BJ’s may best be known for its handcrafted beers, but associating the restaurant chain to just that would be an injustice to its diverse menu that includes a great variety of delicious foods, many with their own unique twist to them.
Some examples are flatbread chips, the restaurant’s signature deep-dish pizza in Southern Californian style, and the pizza-inspired cookie, or pizookie.
The sheer size of BJ’s menu is enough to impress the foodies out there. But, does that extensive menu has anything for non-meat eaters? Let’s dig into it and find out if there is a BJ’s vegan menu subsection in the large menu the restaurant has put together for its customers over the years.
Is There Anything Vegan at BJ’s?
BJ’s may not be as well-known as The Cheesecake Factory or Chili’s. But, it is often considered to be of the same stature due to its extensive and diverse menu. The California-based chain has on its menu everything one could wish for.
These include soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches, pasta, seafood, steaks, pulled pork and ribs, chicken dishes, their signature pizzas, desserts, and, of course, a range of handcrafted beers.
The menu of BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse is undoubtedly impressive. But, it doesn’t seem to offer much to vegan diners. However, as they say, perception is not always reality, BJ’s menu has quite a few vegan-friendly options. Don’t expect it to be a vegan’s paradise, though.
Simply put, BJ’s is like most other restaurant chains in the US where you don’t prefer to go for vegan food, but can put together a vegan meal if you happen to visit with family or friends.
What’s Vegan at BJ’s Brewhouse?
Vegan options at BJ’s include the following:
- Chips & Guacamole
- Chips and Fire-Roasted Salsa
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower
- Garlic Knots – require customization
- Brussels Sprouts – require customization
- Lentil Ancient Grains Soup
- House Salad – requires customization
- House Wedge Salad – requires customization
- Santa Fe Salad – requires customization
- Honey-Crisp Chicken Salad – requires customization
- Spaghetti and Meatballs – requires customization
- Pasta with Marinara Sauce – from kids’ menu
- Build Your Own Pizza
- Vegetarian Pizza – requires customization
- Baked Potato
- French Fries
- Sautéed Green Beans
- Sautéed Asparagus
- Rice Pilaf
- Quinoa and Brown Rice Blend
- Fresh Fruit
- Vegan Sauces, Dressings, and Toppings
This BJ’s vegan menu is prepared using the restaurant’s allergen guide as well as some other reliable online sources. Read on to get an insight into what each of these items contain and how to customize some of these food items according to your vegan diet.
I will also answer any remaining questions that you may have about BJ’s vegan options in the last section of the article.
It’s important to note that it was a little difficult to put together this BJ’s vegan menu as the restaurant doesn’t provide ingredients list for any of its items. I have tried, to the best of my ability, to cross-check every bit of information, but I would still recommend confirming with your server once before ordering to rule out any oversight.
Keep reading to learn how to order vegan at BJ’s Brewhouse.
BJ’s Vegan Menu – A Detailed Breakdown
Here’s all what the vegans can eat at BJ’s restaurant:
BJ’s Vegan Appetizers
Most of the items on the appetizer section of BJ’s menu are non-vegan. Here are the few things you can begin your meal with when eating vegan at BJ’s:
▪ Housemade Guacamole and Chips
As the name says, this appetizer includes crispy fried corn tortilla chips with fresh housemade guacamole. But, the name of the dish doesn’t tell that it also comes with a side of fire-roasted salsa. A perfect appetizer for the table!
While BJ’s doesn’t tell what they fry their tortilla chips in, the restaurant’s allergen guide doesn’t indicate the presence of any non-vegan allergen. So, it’s safe to assume that they are cooked in vegetable oil and vegan-friendly.
▪ Chips and Fire-Roasted Salsa
If you happen to not like guacamole, and no one else on the table likes it too, you can also get the tortilla chips with just salsa when dining at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse.
▪ Sweet Potato Fries
These are standard sweet potato fries that you have the option to get with seasoning or without. We don’t know what the seasoning contains, but it seems to be vegan-friendly as the allergen menu doesn’t highlight any non-vegan ingredient in Sweet Potato Fries.
▪ Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower
Several online sources mention Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower as a vegan-friendly appetizer on BJ’s menu. The restaurant’s allergen guide also doesn’t indicate the presence of eggs, milk, or any other non-vegan ingredient in it.
However, I couldn’t find this item on BJ’s menu given on the website. Perhaps, it’s not offered at all locations.
If it’s on the menu at your local BJ’s outlet, you can have it as an appetizer or a side to your vegan meal.
▪ Garlic Knots
These appear on the BJ’s menu as Garlic Parmesan Knots. However, it comes with the option to customize.
You can choose to not have parmesan added to your garlic knots to make this BJ’s appetizer vegan-friendly.
The garlic knots dough doesn’t seem to have any non-vegan ingredient, but I would still recommend confirming with your server.
These are served with marinara sauce on the side, which is vegan-friendly.
▪ Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts
As the name clearly tells, this BJ’s appetizer doesn’t come standard as vegan-friendly. However, if you really like Brussels sprouts, you may request it without the sweet sriracha crema and Big Poppa Smokers’ Desert Gold seasoning.
It’s important to mention here that this customization will leave you with just fried Brussels sprouts. In case you’re wondering, and Big Poppa Smokers’ Desert Gold seasoning has honey in it.
BJ’s Vegan Soups and Salads
Whether you’re a health-conscious eater or looking to make your vegan meal at BJ’s Brewhouse more filling, adding a soup or salad to your meal is a great option. You don’t have very many choices, though.
Your vegan soup and salad options at BJ’s Restaurant include:
▪ Vegan Lentil with Ancient Grains Soup
This traditional lentil soup fortified with grains is the only certified vegan item on BJ’s menu and the only vegan-friendly soup the restaurant offers. It’s rich, hearty, healthy, and delicious. If you like lentil soups, this one is a must-try.
BJ’s lentil soup comes in two serving options: the standard bowl and the bread bowl. But, you should only opt for the standard serving as the sourdough bread bowl it comes in is not vegan. It contains milk.
It’s common for people to presume that the bread bowl is vegan-friendly too, since the dish itself is confirmed vegan. However, that’s not the case in reality, so make sure to skip the bread bowl when eating vegan at BJ’s Restaurant.
▪ House Salad
This is the basic House Salad with baby field greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, croutons, and parmesan. Simply skip the last two ingredients to get yourself a vegan salad at BJ’s Brewhouse.
The restaurant allows you to choose your own dressing with the House Salad, so get a vegan-friendly one (options listed below)
▪ House Wedge Salad
Technically, you can also get BJ’s House Wedge Salad made vegan. But, the customization will leave you with a boring mix of lettuce, onions, and tomatoes. Not something you would want to eat at a restaurant, but it’s good to know your options.
You can choose your own dressing with this BJ’s salad too.
▪ Santa Fe Salad
This appears in the Entrée Salad category on BJ’s menu. However, it wouldn’t be an entrée after it is customized for a vegan. This is why I am listing it here and not in the vegan entrées section.
The salad comes standard with blackened chicken breast, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, sweet corn, avocado, fire-roasted red peppers, cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, corn tortilla strips, and Santa Fe Ranch dressing.
To order it vegan, ask them to hold the chicken and both types of cheese, and swap the Santa Fe dressing with a vegan-friendly alternative.
▪ Honey-Crisp Chicken Salad
Another entrée salad option on BJ’s Brewhouse menu, this comes standard with iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, toasted almonds, and boiled eggs topped with fried chicken tenders and honey-mustard dressing.
You know what to skip to make it vegan, don’t you? But let me write it out for clarity.
Order this BJ’s entrée salad without chicken and eggs and with a dairy and egg-free dressing to make it vegan-friendly.
BJ’s Vegan Entrées
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse has an incredibly impressive entrée menu with what appears to be endless options from a whole lot of different categories. But, sadly, the majority of them are not vegan-friendly. They cannot even be customized vegan.
You may only get the following few vegan entrée items at BJ’s Brewhouse, that too with a custom order:
▪ Spaghetti and Meatballs
Appearing on the Lunch Specials menu section is the classic spaghetti and meatball dish made with spaghetti, housemade meatballs, San Marzano marinara sauce, garlic, red pepper basil, and parmesan.
Get it without meatballs and ask them not to top it off with parmesan cheese. Enjoy your vegan spaghetti with marinara sauce along with a garlic knot on the side. Make sure to tell them to give you the garlic knot without parmesan too.
▪ Kids Pasta with Marinara Sauce
Don’t feel like giving all the instructions to customize the spaghetti and meatballs according to your vegan diet? Get the Kids Pasta with Marinara Sauce instead!
For this, choose Create-Your-Own-Pasta option from kids’ menu and order your favorite kind of pasta with marinara sauce. You can also choose your favorite side and drink option to go with it.
Since it’s from kids’ menu, don’t expect a generous serving of pasta. If you have a big appetite or feeling very hungry, you may want to order something else with it too or, perhaps, get two servings of this pasta.
▪ Build Your Own Pizza
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse allows you to create your own custom pizza. Avail of this option to get a vegan pizza for yourself. However, it’s important to note that BJ’s doesn’t have vegan cheese, so you’ll have to settle for a cheeseless pizza.
Another important thing that you need to be careful about when ordering a vegan pizza at BJ’s Brewhouse is to communicate your dietary restrictions to the server and ask them to not brush your pizza crust with butter; they do so at BJ’s.
If you’re concerned about cross-contamination, you may also want to ask them to use a separate pan to make your vegan pizza.
You can choose as many veggie toppings for your pizza as you want. Your options include:
- Pear Tomatoes
- Seasoned Tomatoes
- Green Peppers
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Black Olives
- Roasted Asparagus
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Artichoke Heart
- Roasted Garlic
- Green Onions
- Fresh Cilantro
- Fresh Basil
It’s important to note that every vegetable topping comes at a distinct price, so the cost will add up.
▪ Vegetarian Pizza
Don’t want to spend much time and money on getting a custom vegan pizza? Get the BJ’s vegetarian pizza without cheese!
You will get their signature deep dish pizza with a Southern Californian twist with green bell peppers, seasoned tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, and black olives topping.
BJ’s Vegan Sides
With an extensive entrée menu, it only makes sense for BJ’s Brewhouse to also offer a good variety of sides. While there are not as many options as in the entrées section, there are still quite a few choices. Not all of them (you guessed it right) are vegan-friendly.
Here are the vegan side options at BJ’s Brewhouse you can pair up your meal with:
- Baked Potato – According to the restaurant’s allergen guide, it contains milk, which most likely comes from butter or cheese. Get it plain to have a healthier vegan side with your meal.
- French Fries
- Sautéed Green Beans
- Sautéed Asparagus
- Onion Strings
- Rice Pilaf – made with rice, red bell pepper, and green onions
- Quinoa and Brown Rice Blend
BJ’s Vegan Sauces, Dressings, and Toppings
BJ’s doesn’t provide a list of sauces on its website or allergen menu. Following are some of the vegan-friendly options that I know they have:
- Marinara Sauce
- Chimichurri Sauce
- Housemade Guacamole
- Applesauce – from kids’ menu
For a complete list of vegan sauce options at BJ’s Brewhouse, you’ll have to check your local BJ’s menu. I am sure you can find a few.
As far as vegan dressings are considered, here are the vegan salad dressing options at BJ’s Restaurant:
- Italian Dressing
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Rice Wine Vinaigrette
- Strawberry Vinaigrette
- Oil & Vinegar
Vegan Brewhouse Toppings
- Sautéed Mushrooms
- Grilled Onions
- Mushrooms + Onions
- Fire-Roasted Salsa
BJ’s Vegan Beverages
BJ’s is a Brewhouse, so people come here with high expectations for a great beverages menu, and they don’t get disappointed with what they find.
As we all know, not every option on the menu can be suitable for vegans, so to make things easier for you, here I am listing all the vegan drinks available at BJ’s Brewhouse, starting from the non-alcoholic options and then moving to the alcoholic varieties.
- Diet Pepsi
- Mountain Dew
- Dr. Pepper
- Diet Dr. Pepper
- BJ’s Lemonade
- Lavender Lemonade
- Strawberry Lemonade
- Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade
- Sunset Peach tea Lemonade
- Frozen Strawberry Limeade
- Berry Sweet Limeade
- Iced Tea
- Tropical Iced Tea
- Brisk Raspberry Iced Tea
- Peachberry Iced Tea
- Green Iced Tea
- Sweet Tea
- Hot Tea
- Decaf Coffee
- Mist Twist
- Orange Twist
- Apple Juice – from kids’ menu
- Orange Juice – from kids’ menu
- Cranberry Juice – from kids’ menu
- Sierra Mist – from kids’ menu
- Raspberry Sparkling Water
- Shirley Temple
- Roy Rogers
- Sunset Peach
- Root Beer
- BJ’s Handcrafter Ginger Beer
- Vanilla Cream Soda
- Orange Cream Soda
- Black Cherry Soda
BJ’s Menu Items That May Look Vegan, But Are Not
Following are some items on BJ’s Brewhouse menu that may look vegan, but they actually contain non-vegan ingredients, so make sure to stay away from them:
- Sourdough Bread Bowl – contains milk
- Italiano Vegetable Penne – contains milk
- BJ’s Porter Mushroom Gravy – contains milk and fish
- Santa Fe Dressing – contains eggs and milk
- Orange Cream Soda Float – Orange Cream Soda is vegan, which can make many presume that its soda float variety is also vegan-friendly. But, it actually contains milk and eggs.
- Vanilla Cream Soda Float – contains milk and eggs
- Black Cherry Soda Float – contains milk and eggs
BJ’s Vegan Options FAQs
As promised in the beginning of the article, let’s answer some questions that may still be lingering in your mind with regards to BJ’s vegan menu to clear all your confusions and doubts about ordering vegan at BJ’s Brewhouse.
▪ Is BJ’s pizza crust vegan?
BJ’s pizza crust is vegan-friendly. They do, however, brush butter on top of it. When eating vegan at BJ’s, make sure to ask them to not brush your pizza crust with butter.
▪ Are BJ’s Avocado Egg Rolls vegan?
BJ’s Avocado Egg Rolls are not vegan. According to the restaurant’s allergen guide, they contains eggs and milk.
▪ Does BJ’s have vegan desserts?
Like many other restaurant chains, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse doesn’t offer any vegan dessert. If you really want to have something sweet after your vegan meal at BJ’s Restaurant, you can have Fresh Fruit from kids’ menu.
Or go home and make your own vegan dessert. Check out the following video for some quick vegan dessert recipes…
Conclusion – Is BJ’s Brewhouse Vegan-Friendly?
Even though BJ’s menu includes quite a few vegan or customizable options, the restaurant cannot be termed as vegan-friendly because the plant-based options are nothing compared to the endless variety of non-vegan food options it offers.
BJ’s has one of the most extensive menus among all restaurant chains in the US. We expected them to do better in terms of vegan-friendly options.
Having said that, rest assured that if you end up at BJ’s with your friends or family, you wouldn’t be starving or relying on just French fries or House Salad. You can get yourself a decent vegan meal at the Brewhouse.
Did you find this article helpful? Interested to learn about vegan options available at other US-based restaurant chains? Check out my article Denny’s Vegan Options to find out what they have in store for vegans!