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COLUMN: Satisfying your fast food cravings as a vegetarian


Vegetarian options may seem hard to come by within fast food chains, but it is possible. Some restaurants that offer vegetarian menu options include Burger King, Taco Bell, McDonald's and more.  Tribune News Service Buy Photos

Fast food chains are not always the friendliest of places for a vegetarian’s palate. But if you find yourself at a chain, you may not have to settle for salad. Here are some vegetarian options beyond salads at fast food restaurants that can keep you full and satisfy your fast food cravings.

Burger King

The King doesn’t just serve up Whoppers. Burger King also has a veggie burger with a vegetarian food company MorningStar Farms veggie patty topped with lettuce, tomatoes, white onions, pickles, ketchup and mayo. But the veggie patty contains milk and eggs, so vegan BK fans may have to stick to just french fries and apple slices.


The customizable burritos at Chipotle give you plenty of vegetarian options. Herbivores can swap meat for sofritas, which is shredded tofu, or fajita vegetables. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can choose to pile on the beans instead. Chipotle’s tortillas, fajita vegetables, salsas, guacamole, rice and beans are also all vegan.

Red Robin

Even the burger joint Red Robin has something for vegetarians. Its Gardenburger includes a veggie patty topped with pickles, tomatoes, lettuce and Dijon sauce. Vegans can swap the veggie patty for a vegan patty. While the Gardenburger is made from brown rice, mushroom, oats and cheese, the vegan burger is made of soy. Red Robin, yum, indeed.

Taco Bell

Nothing is stopping vegetarians from going loco with a Doritos Locos Taco. Almost any item on the menu can satisfy a vegetarian’s late-night Taco Bell cravings if they just ask to substitute meat with beans, potatoes or pico de gallo and guacamole.

White Castle

Vegetarians can pry open a “crave crate” of vegan veggie sliders or black bean sliders at White Castle. The chain restaurant requires employees to keep veggie sliders from coming into contact with vegetarian sliders by using a separate spatula for the sliders and cleaning the grill before cooking them.


Mickey D’s breakfast menu is full of vegetarian options, and now that breakfast is served all day, herbivores can opt for meat-free breakfast foods at any time. Ordering an Egg McMuffin without bacon is one option, but there is also the fruit and yogurt parfait, oatmeal, hotcakes, hash browns, all the ice cream and baked goods.

Panda Express

Vegetarians at Panda Express can munch on eggplant tofu — tofu, eggplant and red bell peppers in sweet and spicy sauce — or opt for veggie spring rolls, fried rice, chow mein, cream cheese rangoons and mixed vegetables.


They may “have the meats,” but Arby’s also has some delicious meat-free options. Vegetarians can turn down the seemingly endless supply of meats and the infamous meat mountain for mozzarella sticks and curly fries.


While their french fries and apple slices are always options, Wendy’s also has two types of baked potatoes — sour cream with chives and broccoli with cheese for vegetarians.

Carl's Jr./Hardee's

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s have a “Veg It” option for their Thickburgers, which is just a regular burger sans the patty. Carl’s Jr. also offers a guacamole Thickburger with guac, pepper jack cheese, onions, lettuce and tomato. If you’re not a guac fan, you can also order a pack of fried zucchini and sandwich them in between any patty-less burger for a filling DIY meal.


At a chain known for chicken, the Colonel also serves up vegetarian options, including corn on the cob, green beans, kettle corn, potato wedges, biscuits, coleslaw, mac and cheese, cornbread, mashed potatoes and BBQ baked beans.

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