When searching for vegan options for dining out, most people wouldn’t even consider looking at a restaurant with “dairy” in its name. But, Dairy Queen surprises everyone. The chain restaurant known for its soft serves also offers a few vegan options for its plant-eating customers.
Don’t get your hopes too high, though. There aren’t very many vegan options at Dairy Queen. But, hey, they offer vegan ice cream! Do you need any other reason to visit a Dairy Queen near you?
Well, if you do, read on to find out what the fast-food restaurant has for its vegan customers.
What’s Vegan at Dairy Queen?
The vegan options at Dairy Queen only include sides and treats, so you probably wouldn’t enjoy a good vegan meal to your heart’s content. And yes, sadly, Dairy Queen doesn’t offer any vegan burgers either.
Your Dairy Queen vegan options only include:
- Side Salad
- French Fries
- Pretzel Sticks
- Non-Dairy Dilly Bar
- Applesauce – from kids’ menu
- Banana – from kids’ menu
- A few beverages
Want to know if these items are fully vegan? Keep reading to learn how to eat vegan at Dairy Queen. You will also get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Dairy Queen vegan options.
The Dairy Queen Vegan Menu – A Quick Rundown
Let’s take a quick look at all the Dairy Queen vegan options to see if they do contain any non-vegan ingredients and if they require any special instructions to be made vegan:
§ Side Salad
Not an exciting option, I know, but side salad is one of the very few things that come to vegans’ rescue at non-vegan-friendly dine-out places. Dairy Queen is no different. The restaurant doesn’t offer any good vegan salads, only basic side salad with lettuce, red cabbage, diced tomatoes, and diced carrots.
However, the salad comes with your choice of dressing. You can top yours with the following vegan salad dressings at Dairy Queen:
- Marzetti Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Marzetti Light Italian Dressing
- Marzetti Fat-Free California French Style Dressing
- Marzetti Asian Sesame Dressing
Dairy Queen also offers its Rotisserie-Style Chicken Bites Salad Bowl, which can be made vegan by holding on to the chicken nuggets, bacon bits, and cheese. However, when you remove these two ingredients, you’re left with pretty much the same ingredients as a side salad, so why take the long route, right?
If you choose to eat salad at Dairy Queen, I recommend the side salad with the zesty Italian dressing or the creamy California French Style Dressing. However, if you haven’t tried these dressings yet and want to play it safe, go for the classic balsamic vinaigrette instead.
§ French Fries
I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t like French fries. A pack of freshly-made, crispy French fries is the shortest route to happiness. And they are vegan at Dairy Queen.
According to the Dairy Queen’s website, the brand cooks its French fries in soybean oil. There also aren’t non-vegan ingredients or flavoring.
Here’s what Dairy Queen’s vegan French fries contain:
Don’t forget to get vegan sauce with your order of fries!
Note: Dairy Queen doesn’t provide any information about the fryers it uses for French fries. However, according to some online sources, they use the same fryers for fries and meats. If this is something you avoid, you might want to avoid eating fries at Dairy Queen.
§ Pretzel Sticks
Dairy Queen serves soft and chewy pretzel sticks straight from the oven. They taste really good. If you’re a bread lover, you will like Dairy Queen’s pretzel sticks.
One of the major concerns that vegans have about bread is the shortening. At Dairy Queen, they use vegetable shortening in their pretzel sticks, making them suitable for vegans. Take a look at the ingredients yourself to confirm:
The only downside? You have to order it without the fresh and zesty queso dip because that has cheese in it. But you can order some vegan sauce to go with it. Not a bad option overall!
§ Non-Dairy Dilly Bar
Sadly, ice cream is not always an option with vegans. Even though veganism has been consistently on the rise for several years, it’s hard to find vegan desserts at mainstream restaurants. But, Dairy Queen made an exception in 2020 by adding vegan ice cream to its famous Dilly Bar range.
Called Non-Dairy Dilly Bar, Dairy Queen’s vegan ice cream is made of coconut cream and has vegan chocolate toppings.
PETA also welcomed the move and celebrated the news with an Instagram post:
Dairy Queen’s vegan Dilly Bar is also gluten-free. Here’s what all it has:
Note: At some Dairy Queen locations, you can also get Star Kiss Bars. Although they’re no longer listed on Dairy Queen’s website, some online sources claim that they still show up on specific menus.
These rich and creamy frozen treats come in Stars & Stripes and Cherry flavors. If you’re in a mood for something cool and refreshing on a hot summer day, call your local Dairy Queen and ask if they offer Star Kiss Bars anywhere near you. You may be lucky to find them at a nearby location.
I believe the only reason why an adult vegan would want to order applesauce is to pair it up with pretzel sticks. If that sounds like your kind of combo, go ahead and order applesauce at Dairy Queen. You’ll find it on the kids’ menu.
Another vegan item from Dairy Queen’s kids’ menu is banana. Order it if you want to have something sweet but don’t want to indulge in ice cream.
§ Vegan Sauces and Add-Ons at Dairy Queen
Dairy Queen offers some basic vegan sauces and a range of vegan toppings as “add-ons”. These include:
- BBQ Sauce
- Yellow Mustard
- Wild Buffalo Dipping Sauce
- Strawberry Topping
- Pineapple Topping
- Chocolate Topping
- Vanilla Syrup
§ Vegan Drinks at Dairy Queen
Dairy Queen has a wide range of delicious drinks. But, sadly, the majority of them are not vegan. All their rich and creamy shakes, malts, blizzards, and frozen blended coffees are non-vegan, as they have milk. Some also contain egg ingredients.
Don’t lose heart, though. Despite that, Dairy Queen offers a few vegan beverages, too.
Vegan beverages at Dairy Queen include:
- Barq’s Rootbeer
- Papaya Paradise Light
- Misty Slush – Available in Strawberry, Orange, Cherry, Grape, and Lemon Lime flavors
According to some online sources, Dairy Queen’s Premium Fruit Smoothies can be made vegan by replacing dairy with water. However, I believe that their flavor will be lost, so I would prefer to stick to their already vegan beverages. You can give it a try, though.
Dairy Queen Menu Items That May Look Vegan but Are Not
The following are some of the items on Dairy Queen’s menu that may be mistaken as vegan but actually contain non-vegan ingredients:
- Misty Freeze – It contains milk.
- Onion Rings – It contains milk.
- Orange Julius-Original – It contains egg and milk.
- Strawberry Banana Julius-Original – It contains egg and milk.
- Flame Thrower Sauce – It contains egg.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before wrapping up the article, let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions about vegan options in Dairy Queen’s menu:
§ Is Dairy Queen vegan?
Dairy Queen is not a fully vegan restaurant. However, some items in its menu meet the vegan dietary restrictions. I’ve listed and discussed all the vegan items on Dairy Queen’s menu above.
§ Is there a Dairy Queen vegan burger?
No. Sadly, Dairy Queen doesn’t offer a vegan or vegetarian burger.
§ Is there a Dairy Queen vegan cake?
As much as we all wish for it, none of Dairy Queen’s cakes are vegan.
§ Is there a Dairy Queen vegan ice cream cake?
No. Dairy Queen doesn’t offer vegan ice cream cakes either.
§ Are Dairy Queen vegan blizzards available?
Dairy Queen is known for its delicious blizzards and shakes, but none of them come with the option of being made with non-dairy milk or yogurt. They are all non-vegan.
§ Are Dairy Queen smoothies vegan?
Dairy Queen’s premium fruit smoothies are not vegan. They contain dairy, as you will see below:
§ Are Dairy Queen onion rings vegan?
Dairy Queen’s onion rings are not vegan. They contain whey.
§ Are Dairy Queen fries vegan?
Dairy Queen’s French fries are vegan. They are cooked in soybean oil. However, as discussed above, they may be cooked in shared fryers, which some vegans prefer to avoid. If you’re one of them, confirm with your local Dairy Queen outlet first before ordering.
§ Does Dairy Queen have vegan desserts?
Dairy Queen offers one vegan ice cream. It’s called Non-Dairy Dilly Bar.
A Final Word – Is Dairy Queen a Good Place for Vegans?
Dairy Queen isn’t the best place for vegans since you can’t enjoy a full, hearty vegan meal at the restaurant. However, if you’re looking for a good vegan ice cream or slushy and have a Dairy Queen nearby (or no other place that offers these vegan options), then go ahead and treat yourself with a flavorful vegan dessert or drink.
Did you find this article helpful? Interested to learn about the vegan options at other restaurants as well? Check out the article “Jack in the Box Vegan Options” to find out what this famous fast-food restaurant offers its vegan customers.