The best vegan fast-food hacks you need to know about
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It wasn’t that long ago that it seemed like vegans and vegetarians couldn’t go out to eat. When we did, we normally just ordered a drink or a salad, at best. Luckily for plant-based diners, many fast-food restaurants are jumping on the vegan bandwagon and expanding their meat-free menu items.

Keep reading to discover Wholesome Culture’s vegan fast-food hacks! 

Hidden ingredients to watch out for

Eating fast food is sometimes inevitable. If you’re on-the-go and looking to venture to a fast-food joint, be sure to watch out for hidden ingredients that may make your meal not so vegan-friendly. 

  1. While a burger may be marketed as plant-based, there may be non-vegan condiments added, like mayo and cheese, so be sure to ask to have them removed. 
  2. Watch for breakfast sandwiches that contain plant-based meat, along with eggs and cheese.
  3. Be careful with McDonald’s fries. They’re vegan in Canada (as are the hashbrowns – they’re both made in a separate fryer from the meat products), but they’re not in the US because they contain “natural beef flavor”, which includes milk ingredients. 
  4. Some chains make their vegan burgers on the same grill as their meat burgers.

McDonald's fast food drive thru sign

Plant-based burgers

Plant-based meat is taking the fast-food industry by storm, and certainly, the most popular item is plant-based burgers! We are seeing Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat making their way to many of our favorite fast-food venues – a big win for vegans and vegetarians alike! 

Some of the fast-food restaurants you should check out carrying plant-based burgers include:

  • Burger King (the Impossible Whopper is only available in the US so far) 
  • McDonald’s (so far the McVegan is only available in Finland and Sweden) 
  • Red Robin (order the Veggie Burger and lose the garlic aioli and cheese) 
  • White Castle (grab the Impossible Slider, but skip the smoked cheddar) 
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • A&W Canada (The Beyond Burger – just make sure you take off the mayo and turn down the cheese) 
  • Tim Hortons Canada (Again, skip the mayo and cheese) 

For more on vegan burgers, check out PETA’s ranking of  the best and worst vegan-friendly burger chains

Bread and buns

Let’s break down buns and bread, shall we? Luckily for vegans, most bread (unless we’re talking about incredibly soft and enriched ones) are dairy and egg-free. Oftentimes, it is assumed that vegan also means gluten-free, which is certainly not the case! 

Burger buns do not normally contain eggs or milk, however, vegans must be careful as the buns are often toasted or cooked in areas where cross-contamination can occur. The best thing to do is ask when you order! 

If you are a vegetarian or vegan on the lookout for some of the best animal product-free cuisine has to offer, be sure to check out these delicious chains!  

  • Chipotle: substitute tofu in your delicious burrito or bowl! 
  • Panera: Ten Vegetable Soup or one of their salads (we recommend the Spicy Thai Salad but without the chicken) 
  • Taco Bell: Black Beans and Rice 
  • Mcdonalds: French Fries (European branches have welcomed a plethora of vegan items in comparison to the U.S., including the ‘Big Vegan TS’ in Germany)
  • Burger King: MorningStar Veggie Burger (vegetarian-friendly as it contains egg and milk)
  • Subway: Veggie Delite (without cheese or mayonnaise) – and opt for one of their vegan-friendly breads or wraps! 

Also, check out PETA’s comprehensive list of the most vegan-friendly food chains with recommended food items

Recreate your fast-food favorites at home

If you’ve got more time on your hands, why not recreate some of your fast-food favorites at home! One of the best resources out there is the Wholesome Culture Cookbook, which is chock full of tasty vegan meals including breakfast, smoothies, lunch, dinner, and sides. 

Black Bean Burger with Chipotle Avocado Spread from the Wholesome Culture Cookbook
Black Bean Burger with Chipotle Avocado Spread from the Wholesome Culture Cookbook

Are you craving a McDonald’s burger? You can instead try the delicious Black Bean Burger with Chipotle Avocado Spread. Are you wanting to indulge in Taco Bell? Instead, whip up Wholesome Culture’s delicious Mushroom Fajitas! 

Mushroom Fajitas from the Wholesome Culture Cookbook
Mushroom Fajitas from the Wholesome Culture Cookbook


Did you love this article about fast-food hacks? Do you want even more information about delicious vegan food that you can eat on-the-go? Then be sure to check out these articles we have rounded up for your reading (and eating) pleasure!



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