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When you think of fast, family dining, Denny’s may come to mind. Open all year round, twenty-four hours a day, this diner has a serious edge on other eating establishments. But how can you order vegan at Denny’s?
It’s true, much of the menu is off-limits to vegans, but they have introduced a Beyond Burger and have a plethora of veganizable options if you know what to ask for. So read on, dear friend, as we help you navigate what you can get at this American restaurant chain. Whether you’re craving a single cup of coffee or a bust-your-belt breakfast, Denny’s has got you covered in a pinch.
The History of Denny’s: Dive Into Denny’s Past
The first Denny’s was founded in Lakewood, California in 1953 by two men, Harold Butler and Richard Jezak. It was originally named “Danny’s Donuts” and makes me wonder…who was Danny? After Jezak left the successful, six-store chain, Butler converted the donut shop into “Danny’s Coffee Shop” with his eighth store and offered around-the-clock service.
Due to a competing coffee shop in Los Angeles with a similar name, the restaurant was changed again in 1959 to “Denny’s Coffee Shop.” Finally, it was shortened to “Denny’s” in 1961.
Is It Possible to Eat Vegan at Denny’s?
You may not equate eating vegan with this distinctive diner. But, we’re here to tell you that while it’s not only possible, it could also be pleasurable! With its long list of savory sides and at least one bona fide vegan burger, you can be sure to find some food to feast upon!
Breakfast – a toasted English muffin or slice of toast with peanut butter and jelly (or margarine and pancake syrup), an order of hash browns, a bowl of oatmeal (made with water), seasonal fruit, and a glass of juice or cup of coffee/tea.
Lunch – a Beyond Burger (or Veggie Burger) with all the veggie toppings, an order of fries (any type), a garden side salad (with no cheese), and a fountain drink.
Dinner – a skillet meal (with no sausage, egg, or cheese) and a selection of satisfying sides including broccoli, corn, red-skinned potatoes, sautéed mushrooms/zucchini/squash with an optional addition of whole grain rice.
Dessert/Snack – sadly, there may only be seasonal fruit, a pack of saltines, or possibly a side of tortilla chips (sans cheese) with salsa.
Eating vegan at Denny’s might not be a diner’s dream, but at least there are some basic options for your hungry belly.
Gotta Know About the Grill
One important thing to note is that Denny’s specifically states in their Allergen Guide: “We season our grills with vegetable oil from our fryers and with bacon. Vegetable oil includes, but is not limited to soybean, canola and cottonseed oils.” If you are concerned about this, you may wish to pass on purchasing a vegan burger or sizzlin’ skillet meal.
We want to make the process of ordering vegan at Denny’s to be painless, as well as plant-based, so here’s a list of all the appetizing options available to you!
Choose from these tasty vegan options and make sure to skip on the onion rings!
Plant-Based Patty – Beyond Burger or Veggie Patty
Bun – brioche or multigrain
Veggies – sautéed mushrooms
Sauce – bbq or bourbon
Opt for a Double Patty
NOTE: The vegan option is considerably more expensive than any other burger choice (especially if you order a double patty), which seriously stinks.
Vegan Deluxe Dinner Classics:
Crazy Spicy Sizzlin’ Skillet – ask for no sausage, chicken, cheese, or queso and add toast or tortillas and sautéed mushrooms.
Sante Fe Sizzlin’ Skillet – ask for no sausage, egg, or cheese.
NOTE: This last item can only be ordered over the phone or while dining in the restaurant. The online ordering version requires that you choose an egg option in order to proceed.
Assorted Soft Drinks
Hot Coffee or Tea
Hot or Iced Tea
Fuze Raspberry Tea
Minute Maid Lemonade
Minute Maid OJ
Vegan Sauces & Dressings:
Mango Habanero (and other hot pepper sauces)
Oil & Vinegar (red wine, malt)
Pancake Syrup (both sweetened and unsweetened)
Pico de Gallo
NOTE: The tomato sauce is NOT vegan. It is made with both pork and chicken.
English Muffin (not the gluten-free option, which has eggs)
Fries (seasoned and wavy cut)
Garden Side Salad (no cheese)
Red Skin Potatoes
Sauteed zucchini & squash
Slices of toast (multigrain, potato or 7-grain bread only)
Whole Grain Rice
Oreo Cookie Crumbles
You could really be a rebel and bring your own vegan egg to eat with the rest of your meal (or make it at home and have the food delivered to you)!
If peanut butter or jelly is not your jam, bring a small amount of vegan butter with you! If ordering toast, English muffin, or any sort of sautéed veggies.
Play it safe and bring your own favorite plant-based milk in a little thermos or water bottle. Ask for your favorite hot or iced coffee black (sweetened or unsweetened) and you can add as much or little plant-based milk as you wish. You could do the same with sweeteners, such as stevia, maple syrup, or agave.
If ordering vegan at Denny’s online through a delivery service, make sure you clearly specify any substitutions you would like, especially concerning eggs or cheese. If you’re worried that your request may be overlooked, it might be a better idea to call or go there directly to order.
Download the Denny’s Allergen Guide to make sure that you are purchasing a vegan-friendly item. The products offered at Denny’s may change and the PDFs seem to be updated regularly.
Denny’s locations offer different items. We highly suggest that you check the Denny’s website and choose the specific restaurant you’re planning to visit before going there. While researching the menu, I found items in one state that were not available in another state, or even at different towns within the same state.
Have you found any other options to be veganizable? Did you find something amazing that we missed? Let us know by tagging #worldofvegan and sharing your favorite vegan-at-Dennys creations with all of us!
This article is not sponsored and we are in no way affiliated with Denny’s. At the time of this article, the foods mentioned above are vegan. Since restaurants constantly update their menus and add or take away items, please keep this in mind when ordering your food. There may be new items that are vegan and not listed or items listed here as vegan, which are no longer vegan. Take care to double-check.
Whether you love it or hate it, we all have to go grocery shopping, and it can be a little intimidating when you first start eating vegan. Our beginner-friendly shopping list includes all the grocery essentials you'll need make many satisfying vegan meals! You'll also receive a blank shopping list you can customize yourself, plus our weekly e-newsletter with delicious plant-based recipes.