Hamburgers, milkshakes, tacos, chicken chow mein, California rolls — these are the kinds of fast-casual dishes Americans have long been obsessed with. But going vegan doesn’t mean giving up these familiar favorites. It’s a new era for vegan food, and fast-casual chains and fast fooderies are popping up from coast to coast, serving up new-school twists on old-school classics.
While some popular spots are still one-off locations (a la Amy’s Drive-Thru) — vegan eateries with multiple locations are on the increase. Several concepts are rapidly expanding, opening new restaurants in different cities and gaining investor attention. So, bring friends to these five vegan chains any eater would love!
Featured photo: Veggie Grill
With locales in California, Washington, and Oregon, this brand recently scored $22 million in a new round of funding, and has big plans to expand beyond the West Coast. It’s one of the most recognizable of the vegan chains, and boasts an impressive list of popular favorites. So what’s on Veggie Grill’s expansive menu? Southern Spicy Fried Chickin’, Koreatown Tacos, Mondo Nachos, Mac-n-Cheese — all plant-based, all insanely delicious. Hungry yet?
Dreamed up by famous vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli (winner of Cupcake Wars) and partner Samantha Wasser, By Chloe is the hottest new addition to the vegan dining scene. Chloe’s team serves up crowd-pleasing, comfort food dishes like burgers, milkshakes, cookies, and other delightful eats. The eatery has locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Boston, and Los Angeles, with more on the way.
This Miami-based fast-casual organic eatery is a favorite in South Florida. The highly customizable menu includes wraps, salads, smoothies, and bowls, and the spot has locations in the hottest neighborhoods in Miami: Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, and the Upper East Side. Popular items include the cashew-cheese La Pixsa Pizza; Querida Quesadillas with “cheddy” cheese and guac; and a Biggie Burger with double lentil patties and all the fixin’s.
While some might assume sushi’s off the table for vegans (except avocado rolls, of course) — Beyond Sushi has turned that assumption on its ear. The chain has three Manhattan locations, and its colorful, palate-pleasing menu is 100% vegan. Try the Sunny Side roll with black rice, braised fennel, and butternut squash; the Mighty Mushroom with six-grain rice, enoki mushrooms, and braised shitake; or the Pickle Me with pickled burdock root and pickled daikon — and leave the fishes off your dishes.
This incredible Asian-inspired chain has more than 200 locations globally, and 38 in the U.S. alone. Each location has a different menu, but the options are seemingly limitless and include items like wonton soup, pho bowls, clay pots, drumsticks, fried rice, and plenty of other popular favorites.