Mexican restaurants are some of the vegan friendliest places to grab some plant based grub. With great vegan options like rice, beans, salsa and guacamole it’s easy to put together a meal.
Burritos and tacos also make really good vessels for plant based ‘meats’ like tofu, Sofritas and Beyond Meat.
The bottom line is, whether you’re grabbing lunch or on a road trip there are some awesome Mexican restaurants that offer easy menu choices.
Here are 7 of our favorite Mexican fast food and fast casual chains featuring vegan options (We’ll add a link at the end of each restaurant to it’s complete vegan guide):
Admittedly, it’s hard for me to be completely unbiased when it comes to Chipotle. This is due to the fact that Chipotle is my absolute all-time favorite place to eat. I’d choose a Chipotle Burrito or Bowl over anything served at even a five star Michelin rated restaurant (and yes I’m serious).
Ordering vegan at Chipotle is about as easy as you could possibly ask for. Choose from either a Burrito, Bowl, Tacos or a Salad. Then add your choice of rice, beans (both pinto and black are vegan), fajita veggies, Sofritas, salsa, lettuce and guacamole.
Add Chips and Salsa or Chips and Guacamole to round the meal out. (Pro Tip: Get a bag of chips and use them as scoops for your burrito bowl. It’s the best way to Chipotle.)
For years, Taco Bell has been a vegan oasis on our road trips. Within just the last few years, more and more fast food places are introducing vegan options. You can grab an Impossible Whoppers at Burger King and even McDonalds has announced a Beyond Burger is in the works.
Before all these new options came along though, there was the Fresco style menu at Taco Bell. Ordering Fresco style meant removing the cheese, mayo-based sauces and sour cream from Taco Bell menu items and replacing them with freshly diced tomatoes. This was the original way to easily ‘veganize’ menu items.
Bean Burritos Fresco style has been a staple order in our household for years. They’re delicious and are (still) one of the best road trip foods because of how easy to eat in the car they are. Finally, don’t forget about the Cinnamon Twists, maybe the greatest accidentally vegan item on any restaurant menu.
In April of 2019, Del Taco was one of the first fast food chains to introduce Beyond Meat on their menu. It was a glorious day. Their vegan options immediately went from ‘meh’ to amazing.
I still remember the Epic Beyond Cali Burrito that not only included Beyond Meat, but also included their crinkle-cut fries. To this day it’s one of my favorite fast food orders of all time. The Epic Beyond Cali isn’t on the menu anymore, but they have plenty of taco and burrito options featuring Beyond Meat.
Two of those options are the Beyond Burritos at Del Taco are the Epic Beyond Original Mex (pictured above) and the Beyond Fresh Avocado. Both excellent.
Welcome to Moe’s!
Chipotle rival Moe’s offers many of the same options as their fast casual counterpart. Burritos, bowls and tacos can all be made with your choice of rice, black or pinto beans, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo and guacamole.
In place of Sofritas, Moe’s has Organic Tofu on it’s menu. I’m more of a Sofritas fan myself, but to each their own.
Don’t forget to stock up at the salsa bar to go along with your complimentary chips.
The other Chipotle rival on our list is Qdoba. Like Chipotle and Moe’s, Qdoba has burritos, bowls and tacos as well. Create your own meal with cilantro-lime rice, black beans, fajita peppers, chili corn salsa and salsa verde.
Chipotle has Sofritas and Moe’s has tofu. Not to be outdone, Qdoba has partnered with Impossible to bring Impossible Meat as an option on their menu.
El Pollo Loco
To be honest, we’ve had a tough time over the years getting information from El Pollo Loco both online and reaching to them directly trying to figure out exactly what, at El Pollo Loco, is vegan. What we know for sure is this:
El Pollo Loco has a Vegan Chickenless Burrito that is certified vegan from the American Vegetarian Association. If it’s good enough for the AVA then it’s good enough for us.
Rubio’s Coastal Grill
Rubio’s is tex mex chain located primarily on the west coast. While they do have some cross-contamination issues with some shared cooking surfaces and fryers (not uncommon at most restaurant chains), they have an extensive vegan-friendly menu.
Rubio’s has three different rice (Citrus, Mexican and Brown), two different kinds of beans (Black and Pinto), grilled veggies and multiple salsas that are all vegan. Like Qdoba, Rubio’s menu also features Impossible Meat.
A couple of our favorite options at Rubio’s are:
- Impossible California Bowl – Order with NO Chipotle White Sauce
- Burrito Especial with grilled veggies – Order with NO Chipotle White Sauce.
- Mango Avocado Salad with grilled veggies
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There are more and more vegan-friendly options being introduced at popular chain restaurants all the time now. Mexican chains seem to be leading the charge in many respects for this push to make fast food and fast casual menus more vegan friendly.
We recommend giving any of these Mexican locations a shot and see what they have to offer.
If none of these spots are exactly what you were looking for, we have over 120 Vegan Guides for all kinds of different popular restaurant chains.
Disclaimer: We are working tirelessly to make sure all the information contained in VeggL is as accurate as possible and up to date. However, sometimes options change. If you notice a change at a restaurant that we need to know about, let us know. VeggL is not responsible for out of date or incorrect information.