Vegetarian

These Ten Fast-Food Joints Are Here for Your Vegan Lifestyle

Fajita veggies, salsas and guacamole are piled high in bowls, tacos, and burritos at Qdoba.
Fajita veggies, salsas and guacamole are piled high in bowls, tacos, and burritos at Qdoba. Qdoba
There's no doubt that Denver's vegan dining scene is growing. More and more restaurants are offering plant-based options, making it easier than ever to ditch dairy, eggs and meat. But when you're traveling or need something in an instant, or you're just not feeling like a farm-to-table warrior, these national chains offer a decent vegan option beyond just fries — so give in to temptation without giving up your plant-based lifestyle.
click to enlarge Order the Beyond burger at Carl's Jr. without mayo and cheese to make it completely vegan. - CARL'S JR.
Order the Beyond burger at Carl's Jr. without mayo and cheese to make it completely vegan.
Carl's Jr.
Carl’s Jr.
Carl’s Jr. recently launched the Beyond Famous Star, a charbroiled Beyond Meat patty topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, sliced onions, dill pickles, special sauce and mayonnaise. Skip the cheese and mayo to make it completely vegan — the special sauce can stay. On the side, enjoy fried zucchini, fries or crispy breaded onion rings.

Add guacamole and salsa to bean tacos and burritos for extra flavor. - TACO BELL
Add guacamole and salsa to bean tacos and burritos for extra flavor.
Taco Bell
Taco Bell
Taco Bell’s vegan options are plentiful with a few tweaks and twists. Replace beef with beans, leave out the sour cream and cheese, and add in guacamole, potatoes and rice to the taco salad, Mexican pizza, crispy taco and burritos. For dessert, the crispy cinnamon twists are totally vegan.

click to enlarge The seasoned tofu can be added to tacos, a burrito or a bowl along with veggies and salsas. - CHIPOTLE
The seasoned tofu can be added to tacos, a burrito or a bowl along with veggies and salsas.
Chipotle
Chipotle
Pack a burrito with braised tofu with poblano and chipotle chiles, pinto beans, black beans, white or brown rice, fajita veggies and guacamole. Complete the vegan order with chips, salsa and guacamole; the green salsa, red salsa, fresh tomato salsa and chili-corn salsa are all vegan. Or get the same order in a bowl or as a set of three tacos.

click to enlarge Burger King makes a good breakfast option with sweet French toast sticks made without dairy and egg. - BURGER KING
Burger King makes a good breakfast option with sweet French toast sticks made without dairy and egg.
Burger King
Burger King
Burger King offers a MorningStar Veggie Burger that’s great for vegetarians, but it does contain both dairy and eggs. But for breakfast, Burger King is has a surprising option for the egg- and dairy-free as well. The French toast sticks are completely vegan, despite tasting like traditional French toast. (We don't know how they make French toast without eggs, but it works.) The bite-sized hash brown circles are also vegan. There's even oatmeal, which can be made vegan by requesting that your oats be cooked in water instead of milk.

click to enlarge The Vegan Lentil Quinoa Bowl has been added to the Panera Bread menu in an effort to create more options for plant-based eaters. - PANERA BREAD
The Vegan Lentil Quinoa Bowl has been added to the Panera Bread menu in an effort to create more options for plant-based eaters.
Panera Bread
Panera Bread
The Lentil Quinoa Bowl, Soba Noodle Broth Bowl with edamame, and Ten Vegetable Soup are all vegan options with no modifications needed. The Mediterranean sandwich can be made vegan by swapping the bread for a French baguette or rye, sourdough or black-pepper focaccia bread and ditching the feta cheese. Order the Greek and Modern Greek without feta, the Fuji Apple Salad without chicken or cheese, and the Asian Sesame and Spicy Thai salads without wontons or chicken.

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Kristen Kuchar is a Colorado writer covering craft beer, food and travel. For Westword, she explores vegan dining and the state's artisan beverages, such as cider and mead.