime if I remember correctly)


I did just get an email about an after work lunch with the rest of the group in the laboratory....at Texas roadhouse. I think I will have to miss that one
I'm the same way. I deplore the fast food industry for a number of reasons. I generally avoid chain restaurants. I eat out at restaurants only a half dozen times per year. That said, the ONLY chain type restaurant I have eaten at in the last six years is Noodles & Company, and only once. But I was impressed with their vegan selection and clear cut menu. The food was actually quite good, and I appreciated that they have made efforts to be more ethical in their food purchasing etc. My only real gripe is that their restaurant "atmosphere" is very cafeteria style and noisy and not all that comfortable (at least the one in my city). It is in the mall, so a lot of teenagers and young college age kids "hang out" there. I probably wouldn't go there for a social event for that reason, but for a quick lunch or dinner out I would go again.

There is a Chipotle in my city but I have not been there yet. With the recent food poisoning scandal there I am not so sure if I will. Though the risks of that probably aren't any worse there than the grocery store...
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#20 Old 11-26-2015, 05:33 AM
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I'm the same way. I deplore the fast food industry for a number of reasons. I generally avoid chain restaurants. I eat out at restaurants only a half dozen times per year. That said, the ONLY chain type restaurant I have eaten at in the last six years is Noodles & Company, and only once. ........ My only real gripe is that their restaurant "atmosphere" is very cafeteria style and noisy and not all that comfortable (at least the one in my city). .....
Ive always just hated cheesy theme restaurants, the ethics part sounds nicer but i think im just negative or bitter, like when an olive garden at a mall tries to look like an authetic italian eatery, or a texas roadhouse in a city in the northeast tries to look like an old timey, southern barbecue place

That must be the way they model all of the noodles and company stores to look like, very clean looking, alot of brushed stainless everywhere mixed with grey and black walls, partitions, trim etc. I ate there once when i went to lunch there with a buddy from work and it didnt bother me, i think i would rather have a very sanitary feel to it than some kitschy decorations, but the other handful of times ive been there, i just do pick up and eat at my desk at work.
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#21 Old 11-26-2015, 06:51 AM
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Unfortunately, U.S. Burger King's veggie patty is not vegan; it contains milk and eggs: http://www.bk.com/menu-item/veggie-burger
It's been a few years since I've had it, and I thought it was the worst veggie patty I'd ever had. I seriously thought it was on purpose to discourage people from going vegetarian
Mushy, bad taste
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#22 Old 11-28-2015, 03:13 PM
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^^^ Huh- there's a Red Robin near me and I've always wondered if they had a vegan option.

I sometimes go to Taco Bell. As I understand it, their refried beans are vegan (although I haven't been to a Taco Bell lately, come to think of it, and I don't know if they've changed). Some other nice things about this chain: they have an ingredient list for their offerings, which you can get a copy of at any of their locations; staff have been very accommodating at the restaurants in my area; and they do have a lot of vegan options for a fast-food place, especially their Fresco(?) options. Maybe they're not the healthiest food around (probably high in salt), but I've seen worse, and I wouldn't want to eat it every day anyhow. They're a handy option when I'm hungry and/or in a rush.

By comparison, I don't think Burger King's veggie burger is vegan; Pizza Hut has no vegan cheese, although perhaps they would leave off the cheese altogether if one were to ask them (don't know about their crust); Kentucky Fried Chicken has nothing other than their potato wedges (and how many of us would want to be seen walking into or out of a KFC? ; and the infamous McDonald's doesn't even have vegetarian (let alone vegan) French fries (beef flavoring) (and see note about KFC, above)!!!

Probably some of the chain restaurants mentioned above have tastier or healthier options but I don't seem to eat at them much. Anyway, I don't like asking a restaurant to make major substitutions or changes to an item- I've seen places get it wrong too often, and even if they just throw it out and remake it, I've still added to the demand for nonvegan food, which I don't want to do. I prefer a place where they're accustomed to making vegan dishes often enough that it doesn't "throw" them, even though most of their common items might not be vegan.

Taco Bell has been officially approved by the American Vegetarian Association, because they have so many vegan options. ..I usually get a bean burrito with no cheese and add guacamole (and lettuce) and/or potato tacos fresco style. But they have all kinds of stuff now, black beans and different shells or tortillas.


For pizza, PizzaRev, Pieology or Mod Pizza is better. Mod pizza is my favorite, they have vegan cheese, BBQ sauce as well as a dairy free marinara or garlic olive oil rub, and tons of veggies. They also make good salads.

I avoid McDonald's like the plague.
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#23 Old 11-28-2015, 03:21 PM
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True enough. The direct goal of advertising is not to offend, but rather to increase business. If ridiculing certain sectors of the population will result in increased profits, so be it.
Especially conservative type restaurants who want to appeal mostly to Baby Boomers...I think a lot of the popular 80s chains will hesitate to glorify their vegetarian options even though they also want a piece of that market.

Some newer chains or West coast chains have no problem being proud of their organic or vegetarian menu, because their target market will be Gen X and/or Gen Y.
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#24 Old 12-03-2015, 07:14 PM
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To be honest, since going Vegan I haven't had the desire to go out to eat. It's sad and petty, but I am not positive I can trust someone else to prepare and cook my meal without adding animal products. I mean, I'd have to lie and say I am allergic to 'meat, eggs and dairy' just to make sure they do not add such to my meal. Also, since going Vegan I am having much more fun cooking for myself and for others. Even before I made the change, I rarely went out to eat. I feel grossed out that even seven months ago I was going to 'Chic-fil-A' *gag* and other places gorging myself with animal parts and secretions.
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#25 Old 01-15-2016, 02:19 PM
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Panera now has a Mediterranean Quinoa salad with almonds! No cheese!

Got that as a pick two, with the garden vegetable soup and bread (no pesto).
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#26 Old 01-16-2016, 04:20 PM
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my general consensus is that:

Anything FASTFOOD:

dont trust, dont believe, dont eat.

Watch some documentaries about the fast food industry and it will be all clear.

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#27 Old 01-17-2016, 06:39 AM
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The burger patty they use at Burger King is Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Burger which includes soy, milk, and eggs. It is Vegetarian, but not Vegan. Apparently they used to have a vegan burger. PETAs website has a great listing of the items you can get at fast food restaurants. Chipotle seems to have the most items. Too bad our town has very few of the listed restaurants.
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#28 Old 01-19-2016, 11:56 PM
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my general consensus is that:

Anything FASTFOOD:

dont trust, dont believe, dont eat.

Watch some documentaries about the fast food industry and it will be all clear.

While it's great to avoid places like McDonald's, I honestly don't think Panera is bad, neither is Subway if it's slow enough that you can get them to change their gloves. I try to avoid companies like Wal Mart, Nestlé and ConAgra, for ethical and environmental reasons, and I have no idea what a strict vegan would eat at Burger King...I honestly don't see a problem with rewarding businesses who have reasonably ethical practices who offer vegetarian options. ..it's more practical, especially for newer vegans, and younger urban vegans, to know what good options are, which is why I stuck this in the transitioning to vegan forum.
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#29 Old 01-23-2016, 08:46 AM
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I really like Mellow Mushroom. It hasn't made it up to NY yet and I'm not sure how well they'd fare up here.

They have really good curried tofu and marinated tempeh. This is also one of the few places where I really enjoy Daiya "cheese".

The "Thai Dye" pizza is very good but be aware that there are differences between locations. Differences in tomato and onion varieties as well as preparation. You could have finely diced romas and red onions or vidalia rings with beefsteak slices in the next city.

I'm still wary of everyone that works in a restaurant that isn't purely plant based. I'm sure that we have all gotten that item with butter/cheese/milk/honey because the worker just assumed meat-free. I like that most of the locations that I've visited has an open food prep area.

I haven't tried out the new white castle burger yet but plan to in the near future. I just never think about it when driving past.
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#30 Old 01-23-2016, 01:37 PM
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Ahhhhh.... I knew a Mellow Mushroom opened up somewhat near me, so I get excited. Their menu alludes to "no animals harmed", sounds at least vegetarian, but their menu is full of dairy and meat.Faux meat? No. Animal meat. They do have a vegan menu-hummus, pretzels (ask for no butter), and - salads.
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