How to hack every restaurant’s menu if you’re vegan or vegetarian

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Whether you’re a full-time vegan or vegetarian, or just doing #meatfreemondays, it can sometimes be a struggle to know where to eat out and what to order at your favourite restaurants.

But, vegan and veggies, rejoice! Because we’ve done some digging and unearthed some of the best meat-free options at a huge range of 29 UK high street restaurants, from Nando’s to Wagamama and much more. We’ve also included some sneaky tricks to hack the regular menu to make it suitable for veggies and vegans. You’re welcome.

Disclaimer: This list is based on current restaurant menus as of September 2017 – always check with your server or the restaurant’s allergen menu to ensure that dishes are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Pizza Express

Pizza Express’ menu has an ever-increasing range of veggie and vegan-friendly options. They’ve recently added two totally vegan pizzas to their menu: the Pianta and the Vegan Giardiniera. Even better, any of their vegetarian pizzas can be adapted to be vegan by either removing the cheese or replacing it with vegan cheese. The Risotto Primavera is a great veggie option, as is the Canneloni.

And let’s not forget the reason we all head to Pizza Express: the dough balls. Regular and gluten-free dough balls are vegan-friendly if you replace the garlic butter and pesto for oil and balsamic vinegar instead. Other vegan options include the Bruschetta Originale (without pesto and garlic butter) and the coconut delight dessert.

View the full menu here.

Wagamama

Exciting news for veggies and vegans – Wagamama recently launched a dedicated vegetarian and vegan menu. The menu has variations of Wagamama favourites plus drinks, desserts, sides and more.

Many of the vegetarian dishes on their main menu can be modified to be suitable for vegans by removing fish sauce, eggs and by replacing egg noodles with rice noodles. But it’s definitely worth asking your server beforehand about specific ingredients.

View the full menu here.

Nando’s

Nando’s has a surprisingly large choice of veggie choices, which can also be hacked to make them vegan. Starters and sides, which are vegan-friendly, include humous and peri-peri drizzle, olives, chips, Peri-Peri-salted chips and corn-on-the-cob. Plus, all of their glazes and sauces are vegan.

They’ve recently added two new veggie options to the menu: the supergreen burger/pitta and the sweet potato and butternut burger/pitta, both can be made vegan by removing the bread. Or order the veggie burger/pitta with no mayo, or the portabello mushroom and halloumi burger with double mushroom and no halloumi to make them vegan.

Other delicious vegan options are the quinoa salad, the avocado and green bean salad and the Mediterranean salad all without the dressing (opt for Nandos sauces instead).

View the full menu here.

McDonald’s

The 🗝 to happiness? Thinking positive and enjoying your 🍟 #boxhalffull

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Sometimes we all need that McDonald’s hit, even if we’re veggie or vegan. Their range of dishes isn’t huge, but it includes some of the best bits like hash browns, fries and apple pies, plus side salads and fruit bags. Their veggie deluxe and spicy veggie deluxe burgers are suitable for vegetarians, and for vegans if you order without mayo.

View the full menu here.

Burger King

Fries for days.

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Burger King aren’t renowned for their veggie and vegan-friendly options, so there are only a few choices. The kids veggie burger can be ordered without mayo for a vegan option and they also have a veggie bean burger, plus fries and shaker fries.

View the full menu here.

Tortilla

Summer in a bowl - #vegan style! 📷: @vegan_imp

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Mexican food is a great option for veggies and vegans; just replace the meaty fillings with extra veg, guacamole and salad. And remove the cheese and sour cream to make it vegan-friendly.

View the full menu here.

Barburrito

#MondayMotivation is knowing you're eating #Tacos for #Lunch

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Similar to Tortilla, the menu at Barburrito can be made veggie and vegan-friendly by subbing the meat for extra veggies and removing the cheese and sour cream if you’re vegan. Plus, their churros and crunchy slaw are vegan-friendly (oh, yes!).

View the full menu here.

Las Iguanas

The Mexican chain have a separate vegan and vegetarian menu, which can also be filtered online by dietary requirement. Their veggie/vegan offering is pretty comprehensive and includes many Mexican favourites such as fajitas, tacos, salads and desserts. Make sure to specify to your server if you’re vegan so that any dairy products can be left out.

View the full menu here.

Five Guys

Look into my fries 👀🍟 #FiveGuys

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Five Guys don’t have a huge variety of vegetarian options, but their veggie cheese sandwiches are great choices and can be customised by adding as many toppings as you like. Their menu isn’t great for vegans though, as the buns contain egg and milk, so the only real option for vegans is fries – they’re pretty delicious though!

View the full menu here.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

While a burger restaurant may not be the the most obvious choice for vegans or veggies, GBK actually have quite a few meat free options which will satisfy your burger cravings. Plus, they have a really helpful allergen menu which codes every menu item according to its suitability.

Veggie burgers include the Californian, Falafel and Johnny Be Goat while the Dippy Hippy burger is vegan, their sourdough buns are the only vegan friendly buns but fries and homeslaw are not suitable for vegans *weeps*. All cheese options are suitable for vegetarians apart from Grana Padano and Gorgonzola.

View the full menu here.

Handmade Burger Co.

Handmade Burger Co. offer a whopping 15 vegan and veggie options, including six burgers – Cajun Vegetable & Bean, Veg-Mex, Falafel, Sweet Potato & Bean, Thai Vegetable and Goats Cheese Veggie Stack – two salads and seven fries and sides.

Make sure to order a sourdough bun if you’re vegan, as brioche and gluten-free buns are a no-go. Plus, they’ll make any milkshake with soya milk to make them vegan friendly.

View the full menu here.

Byron

A salad please 😇 ...with a side of bacon cheese topped fries 🙈

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Byron have several vegetarian options, but their choices aren’t as good for vegans. The bean patty and mushroom burger have egg and milk in them, but you can make the mushroom burger vegan-friendly by losing the bun and replacing it with extra salad. Then opt for hot sauce, house dressing, extra jalapenos, fried onions or avocado instead of the cheese and aioli.

None of their desserts are suitable for vegans, but you can fill up on regular or sweet potato fries and nachos without the sour cream or cheese.

View the full menu here.

Zizzi

Zizzi are another great chain restaurant with a vegan menu. They actually have a really helpful feature on their website, which allows you to filter the menu by dietary needs. Plus, they’ve recently added a vegan-friendly, mozzarella-style cheese made with rice milk to their menu, so ask your server if you can swap out regular cheese for vegan cheese.

Their vegan menu also includes customisable pizzas made with non-gluten bases, spaghetti pomodoro with veggie additions, and a vegan chocolate and praline torte.

View the full menu here.

TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays have a quite a good vegetarian offering, including Jack Daniels sesame mushroom strips, fajitas, veggie burgers and delicious desserts. But their vegan offering isn’t as strong and only includes a few items: roasted vegetable pasta, Jack Daniels sauce, fries, house salad, asian slaw and the fruit cup. Still, you can always fill up on cocktails, right?

View the full menu here.

Giraffe

Giraffe have a huge array of veggie dishes from around the world, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of their sides are vegetarian and the skin on fries, home fries, spring veg and onion rings are also vegan.

Vegan dishes include the Tofu and Squash Laksa, the Tofu and Broccoli Goan curry, the Indo Coco curry and the San Fran super salad, although many vegetarian dishes can be modified by removing dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese.

View the full menu here.

Pret

For on-the-go vegan eating Pret are one of the best options out there. They have a huge selection of vegan and vegetarian food and have previously won the PETA UK vegan food award. New menu items are added all the time, but some of our favourite vegan options include: super green sandwich, dairy-free chocolate chia pot, sweet potato falafel and smashed beets box, rainbow veggie pot – we could go on.

View the full menu here.

Subway

For vegetarians, Subway is a great choice as they have several veggie options, which you can customise to add or remove ingredients. For vegans, it gets a bit trickie;, the veggie patty is not vegan-friendly, so go for the veggie delite instead without the cheese. All Subway’s breads, apart from the flatbread and the Italian herb and cheese, are vegan and many of their sauces are vegan as well.

View the full menu here.

Pizza Hut

If you’ve got a pizza craving, Pizza Hut offer several different veggie pizzas, which can be hacked to make them vegan by ordering without the cheese. Their pan dough, All-American thin dough and flatbread dough pizza bases are suitable for vegans; as are the tomato and BBQ pizza sauces. Vegans and vegetarians can also take advantage of the unlimited salad bar, which has many suitable items, including the bacon bits. Yep, not real bacon, people!

View the full menu here.

Prezzo

There are quite a few vegan options available at Prezzo, including an entire vegan sharing board, the penne arrabiata, house fries, pappardelle and more. All of their pizzas have a vegan-friendly base and can be ordered without cheese and with additional vegetable toppings, so you won’t miss out! Plus, they have loads of vegetarian options on the menu, which all look really yummy.

View the full menu here.

Bella Italia

Bella Italia offer a ‘create your own pizza’ option on their menu, which is perfect for veggies and vegans, and all of their pizzas can be made without cheese. They also offer the option to swap pasta for spiralized vegetables, including courgettes, carrots and golden beetroot.

Their Lenticchie spaghetti with a rich lentil and mushroom ragu is a great option for vegans and looks totally delicious. Hack vegetarian dishes by removing dairy products such as mozzarella to make them suitable for vegans.

View the full menu here.

ASK Italian

ASK Italian are another restaurant who offer exclusively vegan and vegetarian menus, just ask (sorry) your server. They include dough balls, bruschetta, pizzas, pasta, salad and dessert so you won’t miss out, and most of their vegan dishes can be ordered from the kids menu as well.

View the vegan menu and the vegetarian menu.

Carluccios

Carluccios have an entire menu dedicated to vegan and vegetarian food, so no hacks needed here. Some of their delicious offerings include Spaghetti Pomodoro, Risotto al Funghi and Tiramisu. Delicious.

View the full vegan/vegetarian menu here.

Yo! Sushi

Who said sushi was all about fish? Yo! offer a really good range of 19 vegan dishes, including vegetable yaki soba, firecracker rice, tofu katsu curry and miso dumpling ramen. Plus, they have a bespoke hand roll, which can be made vegan if you request it. If you’re vegetarian, but you eat fish, there are loads of options for you, as well as regular vegetarian dishes.

View the veggie/vegan menu here.

Bills

Our new Autumn menu has arrived 🙌🍁 Excuse us while we eat everything 😂

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As Bills’ menu changes seasonally, it can be hard to find exclusively vegan dishes, however they do have plenty of delicious, vegetarian options. To hack the veggie menu, vegan-style, you can order dishes minus the dairy and egg ingredients. For example, order the veggie mezze board without tzatziki and halloumi, which can be replaced with double falafel and humous, or add a portion of fries for more substance.

View the full menu here.

Itsu

Itsu is definitely winning when it comes to vegan and vegetarian Japanese food and sushi. They have a huge selection of options available, from five types of vegan sushi to super healthy salads. Some of the best choices are the Hip, Humble and Healthy salad box, vegetable dumplings, tenderstem broccoli with satay sauce and more. There’s literally so much to choose from, we wouldn’t even know where to start!

View the full menu here.

Coffee shops

The #ColdBrew crew & a heart tattoo. 💘 Regram: @lenuslenix

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Most coffee shops now offer milk alternatives such as almond milk, soya milk and coconut milk for vegans. If you’re heading to Starbucks, avoid whipped cream, java chips, caramel syrup and anything with pumpkin spice *weeps*. Many of their drinks can be made vegan by replacing the milk, but check first as some ingredients cannot be modified.

Costa’s chocolate powder contains milk, so is not suitable for vegans, which rules out hot chocolate and mocha.

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