The vegan movement has reached a critical tipping point. Example: the abundance of vegan options in fast food restaurants. We have the easily veganized Impossible Whopper at Burger King, the Beyond Famous Star at Carl’s Jr., and the vegan like Epic Beyond Fresh Guacamole Burrito at Del Taco. This box has been checked. Enter the era of all-vegan fast food chains. It’s not just Veggie Grill anymore. Plant-based drive-thru and multi-location fast-casual restaurants offering vegan beef burgers and fries are popping up across the country, and we’re here for it. Before perusing the drive-thru of the nearest mainstream chain, check to see if any of these vegan fast food chains are nearby.
1 Native foods
This fast-casual chain was originally more focused on healthy bowls, salads and sandwiches, but since its founding chef Tanya Petrovna sold the restaurant in 2012, the menu has steadily replaced much of the greens, from grains and beans to stacked burgers and one-off specialty fast food items. Customers can still find some of Petrovna’s original creations in the form of Taco Salad or Twister Wrap, but those looking for a tastier version can opt for Sweet Potato Fries, Buffalo Chicken Tenders and a BBQ Brisket Burger. . Local tip: have a dessert. The oatmeal cream pie and peanut butter parfait have survived drastic menu revisions and are the icing on the cake of your vegan meal.
Plant-powered fast food
2 Plant-powered fast food
Commonly referred to as “Plant Power” by locals, this burger chain started in San Diego and headed north. It now has over 10 locations stretching from San Diego to Sacramento, some topping past non-vegan drive-ins, and even Las Vegas. Expect a streamlined menu of vegan burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, nuggets, fries, and a few entree salads for those looking for fresh options on the go.
Next Level Burger
Next Level Burger
The name of this bi-coastal chain really spells it out for you – they do burgers, and they do them well. Next Level Burger aims to become the next wave of fast food, where customers eschew animal products for equally delicious plant-based dishes. Many locations are planted inside or next to a Whole Foods Market, although there are also standalone locations. Yes, sure, grab a burger, maybe even a Bucket of Chicken Clucker and pancake-cut fries, but Next Level Shakes are… well, you get the idea.
4 Vegan slut
Founder Pinky Cole has established an empire in the greater Atlanta area with her Slutty Vegan concept. The menu of burgers, fries, and chicken sandwiches is sure to raise eyebrows, both for the names and the over-the-top nature of each item. The fully loaded Super Slut and the Hollywood Hooker inspired Philadelphia cheesesteak are just two examples of what you’ll find here. Expect the juices to run down your forearm and the corners of your mouth strewn with Slut Sauce at the end of your meal.
Get your morning-to-night vegan fast food fix at this East Coast vegan chain. The menu includes classic breakfast sandwiches topped with sausage, egg and cheese, handfuls, fries and shakes for lunch and dinner crowds. Protein options range from Beyond Burgers to Tempeh and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, so there’s something for everyone. When browsing the menu, consider the chicken and sandwich section – this place does vegan chicken.
Go for the vegan burgers, stay for the 2,000 Island sauce. This Los Angeles microchain went fully vegan in 2020 and now offers a menu of plant-based cheeseburgers, fries (loaded and plain), messy burgerless sandwiches, and tahini milkshakes. Its popularity has skyrocketed since the switch, prompting owners to set up a Goldbelly account and sell burger kits nationwide. There is no drive-thru, but drop shipping seems like a more convenient option anyway.
If you are hungry
seven PLNT Burger
Looking for Excellent chef quality food at a quick and casual price? Check out PLNT Burger next time you’re on the East Coast. The vegan fast-food chain was founded by chef Spike Mendelsohn, an alumnus of the hit Bravo cooking competition, Excellent chef. Expect Beyond Meat patties topped with guacamole, savory mushroom bacon, fried jalapeños and other flavor bomb toppings. Complete your grip with chunky sweet potato fries, a bowl of PLNT chili, and a large dairy-free soft serve mug.
8 Meta Burger
Small but mighty, this Colorado chain serves up an award-winning burger. Rated Best Vegan Burger by HappyCow and voted Best Plant-Based Burger at the SEED Food and Wine Festival, the nation needs more Meta locations. The homemade patty is only part of the delicious whole – the thoughtful toppings really put this chain in the winner’s circle. For example, the popular Flatiron Burger includes a homemade patty, shaved Brussels sprouts, shallots, grilled mushrooms and vegan cheese. Add a side of waffle fries and extra sauce, and you’re set for a fantastic fast food meal.
9 Globally Local / Odd Burger
This Canadian channel crosses the border! Soon, New Yorkers will be sampling this popular fast food dish. Renamed Odd Burger, the menu covers late-night cravings for burgers, chicken sandwiches and soft serve sundaes. The first Odd Burger is set to open in New York soon (check the brand’s Instagram for any new updates).
ten Project Pollo
Pollo Project owner Lucas Bradbury wants to make chicken-based fried chicken irrelevant. It’s a big company, but it’s starting big, which is in Texas. So far, Bradbury has set up 12 locations (with more coming soon), converting meat-loving Texans with its crispy, juicy, and succulent vegan fried chicken sandwiches, tenders, and even salads. If the chicken doesn’t hook you, he bet the macaroni and cheese, papas and fried pickles will.
Monty’s Good Burger
11 Monty’s Good Burger
Joaquin Phoenix fans, keep your eyes on your phone while you line up at Monty’s – the vegan Oscar winner has been seen several times in Koreatown with his fiancé and actress Rooney Mara. Positioned as the vegan In-N-Out, Monty’s menu features a streamlined selection of single and double Impossible burgers, fries, tots, milkshakes and a kale Caesar salad.
12Matthew Kenney Kitchen
Celebrity vegan chef and restaurateur Matthew Kenney started out in fine dining, but has recently found his footing in fast food. While its more casual concepts operate under different brand names (New.Burger and VEG’D), they all fall under the Matthew Kenney Cuisine umbrella. Each has a slightly different menu, but you can always count on a great burger, fries and sweets.
Founded in 2006 in Irvine, Calif., this national vegan chain was frying plant-based chicken wings long before it was a thing. In fact, Veggie Grill predates the buffalo cauliflower trend. There’s a comfort that comes with a visit to the Veggie Grill – you can take any omnivore, treat them to the macaroni and cheese, Sante Fe chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries, and know they’ll be leaving. with a positive outlook on veganism.
Mas Veggies Taqueria
14Mas Veggies Taqueria
An offshoot of Veggie Grill, this fast-paced concept became a take-out and delivery-only chain in 2020. The chain offers veganized versions of Mexican-style fast food dishes, including burritos, bowls, nachos and Tacos. You choose your protein (asada mushrooms, chickin’ tinga, etc.), and the rest is loaded with guacamole, pickled red onions, sour cream, beans, and other toppings.
15 bee burger
Named the best vegan burger in Los Angeles, Honeybee Burger has made a name for itself since opening its first brick-and-mortar store in 2019. The buzz-worthy chain with two locations (and a third in New York), has already partnered with Akua Kelp Burger, Atlas Monroe and Oatly to offer unique and iconic Hungry Angelenos’ signature kelp burgers, crispy fried chicken sandwiches and an oatmeal soft serve. If a classic burger is more your style, choose between Impossible or Beyond Meat patties for your next award-winning handheld. Talk about options!
For more vegan fast food, read:
Fatburger CEO talks about the future of vegan fast food
10 vegan tips for your favorite fast foods
How to Order Vegan at Taco Bell