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How to Order Vegan at Wendy’s {Vegetarian & Plant-Based Menu Options}

Even with almost 7,000 locations worldwide, Wendy's was willing to let go of their only vegan-friendly burger option at the end of 2021. Will it come back better-than-ever or are we stuck with a few measly vegetarian menu options? Let's hope for the best and help you to make the best plant-based choices with their current cuisine.
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Rosy, red hair, and bright blue bows always seem to bring on an appetite for plant-based burgers and fries. But, just because we’re hankering for vegan hamburgers doesn’t mean we can have them at this animal-heavy fast food restaurant. Is there anything vegan at Wendy’s?

We took on the challenge of finding out for you. What did we learn? Most importantly, you should be aware that ordering from Wendy’s might result in a rumbling belly. If you’re careful and follow our suggestions, it’s possible that you can leave without too much disappointment. As long as you don’t mind fruit as a dessert.

Above all, be prepared. It’s probably not the best idea to go to Wendy’s after a long day at work or when you’re so stressed, you can hardly make a healthy decisions. Stick with our guide and you’ll be good to go!

How to Navigate the Wendy’s Menu

When you walk into a Wendy’s restaurant, it’s safe to say that you may be overwhelmed by what’s being offered. Stick to this plan and we’re positive you’ll make the best plant-based purchases. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Say Yes To the Salad – Choose a salad without meat, cheese, or croutons and enjoy with a vegan-friendly dressing, salsa, or avocado as a topping.
  • Pacify Potato Preferences – Pick a plain potato or a potato with chives and ask for no butter, cheese, or sour cream.
  • Mull Over a Menu Item – Make your own veggie “burger” (see below), which is a bun filled with lettuce, tomato, onion, and add avocado and/or seasoned potatoes or fries added to it. Make a DIY Wrap the same way, substituting a flour tortilla for a bun.
  • Decide on “Dessert” – Aim for apple bites or consider buying the mixed berry cup, if available.

NOTE: If you are worried about cross-contamination with any animal-based foods, you might want to skip the fries. Unfortunately, they are cooked in the same oil as everything else (including fish and dairy).

Are Wendy’s Fries Vegan?

Yes, vegans can enjoy Wendy’s fries, but only if you are comfortable with cross-contamination. Both Wendy’s Natural Cut fries and seasoned potatoes are made without any animal products, but they are fried in the same oil as the animal-based menu items. It’s totally up to you — it doesn’t make a lick of difference to animals. No judgement here.

wendys fries vegan in a red paper container
Wendy’s Natural Cut Fries. (Photo source: @wendys on Instagram)

Are the Buns Vegan at Wendy’s?

Yes, the Premium buns at this burger joint do not contain any dairy or eggs. Bunderful!

Beverages

  • Apple Juice
  • Coffee (Cold Brewed and Hot)
  • Coke Products
  • Flavored Lemonades
  • Iced Tea (plain and sweetened)
  • Water Bottle

Vegan Breakfast Choices

While we would not recommend choosing Wendy’s to build your breakfast, here are a few menu items that might appeal to you. Keep in mind that breakfast is served from 6:30-10:30 am, so some items may not be available after that time.

  • Apple Bites
  • Mixed Berry Fruit Cup (ask for availability)
  • Apple or Orange Juice
  • Seasoned Homestyle Potatoes

Does Wendy’s Have a Veggie Burger?

Although we’re listing this as a veggie “burger” option, it is just so sad to suggest. Order a Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe and request no meat, no mayo, and no cheese. Ask for extra veggies and avocado and you’ll get their premium bun filled with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and raw onion.

If you really want to go all wild and crazy at Wendy’s, add a small order of fries smack dab in the middle of this burger-less-bun-blob. Not at all healthy, but it will probably satisfy your savory cravings, especially if you douse it with plenty of tangy ketchup and zesty mustard.

Savvy Salad Options

Saved by the salad! This option is hardly worth the price with so many ingredients taken out, but at least you can add some extra veggies to your day. Which selection would you choose?

  • Apple Pecan Chicken Salad – Ask for no chicken, blue cheese, or pecans (they contain milk). What’s left is romaine, spring mix, dried cranberries, sliced apples, and pomegranate vinaigrette.
  • Side Salad – Order without cheese or croutons and add a vegan-friendly dressing. (Salsa or pomegranate vinaigrette are two choices.)
  • Southwest Avocado Salad – Opt for no cheese, chicken, or bacon. Ask for salsa as a dressing. You’ll have a bowl of mixed romaine and spring greens, avocado, and tomato.
  • Taco Salad – Request no cheese, chili, or sour cream. You’ll be left with romaine, tomatoes, onions, salsa, and tortilla chips. Add an order of avocado to top your taco salad.

Savory Sides

  • Natural Cut Fries
  • Baked Potato (plain or chives with no butter, sour cream, or cheese)
  • Salsa
  • Seasoned Potatoes
  • Tortilla Chips (ask the server)

Dressings and Dips That Are Vegan-Friendly

  • Avocado
  • BBQ Dipping Sauce
  • Hot Chili Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Pomegranate Vinaigrette
  • Salsa
  • Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce

NOT Vegan at Wendy’s Restaurant

  • Pecans – Includes both milk by-products and honey in the ingredients. Perfectly pitiful!
  • Bakery Items – The biscuits, cookies, or croissants are not vegan-friendly. All contain eggs and dairy.
  • Chili – Contains meat. (Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they offered a bean-based chili in the future?)

FAQs About Vegan Options at Wendy’s

Is Wendy’s Frosty vegan?

We wish that we could say yes to this. We think it would be a pretty easy swap to make with a dairy-free milk and ice cream, but it seems that Wendy’s isn’t ready yet. For now, Frosty beverages are frightfully full of dairy.

Are Wendy’s fries vegan?

Yes, Wendy’s fries are vegan! They are made without any animal products. Just note that they are fried in the same oil as Wendy’s other food, which makes it a no-go for some vegans. But this is completely up to personal preference.

Is Wendy’s Fresh Baked Oatmeal Bar vegan?

You’d think that this would be a healthy, plant-based breakfast option, but it has both eggs and honey as ingredients. Sadly, it’s a no-go.

Helpful Hints When Ordering Vegan at Wendy’s

  • Browse the Wendy’s menu before ordering.
  • If ordering Wendy’s online or through a delivery service, make sure you clearly specify any substitutions you would like. If you’re worried that your request may not be honored (or seen by the server at Wendy’s), it might be a better idea to go there directly to order.
  • Check out their Nutritional Information page to make sure that you are purchasing a vegan-friendly item. The menu items offered at Wendy’s don’t seem to change very often, but you may want to double check before you visit.
  • Be careful when new and exciting seasonal products are offered at Wendy’s. Double-check the allergens and ingredients to make sure the item is vegan before purchasing.

Historic Vegan Moments in Wendy’s History

  • June 2021 – Although not available any longer, Wendy’s tried out a Spicy Black Bean Burger (which was vegan with a few modifications). Let’s hope it comes back fully vegan at some point soon!

Fascinating Facts about Wendy’s Restaurant

  • The 1st Wendy’s location was in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Dave Thomas (the founder) used to work for Harland Sanders of KFC.
  • Wendy’s is named after Dave Thomas’ daughter, Melinda Lou. Her nickname was Wenda.
  • Wendy’s sells 300 million Frosty’s per year (whoa!)
  • This fast food restaurant claims to have debuted the very first drive-up window in 1970.

Creating a Kinder and More Accessible Wendy’s Vegan Experience 

Wendy’s, you need to get with it. Wake up and get a whiff of the plant-based burgers offered at other restaurants! Since there are many mainstream burger chains catching the train to Veganville, you could totally take the lead with your very own vegan burger and bust out on top. It’s time to leave the bun-only-burger behind! (Please don’t get me started with puns about buns…). In the meantime (while we wait for Wendy’s to wise up), we can always write to, call, or contact the managers of any location to make our requests.

What are your favorite items on the Wendy’s vegan menu? Let us know on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

Have you found any other Wendy’s options to be veganizable? Did you find something amazing that we missed? Let us know by tagging #worldofvegan and sharing your favorite vegan-at-wendys creations with all of us!

How To Order Vegan at Other Fast Food Burger Chains

Our vegan at Wendy’s article is not sponsored and we are in no way affiliated with Wendy’s. At the time of this article, the menu items 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 at Wendy’s and not listed or items listed here as vegan, which are no longer vegan. Take care to double-check.

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