Established in Oklahoma in 1953, Sonic Drive-In is an All-American fast-food chain of restaurants that is on the up (watch out Mcdonald’s).
With over 3,500 restaurants across America, they are now the 11th largest fast-food chain in the country, and that number is only expected to rise as more and more Americans are getting their fast-food fill the Sonic way.
Facts, stats, and history is cool and all, however, we know there’s a more pressing issue at hand – the burning question on every vegan’s lips, where does Sonic stand on the vegan-friendly front?
Although they certainly won’t be winning awards with their vegan menu any time soon, there are a few enticing options at Sonic that suit a vegan diet.
Whether you’re chasing a cheeky snack or looking to satisfy a serious hunger, we are certain that you can drive out of Sonic pleased.
In this article, we will highlight the best options on the Sonic menu for vegans, so you know exactly what to order when the day calls for a Sonic.
Whenever you’re in a jam hunger-wise, at least you can turn to, and scoff down some fries. Fries may not be the healthiest vegan snack, but they are almost always the tastiest.
Nipping into a Sonic on the drive home for a hunger-crushing snack, and ordering a side of fries will ensure you at least an hour’s satisfaction before a more substantial meal is required.
And hey, if you’re seriously hungry, then throw a couple more sides on your order and call it a meal, we certainly aren’t judging.
Just like fries, tater tots are good at keeping the hunger pains at bay, the delicious way. Honestly, who doesn’t love a salty, crunchy tater tot?
Perfect for snacking on the go, they are the bite-sized pieces of potato that you rarely need, but secretly always want.
However, and just like fries, the tater tots at Sonic and all fast-food chains for that matter, are, generally, cooked in the same fryer as the fried meat options.
Although the chance of tasting meat on your tater tot is slim to none, we’re guessing that this will still be fairly offputting for strict vegan eaters?
Originating in Texas over 100 years ago, the onion ring is an all-time classic American snack that can be eaten en masse.
Surprisingly, in the modern-day, there are only a select few fast-food chains serving onion rings, which makes sonic your one-stop-shop if looking for an onion ring fix.
Music to vegan eater’s ears, onion rings, tater tots, and fries are all fried in plant-based oil, not lard. This fact is why Sonic is able to list these three fried snacks as “vegan-friendly” on their website and menu.
However, the questionable fact that their fried meat is cooked in the same oil still stands. If the thought of this makes your stomach turn just a little then it’s time to ditch the frier altogether and build your own sandwich.
Build Your Own Sandwich
Unfortunately, at present, Sonic isn’t offering a vegan burger. Which is a real shame, but hey, their loss right? Just because they haven’t got the foresight to offer the people what they want, doesn’t mean you can’t build your own sandwich at Sonic.
While the build your own sandwich dream may not be an orderable fixture on the Sonic menu, most Sonic restaurants will happily construct you your perfect vegan sandwich upon request.
To get the best idea of your Sonic sandwich of dreams, you must first deconstruct it, and that begins with the bread.
One of the cool things about Sonic is that they make a point of sourcing most of their bread from local bakeries.
This dedication to sourcing local is a good initiative for sustainability’s sake as well as helping out local businesses, but what does it mean for vegans?
Three bread types that are 100% vegan across all Sonic restaurants that stock them are bagels, pretzels, and Philly rolls.
The bread that isn’t explicitly vegan across all stores is hamburger buns, hot dog buns, texas toast, and tortillas.
This is because some local bakeries may add milk, or egg to their bread recipes, which is why checking with your local Sonic about their bread supplier is always a clever option.
We’re positive that someone, somewhere, once said, that a sandwich is only as good as its toppings, and we believe it to be true.
Sonic’s standard toppings that are vegan-friendly and would very much suit being tucked in between two bits of bread together are dill pickle chips, jalapenos, diced onion, tomato, and lettuce.
Although they aren’t offered across all Sonic stores, also be on the lookout for sauerkraut, hatch green chiles, dill pickle spears, and sport peppers for a more fiery fix.
To satisfy the desire of your sweet tooth, you could also order peanut butter and freshly sliced banana to slap on or between bread.
Other sweet toppings include Maraschino cherries, pecans, lemon, lime, and strawberry topping sauce, so you can mix and match until your heart and sweet tooth are content.
Another idea is to get some fries, onions rings, or tater tots in the mix to turn your creation into a bona fide, beefed-up sandwich to satisfy the most ravenous of hunger.
No sandwich is complete without a healthy dose of condiments, and on the savory side of things, your sandwich is in good hands at Sonic. Mustard, BBQ sauce, tomato ketchup, marinara, sweet relish, and salsa de SONIC are regular fixtures of most Sonic restaurants, and they are all vegan by default.
Depending on the Sonic you drive into, you may also be presented with sweet chili, hickory BBQ, and sweet and sour sauces. Best to check whether the hickory BBQ is packing honey though, as this is occasionally the case.
After you’re finished with your stacked sandwich, it’s safe to assume that you’re going to need an icy cold drink to wash it all down.
One of the things that Sonic is famous for is its slushes, which are almost all vegan friendly. Because of their lemon or lime base, they are the sweet and slushy answer to your vegan thirst-quenching prayers.
On top of their hefty list of slush flavors that include diet cherry, mango, raspberry, and blue coconut, Sonic also has a robust range of drinks that are vegan.
Soft drinks, fresh-brewed teas, green teas, juices, root beer, and good old-fashioned water, if there was ever a doubt of the Sonic drink’s menu not being up to scratch, that doubt has been officially squashed.
As you can see, although Sonic isn’t the most vegan-friendly fast-food chain in America, you can still order a very filling vegan meal there with a little prior knowledge and know-how.
Whether you’re testing the waters of a vegan diet, or you’re a long-time dedicated vegan, we hope this article has cleared the confusion surrounding the Sonic menu for you.