Vegan Options at Cafe Rio (Updated 2024)

Cafe Rio Vegan

As a vegan, you can make it work at a Cafe Rio. If you are not familiar, Café Rio’s are located primarily on the western half of the United States (along with some spots in the DC area).

It’s a create-your-own type of restaurant; similar to Chipotle.

Build your own corn taco or salad with beans, toppings and salsas but please read thru the guide for what you cannot order or what has cross-contamination. This restaurant doesn’t seem to have as many toppings as other chains in this category and their rice contains dairy.

Let’s see what vegan meal you can create!

Vegan Options at Cafe Rio

VeggL Quick Order:

If you are in a hurry, here are a couple of options you can quickly order.

Be aware that the corn tortilla taco or a salad are the only two options with the least amount of cross-contamination.
*The fried items (chips*, strips* and tostada shell*) share a fryer with Cafe Rio’s coconut shrimp. You choose your level of comfort.

  • Order a Taco on a corn tortilla with NO meat or cheese. Add beans (pinto or black) … comes with lettuce and pico de gallo.
  • Order a salad with NO meat, rice, cheese or dressing. You can add a tortilla (choose corn if you do). Choose your beans (pinto, black, both or you can even double up since you will not be getting rice–contains dairy) … comes with guacamole, pico de gallo, cilantro, a lime wedge and tortilla strips*. You can also ask for NO tortilla strips if you prefer due to fryer cross-contact.

Vegan Appetizers

Find a full list of salsas below.

  • Chips* & Salsa
  • Chips* & Guacamole. Order with NO cheese on top of the guac.


  • 6-inch Corn Tortilla
  • Tortilla Chips*
  • Tortilla Strips*
  • Tostada Shell*


–> We had a VeggL user let us know that their location said they use lard and butter in their beans. This should NOT be the case, according to Cafe Rio’s nutrition guide. Until we learn more, we suggest you verify this at your location before ordering.

  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans


  • Cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Lettuce
  • Lime Wedge

Salsas & Guacamole

  • Mango Salsa
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Salsa Fresca
  • Guacamole. Order with NO cheese topping.


Each side has size options.

  • Guacamole. Order with NO cheese on top (choose either 1 oz, 2 oz or appetizer size).
  • Pico De Gallo (choose a “side” or pint)
  • Salsa Fresca (choose a “side” or pint)
  • Chip Strips* (the only option is a side)
  • Beans (choose a “side” or 1 pound)


  • Mint Lemonade

*As with any restaurant that is not 100% vegan or does not offer a designated vegan cooking space, cross-contamination can occur and fryers/grills may be shared with animal products. You can choose what your level of comfort is with these potential issues. Cafe Rio’s corn chips, strips and tostada shell share a fryer with their coconut shrimp.

Cafe Rio Vegan FAQ

Are Cafe Rio Tortillas Vegan?

Cafe Rio has five different varieties of tortilla. The 6 inch corn tortilla is vegan. The flour and wheat tortillas, both in the 12 inch and 6 inch versions, contain dairy and are not vegan.

Are Café Rio Beans Vegan?

Both the Black Beans and Pinto Beans at Café Rio are vegan.

Is Café Rio Rice Vegan?

No, Café Rio’s Cilantro Lime Rice contains dairy per their allergen page and is not vegan-friendly per their veggie nutrition information.

Is the Café Rio Horchata Vegan?

The Horchata at Café Rio contains dairy and is not vegan.

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More Links and Info:

  • Want to see Cafe Rio’s full menu? Head over to the Cafe Rio’s Menu Page
  • Information pulled directly from Cafe Rio’s Nutritional & Allergen InfoOpens in a new tab.
  • Not seeing exactly what you wanted? We also have vegan guides for other locations like Moes and Del Taco as well as over 215 other popular chain restaurants on our Vegan Guides at Restaurants Main Page
  • Disclaimer: We do everything possible at VeggL to make sure all our Vegan Guides are as up-to-date as possible, but sometimes menus and menu items can change. VeggL is not responsible for incorrect or outdated information. Always check with your location and server to confirm items are vegan when ordering. If you notice something that needs to be corrected – please let us know!