Over the past couple years, vegan fast food burgers have been popping up on menus so fast that it’s been hard to keep track of them all.
If that’s how you feel, don’t worry, in this article we’re going to get you all caught up on which fast food chains you can currently order a plant based burger, and any modifications you may need to make when ordering.
In case you have a favorite vegan burger whether it’s Beyond, Impossible or maybe a black bean burger, we’ll also let you who has what.
Basically, in the next few minutes you’ll become a vegan fast food burger* expert!
A few ground rules before we get started. To qualify as “fast food” you needed to generally have a drive through at your locations. This means that fast casual restaurants and diner chains like Bareburger, BurgerFi, Denny’s and Red Robin didn’t make the list. Not because they don’t have great vegan burgers (they do!), but because we didn’t consider them “fast food”.
- 0.1 Burger King’s Impossible Whopper
- 0.2 Carl Jr’s Beyond Famous Star Burger
- 0.3 Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers Veggie Burger
- 0.4 Shake Shack’s Veggie Shack
- 0.5 the Habit Burger’s Veggie Burger
- 0.6 White Castle’s Impossible Slider
- 1 What About…
- 2 Final Thoughts on Vegan Fast Food Burgers
Burger King’s Impossible Whopper
The Impossible Whopper was one of first of plant based burgers to be offered at a fast food chain. Burger King rolled out the Impossible Whopper on August 8th, 2019. That’s over two years ago! It’s crazy to think how fast other fast food chains have joined in on the vegan movement.
The Impossible Whopper does need a slight modification when ordering. Make sure to order with NO MAYO – I also usually order with no cheese as well (even though the burger isn’t supposed to come with it by default) just to be sure.
Carl Jr’s Beyond Famous Star Burger
While Burger King was one of the early adopters of the plant-based meat, the real OG is the Beyond Star Burger from Carl’s Jr. They added the Beyond Burger to the menu in December of 2018. Looking back, it’s crazy to see just how much earlier Carl’s Jr was compared to everyone else.
Like the Impossible Whopper, the Beyond Famous Star Burger does need a couple slight modifications when ordering. Simply order the burger with NO CHEESE and NO MAYO. That’s it though, no complicated order needed.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers Veggie Burger
The majority of the burgers on this list will be one of the big names within the plant based burger space – Beyond, Impossible, etc. However, this is not the case with Freddy’s. Their burger is more ‘in-house’ and is made with a textured soy protein concentrate and black beans.
Some modifications are needed when ordering the veggie burger from Freddy’s. Make sure to order with NO CHEESE and NO THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING.
Also, we want to note that as far as we know some Freddy’s chains in Texas actually have a patty that is made with egg. We find this a little odd, but regardless, always ask a server at your location if the patty is made with 100% vegan ingredients.
Shake Shack’s Veggie Shack
They’re vegan burger is the Veggie Shack and is (to the best of our knowledge) available at select Shake Shack locations. They even paired up with Atlanta’s Slutty Vegan to do a SluttyShack version of the VeggieShack. If you are lucky enough to have the Veggie Shack near you, just make sure to order it with NO MAYO.
the Habit Burger’s Veggie Burger
Most of the burgers on this list still require small order modifications, but that’s not the case with the Veggie Burger from the Habit Burger. The Veggie Burger comes with a Vegan veggie patty (Morningstar Farms Vegan Patty) on a toasted wheat bun, green leaf lettuce, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers & onions with sweet mustard dressing.
No need to order with no cheese or omit a sauce, you can order it exactly as is.
White Castle’s Impossible Slider
One of the plant-based burgers that I feel goes under the radar is the Impossible Slider from White Castle.
These burgers only need to be ordered with NO CHEESE to make them vegan-friendly and some locations even carry dairy-free cheddar slices (always ask and see if you get lucky!). What you end up getting is something that tastes exactly like a White Castle slider.
Steamed bun, pickles, onions and an Impossible Burger that is a perfect replicate of the original.
Now, if you didn’t know White Castle had Impossible Sliders, then this is really going to blow your mind. They also carry a Veggie Burger that is made with a Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Patty. Forego the ranch and/or honey mustard and you have a second vegan burger option at White Castle.
Were you expecting to see a particular chain on this list and they’re not there? Here are a few of the chains we get asked about the most:
The Root Beer chain carries a Beyond Burger in their Canadian A&W locations and actually did try out the Beyond Burger on their menus in the US, but as of 2021 it is no longer on the menu here in the states.
Hardee’s had a Beyond Thickburger on their menu for over a year, then out-of-blue discontinued it from their menu. People only found out about the burger no longer being offered when they tried to order it and was told it was no longer available.
There has been A LOT of talk of the McPlant Burger coming to the US soon. You may have heard it being available in other countries, and it is, it just hasn’t found it’s way to US menus yet.
You would think that a burger spot that has six different varieties of their black bean burger would have a fully plant-based version, but unfortunately SmashBurger does not. All of their black bean burgers contain milk and eggs.
*Whenever you’re ordering a burger from a non 100% vegan restaurant, you should be aware that cross-contamination with shared cooking surfaces is most likely a concern. For more information on how we consider what counts as vegan, please see our VeggL Disclaimers Page.
Final Thoughts on Vegan Fast Food Burgers
We have a feeling that this list is going to need constant updating over the next few years and that’s a great problem to have. While it seems like forever ago, the first vegan burger debuted at Carl’s Jr only about three years ago. Since then, the entire fast food landscaped has changed dramatically.
Not too long ago most fast food chains had zero vegan options unless it was by shear accident. Now we have vegan-friendly menu options being added all the time. At the time I’m writing this Burger King is about to test Impossible Nuggets at select locations.
It’s an exciting time to be a vegan and Jen and I here with VeggL are doing our best to help you navigate all these changing and updating menus.
We currently have over 200 vegan guides for popular chain restaurants, airports and sports venues. We even have an app (keep scrolling down on mobile for links) so you can quickly access what to order no matter where you are!