Not too long ago, it seemed the only vegan fast food option on a road trip was Taco Bell and, well, Taco Bell.
Easy-to-order vegan fast food is now available at more chains than ever before, but finding good options still takes a little planning and know-how.
Here are a few of our personal favorites here in the US when we’re hitting the road and what we like to order at each restaurant.
Hope you enjoy!
Note: As with almost fast food locations that are not 100% vegan, cross-contamination may be an issue at any/all of these locations. You choose your level of comfort. For more info on a chain, click their name to access their complete vegan guide.
Road Trip Vegan Fast Food
We’ve broken our favorite vegan road trip choices into four different categories: Coffee, Burritos, Burger & Fries, and Smoothies.
Coffee, because no road trip is possible without it. And then the other three options because they’re easy to eat in the car while on the go.
All of our road trips begin (and usually end) with caffeine. Here are a couple of our favorites:
Our first choice for coffee is Dunkin’. Just a regular drip coffee from Dunkin’ with Oat Milk is the perfect flavor combination in my opinion. If it’s an afternoon treat that I’m craving, it’s a Large Iced Coffee with Oat Milk and a Mocha Swirl. Perfection.
Jen usually goes with a regular latte with Oat Milk although she is loving the new Salted Caramel Latte that Dunkin’ introduced this Spring (2022).
Speaking of new items at Dunkin, they also rolled out a Hummus & Roasted Tomato Toast that is really good and makes an excellent on-the-go snack.
This list wouldn’t be complete without Starbucks. Love ’em or hate ’em, the fact is they make really good coffee and they are EVERYWHERE which makes them an option no matter where in the country you are.
Currently, some of Starbucks’ most featured drinks are vegan-friendly as-is straight off the menu like the Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso.
As for us, I’m a huge fan of the Peppermint Mocha Latte (with no foam or chocolate curls) with Oat Milk either hot or iced. Jen likes an Iced Latte with Soy Milk and 1 pump of vanilla sweetener.
For our west coast friends, Peet’s Coffee is an excellent choice to get some great coffee and one of the best vegan breakfast food options at any coffee chain.
Peet’s has a completely plant-based breakfast sandwich – the Everything Plant Based Sandwich. It’s made with a seasoned Beyond Breakfast Sausage, a fluffy Just Egg Folded, and melty vegan cheddar on a toasted everything bagel thin.
Burritos are the ultimate road trip food. Easy to hold and easy to eat. What else could you ask for?
The Bean Burrito Fresco Style with Fire (Ryan) or Mild (Jen) is the OG vegan road trip option for us. Taco Bells are generally pretty easy to find, burritos are easy to eat and they’re delicious. Win-win-win.
I’ve recently started bulking up my Bean Burritos by adding potatoes and seasoned rice. What you end up with is a really filling burrito at a great price. Road trip or no road trip, it’s one of the best vegan fast food options you can find anywhere.
And don’t forget those Cinnamon Twists! Easily one of the best vegan fast food desserts you’ll find anywhere as well.
I could eat Chipotle every single day. In fact, when a new Chipotle was built two blocks away from where we were living, I pretty much did exactly that for the first two weeks it was open.
Admittedly, Chipotle burritos are a little harder to eat in the car because they can be massive in size and, yes, Chipotle doesn’t have a drive-thru so it’s technically more fast casual than fast food.
Even with those ‘issues’, a Chipotle burrito is still one of the best vegan options for any car trip. No drive thru just means you get to get out of the car and stretch your legs for a minute.
And, finally, I’m not willing to admit that a burrito that is stuffed with rice, beans, sofritas, lettuce and salsas is a problem because they’re ‘too big’ anytime soon.
With almost 600 locations in the US spread across 16 different states, Del Taco is now the second leading Mexican quick-service restaurant in the US.
And lucky for us, they have some ridiculously good vegan options!
Del Taco partnered up with Beyond Meat a few years ago to start developing Beyond Burritos. They’ve gone through a few different iterations over the years including one that even included their iconic crinkle fries inside the burrito.
One of their newest Beyond Burritos is the Epic Beyond Fresh Guacamole Burrito. Beyond Meat, slow-cooked beans, cilantro lime rice, pico de gallo and guacamole. It’s amazing, and it might not be as big as a Chipotle burrito, but it’s not too far off.
Burger and Fries
It’s hard to go wrong with a burger and fries when you’re on the road and with so many chains offering Beyond Burgers and Impossible Burgers now, it’s easier than ever to find one.
I still remember when Burger King added the Impossible Whopper to their menu. I had barely been vegan a year and hadn’t really eaten many burgers since making the change.
Then came the Impossible Whopper.
I just happened to pass by a Burger King on my route home from work and the Impossible Whopper (order with no mayo) became a weekly staple in my diet for quite a while.
Pair it up with what Jen and I both consider to be a very underrated fry and you’ve got a quick and easy to order on the go meal.
It’s been almost three years now that Carl’s Jr launched the Beyond Famous Star across their 1500 locations nation-wide. (Make sure to order your burger with no cheese and no mayo.)
You can also order fries, regular or crisscut, with your Beyond Famous Star, just be aware that Carl’s Jr’s fries share a fryer with animal products.
Smoothies have to be the ultimate in easy to consume calories while you’re in the car. If you’re in the mood for something cold and refreshing while you’re knocking down miles – a smoothie can be a perfect go-to.
Smoothie King has to be one of the easiest chains to order vegan at. They have entire sections of their menu dedicated to plant-based smoothies.
They also have over 1000 US locations making the odds that you run across one on your trip pretty good.
Both of us tend to mix up our selections when we hit up a Smoothie King, but a few of our favorites are the Mango Kale, Veggie Lemon Ginger Spinach, and the Vegan Dark Chocolate Banana.
Like Smoothie King, Jamba has a ton of smoothies that can be ordered vegan as-is straight off the menu. They also have a few other options like steel cut oats and a sweet pretzel that you can pair up with your smoothie if you choose.
As for our personal favorites, Jen likes the Greens ‘n Ginger smoothie (unless the Vegan Pumpkin Smash Smoothie is in season). I’m a fan of the Protein Berry Workout with Pea Protein.
With almost 800 locations in the US, finding a Jamba while you’re on the road may be easier than you think!
It still takes a little planning and knowledge to find good vegan fast food options on the road, but it’s way better now than it used to be.
Finally, what could be more helpful on a road trip than an app that shows you how to order vegan at over 175 different chain restaurants? The VeggL app does just that and we’re adding new locations all the time!
The VeggL App
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Never get frustrated by not knowing what you can get to eat ever again!