How To Eat Healthy and Plant-Based (Vegan) On the Road in Fast Food and Chain Restaurants

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon Category: Travel

After my post, "How to Travel on a Plant-Based Diet (What to Pack, Snacks & More!)" Sue emailed asking, "Have you done anything on best choices at chain restaurants? Sometimes when traveling (especially during the holidays), there isn't time to find anything but a chain close to the highway. Suggestions would help a lot!"

[Editorial Note: Someone left a comment on Facebook that there is an app called VeganXpress that helps you find vegan fare in chain restaurants. I have not tried this app myself but thought I would mention it.]

** The items listed are vegan, not necessarily healthy or plant-based.Though there are some healthy options. For tips on how to eat healthy on the road, see the additional links at the bottom plus this post, How to Eat Out Healthfully.

Subway— Italian White Bread, Hearty Italian White Bread, Light Wheat English Muffin, Roasted Garlic Bread, and Sourdough Bread. Apple Slices, All veggies, of course; mustard (yellow & deli brown), sweet onion sauce, vinegar. Note: The Honey Oat and Wheat Breads contain honey, but no other animal products.

Dairy Queen— Side Salad; Cherry Starkiss; Stars & Stripes Starkiss, Arctic Rushes (Blue Raspberry, Cherry, Grape, Lemon Lime, Strawberry Kiwi); Fat-Free Italian Dressing

Arby’s — Apple & Cherry Turnover; Arby’s sauce; Garden & Side Salad (no croutons); Raspberry Vinaigrette; Red Wine Vinaigrette

Burger King— house salad with vinegar

Jason’s Deli — Organic Vegetarian Vegetable Soup; Fresh Fruit Cup (no dip); Steamed Veggies; Mediterranean Wrap; Guacamole; Fresh-made Salsa; Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips; Baked Lays; Bagged Chips; Pozole Verde Soup; Fire Roasted Tortilla Soup

P.F. Chang’s — Buddha’s Feast (steamed or stir-fried); Spinach Stir-Fried with Garlic; Garlic Snap Peas; Steamed White Rice; Steamed Brown Rice (Some vegetarian items marked on the menu contain sugar, which is the only thing that is stopping them from being marketed as vegan. Depending on your stance on sugar, you can have any vegetarian marked item.)

Quizno’s— Garlic Focaccia; Italian Herb Wrap; Wheat Baguette; White Baguette; Fat-Free Balsamic; Four Pepper Chili; Guacamole; Yellow Mustard; Zesty Grill Sauce; All veggies; Veggie Sandwich with no cheese

Taco Bell — Bean Burrito (no cheese); Chalupas (no cheese, ask for beans instead of meat); Taco Salad (no cheese, ask for beans instead of meat); Taco (no cheese, ask for beans instead of meat); Crunch Wrap (no dairy products, beans instead of meat), Vegetable Cantina Bowl (no dressing). Just about everything on the menu can be made with beans instead of meat and have no cheese or dairy ingredients, so pretty much everything on the menu is good to go.

Wendy’s — Garden Side Salad; Italian Vinaigrette; Pomegranate Vinaigrette; Plain Baked Potato (no butter); Sweet Potato (no butter); Apple Slices

Chipotle — Vegetarian Burrito with black beans (no cheese or pinto beans)

Johnny Rockets — Streamliner Burger (no butter on the bun)

Au Bon Pain — Some bagels; some soups; customizable sandwiches and salads

Denny’s — Amy’s veggie burger; baked potato; oatmeal (ordered to be made with water, not milk); English muffins; bagels; Dutch apple pie; applesauce; most dressings, skillet's can be made vegan and dry (without oil) as pictured above.

Chili’s — Salad; tortilla with beans; steamed vegetables

McDonald’s — Plain bagel (not fries or hash browns)

El Pollo Loco — BRC burrito (ordered without cheese); corn on the cob; guacamole; cucumber salad; spiced apples; Italian dressing; pinto beans (not black beans)

Baja Fresh — Vegetarian burrito (no cheese; using black beans, not pinto)

Fazoli’s — Pasta (egg-free); veggie submarine; pizza without cheese; salads

Jack in the Box — potato wedges; salad; English muffin; sesame bread sticks; tortilla bowl; pita bread; apple turnover

KFC — Three bean salad; side salad

Long John Silver’s— Side salad; corn Cobettes without butter; rice

Shakey’s — Cheeseless veggie pizza; Garden Ranch Pizza (without Ranch); pasta; marinara sauce; Pasta Fresca without white sauce

*** These restaurants can change their menus or their ingredients at any time so check their website and ask regularly, especially if you have a food allergy.

Related posts:

Traveling Herbivore: How I Eat Healthy, Low-Fat and Vegan in Airports

Eating Vegan Anywhere

Staying Plant Based While Traveling (My Tips)

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