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Opinion How to eat vegan at fast food chains in Australia

Lifestyle
Liv's author bio image

Author: Liv Published: April 23, 2024

With so many plant-based meals and snacks available in cafés and food chains across the country, you’re never far from your next bite on the go.

Vegan food is so in demand these days that it feels like every other day, a new fast-food option explodes onto the scene. It can even be hard to keep up sometimes!

To help you keep track of all the convenient options near you, I’ve put together a handy list of all the plant-based fast food options I’ve tried and enjoyed so far. 

I’d suggest bookmarking this list to refer back to when you’re out and about, in need of some urgent sustenance, and mind-blanking on what’s around – that’s what I do and it’s gotten me out of many a peckish pinch!

Here are some of the most popular plant-based offerings that are currently available at chains found all around Australia:

Baker's Delight logo on maroon background.

Bakers Delight: A reliable selection of vegan-friendly sweets including fruit danishes, iced buns, fruit and jam logs, and scrolls. Some stores have vegan-friendly savoury offerings too.

Boost Juice Bars logo in yellow, orange and red text on a green background.

Boost JuiceA dedicated vegan range including the Mango & Co, Lychee Lovin’ Berry, Power Plant Protein, and Bananas for Choc. They can also make pretty much any of their juices and smoothies dairy-free – just ask 😊

Burger Urge circular logo in red and white text on a black background.

Burger Urge: While there are four delicious meat-free burgers on the menu, note The Mediterranean is the only one that automatically comes vegan. Zero Clucks, Zero Clucks Diablo and Not a Cheeseburger all require a simple sub of vegan cheese for the dairy, and a hold on some of the sauces. And luckily, they have a decent range of vegan-friendly sauces to choose from here.

Beyond the obvious fries and sweet potato fries, there are onion rings and cauliflower bites to enjoy too! And to finish it off, enjoy a proper dairy-free milkshake in strawberry, chocolate or vanilla with a coconut-based ice cream.

Cold Rock Ice Creamery logo in red, white and blue.

Cold Rock: The coconut-based Cinnamon Donut and Dark Chocolate ice cream flavours are both vegan, and there are plenty of vegan-friendly mix-ins too, including: Oreos, Lotus Biscoff Biscuits, crushed waffle cones, 100s & 1000s, a variety of fresh fruit, and peanut butter. Cold Rock’s cookie dough tubs and the Do or Do-Nut ice cream cake (layered with dark chocolate, cinnamon donut ice cream, Biscoff, and Oreos) are also 100% plant-based!

The Cheesecake Shop logo in red and white font on a forest green background.

The Cheesecake Shop: Try their Vegan Chocolate Cake, Vegan Strawberry Choc Cake, Vegan Choc Almond Fudge, Vegan Salted Caramel Slice, and Plant-Based Ultimate Fudge. 

Crust logo in white on a black background.

CrustTry the Vegan Peri Peri (not) Chicken Bites, BBQ (not) Chicken Bites, Vegan Peri Peri (not) Chicken pizza, Vegan Shepherd’s Lie pizza, Vegan Smokey Pulled Jackfruit pizza, or Vegan (not) Beef Royale pizza. (Just note you do need to specify the ‘vegan’ versions of each of these menu items, as the ones listed as ‘plant-based’ on the menu are topped with dairy cheese.)

Daniel's Donuts text logo in white on a dark brown background.

Daniel’s Donuts: An assortment of vegan donut flavours, including cinnamon, cream and jam, custard, and original glaze. Some stores also have vegan pies, pasties, sausage rolls, and iced drinks.

Domino's Pizza logo in red, blue and white.

Domino’s: Two fully vegan pizzas: The Vegan Spicy Veg Supreme and the Vegan Margherita. They also have heaps of toppings perfect for building the ultimate plant-based pizza from scratch – including Impossible’s plant-based beef mince at most locations. Lastly but certainly not least, finish off your order with a Vegan Cheesy Garlic Bread

Ferguson Plarre's Bakehouse logo in marron font on a white background.

Ferguson Plarre’s BakehouseA tasty selection of plant-based vegan pies, pasties, and sausage rolls, as well as some vegan cupcakes and celebration cakes.

Grill'd circle logo with white font on a red background.

Grill’d: Try the Vegan Garden Goodness, Vegan Impossible Garden Goodness (the difference being that this one has a ‘meaty’ Impossible patty rather than veggie-based patty), Vegan Simply Grill’d, Vegan Impossible Simply Grill’d or Vegan Zesty Mexi. These burgers all come with melty vegan cheese and mayo, and all the chip varieties and tomato relish are veg-friendly too.  

Guzman Y Gomez circle logo with black font on a yellow background.

Guzman y GomezOl’ reliable Mexican cuisine to the rescue! Swap out the cheese for vegan chimi mayo on any vegetarian menu item. 

Hungry Jacks logo in red, white and orange in a rounded-edge square.

Hungry Jack’sThe Vegan Whopper Cheese, hash browns, and chips are great on-the-go options. If ordering another option labeled as plant-based (like the Plant-Based Whopper, Plant-Based Whopper Cheese, or Plant-Based Angry Whopper), just make sure you check and ask to remove any dairy cheese and mayo to make it fully vegan.

Green, red and white Krispy Kreme logo on a white background.

Krispy KremeThe Apple Custard Crumble, Original Glazed, Traditional Cinnamon, Kookies n’ Kreme, and Strawberry Jam Doughnut are all confirmed to be vegan-friendly. If you were trying to mind your sugar intake, Godspeed. 

Square La Porchetta logo with white font on a green and red block background.

La Porchetta: A whole vegan section on the menu, including dishes like garlic bread (with an option to add vegan cheese, yum!), minestrone, eggplant chips, salads, arancini, wedges, seasonal veggies, pizzas, and pastas.

Lord of the Fries logo in black and red on a white background.

Lord of the FriesFrom fried mac & cheese balls to shoestring fries to pickle-laden Beyond sausage hotdogs, this 100% plant-based burger chain has got all your fast food cravings sorted. 

Mad Mex logo in green and red font on a white background.

Mad MexBurritos, nachos, quesadillas, grande melts, and tacos with several vegan protein options, including the 100% Plant-Based Mexicali Mince filling, and Veggie Veracruz filling. You can also switch out the cheese for vegan cheese – and just remember to customise your order to remove any sour cream. 

Yellow McDonald's logo in a rounded-edge square on a red background.

McDonald’sYep, believe it or not, if you’re in really dire straits you can even cobble together a vegan meal (or at least a makeshift snack) at Maccas! Try a plain English muffin with a hash brown as the filling, or order a side of fries, the garden salad, side salad, or apple slices. The sweet and sour sauce, BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, and tomato sauce are also all vegan.

P.S. If you’re in Sydney, be sure to visit the unofficial “vegan version” of McDonald’s, Mr Charlie’s for a much more exciting, fully plant-based menu! 

Muffin break logo in white on a dark maroon background.

Muffin BreakA vegan wholemeal muffin range full of sweet and fruity flavours like Apple Blueberry, Banana Pecan, Date Apple Cinnamon, and Mixed Berry. And as an added bonus, there’s no additional charge for plant milks with their house-made beverages!

Nando's logo in red, black and white on a white background.

Nando’sSwap out chicken for the Great Pretender Protein (their popular plant-based chicken alternative) or Superfood Veggie Patty in any burger, wrap, or salad bowl. They also have vegan ‘Perinaise’ mayo and lots of vegan sides! 

Noodle Box logo in white on a red square background.

Noodle Box: Plant-based BBQ buns, salt and pepper tofu, wok-charred seasonal greens with vegan oyster sauce, veggie spring rolls, plant-based beef, plant-based chicken, and tofu galore! If building a meal from scratch, refer to their allergen chart and look for the red “vg” to make sure your meal elements (noodles, add-ins, sauces, etc.) are vegan-friendly.

Oliver's orange and green logo on a white background.

Oliver’s: Lots of great road-trip options including the Hashbrown and Avocado Breakfast Bun, chia puddings, coconut yoghurt cups, bliss balls, cookies, Golden Rice Nuggets, and a fresh juice range.

Oporto logo in red, yellow and black on a white background.

Oporto: A wholesome kale and quinoa patty that you can get in a vegan burger, a vegan rappa, or a vegan bowl, each also made with plenty of other healthy veggie ingredients like mixed greens, slaw, tomato, avocado, and relish. You can get vegan-friendly churros for dessert, too!

Pancake Parlour logo in dark brown on a white background.

Pancake ParlourThere’s not just a handful of options here, but an entirely separate vegan menu filled with sweet and savoury ‘plantcake’ varieties! Start with the savoury Cheese & Potato Plantcake with a side of Cottage Fries and their famous Swiss Mountain Malt. If you’ve still got room in the tank – or even if you haven’t – treat yourself to the Bavarian Apple & Cinnamon Plantcake with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream and maple syrup.

Pie Face logo in white on a red rectangular background.

Pie Face: Sink your teeth into their Maxi Plant Pie, Vegan Spag Bol Pie, Vegan Cheeseburger Pie, Sausage Plant Roll, Vegan Pastry, or Vegan Classic Choc Donut. 

Pizza Hut circle logo in red on a white background.

Pizza Hut: Several drool-worthy vegan pizza options including the Vegan Deluxe, Vegan Mediterranean, Vegan Margherita, and Vegan Cheese Lovers. The Spud Bites and Vegan Cheesy Garlic Bread are also plant-based.

P'Nut Asian Kitchen logo in black and red on a white background.

P’Nut Asian Kitchen: With clearly labelled options on the menu, there are a number of veg stir-fry options including Satay, Teriyaki and Mongolian. Keep them vegetable-heavy, or do as I would and load these babies with all the tofu your heart can handle!

Green and red Roll'd Vietnamese logo on a white background.

Roll’dTry their Vegan Lemongrass Chilli ‘Chicken’ rice bowl, Mushroom and Tofu Phở, Tofu Soldiers, Vegetable Spring Rolls, Tofu Gỏi, or the Plant-Based Lemongrass ‘Chicken’ Bánh Mì

San Churro Chocolateria logo in white font on an orange rectangular background.

San ChurroA decadent vegan menu with everything from churro bowls filled with vegan salted-caramel and honeycomb gelato, to cookie-butter-filled churros, to velvety, vegan Spanish hot chocolate, and even a choc caramel shake.

Schnitz badge logo in red, white and black on a white background.

SchnitzAll of their bread and wrap bases and the Sweet Potato Chips are vegan, and you can also swap out the meat in most menu items for a veg schnitzel instead.

7-Eleven logo in red, green and orange on a white background.

7-Eleven: Their No Chicken and Lettuce Sandwich is one of my fave on-the-go options! They also offer a veggie pastie and a No Sausage roll, plus vegan-friendly flavoured milks, crisps, a selection of vegan-friendly Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and various protein and snack bars.

Starbucks circle logo in green on a white background.

StarbucksTry the Plant-Based Brekky Roll with vegan cheese and bacon, Chargrilled Vegetable and Vegan Feta Panini or Roasted Vegetable Roll. They also have a few vegan-friendly muffins, cakes, bagel spreads, salads, and of course lots of drinks options.

Subway logo in green and yellow on a white rectangular background.

SubwayOrder a veggie patty, the Veggie Delite patty, or falafels on a Wheat, Multigrain, White, or 9-Grain Wheat sub or a wrap, and load it up with all the veg fillings that take your fancy! The Sweet Chilli, BBQ, Sweet Onion, and Tomato sauces are vegan, as well as their Avocado Toastie and Mixed Berry Smoothie.

TGI Fridays logo in white font with a red rectangular background.

TGI FridaysSeveral clearly labelled vegan options on the menu, including the Vegetarian Quesadilla, Sizzling Vegetarian Fajita Tower, Love Buds Plant-Based Chook-Free Burger, Love Buds Plant-Based Cheeseburger, and Shoestring Fries.

Zambrero logo in white text on a green rectangular background.

ZambreroAll of their burritos, bowls, and nachos are super filling and have easy customisation options. Just select from their range of plant-based fillings and toppings – including spiced cauliflower, beans, mixed veg, fresh salsas, guacamole, vegan cheese, and vegan sour cream.

Zeus gold lightning bolt logo on a black rectangular background.

Zeus Street GreekDig into their Plant-Based Chicken Spartan Bowl, Pythagoras Pita (also made with plant-based chicken, as well as vegan mustard mayo), Vegan Greek Salad, Pita Chips, Sweet Potato Chips, Zucchini Fries, or signature Yia Yia’s Chips – and don’t forget the Vegan Loukoumades for dessert.

Note: Some vegan options may be cooked or prepared on the same surface as animal products. Menus also change frequently, so check with staff for the most-up-to-date info. You might even discover some exciting new options that have popped up since we wrote this list!

If you’re in a relatively populated city, chances are you’ll have a handful of these options within reach at any given time (as well as heaps of other vegan-friendly establishments that may not be chains, of course!). If you’re in a more rural area, your options might be a bit more sparse – but it’s always worth asking around and checking the local bakeries and cafés anyway. At the very least, it can be helpful to let them know the demand is there!

I can’t tell you how many surprise vegan options I’ve discovered in the most unexpected places: from veggie pasties and pies to the soup of the day, or even a trusty falafel wrap.

What I’ve learned (and hopefully what this list suggests too) is that there’s always something plant-based and tasty to be found if you have a poke around.

Liv's author bio image

Meet Liv!

Having grown up in a “meat and 3 veg” kind of household, Liv’s embarrassed to admit that she was a bit of a one-note chef until she began exploring the world of plant-based food. Vegan cooking has given her a whole new appreciation for the symphonies of flavours that simple, nourishing wholefood ingredients can create. (Even eggplant, once her greatest nemesis, is now — in a delicious, miso-glazed redemption arc — her all-time favourite veg.)

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