Is Shake Shack’s Veggie Shack Vegan?

vegan options at Veggie Shack

Shake Shack has rattled the internet by announcing their Veggie Shack will be available at all locations starting May 5, 2023. The question I keep seeing all over is if it is vegan. 

Once this news was released, I immediately began my research and quickly updated our vegan guide for Shake ShackOpens in a new tab.. But then I started reading the comments on their social media.

Is Shake Shack’s Veggie Shack Vegan?

Let’s first answer if the Veggie Shack is vegan.

No. Straight off the menu, Shake Shack’s Veggie Shack is NOT vegan. 

The Veggie Shack contains the following ingredients:

  • Veggie Patty
  • Burger Bun
  • American Cheese 
  • Crispy Onions
  • ShackSauce

Of these ingredients, the Veggie Patty is the ONLY vegan ingredient. 

The burger bun contains dairy. The American cheese contains dairy. The crispy onions contain dairy. And the shakesauce contains egg. 

Can I Order the Veggie Shack Vegan?

Yes…. While 4 of the 5 ingredients NOT being vegan-friendly may sound defeating, you absolutely can order the Veggie Shack vegan. 

How Do I Order the Veggie Shack Vegan?

Order A Veggie Shack with NO cheese, crispy onions or shake sauce. SUB the burger bun* with either a gluten-free bun (cost extra) or a lettuce wrap.

We suggest asking if they have ketchup or mustard to give your burger a sauce. 

If you have heard mixed messages around the gluten free bun*, here are the ingredients per Shake Shack’s Hospitality Team:

Water, modified food starch, corn starch, potato starch, long grain milled rice, stabilized rice bran, granulated sugar, yeast, canola oil, faba bean protein, salt, modified cellulose, pea fiber, psyllium husk powder, xanthan gum, cultured brown rice, brown rice, calcium sulfate, enzymes.

We consider this bun to be accidentally vegan.

I do want to note that people seem very frustrated that adding tomato or lettuce is not an option when ordering on the app or online.

Other toppings you can add (be aware some of them cost extra)

  • Pickles
  • Cherry Peppers
  • Sliced Onion
  • Avocado

How Is Shake Shack Confusing People?

The main reason I chose to write this article is that there is very conflicting information online and unfortunately most of it is coming from Shake Shack’s social media. Eeek.

Whoever is running their social media is stating that the lettuce wrap is the only bun alternative when that is not true. They are ALSO not mentioning that the crispy onions need to be removed. 

As I stated above, according to Shake Shack’s allergen guideOpens in a new tab., the crispy onions contain dairy and according to their FAQOpens in a new tab., the gluten-free bun IS a vegan option.

It may be possible that they are not mentioning this because the gluten-free bun costs extra and the lettuce wrap does not. Either way, people need to know it is an option. They also need to know that the crispy onions are NOT an option.

Is There Cross-Contamination When Cooking The Veggie Shack?

We share the following statement on our vegan guides:

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.

Shake Shack is one of those that does NOT offer a vegan cooking space; however, this is the statement made when asked about cross-contamination with their veggie patty:

We do our best to keep our veggie patties separate from the meat patties by using a clean section of the grill and separate cooking tools. We always caution our guests that cross-contamination from other menu items is possible. 

As we always say here at VeggL, you choose your level of comfort. 

What Else Can I Order Vegan at Shake Shack?

Growing up, I remember our local ice cream shop was known for getting an “All American Meal.” And by that, I mean a burger, fries and shake. 

At Shake Shack, you now CAN do that! 

Order a:

  • Veggie Shack with NO cheese, crispy onions or shakesauce. SUB the bun with a gluten-free bun (cost extra) or lettuce wrap. 
  • Fries
  • Non-Dairy Chocolate Shake … or you can also order the Non-Dairy Chocolate Custard (comes in a bowl)

In Conclusion…

I hope we have answered any questions you might have when choosing to order the Veggie Shack at Shake Shack. It is unfortunate that a burger that costs that much will have no toppings unless you add vegan-friendly ones and will cost even more if you choose the gluten-free bun. 

Sincerely, it is confusing when a restaurant chooses to add a vegan-friendly shake/custard but not a vegan burger to complement it. 

How are we supposed to make sense of that?

Maybe Shake Shack will listen and choose to make changes to make it more of a vegan burger rather than a vegetarian burger that we have to modify. 

Our Vegan GuideOpens in a new tab. for Shake Shack offers our complete list of vegan options along with an FAQ that might answer any additional questions you have. 

VeggL (Jen and Ryan)

VeggL is the passion project of Jen & Ryan. Both vegan (Jen since 2012, Ryan since 2018), they wanted to help other vegans & plant based folks through an incredibly frustrating process--trying to figure out what you can eat & where in the US. Pictured w/ our pups, Mia & Chompers.

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