Why is Red Robin’s Impossible Burger No Longer Vegan?

Vegan Options at Red Robin

Recently we received an email from a VeggL user who expressed concern because they noticed Red Robin’s Impossible Burger is no longer a vegan option.

Immediately I went to Red Robin’s website and did a search.

What’s great about Red Robin is they offer an interactive allergen menu where you can select vegan as your preference. They give you every menu item that is either vegan as-is or can be modified.

I’m so thankful this particular VeggL user brought the change to my attention so I could contact the restaurant and learn why this has happened rather than just removing it from our Red Robin Vegan GuideOpens in a new tab.

Is Red Robin’s Impossible Burger Not Vegan Anymore?

We received an email back from a Red Robin Quality Control Manager. Here is what this person said:

The reason for the recent change is due to equipment changes in our kitchens.  With our new kitchen design we will now be cooking the impossible patty on our flattops and it could come into cross contact with non-vegan ingredients such as cheese (milk) and eggs and therefore we no longer consider it a vegan option.

I learned two things from this.

One, Red Robin takes the word vegan seriously. They understand what that means and has made a point to designate what is cross-contaminated and what isn’t on their preference page. 

The other was that their Impossible Burger is technically still vegan. The only difference is that now it could be cross-contaminated. And as we know, for some vegans, this would be a 100% no-go but for others, it’s ok. 

On our restaurant guides, we state the following:

*As with any restaurant that is not 100% vegan or does not offer a designated cooking space for their vegan options, 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.

As stated, you choose your level of comfort with knowing this information. I have also updated their vegan guideOpens in a new tab. with this as well so you can make an informed decision. 

How To Order Red Robin’s Impossible Burger

You can order it two different ways:

  • The Impossible Gourmet Cheeseburger*. Order with NO cheese or mayo … comes with an impossible patty*, Red’s pickle relish, fresh red onion rings, pickles, lettuce and tomato slices on a brioche bun.
  • The Wedgie Burger. SUB the animal burger with the Impossible* Patty and order with NO bacon … comes with guacamole, fresh red onion rings and tomato slices with red robin seasoning on their lettuce “bun.”

Does Red Robin Offer a 100% Vegan Burger (with NO cross-contamination)?

Yes! If cross-contamination is not ok with you or maybe you’re looking for a more whole foods style of vegan burger, Red Robin offers a veggie burger patty that IS 100% vegan. 

It’s called, The Veggie Burger. Here’s how to order it vegan:

  • The Veggie Burger. Order with NO cheese or aoli … comes with an ancient grain and quinoa veggie/vegan patty with house-made salsa, fresh avocado slices and lettuce on a brioche bun.

In Conclusion…

As vegans we understand cross-contamination can be, and at times, will be an issue at restaurants that are NOT 100% vegan. We make the choice to dine at these establishments or not.

I appreciate that Red Robin takes what being vegan means considerately and chose to no longer deem their Impossible Burger vegan. We also understand that not every vegan is as concerned over cross-contamination.

We hope this has cleared up any questions you may have had about why their Impossible Burger is no longer considered vegan. Again, you choose your level of comfort with this information.

If you would like, you can see all of Red Robin’s vegan options in our vegan guide for them. We list each item and asterisk (*) any menu items that may have potential cross-contamination. Our goal is to provide as much information as we can so you can make an informed decision… and to hopefully make your life a little easier. 🙂



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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