Restaurants are becoming increasingly aware of the need to offer vegetarian options in recent times. Fast food restaurants are no exception, with tons of the competing to offer the tastiest meat-free meal to their patrons. 

Most people assume that French fries are automatically vegetarian. After all, aren’t they just potatoes? It’s actually a bit more complicated than you might think. Since some places cook their fries in animal fat, not all fast food fries are actually vegetarian. 

Are Wendy’s French fries vegetarian?

Wendy’s fries are cooked in vegetable oils, such as canola or sunflower oil, making them a great vegetarian option. However, it cannot be guaranteed that cross contamination hasn’t occurred with other meat products sold at the restaurant. 

More questions about what veggie-friendly menu items Wendy’s has in stock? Keep on reading!

What can vegetarians eat at Wendy’s?

Vegetarians actually have a decent amount of options when eating at Wendy’s. Although the restaurant is famous for its fresh burgers, they have introduced lots of satisfying salad options. There are also numerous ways to DIY your very own custom vegetable-based meal. 

The most obvious (and ever popular) choice is a classic baked potato. If you’re vegan, you’ll have to skip the butter, sour cream, or cheese that are sometimes included. If you’re not, you can enjoy all the creamy goodness! Ask for some scallions, salad dressing, dipping sauces… you name it! It’s a great base for a satisfying, filling meal and even has 7 grams of protein!

In that same vein, fries are another classic vegetarian fast food option. Since Wendy’s doesn’t fry in or season with animal fats of any kind, indulge guilt-free in some crispy, fries. Their homestyle potatoes are also vegetarian if you’re visiting during breakfast hours. 

Fast food salads have come a long way since their initial years as a feeble attempt at offering a meatless option. Different places have their own style of toppings, dressings, and add-ons, and Wendy’s choices are pretty solid as well. Their Southwest Avocado salad is great sans bacon and chicken, and so is the Apple Pecan salad. They’re both hearty enough for a light lunch, but pairing them with a baked potato, fries, or even apple slices makes for a filling, well-rounded meal. 

The Summer Strawberry salad is a great seasonal offering as well. Speaking of strawberries, vegetarians can enjoy a side of fresh strawberries with any meal. You don’t tend to associate healthy treats with fast food, but it’s sort of a silver lining to the limited menu options that vegetarians have to deal with. 

Dessert lovers rejoice: Wendy’s frosty is vegetarian as well! Both the vanilla and chocolate frosty contain no animal meat derivatives (thankfully, because why would they?). Even the frosty cookie sundae is vegetarian, but note that the cookies do contain eggs. 

Is Wendy’s chili vegetarian?

Sadly, Wendy’s chili is not vegetarian. It does contain ground beef, which is disappointing. The same chili is used to top the chili baked potato and the chili cheese fries, this eliminating them from the vegetarian menu as well. 

However, the baked potato and fries can still be topped with a wide variety of other crave-able toppings such as sour cream, cheese, and even jalapenos.  

Which fast food fries are vegan?

In short, all major fast food chain restaurants except McDonald’s have vegan fries. They all fry in canola oil or another vegetable-derived oil, making their fries both vegetarian and vegan friendly! Lucky for us, these oils tend to be by far the cheapest options to come by, making them a cost-effective choice for these low-cost restaurants. However, keep in mind that the oil is most likely shared with meat products. 

Why aren’t McDonald’s fries vegan? They actually contain beef fat! While this is likely a flavoring choice, it seems a bit counterintuitive that a potato product would have this ingredient. After all, no other fast food restaurant seasons their fries this way. So what gives? Well, it turns out that their fries come pre-seasoned and pre-made at their processing facilities before they even arrive at a restaurant. So, unless the corporation decides to make some big changes, vegetarians and vegans likely won’t be able to enjoy McDonald’s fries. 

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Which fast food restaurants can vegetarians eat at?

Thankfully, as being vegetarian and vegan becomes ever-more popular, fast food chains have been forced to adapt and offer a much wider variety of meat-free options. While you may not choose eating fast food very often, it’s pretty much inevitable that you’ll find yourself having to eat at one of these places from time to time. You might even crave some of your old favorites, so what do you do? Where can you go?

Almost any fast food place will have a few options for you, but some have more than others. As we’ve discussed, fries are pretty much always safe (except for McDonald’s!). When hash browns are available, they’re usually vegetarian friendly too… except for McDonald’s! For some reason, they just have to include that pesky beef flavoring on all their potato products. 

If you do find yourself at a McDonald’s during breakfast hours, you’re in luck! This is probably the best time to find protein-packed meat free foods at any fast food place due to how many items have eggs. If you also don’t eat eggs, they’ll often have yogurt parfaits of some kind. McDonald’s actually has some pretty good ones with fruit and granola. Pair this with a yummy buttered biscuit for a more filling meal. 

Salads are your next best bet, and they don’t have to be boring just because they don’t have meat! Like we mentioned above, Wendy’s salads have a good amount of fruit, nuts, and other yummy toppings to make them very filling and nutritious. Dressing also makes a big difference, just be sure to double check the ingredients for any hidden animal fats! Thankfully, they’re mostly clear, but they do often contain dairy. 

The holy grail of veggie fast foodies is the coveted veggie burger. Unfortunately, not too many chains have jumped on this great idea. Burger King is probably the most famous and readily available, and reviews say that the Impossible Whopper is pretty close to the real deal. Apart from them, and maybe some smaller more regional chains, you might have to create your own version by ordering a burger with no patty and adding lots of extra toppings. Pro tip: lots of cheese!

Related Questions:

Does Wendy’s have a veggie burger?

Burger King was one of the first major chains to roll out its version of the veggie burger, the Impossible Burger. Since then, other brands have been scrambling to follow suit to attract more of the meat-free market. 

Wendy’s is currently testing a plant-based burger, but as of right now it is only available in Canada. The pea-based patty, known as the Plantiful Burger, is served with classic toppings like pickles, cheese, ketchup and mayo. 

Are Five Guys fries vegan?

Since Five Guys cooks their fries in 100% refined peanut oil, they are in fact suitable for vegans. However, be aware that any extra toppings or add-ons may have come in contact with meat on the grill surface. If you stick with just plain fries (or even Cajun fries), you should be good to go! This is great news, as Five Guys is widely known to have some of the freshest, tastiest fries in the fast-casual market.