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What are the vegan options at Red Robin?

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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, established in 1969 in Seattle, Washington, has grown into a prominent chain of casual dining restaurants across the United States and Canada. Known for its diverse menu, Red Robin offers an array of gourmet burgers, sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and entrees. Their signature bottomless steak fries accompany many dishes, contributing to the restaurant’s appeal to a wide range of diners. With over 550 locations as of 2021, Red Robin has established itself as a popular destination for families and burger enthusiasts, providing a casual and vibrant atmosphere.

Luckily, Red Robin has expanded its menu to cater to a growing demand for plant-based options in the past few years. Recognizing the increasing popularity of vegan dining, the restaurant has introduced two different plant-based patties. Also, there were already some accidentally vegan-friendly dishes. With options like the Impossible Burger and the Keep It Simple Burger with a vegan patty, Red Robin ensures that vegans can also have a decent meal at the restaurant. However, while there are veggie and impossible burgers, they are not naturally vegan. Firstly, we have to exclude some items from the order. At the same time, it won’t be hard since Red Robin has a great preferences guide for the menu items, which helps to recognize the animal ingredients in each dish. The only huge downside is that Red Robin uses non-vegan sugar since everything that contains sugar is excluded from vegan options.

what is vegan at red robin

What is vegan at Red Robin?

According to Red Robin’s Preferences guide, there are plenty of vegan and “can be” plant-based dishes. However, many of them won’t be satisfying if you remove the animal ingredients, or they will be almost the same if you substitute them. So, in this guide, I focus only on the best vegan options at Red Robin. 

  • Crispy Parmesan Brussel Sprouts (no parmesan)
  • Keep It Simple – Veggie burger
  • Burnin’ Love Burger (substitute: patty, and sauce, also exclude cheese)
  • The Impossible Cheeseburger (substitute: mayonnaise, and exclude cheese)
  • The Wedgie Burger (substitute the patty and exclude bacon)
  • Veggie Burger (substitute the Aioli and remove the cheese)
  • Avo-Cobb-O Salad (substitute the chicken with veggie or impossible patty; also remove cheese, bacon, croutons, and eggs)
  • Bottomless House Salad (no cheese and croutons)
  • Simply Grilled Chicken Salad (substitute the chicken and ranch dressing; also exclude cheese and croutons)
  • Southwest Chicken Salad (substitute the chicken, exclude cheese, black beans, and ancho marinade)
  • Bottomless Steak Fries (kid’s also)
  • Bottomless Sweet potato Fries (kid’s also)
  • Bottomless Yukon fries (kid’s also)
  • Bottomless steam broccoli
  • Bottomless house salads (no croutons, or cheese)
  • Kid’s bottomless carrots
  • Kid’s bottomless house salads
  • Drinks (Diet, Zero Coke, Sprite, freshly brewed iced teas, Water, kid’s juices), and Sweet teas are not vegan!
  • Caramel Apple Doh! Rings (no A la mode, caramel, Cinnamon, and powdered sugar.)
  • Some of the sauces (Jalapeno Relish, Heinz 57, house-made salsa, Island heat, Marinara, Oliva & vinegar, scorpion, smashed avocado, Whisky River BBQ).

Red Robin could have more vegan options, but I do not recommend them. Although most of the burgers can be made vegan, there is no point in doing that since they will be almost the same.

Best vegan options at Red Robin

There are enormous amounts of potential plant-based options available at the restaurant chain however, not all of them are really worth it. Here is a detailed list of the best vegan items in my opinion.

Crispy Parmesan Brussels sprouts

This is the only vegan appetizer at Red Robin. It is quite good even without cheese.

Keep It Simple

As its name suggests, it is a simple burger with a veggie patty—nothing to change there.

Burnin’ Love Burger

All of the burgers can be made vegan, however, they won’t look any different from each other. Burnin’ love will be hot at least, if you substitute and remove the animal ingredients.

Scorpion Burger

The vegan version of the scorpion burger is also worth a try. The jalapeno and scorpion sauces make it unique. Remember to substitute the patty and sauces and remove the cheese.

The Impossible Cheeseburger

If you remove the cheese since Red Robin doesn’t have plant-based cheese, it will be only The Impossible burger. Also, the mayo is real mayo, so it contains eggs. Substitute it with vegan sauces.

Monster burger

If you substitute the patty, mayonnaise, and cheese and remove the cheese, it will be the same as The Impossible Cheeseburger, but with a double patty. Which isn’t that bad, is it?

Whiskey River BBQ Burger

Fortunately, Red Robin’s BBQ sauces are vegan, which is a great surprise. You have to substitute the patty and the mayo and exclude the cheese.  Also, order it with raw onion, since onion straws contain dairy.

Southwest Chicken Salad

Just like the burgers, the salads will be pretty similar if you make them vegan, and among the salads, it is the best choice. Substitute the chicken with one of the plant-based patties. Also, the dressing is non-vegan. Additionally, you have to remove the cheese and black beans. Yes, you heard it right. Somehow (looking at the sugar), it isn’t vegan.

Vegan sides

Plant-based sides at Red Robin are pretty good, to be honest. If you don’t mind the cross-contamination, all of the fries are vegan. So you can enjoy the bottomless steak, Yukon, and sweet potato fries. If you like the healthy options more, steamed broccoli and house salad are your choices. Don’t forget to exclude cheese and croutons from the salad!

Caramel Apple Doh! Rings

Unfortunately, almost every additional item is non-vegan so it won’t be a huge deal, but it’s still something that most fast-food restaurants don’t have: a vegan dessert option.

Plant-based buns and sauce alternatives

You can make your burger quite exciting with combinations of buns and sauces.

  • Buns: Brioche bun (original), Wedgie style (lettuce instead of bun), Tavern, or no bun at all (gluten-free).
  • Sauces: Jalapeno Relish, Heinz 57, house-made salsa, Island heat, Marinara, Whiskey River BBQ Sauce and Smashed Avocado.
vegan options at red robin

Several items look vegan or can be made vegan; however, they are not worth the money or the calories. Just leave them alone and choose one of the decent vegan options listed below.

Guac Salsa & Chips

Somehow It isn’t vegan according to the Red Robin’s guide. It isn’t the salsa or the guacamole. The chips are not recommended for vegans. I couldn’t find out which ingredient or ingredients are not vegan-friendly: Whole Grain Corn, Water, Cellulose Gum, Propionic Acid, Guar Gum, Phosphoric Acid, Amylase, Sea Salt, Frying Oil: [ Liquid And Hydrogenated Soybean Oil; TBHQ And Citric Acid Added To Protect Flavor; Dimethylpolysiloxane; An Anti-Foaming Agent Added ]

Burgers not listed above

The guide marks every burger as “OK to Eat with Modifications.” However, most of them won’t be satisfying if you remove everything that should be removed. Also, there are some tricky ones, which look like a great vegan deal.

  • Banzai: Neither grilled pineapple, and Sweet & Thick Teriyaki Sauce
  • Sauteed ‘Shroom: Unfortunately, sauteed mushrooms are made with dairy.
  • Smoke & Pepper: Smoke & Pepper Ketchup isn’t vegan due to the sugar content.
  • Smashed Avocado ‘N Bacon Burger: you can substitute the non-vegan sauce in any other burger listed below to make the same as this without bacon.
  • Tavern burgers: Instead of it, substitute the bun at the order to the tavern bun at the above burgers.

Also, It is not recommended to modify the following burgers: Lava Queso, Madlove, Bacon Cheeseburger, Royal Red Robin, Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger, Cheese Bacon Fondue, Blue Ribbon, Keep it Simple chicken, and beef burger. But these are more obvious.

Sandwiches & wraps

Wraps can’t be made vegan; I think there is no point in choosing sandwiches instead of burgers. But if you want it, you can give it a try.

Pizzas

Unfortunately, Red Robin’s Pizzas are not vegan, even if you remove the cheese. The crust itself contains dairy, so it is a no-go. If you are craving vegan pizza, you should head to Blaze Pizza, where plant-based sausages and cheese are available.

 Avo-Cobb, Crispy Chicken Tender salads

There is no point in modifying Avo-Cobb, and Crispy Chicken Tender salads to be vegan since they will be plain shredded greens with one of the vegan dressings.

Sides with garlic

Unfortunately, you should remove the non-vegan ingredients from Garlic Parmesan Broccoli and Bottomless Garlic fries. In that case, you are left with plain steamed broccoli and simple bottomless fries since the garlic sauce also contains dairy.

Sodas, lemonade, and Red Bull

Every soda, lemonade, and sweet tea (iced teas are okay) at Red Robin contains sugar labeled non-vegan, and most contain non-vegan food color. So, the drinks are limited to water, Coke Zero, Coke Diet, Sprite, and iced teas.

Cinnamon Sugar Doh! Ring

Unfortunately, the cinnamon coating isn’t vegan due to the sugar and you can’t exclude it. But there is no point to that anyway, since neither the fudge nor caramel is vegan so you would left with plain Doh! ring.

what you should not eat as a vegan at red robin

Red Robin’s vegan options in a nutshell

To be honest, Red Robin is a huge surprise for me. While there are few dedicated vegan items, you can still make a decent plant-based meal there since their guidance is priceless. Also, Red Robin offers one or two plant-based patties, one of which is the Impossible Patty. You can easily spot and substitute the non-vegan ingredients in each meal. They even note the potential cross-contamination.

In short, you can choose from various burgers, which are worth making vegan. Also, the sides are great, and most of them are vegan. The only downside is that they use non-vegan sugar which makes a lot of vegan items non-vegan. On the other hand, I can live with that. I will order from Red Robin soon!

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