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What are the vegan options at First Watch?

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First Watch is a renowned breakfast, brunch, and lunch chain from California established in 1983. Committed to using fresh, high-quality ingredients, it offers a diverse menu featuring classic breakfast fare like omelets and pancakes alongside healthier options such as avocado toast and fruit bowls. Its expansion has been notable, with hundreds of locations across the United States, each maintaining a reputation for friendly service and a welcoming atmosphere. Additionally, First Watch stays engaged with its communities through various charitable initiatives.

Customers appreciate First Watch’s consistent food quality and the option to tailor meals to dietary preferences. Beyond traditional breakfast offerings, the chain has been innovative, introducing trendy items like quinoa bowls. As a result, First Watch has cemented its position as a go-to destination for those seeking a delicious breakfast or brunch experience, blending comfort with culinary excellence.

In response to the growing demand for plant-based options, First Watch has embraced the vegan lifestyle with a thoughtful selection of menu items catering to diverse dietary needs. From savory avocado toast to nourishing plant-based bowls bursting with flavor, their commitment to freshness and quality extends to every vegan offering. This inclusive approach has expanded its customer base and solidified First Watch as a destination where vegans and non-vegans can gather and enjoy a delightful meal together. 

does First watch have vegan options

What are the vegan options at First Watch?

First Watch is dedicated to healthy and environmentally friendly foods, so I expect great vegan options there. However, it isn’t as good as I expected, but at least it isn’t that bad either. Here is a list of plant-based menu items that can be cruelty-free with some modifications.

  • Tropical Sunrise (seasonal)
  • Hacienda Hash (no sausage, cheese, and crema)
  • SoCal Breakfast Hash (seasonal; exclude bacon, eggs, cheeses, and crema)
  • The B.E.C. (no butter, Aioli, cheese and eggs)
  • Wild Berry Lavender French Toast (Substitute for artisan sourdough, and exclude custard and lavender whipped cream.)
  • Avocado Toast (no eggs, no margarine)
  • Power wrap (no turkey, egg white, mozzarella)
  • Healthy Turkey (no turkey, egg white, and feta cheese)
  • Tri-Athlete (no egg white)
  • A.M. Superfoods Bowl (nothing to change!)
  • Steel-cut Oatmeal (ask for plant milk or water)
  • Sunrise Granola (no yogurt, but A.M. Superfoods bowl is much better than this)
  • Florentine Benedict (no eggs, whipped butter, hollandaise)
  • Market Skillet Hash (no eggs, margarine, cheeses, whipped butter)
  • Power Breakfast Quinoa Bow (no chicken stock, if possible, exclude chicken, eggs, margarine, sausage, and parmesan)
  • Super Food Kale Salad (no chicken stock, if possible, also exclude chicken, parmesan, and whipped butter)
  • Chicken Avocado Chop Salad (no chicken, feta cheese, and whipped butter)
  • Sweet Honey Pecan Salad (no chicken, bacon, Jack cheese, and whipped butter)
  • Market Veggie Sandwich (no whipped butter, mayo, mozzarella, and basil pesto)
  • Veggie Burger  (substitute the brioche bun with artisan toast; also exclude whipped butter)
  • Market Vegetable Soup (crackers also vegan!)
  • Grits (plain, without butter or cheese)
  • Whole Grain Artisan toast (with strawberry preserves)
  • Mint Mocha Iced Coffee (no candy pieces)
  • Most of the other drinks and cocktails.

Things that you should just leave alone

Many items can be made vegan, excluding some of the items. However, I wouldn’t recommend them since they will be pretty dull.

  • Chickichanga
  • Classic Benedict
  • BLT Benedict
  • Elevated Egg Sandwich
  • Farm Stand Breakfast Tacos
  • Farmhouse Skillet Hash (just take Market Skillet Hash)
  • Parma Skillet Hash
  • Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowl
  • Cobb Salad
  • Any sandwiches other than Market veggie.

Best vegan menu items at First Watch

Let’s see the details of the best vegan options at First Watch! These are my suggestions:

Seasonal items

  • SoCal Breakfast Hash: Even if you exclude the animal ingredients, you will get avocado, pickled peppers, fresh potatoes with onion, black beans, scallions, a flour tortilla, and pico de gallo. You can ask for some vegan sauces instead of crema to make it perfect.

The Healthier Side

  • Tri-Athlete: Luckily, only the egg white has to go. Green chilis, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, EVO, whole grain toast, and pico de gallo.
  • A.M. Superfoods Bowl: A wonderful granola bowl with many fruits and nuts. Super healthy, super vegan.
  • Avocado Toast: It is okay; it’s a healthy bite without eggs.
  • Steel-Cut Oatmeal: First Watch usually has plant-based milk, which is also a decent option.

Egg-sclusives

  • Florentine Benedict: Even without eggs and hollandaise, it is a decent option: toasted ciabatta with avocado, spinach, tomatoes, and herbs.
  • Market Skillet Hash: While it is among the Egg-Exclusive items, it is still one of the best vegan options at First Watch. It is like hash browns tossed with everything you can find in the garden—healthy, tasty, and filling.

Power bowls

  • Power Breakfast Quinoa Bow: Always make sure that they make it without broth! I wouldn’t say this will be the best vegan option; however, quinoa is a superfood, so it will always be a pretty good choice.

Salads

  • Superfood Kale Salad: This salad features lots of greens, a tasty maple-lemon dressing, nuts, and dried fruits, served with fresh ciabatta. For some reason, it’s made with chicken broth, but luckily, you can exclude it just like parmesan.
  • Sweet Honey Pecan Salad: It is not as good as kale salad, but pecan and avocado are always welcome. Substitute the honey dressing for a vegan one.

Sandwiches

  • Market Veggie Sandwich: Mushrooms, spinach, and zucchini on whole grain toast. This is not the greatest option, but I can go with it.
  • Veggie Burger: While First Watch has an excellent vegan burger patty, it doesn’t have a plant-based burger bun. This is a huge let-down, but you can ask for whole-grain toast, which is much healthier anyway.

Sides and small bites

  • Plain grits
  • Fresh seasonal fruits
  • Fresh seasoned potatoes with onions
  • Whole grain toast: plain or with strawberry jam
  • Gluten-free bread with strawberry jam or plain
  • Lemon Dressed Organic Mixed Greens

Drinks and cocktails

  • Ordinary soft drinks, lemonades, and iced teas
  • Juice bar: Kale tonic, Morning meditation, Purple Haze, Immunity boost
  • Cinnamon Toast Cereal Milk: Rum-based cocktails with oat milk.
  • Pomegranate Sunrise
  • Bourbon Blackberry Palmer
  • Blackberry Bramble Sangria
  • Spiked Lavendar Lemonade
  • Mimosa
  • Sparkling wine

That’s all of the vegan options at First Watch that you can count on.

vegan options at first watch

Things that are not vegan at First Watch, unfortunately

A few signature things are missing from the list above. Unfortunately, they are not vegan and cannot be made vegan.

Are First Watch pancakes vegan?

Unfortunately, First Watch uses dairy and eggs to make its pancakes, so there is no way to make them vegan-friendly.

What else?

Donuts, muffins, and waffles are not vegan, either. They are all made with dairy and eggs, just like Brioche Bread and French Toast Batter. Surprisingly, while many places make English muffins vegan-friendly, First Watch doesn’t. English muffins contain eggs at First Watch.

is pancake vegan at first watch

First Watch as a vegan in a nutshell

First of all, I wouldn’t say that First Watch is vegan-friendly. Why? While they have pretty good vegan options, none of them—except one—are naturally plant-based, which is bad. They consider eggs a superfood, so they put them into everything. Also, they use butter for almost everything, even the margarine contains dairy. On the other hand, if you put this thought aside, it is quite a good place for vegans. Their website is pretty good at allergenics, so you can easily exclude every animal ingredient from your order. Luckily, many of the good items on the menu will be great without animal ingredients. I can hardly find any similar place that is better than First Watch as a vegan since it is even better than Apple Bee and Panera bread.

Information, and Image sources: https://firstwatch.com/

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