Where Are The Best Vegetarian Fast Food Meals?

My husband and I were talking about taking a road trip. He commented to me “What are you going to eat? You’ll be sick of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before we leave the state.” Because we rarely go out to eat, he’s excited about stopping at fast food restaurants along our journey. Now that I’m eating a vegetarian diet, my options are limited. But there are some good vegetarian fast food meals.

Whether for health reasons, to prevent animal cruelty, or for the survival of our planet, more people are choosing meatless meals. Vegetarian dishes are a breeze to make a home. There are so many options!

The most challenging part has been dining out. It’s been hard to find good vegetarian fast food meals. Every time I read an article on the subject, it suggests eating fries or a salad. But where can I find a good meal?

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Photo by Vitchakorn Koonyosying

Meatless options at restaurants are often limited to a salad or requesting a special order (“I’ll have the chicken portabella panini without the chicken, please.”). When I am dining out, I don’t want to feel like a rabbit or a pest.

Fast Food Favorites at Home

I also want to enjoy burgers, nuggets, and tacos (just without the meat). Grocery stores are stocked full of alternative products.

Beyond Meat makes meat-like burgers. Boca’s  burger is my favorite, though. Add some sautéed mushrooms and onions for an added yum.

Quorn has amazing chicken-less nuggets.

Gardein’s ground crumbles make amazing tacos or chili.

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Fast Food from the Drive-Thru

Restaurants are finally starting to listen. They realize the large demand for meatless alternatives. And the market is reacting! Beyond Meat’s stocks went public last week and prices soared 163% above IPO opening day.

So where are the best vegetarian fast food meals?

Burgers and Sandwiches

Forget the “veggie sandwich.” Cucumbers, avocado, and cheese on bread? I wouldn’t pay $5 for that! I want a burger or something equally as indulgent.

Beyond Meat’s ham-less burgers can be found not only in grocery stores, but also in fast-food restaurant. Carl’s Jr.and Epic Burger some of the joints that offer their plant-based product.

Impossible Burger (Beyond Meat’s competitor) is also gaining ground. In addition to being served at casual dining restaurants, they are also about to take over the fast-food industry. I’m excited to try Burger King’s new Impossible Whopper, which is expected to be in all locations by the end of 2019. Burger King’s egg and cheese croissan’wich has long been my #1 pick for breakfast.

If you are a mushroom lover like I am, Shake Shack’s ‘Shroom Burger (a deep-fried portabella mushroom filled with melted cheese) will always hold a special place in my heart.

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Tacos

Taco Bell is one of the few nationwide fast food restaurants that have a wide selection of meatless dishes. Years before I became vegetarian I would order their Mexican pizza without the meat. Now, they actually have a vegetarian menu.

If you want your taco to taste more like the real thing, Del Taco also now offers a meatless Beyond Taco on their vegetarian menu.

Baked Potatoes and more

Wendy’s is another place that offers something I used to order before I even became vegetarian: baked potato and a frosty. They now also offer a Parmesan Cesar salad, which I am excited to try.

Pizzas and Calzones

And of course, my ultimate favorite: pizza and calzones. They are my ultimate weakness. Whether it’s a piping hot slice of New York style cheese pizza or a any style slice of veggie, I don’t even notice there’s no meat.

Calzones are a cheese-filled delight on their own and don’t even need any toppings. But filled with mushrooms and onions is an even more indulgent treat. Most cities have a pizza place or two, and I have a life goal to try them all.

Final Thoughts

I hope more restaurants will take notice and answer the demand for offering more meatless alternatives for their customers. The range of possibilities is endless!

Although, I have been losing weight and saving money by recreating my favorite restaurant meals at home.

For our trip, I plan to pack as much food as I can: nuts and trail mixes, cheese, fruits, popcorn, PB&J sandwiches, and hummus wraps. My husband may be disappointed that we don’t eat fast food as much as he’s hoping. But when we do stop to eat, it’s nice to know there are more options available than ever before.

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