Mexican cuisine is one of the easiest in which to find good vegan options, given that it is traditionally cooked with a lot of beans, rice and vegetables. If you’re looking for a restaurant in a town with limited vegan options, a Mexican restaurant will often be your best bet. A key question to ask is whether they use lard in their refried beans. Whole beans are a good choice if lard is used in the refried beans. At most Mexican family restaurants, you will likely have the choice of a bean and veggie burrito, veggie fajitas, vegetable enchiladas, veggie tacos, and other options. Just ask them to hold the cheese and sour cream and you’ll have a delicious and wholesome meal. Salsa and corn chips are always vegan and delicious as a starter.Read more
Tag Archives: Chipotle
Fast food is popular – over one third of the population eat at least one fast food meal every day. We want more people to choose a plant-based meal rather than an animal-based one, so it’s important to ensure that fast food restaurants have some tasty vegan options.
Many fast food restaurant chains are cautiously dipping their toes into the market to see what the demand is like for plant-based options. Here are some examples we’ve heard about:
- Starbucks is currently doing a limited trial of six new food items in three locations in Washington DC and Virginia, and their oatmeal breakfast item is available nationwide as a staple. For the first time last Fall, they offered a special vegan-by-default drink, the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato.
- Subway tested a Meatless Meatball Marinara sandwich at 600 locations in the US and Canada in 2019, and that option is now available across Canada, although not in the US yet.
- McDonalds have signed a 3-year contract with Beyond Meat to test out various plant-based options in European locations. They are testing the McPlant burger here in the US so we hope they will plan to roll it out nationally soon.
- Burger King has been offering their Impossible Whopper for several years across the US. They are currently testing a plant-based chicken sandwich at select locations.
- Chipotle has been offering their plant-based protein, Sofritas (a tofu-based vegan protein) available at all locations for several years now. This year, they are adding two new plant-based options in their Lifestyle Bowls – the Veggie Full Bowl which is based on white rice, black beans and fajita veggies, and the Plant-Powered Bowl which includes supergreens, Sofritas, and fajita veggies, along with the salsa and guacamole.
- Taco Bell unveiled its first vegan beef option, called “the real seasoned plant-based protein” in 2021 and has rolled it out to various test locations. Working with Beyond Meat, they have also launched a Beyond Carne Asada Steak, a vegan version of the chain’s marinated steak, at 50 test locations in Ohio.
Let’s hope that the many test products from these various fast food companies are successful, and are rolled out to restaurants nationwide as soon as possible!
Many restaurants are recognizing that they need to have tasty vegan options to appeal to those who are already vegan or vegetarian. They are also hoping to entice meat-eaters to give these options a try. The latest restaurant chains to add vegan meat substitutes include Donatos Pizza and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Donatos Pizza is introducing Vegan Pepperoni at nearly 170 locations nationwide, including right here in the northwest. The family owned pizza brand announced the new plant-based pepperoni launch this month in partnership with the plant-based meat brand, Field Roast. It all came about from a desire for the Donatos team to find a way to help their customers achieve their New Year’s resolutions. A lot of people aspire to eat more veggies, so Donatos Pizza decided to roll out plant-based pepperoni as an easy substitute for animal-based pepperoni.Read more
Chipotle Mexican Grill, known for its use of organic ingredients and naturally raised meat, has announced that it is making a major stride toward leading the fast-food industry into vegan territory. Chipotle stores throughout the Pacific Northwest will begin selling Sofritas – shredded, organic tofu braised with chipotle chiles and roasted poblanos, served in burritos, tacos or bowls, priced at about $6.50. “Nearly one in three people who order the dish in California aren’t vegans – but are trying to cut down on meat for ethical or health reasons,” says Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold.
Until now the vegan dish has only been offered in its California locations. Now, it’s extending the rollout into its restaurants in Oregon, Washington and Vancouver, Canada. And, if it’s a hit, the vegan rollout could eventually go national to all 1,450 of its restaurants. Sofritas were initially sold in January at seven Chipotle restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. They expanded to Southern California, and now to all 33 Chipotle locations in the Pacific Northwest. “We’re considering additional markets this fall,” says Chipotle CEO Steve Ells, who says the biggest issue is supply. He says that Sofritas already account for 5% of sales in its California stores.
Not to be outdone, our favorite local Mexican restaurant, Gorditos in the Greenwood section of Seattle, offers a tofu Burrito Grande and a tofu Fajita Plate. Pepinos in Portland also offers a tofu burrito and, talk about east meets west, Thai burritos (they even have occasional specials such as teriyaki and curry burritos).