Vegan fast food fries have been the saving grace of many vegans out with family and friends at a fast food restaurant.
Before the days of Beyond Burgers, Impossible Burgers and Plant-Based Chorizo – many times fries were the only vegan option available at many fast food chains.
As two people who eat our fair share of fries (for research purposes of course) we thought it’d be fun to rank our favorites and ended up with this top ten list of the best vegan fast food fries.
Now, before you start sending us your hate mail – yes, we are aware that at the large majority of fast food restaurants cross-contamination is possible, if not probable. Yes, we know some of these fries are cooked in a shared fryer.
Having said that, by the definition we use here at VeggL, we still consider these fries vegan if they are not made with animal products. If you choose not to eat fries or anything at a fast food restaurant, for whatever reason, that’s perfectly okay too.
Now that that’s out of the way – let’s get to discussing the best vegan fast food fries!
#10 – Wendy’s Natural Cut Fries
We start our top ten off with Wendy’s Natural Cut Fries.
In our discussion, we basically came to the conclusion that Wendy’s fries are the epitome of good, but not great.
I’m never disappointed with Wendy’s crispy and slightly sea-salted fries, but I’ve never found myself with a craving for them either.
Where does that land you? Apparently 10th.
#9 – Culver’s Sweet Potato Fries
Every year, usually sometime in the fall, Culver’s adds these Sweet Potato Fries to their menu.
They’re the only sweet potato fry on our list, but they make it in at number nine for good reason. Namely, they’re delicious.
These sweet potato fries are a perfect balance of salty and sweet in a crispy crinkle cut fry. Next time you’re driving by a Culver’s in the fall, stop in and give these sweet potato fries a try!
#8 – Zaxby’s
Like a few of the fast food restaurants on our list, fries are still about the only thing you can order vegan at Zaxby’s.
This fact kept us from trying Zaxby’s fries for a long time, but then I stopped and picked some up for again, “research purposes”.
Turns out, I’ve been missing out because Zaxby’s fries are great.
They’re crinkle cut fries, but are much crispier than I’ve found with other crinkle cut fries which have a tendency to get soggy, real fast.
Finally, the seasoning! One of the best seasonings of any fry in our top ten.
#7 – Denny’s Seasoned Fries
Sure, the argument could be made that Denny’s isn’t ‘fast-food’ because it’s more of a sit-down style restaurant. Regardless, there was no way I was going to leave Denny’s fries off this list.
Since Denny’s added the Beyond Burger to their menu, I’ve ordered it a few times along with a side of fries. It didn’t take long before I realized the real star of the meal wasn’t the burger (which is good), it’s the FRIES!
The fries have a great texture, the perfect crunch and the seasoning is perfection. The only reason I don’t have them higher on the list is because they’re not “technically” fast food. Otherwise, they would be competing for the top spot. They’re that good.
#6 – Chick Fil-A Waffle Fries
Like most things on Chick Fil-A’s menu, these fries are simplicity done very, very well.
They’re not overly seasoned, overly greasy or overly crispy. They’re a waffle fry, which gives them their little bit of character, done simply and deliciously.
These also may be the best fries on the list to pair with ketchup and they’re definitely the best fries paired up with that Polynesian sauce!
#5 – Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries
These “limited time only” nacho fries have been making appearances on Taco Bell’s menu for quite some time now.
I think I fall right into the marketing trap too, because when they announce Nacho Fries are coming back I feel compelled to go get them.
You will want to order your nacho fries without the cheese sauce. They are still just as good on their own but could you imagine if they added a vegan cheese sauce to the menu?
#4 – Burger King Fries
A lot of people like to hate on Burger King’s fries and I totally get it. They’re greasy and most of the time way too salty.
But, let me tell you what we both love about Burger King’s fries:
They’re greasy and most of the time way too salty.
Seriously, if I’m in the mood for an Impossible Whopper and fries I want all the greasy, salty potato-y crispness I can get. And Burger King’s fries deliver.
#3 – KFC Secret Recipe Fries
I think it was the first time either of us had had KFC’s fries, because back in the day it was always the potato wedges (which were bomb by the way).
While the focus of the day was obviously on the new Beyond Chicken, we both kept commenting on how good the fries were!
They have a great seasoning and a great crunch and immediately became one of our favorite fries.
#2 – Five Guys Cajun Fries
Five Guys Cajun Fries are so good, that I’ve made 15 minute drives (both ways) just for these fries. And, to be clear, it’s just for the fries because Five Guys doesn’t really have anything else vegan on their entire menu.
Every time I get them I think, “This is wayyyy too many fries. Who actually eats all these?”
I do. I eat every single one.
The best part about these fries isn’t even the fact that they are fresh cut and fried from bags of potatoes they, literally, have laying in the middle of the store.
It’s the seasoning. The Cajun seasoning on Five Guys Cajun fries is so insanely good that it landed them at number two on our list.
#1 – Arby’s Curly Fries
Our top spot for vegan fast food fry is Arby’s Curly Fry. Interestingly enough, they weren’t first on either of our individual lists.
However, we both had the curly fries at number two and they were the fry we both agreed were top 3. Bottom line, Arby’s Curly Fries isn’t just the best vegan fast food french fries, they’re one of the best vegan fast food options, period.
The seasoning, flavor and crunch of Arby’s Curly Fries sets them apart and helped them land at the top of our list. Plus, they’re fun too, ya know, cause they’re curly.
There was some debate over whether we wanted to put a restaurant with a slogan of “we have the meats” at the top of our list, but ultimately we decided not to hold the fries accountable for their marketing department.
Jack in the Box, Whataburger, A&W and Shake Shack?
We’re going to be completely honest here – we’ve not had the fries from any of these places, at least, not in a long, long time.
We know these fast food places have lots of fans of their fries and so we felt compelled to at least mention them in this article.
Why have we not had fries from any of these places? I think most of it can be attributed to east coast bias. We’ve lived in lots of places over the years, but they’ve all been along the east coast and these franchises are more predominant out west.
We promise to do our best to make it to each of these chains and try out their fries as soon as we can… for, you guessed it, research purposes.
Fast Food Fries That Are Not Vegan
In case you’re wondering, yes, there are some fast-food chains whose fries are not vegan. Most notably:
- McDonald’s – McDonald’s fries are no longer fried in beef tallow like they use to, but they’re still coated with a natural beef flavoring containing hydrolyzed milk derivatives before frying.
- Checker’s / Rally’s – Checker’s aka Rally’s fries are coated with a milk substance similar to McDonalds and then they’re fried in animal fat.
- Popeye’s – Popeye’s fries everything in their restaurants in beef tallow, including the french fries.
Did we leave off your favorite vegan fast food fry? Do you want to contact us and tell us how wrong we were? Or, do you feel compelled to tell us how right we were? Either way, please do, we love to hear from our readers!