Fast Casual Chains with Vegan Options in NYC
You know when you’re at your corporate job in midtown and your team says, “let’s get lunch!” and then you’re left with the agony of trying to figure out if you can join them? I created a perfect guide for moments like these with the best fast casual chains with vegan options. Enjoy showing your coworkers how easy it is to be vegan!
Last updated Feb 2019
With 21 (!) Manhattan locations and a spot in Williamsburg, Dig Inn offers a customizable menu driven by seasonal ingredients.
Vegan Options: They conveniently label their wide selection of vegan options, like the Cashew Kale Caesar and Grilled Organic Tofu Marketbowl
A salad bar that has a menu of both seasonal and year round salads and bowls, and gives you the option to craft your own salad from scratch. This LA based chain has several NYC locations that make for the perfect to-go lunch or dinner.
Vegan Options: Build your own salad with a base of greens or grains and toppingslike roasted sesame tofu, falafel, hummus, avocado, and many more seasonal ingredients. Shroomami bowl, Spicy Thai Salad,
This nation-wide cafe chain is famous for their hearty sandwiches and indulgent mac n cheese bread bowls, but Panera also offers an assortment of salad bowls that work with any diet.
Vegan Options: Vegan Lentil Quinoa Broth Bowl, Steel Cut Oats, Soba Noodle with Edamame bowl, Seasonal Greens Salad.
An NYC chain that serves a wide assortment of fast and healthy options, including the new Pho Bowl and Banh Mi made with Impossible Foods faux meat.
Vegan Options: Impossible Pho bowl, Avocado and Almond butter toasts, coconut chia pudding, Falafel and Gauco salads, impossible banh mi, puebla grilled cheese, baked falafel panini.
The Little Beet
Another chain offering fresh seasonal fare, The Little Beet offers a selection of bowls with the option to create your own from a wide list of toppings. They also have a breakfast menu with a vegan friendly oatmeal option.
Vegan Options: The breakfast menu includes a vegan Quinoa Oatmeal, and they offer a BBQ Jackfruit bowl. You can also build your own bowl with toppings such as roasted kale, delicata squash, sweet and sour tofu, herb falafel, and more.
Hebrew for “Tasty,” Taim is an all vegetarian fast service falafel restaurant with 5 locations across Manhattan. Alongside their famous falafel, they also serve salads, shawarma, and inventive smoothies.
Vegan Options: The menu is 100% vegetarian, with only a few non-vegan ingredients. Simply watch out for babaganoush, aoili, feta, hard boiled egg, baklava, and the pomegranate honey iced tea.
At the 3 Manhattan locations, Bite supplies an extensive menu of middle eastern inspired plates, sandwiches, and salads in a casual setting that is perfect for any diet, with a variety of vegan and gluten free options.
Vegan Options: Hummus and pita, soups, baby green salad, Middle Eastern Vegan sandwich (fave), Vegan schnitzel, Curry quinoa salad, Bourekas
Oxido puts a modern spin on traditional Mexican flavors, offering tacos, burritos, and bowls with your choice of filling and sauces, all made from scratch with natural ingredients.
Vegan Options: Red Chile Mushroom
One of the most popular chain restaurants around, Chipotle’s customizable format makes being vegan easy anywhere. Their Sofritas are a mixture of tofu and spices that serve as the perfect meat replacement in any burrito, taco, or bowl.
Vegan Options: Sofritas
Pret a Manger offers fast pre prepared food with fresh ingredients that easily fits a vegan diet on the go. In the UK, they have a totally vegetarian version of their chain (Veggie Pret), and more and more vegan options are rolling out in their US Locations!
Vegan Options: Avocado toast, Falafel and Beet Hummus Wrap, Mediterranean salad, Sunshine and Acai Bowls, Sweet Potato Curry Hot Pot, Coconut Power Oatmeal,
Another build your own salad chain that has a wide list of vegan friendly fillings to make lunch hour simple and healthy.
Vegan Options: Mexicali Vegan Salad, build your own salad with fillings like tofu, crispy chickpeas, falafel, avocado, roasted sweet potatoes, and an array of greens, grains, and beans.
A fast service mexican chain that offers a market vegetable filling made up of sauteed seasonal veggies that can be used to make any burrito, bowl, or taco vegan.
Vegan Options: Market vegetable filling with no dairy
Description: Select locations of this gourmet grilled cheese chain serves up a Burger Melt with a beet veggie burger and a tomato-cayenne vegan cheese, making it a great place to get an indulgent meal with omnivorous friends.
Vegan Options: Vegan Burger Melt
Essen offers food from a variety of genres and cultures, but stick to the Japanese inspired options for the vegan friendly meals.
Vegan Options: Avocado roll, Build your own Poke bowl with Tofu
French-inspired baked goods are Le Pain’s bread and butter, but they also offer several vegan friendly breakfast and lunch options, like avocado toast on a crisp tartine or the Quinoa Tabouli.
Vegan Options: Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl, Steel Cut Oats, Avocado Toast, Hummus and Carrot Toast, Lentil Avocado Salad, Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai, Quinoa Tabouli
Hummus and Co’s 3 NYC locations serve a vegan falafel with several different hummus flavors, including dessert hummus (Chocolate and cake batter) and uber creamy hummus shakes.
Vegan Options: The Falafel Pita, all the hummus options, multiple sides, and the chocolate and cake batter hummus sweets
At their 4 NYC locations, Taco Dumbo serves up good vibes, margaritas with cold pressed juice, and multiple vegan taco fillings and salads for a nicer fast service mexican food experience.
Vegan Options: Spiced Cauliflower, Vegan Chorizo, Impossible Taco, and Truffled Shroom tacos, Cashew Vegan Caesar Salad, Harvest Grain Bowl and Taco Salad with vegan meat options, Coconut soft serve
[EDIT: A previous version of this post included Omakasa, which has now been closed and turned into Taco Dumbo]
All of Oaxaca Taqueria’s 12 NYC locations carry a seperate 100% vegan menu that takes all the guesswork out of ordering at the mexican fast service spot.
Vegan Options: Separate plant based menu that replaces meat items with Beyond Meat chicken and beef.
A make your own pizza chain that has a ton of vegan and gluten-free options! First you choose your base, your sauce, cheese (yes, there’s vegan cheese), and toppings like veggies, mushrooms, and even vegan sausage. Then everything gets cooked in front of you, and then you add some extra sauce (garlic oil, buffalo sauce). You can get your make your own pizza done in less than ten minutes!
Vegan Options: All the menu items have labels for what’s vegan which includes vegan cheese (Daiya) and vegan sausage.
Junzi Kitchen is an Asian chain that specializes in make your own noodles and bings (Chinese crepes). They make their own noodles, and you can get them thin or wide depending on what you like!
Vegan Options: Tofu and long beans bing with garlic chili sauce, grilled tofu, long beans, bean threads; Make your own noodle bowl with furu tofu - furu sesame sauce, griddle-seared tofu, green cabbage, long beans, bean threads
Chikarashi is a Hawaiian poke spot with two locations in NYC. Most make-your-own poke spots always have a vegan option, but I like Chikarashi because their tofu is nice and firm, and they also have a vegan dessert during warmer months: dole whip!
Vegan Options: Yaki Tofu: Sautéed Silken Tofu, Hiyashi & Nama Wakame, Daikon, Negi Goma Shoyu
You know what Shake Shack is - it’s the burger place all your non-vegan friends love. Back in April 2018, they released their first vegan burger, which is more veggie than it is meaty, but still great for lunch.
Available in: Midtown East, UES, Astor Place locations
Vegan Options: The Veggie Shack is made with black beans, brown rice and roasted beets topped with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and vegan mustard mayo.
Any others I missed? Let me know in the comments!