Eating out has always been a struggle for vegans, especially when it comes to fast food. While the rise in plant-based diners has prompted many restaurants to revise their menus, the US fast food industry doesn’t seem to be catching up with the changing dining out scenario.
At least, not as rapidly as it should. Simply put, it’s still hard for vegans to find a fast food place that serves big, fat, juicy vegan burgers. Is the fast-food giant Burger King any different? Does Burger King have vegan options?
Let’s evaluate Burger King’s menu to find out what’s in there for plant-eaters!
What Can Vegans Eat at Burger King?
There was a time when Burger King was off-limits for vegans. But, it’s no longer the same (thankfully)!
Burger King may not be a vegan’s fast-food heaven, but they do have a few vegan-friendly options on their menu, including a BURGER!
Here’s the list of all your vegan options at Burger King:
- Hash Browns
- French Toast Sticks
- Garden Side Salad
- Classic Fries
- Impossible Whopper – with modification
- Vegan Dips and Sauces
- Vegan Beverages
All the food items on Burger King’s menu are either vegan or can be made vegan with a few alterations. However, like many other restaurants, Burger King doesn’t have a designated cooking space for their plant-based foods, which means cross-contamination is a risk. If you don’t have a problem, keep reading to learn more about these items and how to order vegan at Burger King.
Unlike many other restaurants, Burger King doesn’t provide a list of ingredients for each menu item on its website. Hence, this list of vegan options is prepared using the restaurant’s allergen document as the primary source and a few other online sources.
Burger King Vegan Options
Here’s a quick rundown of all the vegan-friendly options on Burger King’s menu with details of special requests or modifications that you need to make for some of them.
Burger King Vegan Breakfast Options
Burger King serves breakfast from 6 am to 10:30 am. Sadly, none of their breakfast mains, i.e. sandwiches, burritos, and pancakes, are vegan. There are, however, a couple of breakfast sides options that, when paired with tea or coffee, can make a decent vegan breakfast. Your options include:
§ Hash Browns
Crips from the outside and soft and fluffy from the inside, these fried potato treats are almost everyone’s favourite breakfast items. Burger King hash browns do not contain any non-vegan ingredients and are also cooked in vegetable oil, making them vegan-friendly.
However, Burger King’s allergen guide highlights that they are cooked in a shared fryer.
§ French Toast Sticks
French toast isn’t an option that vegans consider at most restaurants because it’s common knowledge that they contain milk and eggs. However, that’s not the case at Burger King.
Burger King’s French Toast Sticks are egg and dairy-free and are served with a breakfast syrup that is also vegan-friendly, making them a great breakfast option for plant-eaters.
While these French toast sticks are offered as sides at Burger King, no one stops you from having them as your main breakfast.
The only thing that can be a bummer for some vegans is that French toast sticks are also cooked in a shared fryer, just like hash browns.
§ Tea, Coffee, Juice
Whether you have Burger King’s hash browns for breakfast, French toast sticks, or both, pair your food with any of the following popular breakfast beverages to complete your morning meal:
- BK Café (Hot Black Coffee)
- BK Café Decaf
- Cold Brew Iced Coffee – Plain
- Sweetened Iced Tea
- Unsweetened Iced Tea
- Simply Orange Juice
- Capri Sun Apple Juice
Vegan Lunch and Dinner Options at Burger King
Headed to Burger King after breakfast time? You can get the following vegan items throughout the day:
§ Garden Side Salad
Garden salad or side salad is never an exciting option (unless you’re a huge lettuce fan) when eating out. However, it often comes to vegans’ rescue at non-vegan-friendly restaurants. While you won’t have to rely on just the Garden Salad at Burger King, it’s a good option for those trying to make their meal a little healthier and skip the usually fried sides.
Burger King’s Garden Side Salad originally comes with cheese. When ordering vegan style, ask to hold the cheese. Burger King also offers a few salad dressing options. However, only one of them is vegan-friendly, and that is KEN’s Golden Italian Dressing.
§ Classic Fries
French Fries are vegans’ saving grace at a lot of restaurants. No matter how non-vegan-friendly a restaurant is, vegans can often count on this good old fried potato snack to avoid getting hangry.
Burger King French fries are cooked in vegetable oil and hence, are classified as vegan-friendly. However, just like other BK fried items, they are cooked in shared fryers. This makes Burger King’s fries off the limit for some vegans. For those vegans who do not mind eating food cooked in shared equipment, the classic fast-food side is up for grab at Burger King.
§ Impossible Whopper
Now, let’s talk about the Burger King vegan option every plant-eater is most interested in – the meatless burger!
In 2019, Burger King partnered with Impossible Foods to become one of the first fast-food restaurants in the US to accommodate vegans’ requests for a plant-based burger. The Impossible Whopper was launched nationwide in August 2019, after about a 4-month long trial run at its 59 locations in and around St. Louis.
While the burger is made with a plant-based patty, you may be surprised to know that it is not vegan itself. But, don’t get disappointed! It can easily be made vegan with a small modification.
Burger Kings’ Impossible Whopper features a flame-grilled meatless Impossible patty with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, ketchup, and mayonnaise inside a sesame seed bun. While apparently, you can make it vegan by ordering it without mayonnaise, the meatless patty is cooked on the same grill as meat patties.
If you’re a vegan who avoids foods cooked in shared utensils, make sure to tell the staff while ordering and ask for a non-broiler cooking method.
Burger King also introduced the Impossible Croissan’wich, a vegetarian breakfast sandwich (their croissant isn’t vegan-friendly) made with meatless sausage, in June 2020. However, to plant-eaters disappointment, it has been discontinued. The news has also been confirmed by Impossible Foods.
§ Vegan Dips and Sauces
There are no exciting options for vegan sauces available at Burger King. You can choose from:
- BBQ Dipping Sauce
- Zesty Dipping Sauce
- Jam Packet (available in grape and strawberry flavors)
§ Vegan Beverages
In addition to coffees, tea, and juices (listed above, in the breakfast section), you can get the following vegan drinks at Burger King:
- Coca Cola
- Diet Coke
- Coca Cola Zero Sugar
- Frozen Coke
- Sprite Zero
- Fanta Orange
- Dr. Pepper
- Barq’s Root Beer
- Diet Barq’s Root Beer
- Powerade Zero
- Mello Yello
- Hi-C Fruit Punch
- Hi-C Pink Lemonade
- Nestle Pure Life Purified Water
Burger King Items that May Look Vegan, But are Not
The following items on Burger King’s menu may be mistaken as vegan-friendly by some people. However, they contain non-vegan ingredients and hence, are off-limits for plant-eaters:
- Onion Rings – Contain whey
- Buffalo Dipping Sauce – Contains milk
- Balsamic Vinaigrette – This classic salad dressing contains honey at Burger King
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s answer the questions that vegans commonly ask about Burger King menu items to give you a clear idea about what you can and cannot eat at the fast-food restaurant as a vegan:
§ Are Burger King onion rings vegan?
Although the restaurant’s allergen menu says that they do not contain milk, almost all online sources highlight that the breading used for onion rings at Burger King contains whey, which is derived from milk, hence, they are non-vegan.
§ Are Burger King fries vegan?
Burger King fries are vegan. However, as discussed above, they are cooked in shared fryers. If you avoid cross-contaminated foods, you may want to avoid French fries (all fried items, basically) at Burger King.
§ Is Burger King Impossible Burger Vegan?
Even though Burger King Impossible Burger is made with a plant-based patty, it is not 100% vegan itself. It has mayonnaise and is also cooked on the same grill at meat patties. Refer to the burger section above to find out how you can order it vegan.
§ Are Burger King Buns Vegan?
Burger King’s Sesame Seed Buns and Specialty Sandwich Buns are egg and dairy-free. They are vegan-friendly. All other bread varieties that they use at Burger King are not vegan. These include the melt-in-your-mouth flaky croissants as well as breakfast biscuits.
§ Does Burger King have vegan cheese?
Like most other fast-food restaurants, Burger King has yet to add vegan cheese to its menu. I really hope the fast-food giant takes the lead here as well, just like it did with the Impossible Burger.
§ Does Burger King have vegan desserts?
Burger King offers a couple of dessert options. However, none of them is vegan. The Dutch Apple Pie that was accidentally vegan at Burger King has been discontinued. As of August 2021, there is no vegan dessert available at Burger King.
Conclusion – Is Burger King Vegan-Friendly?
Burger King may not be the best dine-out option for vegans. However, it surely is a good option when you’re craving a vegan burger. Their meatless burger can easily be modified according to your vegan diet. You can also request them not to cook the plant-based Impossible patty on the same grill for meat burger patties, which is great. However, Burger King doesn’t offer this option for both sides. So, if you’re a vegan who strictly avoids eating foods cooked in shared spaces and utensils, you won’t be able to enjoy any sides with your vegan burger apart from the Garden Salad. Those wary of cross-contamination can also not have Burger King’s otherwise vegan breakfast options.
If Burger King could start using separate equipment for their vegan-friendly items, their customer base will expand significantly.
Burger King also offers vegan chicken nuggets in Germany and a vegan chicken sandwich in the UK. Hey, Burger King, what’s keeping you away from introducing these items in the US? Bring them to us too! Want to know more about the differences between Burger King UK and the US? Check out the following fun video…
Are you a fast-food fan but struggle to find vegan fast food options? Did you find this article helpful? Check out my article Domino’s Vegan Options to determine if the popular pizza chain offers anything for its vegan customers!