For vegans, navigating the menu at In-N-Out requires a keen eye and a bit of creativity. While the offerings for plant-based eaters might initially appear sparse, a closer look reveals that the beloved West Coast chain does provide a few options that can be customized to fit a vegan diet.
The key to a satisfying meal here is knowing how to modify the available items to suit your needs.
What Are the Available Vegan Dishes?
At In-N-Out, the options for a hearty vegan meal might seem limited at first glance. However, with a bit of creativity and specific modifications, you can put together a satisfying meal that aligns with your dietary preferences.
Here’s how you can make the most of your vegan dining experience at this iconic fast-food chain.
A Patty-Less Burger
- Customizing the Burger: Start by ordering a burger, but specify no meat, cheese, or spread. This leaves you with a basic but fresh bun, crisp lettuce, juicy tomato slices, and crunchy onions. It’s a simple, clean, and surprisingly refreshing option.
- Going Protein Style: If you want to skip the bun, ask for your burger “protein style.” This means your lettuce, tomato, and onions will be wrapped in a large lettuce leaf, offering a low-carb alternative that’s both crunchy and satisfying.
- Vegan by Nature: One of the highlights at In-N-Out is their fries. Made from fresh potatoes and fried in 100% sunflower oil, these fries are naturally vegan. Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, they are a delightful accompaniment to your burger. Also, be sure to check whether they are properly made to avoid some risks of eating raw potatoes.
- Avoiding the Sauce: Normally, fries might be dipped in the chain’s famous “secret” sauce, but this contains mayonnaise, which isn’t vegan. Stick to ketchup or mustard for a vegan-friendly dipping experience.
- Adding Extras: To add more depth to your burger, consider requesting pickles and grilled onions. The pickles provide a tangy crunch, while the grilled onions add a sweet and savory note. However, it’s important to note that the grilled onions may be cooked on the same grill as meat products, posing a risk of cross-contamination for strict vegans.
- Beverage Options: Wash down your meal with a range of vegan-friendly beverages. In-N-Out offers various sodas, iced tea, and coffee, all of which are suitable for vegans.
Lack of Plant-Based Meat
One of the most significant challenges for vegans at In-N-Out is the absence of plant-based meat options. As vegan diets gain popularity, many fast-food chains have started offering meat alternatives, but the restaurant has yet to join this trend.
Risk of Cross-Contamination
- Shared Kitchen Space: Cross-contamination is a concern in any kitchen that isn’t exclusively vegan. At In-N-Out, the same grills and fryers used for cooking animal products are also used for items that are otherwise vegan-friendly.
- Particular Concerns: For example, the grilled onions, which can add flavor to a vegan burger, are cooked on the same grill as the meat patties. While the fries are vegan, the risk of cross-contamination cannot be completely ruled out.
The Issue with Sauces and Dressings
- Non-Vegan Ingredients: Many of In-N-Out’s signature sauces and dressings contain non-vegan ingredients. The most notable is the popular “secret” sauce, which is similar to Thousand Island dressing and includes mayonnaise as a key ingredient.
- Need for Caution: Vegans need to be cautious and avoid these sauces to adhere to their dietary restrictions. Instead, they can opt for ketchup or mustard, which are typically vegan-friendly.
Best Vegan Alternatives Near In-N-Out Locations
For vegans who may find the options at In-N-Out limited, there are numerous alternative dining spots in the areas where In-N-Out operates, particularly in California and the Southwest. These alternatives offer a diverse range of vegan meals, from casual bites to gourmet experiences.
Let’s explore some of the best places to enjoy vegan cuisine in these regions.
Plant Power Fast Food
A revolutionary in the fast-food industry, Plant Power Fast Food specializes in entirely plant-based versions of traditional fast-food items. Their menu includes vegan burgers, sandwiches, salads, and even “chicken” tenders, all made without animal products.
Why Does It Stand Out?
It’s the perfect spot for vegans seeking the fast-food experience without compromising their dietary choices. Their faux-meat options closely mimic the taste and texture of real meat, providing a satisfying alternative for both vegans and non-vegans.
|The Big Zac
|A plant-based take on the classic burger, featuring a double “beefy” patty, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun.
|Spicy buffalo-style “chicken” wings served with vegan ranch dressing.
|Chick’n Caesar Wrap
|A wrap filled with Caesar-dressed romaine lettuce, croutons, and grilled “chicken” strips.
|BBQ “Pulled Pork” Sandwich
|Shredded jackfruit cooked in a smoky BBQ sauce, topped with coleslaw, and served on a whole wheat bun.
|Kale & Quinoa Salad Bowl
|A nutritious bowl of kale, quinoa, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and lemon vinaigrette dressing.
This award-winning restaurant offers a unique take on vegan cuisine, using organic ingredients to craft innovative dishes.
Their menu features creative salads, raw food options, and hearty entrees like the SunCafe Burger and the Raw Tacos. They also offer an impressive range of smoothies and juices.
|Delicious tacos made with walnut and sun-dried tomato taco meat served in lettuce shells with cashew cheese and a side of salsa.
|Shiitake Mushroom Sauté
|Flavorful shiitake mushrooms sautéed with a blend of herbs and spices served with a creamy garlic sauce.
|Superfoods Kale Salad
|A nutrient-packed salad featuring kale, goji berries, hemp seeds, and an array of fresh vegetables, tossed in a tangy dressing.
|Quinoa Lentil Burger
|A hearty burger made with a blend of quinoa and lentils, topped with vegan cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a special house sauce.
|Raw Chocolate Ganache Cake
|A decadent and rich chocolate cake made with raw ingredients served with a side of vegan ice cream.
Green New American Vegetarian
Green New American Vegetarian is a haven for vegans, offering a diverse menu that includes veganized American classics, Asian-inspired dishes, and comforting soul food.
Their vegan po’ boys, buffalo wings, and the “Big Wac” burger are local favorites.
|Vegan Po’ Boy
|A classic Southern-style sandwich featuring crispy fried vegan shrimp, topped with lettuce, tomato, and a creamy sauce, all served on a soft roll.
|Buffalo Vegan Wings
|Spicy and tangy buffalo wings made from plant-based ingredients served with vegan ranch or blue cheese dressing.
|Big Wac Burger
|A mouth-watering double-decker burger with vegan patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun.
|Thai Peanut Bowl
|A flavorful bowl with marinated tofu steamed veggies, and brown rice, all drizzled with a savory Thai peanut sauce.
|Artichoke Pesto Pizza
|A delicious pizza topped with artichokes, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and dairy-free cheese on a crispy crust.
With locations spread across California and other states, Veggie Grill is one of the largest vegan chain restaurants in the U.S.
They offer a wide range of dishes, from bowls and salads to burgers and sandwiches, all plant-based.
|A plant-based burger made with a Beyond Meat patty, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and special sauce on a toasted bun.
|Santa Fe Crispy Chickin’
|Spicy fried chickin’ made from plant-based protein, served with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and spicy mayo on a wheat roll.
|A large plate of tortilla chips topped with vegan cheese, jalapeños, beans, avocado, pico de gallo, and sour cream.
|Kale Caesar Salad
|Crisp kale and romaine lettuce tossed with Caesar dressing, topped with shaved parmesan and crispy croutons.
|A hearty sandwich featuring a crispy chickin’ patty tossed in buffalo sauce, with tomato, lettuce, and creamy ranch dressing.
True Food Kitchen
While not exclusively vegan, they offer a variety of vegan dishes, and many of their menu items can be modified to be vegan.
Ambiance and Philosophy
The restaurant combines a fine dining experience with a focus on holistic well-being.
|Delicate dumplings filled with edamame and served in a dashi broth, garnished with Asian herbs.
|Ancient Grains Bowl
|A hearty mix of quinoa, farro, and barley, topped with sweet potato, avocado, and a flavorful miso vinaigrette.
|Seasonal Ingredient Salad
|A vibrant salad featuring the freshest seasonal ingredients tossed with an innovative dressing.
|Moroccan Chickpea Bowl
|Spiced chickpeas served with preserved lemon, olives, and quinoa, finished with a touch of vegan harissa yogurt.
|Cauliflower florets charred to perfection served with harissa tahini, medjool date, dill, mint, and pistachio.
Loving Hut is an international chain of vegan restaurants, with several locations in California and across the U.S.
They offer an eclectic mix of Asian and Western dishes, all made with vegan ingredients.
|Crispy and savory vegan “chicken” nuggets, served with a choice of dipping sauces.
|A traditional Vietnamese pho soup with rice noodles, vegan broth, and an assortment of fresh vegetables and herbs.
|Spicy Cha Cha
|A spicy and flavorful dish made with vegan shrimp, bell peppers, and onions in a rich, savory sauce.
|BBQ Veggie Burger
|A hearty vegan burger topped with BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, and vegan cheese, served on a toasted bun.
|A mix of crispy vegan seafood, including vegan fish, shrimp, and calamari, accompanied by tartar sauce and a side salad.
Are In-N-Out fries healthy?
In-N-Out fries are not very healthy, as they are high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. A single order of fries provides 370 calories, 15g of fat, 1.5g of saturated fat, 52g of carbohydrate, 6g of protein, and 250mg of sodium.
Does In-N-Out have a veggie burger in 2023?
No, In-N-Out does not have a veggie burger on its menu. The closest option is a “veggie burger” that consists of a bun, lettuce, tomato, onion, and sauce, without any patty.
What is a McDonald’s veggie burger?
McDonald’s veggie burger is called the McPlant, a burger made with a plant-based patty co-developed with Beyond Meat. It is topped with cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun.
Is In-N-Out hot chocolate vegan?
Yes, In-N-Out’s hot chocolate is vegan, as it is made with soy milk and is dairy-free. It is a rich and delicious drink that can be enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike.
Do In-N-Out burgers contain eggs?
No, In-N-Out burgers do not contain eggs, according to their allergen chart. The buns, meat, and sauce are all egg-free, as well as dairy-free and nut-free. The only ingredients that contain egg are the cheese and the mayonnaise.
In-N-Out Burger, while not a vegan haven, does offer some options for vegan diners. With a focus on fresh ingredients and a willingness to customize orders, vegans can enjoy a limited yet satisfying meal at this iconic fast-food chain.
However, the lack of plant-based meats and potential cross-contamination issues are points to consider when dining here. On the other hand, there are some other alternatives close to this restaurant where you might be able to find a much wider choice of vegan food.