As any vegan knows, eating out at certain restaurants can be tough. Some restaurants will offer virtually zero vegan options, and in others, you can find yourself greatly restricted to just eating sides while all of your friends enjoy their big main meals.
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Today we’re here to help with this guide to 9 vegan options you can find on the Red Robin menu. Red Robin is one of the many popular restaurants in America, and you will likely visit them at some point in your life. So if you are a vegan who is going to Red Robin soon, take a look at this guide to help you know what is safe for you to order.
What makes something vegan?
Before we look at the options that your typical Red Robin restaurant has on offer, let’s quickly establish what makes something vegan food. For a food to be classed as vegan it has to be constructed with absolutely zero animal products or animal by-products in its recipe.
This includes the obvious ingredients such as meat, eggs, cheese, and other dairy products, but also includes products such as honey, gelatin, and other ingredients that have included animal products at some point in their construction. Even if there are no animal products in the final result.
Veganism is often mixed up with vegetarianism, and a lot of people believe that vegetarian products are safe for consumption by vegans. But this is not the case.
While all vegan products will be vegetarian, not all vegetarian products are vegan and most vegetarian products that are not also stated as being vegan will include animal products. Vegetarians simply do not eat meat, while vegans avoid all foods which contain animal products.
So now that we’ve covered that, let’s take a look at the different vegan menu options that Red Robin has on offer.
Option 1: Steak Fries or French Fries
The first option that you have is the Red Robin Steak Fries. While fries are traditionally served as a side, they can also make a great meal. Especially when you consider the fact that the bottomless Steak Fries at Red Robin are indeed bottomless fries. So you can just keep eating and eating until you are full.
They cannot be officially listed as vegan due to the possibility of cross-contamination in the kitchen, but due to the way that fries are cooked we see very little risk of this occurring so these fries are safe to eat. The same for the onion rings.
Option 2: Sweet Potato Fries
Another yummy option is the Red Robin Sweet Potato Fries. In recent years the popularity of sweet potato fries has continually grown and they are now getting the recognition that they deserve. Once again these are not listed as vegan because of the cross-contamination risk but we think this risk is insignificant so the fries are safe to be consumed.
Option 3: Yukon Chips
On the same level, you could also choose the Red Robin Yukon Chips. Once again the cross-contamination risk remains but to us this risk is insignificant. While these chips on their own are not much of a meal, they can easily be paired with one of the other vegan options to ensure you leave Red Robin with a full belly.
Option 4: Steamed Broccoli
Without wanting to be the person who forces vegetables onto a person the moment they mention that they are vegan, we’re going to reluctantly recommend the steamed broccoli. Vegetables are always a vegan-safe option as long as they are not cooked in butter, which this dish is not, so if you fancy being healthy, knock yourself out on the Red Robin bottomless steamed broccoli.
Option 5: Adapt the House Salad
Now that we’ve covered the side options, let’s move onto the options you have for the main meal. The first being the house salad. While the regular house salad sold at Red Robin is not vegan, you can easily adapt it to remove the animal products. So if you fancy a healthy option we would recommend the house salad with the croutons and cheese removed so that it is vegan.
Option 6: Adapt their Vegetarian Burgers
If you fancy something a bit more substantial, we would recommend choosing one of the vegetarian burgers that Red Robin offers. They offer two different options: the Impossible Burger and the Veggie Burger. While neither of these burgers is designed to be vegan, you can easily adapt them to make them vegan burger when you order.
For the Impossible Gourmet Burger (or Impossible Cheeseburger), you need to order it with the cheese and dill pickle slices removed. You will also have to order it with a vegan bun substitute for this to be a vegan option.
Alternatively, for the Red Robin Veggie burger, you will have to order it with both the American cheese and Parmesan cheese removed. You will also need to remove the roasted garlic aioli and the portobello-parm chips but then you will have a fully vegan meal with a veggie patty in place of the burger patty.
When you place your order ensure you stress how important it is that these ingredients are removed from your meal so that the kitchen will not make any mistakes with your meal. Red Robin also offers a variety of vegan items which you could request be added to make your burger more substantial like dill pickle slices, shredded romaine, avocado slices, black bean, red onion, or lettuce wrap. A lettuce bun might be an option.
Option 7: Chips with Salsa and Guacamole
Your final main menu option is the Chips with Salsa and Guacamole. This is a great option if you love nachos as you are pretty much getting a nacho dish for your main meal. As we mentioned earlier, this chip dish also cannot be classed as vegan due to the (incredibly small) risk of cross-contamination, but we think it is a perfectly safe dish for you to enjoy.
Option 8: Apple Slices
In terms of desserts, the only real option you have as a vegan at Red Robin is their apple slices. These are actually listed as a side on most Red Robin menus, but as any vegan knows, you really cannot go wrong with an apple.
Option 9: Drinks
Finally, let’s talk about drinks. Thankfully, the majority of the drinks on the menu at Red Robin are vegan-friendly and safe for you to consume. They have a huge drinks menu which definitely makes up for the lack of vegan options on their food menu.
From alcoholic to non-alcoholic drinks you have lots of different options to choose between. While the risk of the drinks containing any animal products is very slim, we would recommend checking with your waiter just to be sure.
In short, there are plenty of options for you to choose from at Red Robin if you are a vegan. The best options appear to be adapting the house salad and vegetarian burgers so that they are vegan if you want a large meal. But if you just fancy something small, there are lots of different side options to choose from.