Even though an increasing number of restaurants are revising their menus to accommodate their vegan customers, we still have a long way to go. Ordering a good vegan meal is still a challenging task at many restaurants. But that’s not the case at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews.
Whether you crave for a big, juicy burger or are simply tired of eating sides whenever you go out with family and friends while they enjoy hearty meals, Red Robin has got you covered!
Does Red Robin Have Vegan Options?
Yes, it does!
Serving incredibly delicious burgers and bottomless fries in 44 states, Red Robin has turned out to be highly accommodating to the varying dietary needs of their customers.
While it is not the best place for vegans, it is still a good place to go with your omnivorous friends and family members. You won’t just be eating a salad or baked potato here.
What Is Vegan at Red Robin?
Red Robin has always had a few plant-based options on its sides and appetizers menu for a long time. However, their menu became a little exciting for plant-based eaters in April 2019 when the restaurant added two vegetarian burger varieties on their menu (isn’t your mouth watering yet?). Although they are vegetarians, they can easily be made vegan with a few minor adjustments.
Can’t wait to visit the fast–food place?
Here are all the Red Robin menu vegan options that you can order:
- Chips with guacamole and salsa
- Bottomless house salad (without cheese and croutons)
- Bottomless steak fries
- Sweet potato fries
- Yukon chips
- Black beans (without cheese)
- Veggie sides – steamed broccoli, carrots, corn (from the kids’ menu), pickled jalapenos
- Fruits– apple slices, pineapple chunks
- Freckled fruit salad (without honey)
- A variety of toppings, sauces, and dressings
Red Robin Menu Options That Can Be Made Vegan With Few Adjustments
- Avo-Cabb-O Salad
- Grilled Chicken Salad
- Southwest Sombrero Salad
- Classic Mini Wedge Salad
- Vegetarian Burgers
Let’s briefly discuss each of these Red Robin vegan food items to find out what they contain and what adjustments certain items need:
Red Robin Vegan Options – Appetizers
When at Red Robin, begin your meal with:
Guacamole, Salsa, and Chips
Could there be a better way to start your meal, vegan or non-vegan, than having a plate full of tortilla chips with some delicious guac and salsa?
Even though Red Robin’s allergen menu doesn’t list tortilla chips as vegan, they essentially are.
The Vegetarian Resource Group had a brief Q&A session with Red Robin’s Quality and Nutrition Manager in which they inquired about all the vegan options at Red Robin.
Here’s what they were told about Guacamole, Salsa, and Chips:
Come on, people, it is already difficult enough for us vegans to find the right kinds of food. We don’t want to even think about splashbacks and vapors!
Honestly, I don’t consider vapors and splashbacks as cross-contamination, and I am sure most other vegans have the same opinion. So, don’t hold yourself back on Chips, Guac, and Salsa plates at Red Robin.
You would, however, prefer to skimp on this Red Robin vegan menu item if you have a severe allergy to any of the items mentioned in Red Robin’s response above.
Vegan Sides at Red Robin
Red Robin offers a good variety of vegan sides to go with your entrée. Here’s what you can choose from:
There are multiple salad options available at Red Robin that can be customized to fit the vegan diet. Here’s how to go about ordering them:
§ Avo-Cabb-O Salad
Order without chicken, bacon bits, eggs, bleu cheese, and croutons. You can also swap chicken with a veggie burger patty.
§ Grilled Chicken Salad
This salad also needs to be ordered without chicken (of course), cheese, and croutons. You can ask to add a vegan burger patty instead of chicken for this salad as well.
§ Southwest Sombrero Salad
If you want to try Red Robin’s southwest salad, make sure to order it without chicken, cheese, and ancho marinade. Also, swap salsa-ranch dressing with regular salsa and fried jalapeno coins with pickled jalapenos.
§ Classic Mini Wedge Salad
When ordering this salad at Red Robin, ask your server to hold the bacon bits, bleu cheese, onion straws, and ranch dressing.
Even though Red Robin is known to accommodate their customers’ requests for adjustments and alterations in their order, the real question that arises here is this: are these salads worth ordering with so many changes?
I don’t think so!
With these changes, you’re basically removing everything that gives these salads a signature taste. What you will be left with will be, more or less, similar to the House Salad. So, why not order that instead?
With House Salad, you can also get free refills (Red Robin offers bottomless House Salad). Make sure to order it without cheese and croutons.
If you’re one of those people who find House Salad too dull, you can ask for additional vegan toppings and dressing.
Red Robin Vegan Fries
If you’re someone like me who takes their fries very seriously, you must be a fan of Red Robin’s steak fries.
The freshly cooked fries, with just the right amount of seasoning, are simply delicious. And as everyone knows, they’re served as bottomless fries with the purchase of an entrée (another reason to visit Red Robin if you haven’t).
But are Red Robin seasoned steak fries vegan?
They are, so go ahead and devour them without any worry.
Sweet Potato Fries
If you like sweet potato or are just in the mood to try something different, you can order sweet potato fries at Red Robin. They are vegan.
The reason for them not listed as vegan-friendly by the restaurant is that of regular fries.
The crispy Yukon chips that they serve at Red Robin are also vegan-friendly.
Why Red Robin Lists Their Fries and Chips as Non-Vegan?
If you have checked Red Robin’s allergen menu, you will know that the restaurant doesn’t list their fries and chips as a vegan. This makes many vegans believe that they contain non-vegan ingredients or cooked in shared fryers. However, as discussed earlier, that’s not the case in reality.
Why doesn’t the restaurant classify them as vegan, then?
Red Robin doesn’t list any of their chips as vegan, even though they use designated fryers for them, because of the minimal chance of cross-contamination.
However, as discussed in the appetizer section, this isn’t a big (or even a valid) concern for most vegans. Therefore, they are generally classified as vegan-friendly.
Southwest Black Beans
To my surprise, Red Robin doesn’t add any animal product or fat to their Southwest Black Beans (good job, Red Robin team!).
So, if you like Black Beans, go ahead and order them at Red Robins without spending several minutes inquiring and second-guessing even after that.
Whether you’re trying to eat more veggies, or you’re one of the rare souls who like vegetable sides, I have good news for you – they don’t add butter or any other animal fat to their vegetable sides at Red Robin.
The following are your options for vegetable sides at the fast-food restaurant:
- Steamed broccoli (if you gotta eat your greens)
- Pickled jalapenos (listen, y’all spice lovers)
- Corns (from the kids’ menu)
- Carrots (also from the kids’ menu)
Vegan Entrées at Red Robin
Let’s do some real talk now – does Red Robin have any vegan options in entrées? (This is where most restaurants fail their vegan customers.)
Red Robin offers two vegetarian burgers – the Veggie burger and the Impossible Gourmet Burger.
They are not vegan but can easily be converted into vegan burgers. Red Robin allows its diners to customize their burgers (brownie points for this). While you can ask them to make adjustments to the veggie burgers already available, I prefer to create my own burger to avoid confusion. I also recommend that you do the same to make things easier.
Here’s how you can make your own vegan burger at Red Robin by choosing your own Red Robin vegan burger ingredients:
Choose Your Patty
You can make your own Red Robin vegan burger with the following two patties:
- Veggie Patty – Made with ancient grain and quinoa
- Impossible Burger Patty – According to Impossible Foods, the top five ingredients in their vegan burger patties are soy protein concentrate, water, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and natural flavors. Here’s the complete list of ingredients shared by the company:
In case you didn’t already know, Impossible Burger patties are vegan.
Not sure if ordering a Red Robin vegan impossible burger is a good idea?
Check out the following video for a detailed review of Red Robin vegan impossible burger:
Note: Those living in Canada can have a Red Robin vegan burger made with the plant-based LightLife® patty.
Choose Your Bun/Bread
Most online sources, including PETA, provide the following list of vegan buns and breads at Red Robin:
- Ciabatta bun
- Multigrain bun
- Cross-cut bun
- Rustic Italian bread
- Spinach tortilla wrap
If you’re also a health enthusiast, in addition to being a vegan (I salute you), you can also choose to have your vegan burger in a lettuce wrap.
As reported by the Vegetarian Resource Group, in 2016, the restaurant representative stated that they only offer one vegan bun, i.e., ciabatta bun.
Has Red Robin revised their buns and bread menu in the past few years? It seems so because while doing my research, I came across a Reddit post that stated the same.
And Red Robin’s vegan customers are clearly not happy about it…
However, it’s a little surprising that PETA still lists all the buns and bread mentioned above at Red Robin as vegan-friendly.
I would recommend that you confirm the vegan bun options at Red Robin first before placing an order.
Choose Your Red Robin Vegan-Friendly Toppings and Sauces
Scroll down to the Red Robin vegan sauces and toppings section to choose the toppings and sauces for your Red Robin vegan burger.
Does Red Robin Offer Any Vegan Desserts?
Sadly, vegans don’t get any exciting dessert options at Red Robin. But, if you’re a health freak or badly craving for something sweet after having a hearty vegan burger at Red Robin, then you can order apple slices, pineapple chunks, or their freckled fruit salad without honey.
Red Robin Vegan Toppings
You have quite a few Red Robin vegan topping options to choose from. Make your vegan salads and burgers more flavorful by choosing from the following vegan toppings:
- Red onion rings
- Caramelized grilled onions
- Grilled pineapple rings
- House-made salsa
- Tomato slices
- Red’s pickle relish
- Shredded lettuce – you can choose from iceberg, green leaf, and romaine lettuce
- Jalapeno relish
- Fresh jalapenos
- Pickled jalapenos
- Roasted garlic
- Red pepper
- Coleslaw dry mix (cabbage)
What Sauces Are Vegan at Red Robin?
Red Robin vegan sauces include:
- Island Heat sauce
- Cocktail sauce
- Frank’s Red Hot sauce
- A-1 steak sauce
- Heinz 57 sauce
- Ghost chili ketchup
Red Robin Vegan Dressings
When ordering a salad at Red Robin, top it off with any of the following vegan dressings to give it a flavor boost:
- Oil & vinegar dressing (the go-to option for vegans)
- Soybean salad oil
Vegan Beverages at Red Robin
In addition to regular sodas, you’re likely to find the following vegan drinks at most Red Robin locations:
- Freckled lemonade
- Freshly brewed iced tea
- Tea and lemonade
- Poppin’ purple lemonade
- Very Berry Raspberry lemonade
- Root Beer
It’s important to note here that Red Robin’s vegan drinks variety tends to vary across various locations, and you’re most likely to find a wider variety of vegan beverages. Therefore, always check the beverages menu at your local Red Robins.
Red Robin Food Items That May Seem Vegan but Are Not
Like most other restaurants, Red Robin also has some food items that are likely mistaken as vegan-friendly but are non-vegan. They include:
- Pickle Nickels – contain dairy. People also refer to them as golden-fried dill pickles, fried pickles, or simply, pickles.
- Artichoke and Spinach Dip – include cheese
- Garlic Fries – contain butter and cheese
- Zucchini Fries – are coated in a tempura batter
- Pretzel Bites – contain eggs and butter
Frequently Asked Questions
Before I wrap up this article, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Red Robin vegan options to clear all the confusion once and for all.
§ Is Red Robin Impossible Burger Vegan?
Red Robin’s Impossible Burger is not vegan; it is vegetarian. However, it can be made vegan by removing cheese, pickle nickel slices, and mayo and substituting the bun with vegan bun, bread, or lettuce wrap.
§ Is the Veggie Patty at Red Robin Vegan?
Yes, Red Robin’s veggie patty is vegan-friendly, but the veggie burger is not because it contains Swiss cheese and parmesan-sprinkles mushrooms. You can, however, make the veggie burger vegan by omitting these two toppings.
§ Are Red Robin Onion Rings Vegan?
They’re not, and we all know why: because of the breading.
Red Robin onion rings are also probably cooked in shared fryers.
§ Are Red Robin Pickles Not Vegan?
As stated above, Red Robin pickle nickles are not vegan. They have dairy.
Are Red Robin Vegan Options Worth Trying?
Red Robin may not be one of the best restaurants for vegans. But, in my humble opinion, it is undoubtedly worth visiting when you crave some good vegan burgers or want to catch up with an old friend over bottomless fries.
Want to learn about other popular restaurants’ vegan options? Read my article Red Lobster Vegan Options to figure out if the seafood chain serves anything for their vegan customers.