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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Vegan on the go-- Chain restaurants for Canadians

Something I get asked quite frequently is how do you eat on the go as a vegan. It can seem daunting at first but once you learn, it becomes quite easy. Firstly, if you know you are going somewhere that won't have options, bring something with you. Energy and protein bars (there is a vast selection of vegan bars on the market now, such as Larabar, Clif bar and Luna Bar), fruit (fresh or dried), trail mix, nuts, vegan yogurts or pudding. The list never ends. My main focus of this blog post, however, is going to be vegan options in chain restaurants across Canada. A tip I can give is, Mexican and Asian places tend to be fairly vegan-friendly. You still always need to ask questions though as many use things such as lard or fish sauce. Italian joints are also usually fairly vegan-friendly, most pastas are already vegan (unless egg based) and marinara sauce is normally as well. Pizza crusts and sauces tend to be naturally vegan but as always, ask questions! Indian also tends to be naturally vegan, falafel, hummus and many other dishes are vegan. If worse comes to worse, most places at least offer french fries that are cooked in a plant oil or a salad. Here we go:

Beavertails: Surprisingly enough, you can actually get a Beavertails as a vegan, The following can be made vegan, simply ask for no butter: Cinnamon sugar and Killaloe Sunrise, Apple cinnamon with no caramel drizzle or butter, Maple without butter or chocolate and coco vanil without butter or chocolate. You can also get their smoothies without yogurt.

Booster Juice: Fresh juices and smoothies. They offer plant milk alternatives and their Acai Energy Bowl and the Sweet Greens bowl are vegan as well. 

Boston Pizza: BP offers a vegan veggie burger just ask them to hold the feta and mayo. Note: At my local location they use the same fryer's for fries, as well as meat, so ask beforehand. Can substitute the fries with a salad.
Cultures: Nutritious fast-food, offering sandwiches, bowls and salads. They have marked vegan options and offer tempeh as a meat-alternative.

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria: This pizzeria is rapidly expanding across Canada but is currently more out west. They offer delicious authentic Italian pizza and even have Daiya cheese on the menu.

Freshii: Freshii has finally arrived locally for me but they have lots of locations all across Canada. They offer lots of vegan options that are clearly marked including, chili, wraps, bowls, burritos, oatmeal, fresh juices and more. They normally have a list of vegan options if you ask a staff member.

Gojis: Gojis has multiple locations across the country. They have their amazing vegan almond milk frozen yogurt. They offer several vegan-friendly toppings and also dairy free sorbet and just added coconut and cashew milk froyo to the menu as well.

Harvey's: The veggie burger is vegan and now so is the bun! And the great part is you get to choose your own toppings, so you get exactly what you want. Their fries and onion rings are also vegan-friendly. Note: I avoid the relish as there's cross contamination. They have a dedicated grill for their veggie burgers as well.

Ikea: Cafeteria style restaurant that offers a veggie balls plate with vegan meatballs, rice and veggies, pasta marinara, salads and unique fountain drinks for a dollar. They also now serve veggie dogs at the canteen for just 75 cents a piece or a combo of 2 dogs and a drink for 2 dollars! They are vegan, the bun is vegan and are kept separately from the hot dogs. Plus they are even cheaper than the meat ones! Thank you Ikea! Very affordable and delicious!

Jugo Juice: Who doesn't love a good smoothie or juice? They even offer almond and coconut milk and have Vega protein powder that can replace the whey protein. Vegan protein bars are also available at the counter.

The Keg: They have a cauliflower steak on their menu. 

Menchie's: Menchie's has locations worldwide and offers dairy-free vegan sorbet that is delicious!

New York Fries: So it may just be fries but it is vegan. They use sunflower oil, no animal fat and hey they are a naughty greasy treat. :)

Panago Pizza:The closest location to me is in New Brunswick but this is a chain across Canada that is now offering Daiya cheese! That's right, vegan cheese! It's also been rumored that some locations also have meatless options as well. Remember to ask for gluten-free dough as well because apparently the regular ones have l-cysteine.

Papa John's:  We don't have a Papa John's in Nova Scotia that I know of but New Brunswick and other areas in Canada do. The sauce and original hand-tossed dough are vegan, ask for no cheese and add veggies and you have a vegan pizza. The garlic dipping and BBQ sauce are vegan as well.

P.F. Chang's: If you are in Toronto or Montreal you are in luck. P.F. Chang's has many locations across the US but only 3 within Canada at this time. They have a vegetarian menu that is also vegan-friendly.

Pita Pit:  They offer vegan-friendly pitas and smoothies. You can navigate their website to tell you what is vegan with their dietary restrictions setting. They also have nutritional charts readily available in store and mark items that are vegan with a V+. Some options are spicy black bean and falafels.

Pizza Delight: This is more of an eastern franchise but Pizza Delight has always been one of my favourites since I was a little kid, so I'm happy that their dough and amazing sauce is vegan-friendly. You can do either a pizza or calzone but make sure to ask for no cheese. With the panzorotti you also need to ask them to not put garlic butter over the top and to switch the meat sauce it comes with to marinara.

Pizza Hut: Their hand tossed pizza dough is vegan and so is their sauce. Omit the cheese, add veggies and you have a delicious vegan pizza.

Pizza Pizza: Finally a Canadian pizza chain that offers vegan cheese by Violife! They also have a great selection of interesting toppings. It's super inexpensive as well and very quick, 15 minutes or it's free!

Quizno's: The wheat baguette with BBQ, guacamole, four pepper chili, marinara or mustard and lots of veggies.

Second Cup: They have over 300 locations across Canada and offer soy and almond milk for drinks. They also now have vegan-friendly smoothies as well and a couple packaged snacks by Sweets From the Earth.

Starbucks: Almost all of Starbucks drinks can be made vegan when made with soy, coconut or almond milk (refer to the link to double check which aren't). The plain and multigrain bagels are suitable. They usually have little packaged snacks that are suitable as well, such as Justin's dark peanut butter cups.

Subway: Simply get a veggie delite from Subway, omit cheese and mayo. Load up on veggies. Their Italian, roasted garlic and wraps are all vegan-friendly. Sweet Onion sauce is vegan or simply go with mustard or bbq sauce if your location offers it. Also some locations across Canada offer a vegan veggie patty. It's totally delicious and is indeed vegan unlike the American counter part.

Taco Bell: Burritos can easily be made vegan, ask for no cheese, hold the sour cream and you are good to go. You can get them to add rice or potatoes, lettuce, onion and tomato to them for an extra kick. And don't forget the sauce.

Thai Express:  With several locations across Canada they offer fast Thai food. They have several vegetarian options that also happen to be vegan (some come with egg normally but it can easily be left out). Their spring rolls are also vegan.

Tim Hortons: Timmy's is finally starting to offer soy milk at some of their locations. Their coffee and teas are mostly vegan, ice capps can even be veganized now with soy milk. Many of the bagels at Tim's are vegan except those containing cheese or honey. The l-cysteine is artificial and therefore vegan-friendly.  Their oatcakes and so is their oatmeal, hash browns and flatbreads. Halifax locations which offer soy milk are Quinpool, Dalhousie and Spring Garden. 

Wendy's: They offer a plain baked potato, the Deluxe Garden Salad with red Italian dressing and no cheese, and French fries.

Wok box: Wok Box offers quite a few vegan options and even label many now that can be made vegan. If you love noodles and rice, you'll love Wok Box. They have also started to offer vegan chicken from YamChops! Check their website for all the details. There are many locations across Canada.

Yogen Fruz: If you are looking for something sweet, Yogen Fruz offers a large selection of non-dairy sorbets. They have locations all across Canada, as well as many other parts of the world.

Please note: Asking every place you go into about policies regarding separate fryer's or other cross contamination is a good idea. Many restaurants differ by area. 


  1. That's an awesome list you have there! I go to a couple of those myself on the rare occasion of being on the go. :)

  2. Sunshine spot restaurant known for its best food. It is the restaurant for delightful dishes. and maple syrup restaurant The company was founded in the year 2003 and has been open for ten years, with three different locations.

  3. I guess this restaurant is known for amazing dishes and will beat food chain restaurants by quite a big margin. I will definitely visit your restaurant to enjoy dining services.

  4. Just a note that the whole wheat bread at Subway is NOT vegan, only the Italian (white) is.

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  6. Hi there just so you know! The veggie burger contains milk ingredients and so do there onion rings. Also, the rings are generally deep-fried with meat products. If you could update it that would be great!

    1. I know, it's a bit confusing. There is a lot of mixed information out there, however, if you go into a Burger King and ask for an ingredients list, they will give you one and I've checked a few times now and there are no animal ingredients in the things I have listed. I put that little note on the bottom because I suggest people asking their individual stores. A lot of the info online is also for the American BK. Hope that helps.

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  8. Harvey's gravy, they have informed me, is vegan! :D

  9. Hi folks, just got back from a jaunt near Tiny, Ontario and visited a Pizza Delight for the first time in decades. I didn't know they were still around. Dough may contain egg as per website - they couldn't even clear the bread so I had to go with salad!

  10. Mucho burritos bowls and corn soft shell/ hard shell tacos are vegan! The tortillas are not, they contain l-cysteine. Source: I work there.

  11. Mucho burritos bowls and corn soft shell/ hard shell tacos are vegan! The tortillas are not, they contain l-cysteine. Source: I work there.