When hunger strikes on a trip and there’s nothing to eat, you either bend your principles or you bend your morale! It is an unpleasant thing to experience, so hopefully this post will give you some ideas about what to eat when you are presented with the typical chain options. Not everything on this list is healthy or completely plant-based, but do the best you can. This is not a complete list, and I don’t often visit fast food chains, so I would welcome all readers to contribute their ideas. Traveling is much more fun on a satisfied stomach!
Some Foods You Can Pack:
* Veggies and hummus
* Fruit and veggies with peanut butter
* Nori seaweed sheets
* Nuts and seeds / trail mix varieties
* Whole wheat English muffins with hummus
* Bagels with plant-based cream cheese
* Veggies and hummus with taco shells or tortilla wraps
* Veggie sandwiches with sides of fruit or chips
* Leftovers in a cooler
Also, cold water in glass thermos, plates, napkins, silverware, moist wipes, and trash bags.
* Veggie sandwich with all veggies on wheat bread. Hold the mayo, cheese, meat, and oil.
You can add plant-based mayo, if you have any, as well as nutritional yeast. Mustard is a healthy addition. Dressings contain abundant amounts of oil, but some people don’t mind.
* Chopped salad bowl.
If you add plenty of tomatoes, they moisten this dish.
* Subway used to have a tasty veggie patty but they may have discontinued it.
* Veggie tacos with hard or soft shells (sometimes even chalupa shells) with refried beans, lettuce, and tomato. Hold the meat, cheese, and sour cream. If you like pico de gallo, ask that your dish be prepared Fresco style. This substitutes pico de gallo for all dairy.
* Chalupas prepared the same way.
* Taco salad with beans. Hold the meat and cheese.
* Mexican pizza with beans instead of meat. Hold the cheese.
* A 7-layer burrito, Fresco style, or just hold the cheese and sour cream.
* Vegan at Taco Bell
* What to Order at Taco Bell
* Veggie pizza with bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, olives, and anything else. Hold the meat and the cheese. This dish is delicious as a pan pie but healthier when it is hand tossed.
* Bread sticks probably aren’t without animal ingredients, especially when topped with parmesan, but some people don’t mind making some exceptions.
* Salad bar.
* They will make a veggie pizza with no cheese for you and for the buffet if you request for them to do so.
* Spaghetti with marinara sauce.
* Various dessert pizzas (dairy and lots of sugar).
* Most Asian grills can prepare grilled or steamed vegetables with rice or noodles and these can be topped with any variety of sauces like soy sauce or sweet and sour.
* Sushi rolls: avocado rolls, sweet potato rolls, cucumber rolls, veggie rolls, etc.
* Some places can create huge nori rolls that are made with whole sheets of nori seaweed and contain rice and veggies and are then cut into halves. Dipped in light sodium soy sauce, it’s delightful.
* Veggie bowl with lettuce, beans, rice, corn, pico de gallo, guacamole, and salsa.
* Mediterranean veggie sandwich with no cheese. Side of apple or chips.
* Avocado BLT with lettuce, onion, tomato, and brown mustard – hold the meat and cheese.
* Thai salad (maybe). Hold the meat.
* Some of their sandwiches can be modified to contain only veggies.
* Baked potato. Plain.
* Hibachi vegetables
Quiznos / Which Wich:
* Veggie sandwich with no cheese, meat, or oil. Some places have hummus as an option to add.
* Potato wedges (batter may not be vegetarian)
* Mashed potatoes (contain dairy)
* Biscuits (contain dairy)
* Veggies that are not flavored with or contain meat.
* Fruit cup and salad with no meat or cheese.
* It is not on the menu, but they will make a veggie wrap for you if you request it.
* Most dishes at Indian restaurants are at least vegetarian. There are a lot of plant-based options that do not include any dairy. One word of caution is that most dishes are very heavy on the oil, but you may be able to have them modify that when you place your order.
* Dal soup
* Chana masala (chickpeas in tomato-based sauce)
* Carrot pudding
* Curried tofu
* Coconut green beans
* Potatoes and cauliflower
* Naan (bread)
* Tandoori vegetables
* …and much more!
Some Indian restaurants even cater to monthly community vegan nights.
Thai / Vietnamese / Japanese:
* Any vegetable sushi rolls.
* Peanut, green, red, and other vegetable curry dishes.
* Some restaurants have vegan pho (vegetable noodle soup) but you may wish to specify, otherwise they often are made with animal bones, meat, and broth.
* Sweet carrots
* Fried rice, hold the egg
* Steamed veggies and rice
* Sweet and sour soup (tomato and pineapple), but recipes vary so you may wish to ask.
* Coconut soup (Tom Kha)
* Veggie sliders (imitation meat or just veggies on several small buns with a sweet sauce)
* Bun Chay (Vietnamese noodle salad)
* Miso soup
* Lettuce wraps
* Tofu lemongrass stir-fry
* Tofu bean thread soup
* Pad Thai
* Drunken Noodles, hold the egg, easy on the oil
* Spring rolls
* Sweet and sour veggies
* Mango with sticky rice
* Fried bananas
*…and much more!
* Veggie tacos/burritos with black beans, lettuce, and tomato. Hold the meat, cheese, and sour cream.
* Taco salad with beans instead of meat. Can add guacamole. Hold the cheese and sour cream.
* Zucchini mole verde
* Veggie fajitas
* Chips with salsas of all kinds
* Spaghetti with marinara sauce
* Veggie pizza with no cheese
* Eggplant parmesan, hold the cheese
* Minestrone or other vegetable soup
* Rolls (probably only vegetarian)
Example: Olive Garden, Maggiano’s
* Rice-stuffed grape leaves (Dolmades)
* Hummus and pita points
* Potato & dill dishes
* Lentil dishes
* Yellow rice with raisins, cranberries, and nuts
* … and probably more.
* Steamed vegetables and rice with soy sauce
Places like the K&W Cafeteria, Cracker Barrel, Golden Corral, Western Sizzlin’, Ryan’s, Denny’s, Shoney’s, etc.
* Any veggies without meat or dairy.
Sometimes that includes black-eyed peas, broccoli, corn, okra, spinach, lima beans, pinto beans, green beans, fries, cabbage, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, potatoes, beats, coleslaw, wheat rolls, raw veggies, salads, and more.
* Cracker Barrel has delicious sweet potatoes that can be ordered plain and very tasty oatmeal that you can dress yourself.
* Very occasionally, you may come across a gem of a country restaurant that doesn’t season any of its veggies with meat. You won’t necessarily be able to say the same for butter, though.
Plant-Based on a Plane:
* Ideas from Happy Cow
* 100+ Vegan Food Options at Disneyland