In-N-Out is, probably, California’s favorite fast food restaurant chain that does not have golden arches.
It was founded almost 75 years ago and has since moved beyond the state to encompass the whole of the south-west.
Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, and Oregon all have a string of In-N-Out restaurants sitting within their borders.
Being one of the most beloved restaurants in America and having one of the top ratings for customer satisfaction in the country, you would think that they offer a range of food catering to many different people.
In all fairness, they do indeed do this for a lot of their customers, but the problem is whether they have changed their menus from the old days to now incorporate vegan cuisine, especially in a state where there is a high proportion of people sticking to a vegan diet.
In this article, we will look at In-N-out’s menu and give you the rundown of just what they offer and whether it is vegan or not.
Does In-N-Out Have A Good Selection Of Vegan Options?
No. Unfortunately, the answer to this is a straight up ‘No’. There are only two things on the In-N-Out menu that are vegan, and these are: the French Fries and the Drinks.
Considering that is a possible two items out of 12 (including the secret menu), it isn’t great on vegan options, but the real kicker is the fact that those two vegan options are not the main part of the meal you are offering.
They are literally sides and a drink.
Since most people go to a burger place for a burger, it kind of stings that there are not any vegan options in such a large chain restaurant.
PETA has called out In-N-Out for not offering a vegan burger, to which the company has not responded whatsoever.
This is unlikely to change for a while as well, as In-N-Out are kind of famous for not responding to pressure.
In many ways, this is good, as they have refused to franchise over the years so that their food’s quality won’t slip.
But for people wanting a vegan In-N-Out burger, this is maddening, because due to their strict adherence to quality, we all know it would be great.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t get any kind of veggie burger, because you can, but you have to order it specially and there are a couple of steps to it.
Before we move onto that, though, let’s look at the actual vegan options and see how vegan they really are.
In-N-Out Vegan Menu Options
In terms of actual food, these are the only vegan options that you can get at In-N-Out, even among the secret menu items.
The fries themselves are just potatoes, and they are cooked in 100% sunflower oil, according to the website. Since almost all sunflower oil has no added animal products to it, this is a pretty safe bet.
Normally, we would caution any person about cross contamination in this scenario, but In-N-Out have made a point to state that they take every precaution against cross-contamination and do not use the same fryer or oil for their meat products and their fries.
Unfortunately, if you are thinking about ordering Animal-style French fries, then you need to think again. These are not vegan safe in the slightest.
Even though the fries themselves have no animal products in them, the sauce on top of the fries will contain eggs, which are not safe for vegan consumption.
The drinks or beverages at In-N-Out are normally okay for vegans to drink. In fact, almost all of them are fine, except for anything in the shake section.
Shakes are made with dairy products and In-N-Out refuses to make any that do not contain dairy, so just avoid them entirely if you have a specific vegan diet.
The list of drinks that vegans can enjoy from In-N-Out are as follows:
- Diet Coke
- Minute Maid Zero Sugar Lemonade.
- Pink Lemonade
- 7 Up
- Sweet Tea
- Iced Tea
- Barq’s Root Beer
- Barq’s Caffeine-Free Root Beer
The full list may be longer, but these are the only ones we can be sure do not use or contain any animal products in them.
Ordering A Veggie Burger At In-N-Out
As we stated earlier, there is no real vegan burger at In-N-Out. There are none on the menu, and there are none officially offered by the store.
Getting a veggie or vegan burger at In-N-Out is a loophole or hack that has been created and established by the people who follow vegan diets when they end up at the restaurant with their non-vegan friends or members of their family.
If you do end up ordering this, though, be prepared for some looks – you gotta do what you got to do.
So, when you walk into In-N-Out, go up to the counter and order any burger, just any old burger, but make sure to ask for it without any patties and without any spread.
When your order is called you will get a bun with just the burger toppings inside – basically just the lettuce, onion, pickles, and tomatoes, so all vegetables.
This is the veggie burger, and you can go to the sauce station and add mustard and ketchup as you please. If you are worried about surly service, we wouldn’t.
Most of the staff are used to this and know that you would much rather just have a vegan burger, but this is your only option.
The only looks you will get are from those with strong meat loving values or new customers who might not know the deal.
Are The Sauces Okay To Eat For Vegans?
We’ve covered this a little bit, but not really in detail. Basically, like the menu, the sauces are more often than not a no-go.
The only vegan sauces you can get are ketchup and mustard, which at least gives you some flavor to go with your patty and vegetables.
Unfortunately, the other sauces all contain some form of mayonnaise, including the secret sauce and the thousand island dressing.
Due to the fact that mayonnaise contains egg that is emulsified into a creamy sauce, people love the consistency and so companies keep using it as the base for other sauces.
As such, they often don’t care to look or don’t even care about using other sauce bases, due to it being extremely lucrative.
Luckily, sauces that have been around for a long time, don’t tend to use mayonnaise as a base, meaning that vegans and strict vegetarians have at least something to put on their food.
Other Vegan Options In The Southwest
Unfortunately, there aren’t many burger places in the south-west with In-N-Out’s quality or satisfaction rating, for all their lack of vegan food options, they do have very high standards for their food.
With that said, there are a couple of options to stop your cravings for a good old burger, just without the meat.
Burger King, Carl’s Jr, and Red Robin all offer a dedicated meat-free burger for you to enjoy and while there aren’t many other chains that offer burgers, there are certainly little burger joints as well.
Bareburger in San Diego and Jimmy Rockets in San Jose have delicious vegan burgers that you will simply love.
Otherwise, it is best to look up the burger joints in your area that might provide you with some relief.
In-N-Out does not have very many vegan options on their menu, in fact they only have two, and they are not a dedicated meal, simply a side and a drink.
While you can order a veggie burger, it is merely a bun and burger toppings, which is not great for such a good restaurant.
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