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Best Vegan Fast-Food Launches of 2022

Which launch was your favorite?

Each year, eating vegan gets easier across the country. Mainstream chains are adding more and more vegan options to their menus. Since everyone is posting their Spotify Wrapped, we thought we’d share our “VegOut Rewind,” covering the best vegan fast-food launches of 2022.

Chipotle Vegan Chorizo

The year kicked off with a new vegan protein at Chipotle. In addition to its Sofritas, the vegan-friendly chain offered plant-based chorizo for a limited time. While the item has since left the menu, we hope Chipotle brings it back for good.

Chipotle

Chipotle

Cold Stone Creamery Vegan Ice Cream

Who else can’t get over the fact that Cold Stone Creamery now offers vegan ice cream? Yep, that’s right! All scoop shops carry Silk’s Chocolate Almondmilk Frozen Dessert. So, find your nearest store and indulge in a vegan ice cream masterpiece.

Cold Stone

Cold Stone

Panda Express Beyond Beef

After testing vegan orange chicken in 2021, Panda Express branched out to another meat alternative. Last January, the fast-food chain debuted Beyond Beef at its test kitchen in Pasadena, California. Although the protein option is no longer available, we have a good feeling Panda Express will continue to innovate its vegan options.

Panda Express Beyond Beef

Panda Express

Smashburger Plant-Based Milkshakes

Smashburger expanded its vegan portfolio this June with the launch of plant-based milkshakes. The sippable desserts came about in partnership with the vegan ice cream brand Eclipse Foods. At this time, Smashburger offers vegan shakes in Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate, and Oreo flavors. However, the whipped cream is not vegan, so be sure to order your shake without it.

Smashburger

Smashburger

Burger King Impossible Chick’n Sandwich

Surprisingly, Burger King has quite a few vegan options. Most recently, they introduced their Impossible Original Chick’n Sandwich in Cincinnati, Ohio this summer. Customers got to try the new vegan chicken patty on a toasted sesame bun with lettuce.

Burger King

Burger King

Shake Shack Vegan Shakes

Shake Shack shook us all with this vegan milkshake and custard trial last May. At 10 locations across Florida and New York, guests tested NotCo’s chocolate vegan custard. Available in scoops and milkshakes, this dessert was a hit, to say the least.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack

Portillo’s Garden Dog

Hot dog chain Portillo’s launched its Plant-Based Garden Dog in June. It features a Field Roast Signature Stadium Dog and your desired toppings in a poppy seed bun. The best part? This item is still available nationwide!

Portillo's

Portillo’s

Taco Bell Proprietary Vegan Meat Alternative

In August, Taco Bell ran a limited trial of a plant-based proprietary meat in Birmingham, Alabama. The beef-like product contains soy and pea protein with Taco Bell’s signature flavor. So it was a great substitute in popular items like crunchy tacos or burritos. Who knows, maybe Doja Cat can help us vegans bring it to stores nationwide!

Taco Bell

Taco Bell

Panda Express Orange Chicken

Without a doubt, the biggest vegan fast-food launch this year was Panda Express’ orange chicken. The restaurant tested this product in 2021 at select locations in New York and LA. But this September marked the nationwide debut of Beyond The Original Orange Chicken at all restaurants across the country.

Panda Express Orange Chicken

Panda Express

Taco Bell Vegan Carne Asada Steak

We’ve seen a lot of great vegan-friendly strides from Taco Bell this year! In October, Beyond Carne Asada Steak appeared on menus in Dayton, Ohio. Best of all, Taco Bell didn’t charge extra to sub the vegan steak for animal-based meat.

Taco Bell Carne Asada Steak

Taco Bell

Allie Mitchell

@alliemitch

When Allie responded to an Instagram post on @vegoutlosangeles a few years ago, she had no idea she’d join the coolest vegan team on the planet. An Austin native, actress, yogi, and part-time sword fighter (don’t ask!), Allie is on a mission to live her best life and inspire others to do the same. She graduated from Hussian College In Studio with a B.F.A. in Contemporary Musical Theatre + Film and currently acts, writes, and eats her way through Los Angeles.

Must-have products: MUSH Overnight Oats, Califia Farms Creamer, HURRAW! Lip Balm, Facial Lounge Feather-Light Miracle Moisturizer

Articles by Allie
Allie Mitchell

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