While we definitely support completely vegan places (I have written about them here), there are times when we need to go to a specific location and want to also support those who offer good veg options!
It has been so great to see fast food restaurants like Chipotle doing so well, with their healthier menu, and vegetarian/vegan options. They are always full. Something about their cilantro lime rice, and salsa is just SO good. I usually go for a vegan bowl and they give you (A LOT of) free guacamole. The sofritas is a great option for those who like the taste of meat- it is a tasty spiced tofu.
Café Yumm is another example of a great business model. They are expanding like crazy, and even have one drive-thru in Salem. All their locations are in Oregon, except one in Seattle by Pike Place. If you haven’t tried it, they make a pretty delicious tempeh skewer.
Another favorite place to eat is Laughing Planet. I believe they are currently only in Oregon, but am sure they will expand, or have similar places follow their model. They give you a possibility to substitute tofu or tempeh I believe on their special items that have meat. Their vegetarian meals are truly delicious. One of my favorites is the Cuban bowl. Fresh smoothies and juices round out their menu- and vegan cookies.
Those are my top three choices. If we have to do a really fast drive thru, the only option I will consider is Burgerville. They at least have a veggie burger option, although it leaves something to be desired. There are seasonal vegetables, and it is local. They are a step in the right direction.
Hopefully, Amy’s Drive-Thru which just opened in California will be a huge success and open in all the States. With items such as Vegan Mac n Cheese, vegan pizza, veggie bowls and burritos, this is a game changer!
I’m adding in one newcomer, that is all vegan. I am SO excited about Next Level Burger, opening in Portland soon. Their Bend, OR location must be doing really well. I will have a separate post about them once I get to try it out. This can show how plant-based food can be mainstream and delicious. I want to try every thing on their menu!
As for the older Fast Food chains, I don’t give them much hope in this changing market of people wanting healthier options, and more visibility and awareness of their participation in factory farm’s pollution and cruelty.
McDonalds has been steadily losing money, which will surely be the trend for a lot of the fast food chains as awareness grows about factory farming and the ingredients.
I recently went to Jack in the Box for the first time in many years. We were with friends, late at night headed to Seattle, and that was what we went with. I was shocked to find that all of their salads contained meat. When I asked if my daughter could get a taco without meat, I was told that wasn’t possible, it was already in it. Seriously? It can’t be more cost-effective to include an ingredient than leave it out. But, when you are talking about pre-packaged convenience, they go for what they think people want. I will NEVER go there again, just because they offer zero choices. Add to that list- Arby’s and countless others I am sure.
With all these large chain fast food restaurants, people don’t want to know how the nuggets are made. Pink slime, meat glue, no thanks!
Even if it costs a bit more, I hope you’ll try these places and support them in making a difference. That will encourage the others to change their practices if they want to survive.