Asian fast food places: Updated January 2016
Over 100 locations in Canada, US, Italy, South Africa and the Middle East.
Their dishes are customizable and tofu is an option instead of meat. Vegetable stock is used for all their soups. Vegan dishes are Famous Teriyaki, Yakisoba Noodles, Pan-Asian Udon Noodles, Pan-Asian Udon Noodles, Yakisoba Noodle Soup, Spicy Udon Noodle Soup Bowl, Rice Noodle Typhoon Bowl. The spring rolls are also vegan but the Gyoza dumplings are chicken-filled. Teriyaki Experience lists the ingredients for all its dishes on their website.
Manchu Wok – For vegetarians there is the fried rice and the Lo Mein Noodles. There are eggs in both. Also note, the shanghai noodles contain fish products. The vegetable egg roll is vegetarian and their mixed vegetables are vegan.
Thai Express – They have a few vegetarian options: Fried Rice (with or without eggs), stir fry with vegetarian sauce (available in ginger, cashew nut, sweet and sour, basil, Lemongrass flavours), Pad Sew (with or without eggs). Their curry dishes are not vegetarian. They provided this warning via email: “If you have a food allergy, we recommend that you refrain from eating our products. Please note even with all the precautions taken for severe cases of allergies and intolerance, it is impossible to guarantee that our products have not come into contact with meat and/or other allergenic products during transportation and preparation at the suppliers.”
Ginger – Ginger has a couple of locations in Toronto. They have a number of vegan/vegetarian options: The Fresh vegetarian roll, the vegetarian sub, plain mango salad, plain papaya salad, spring roll and tofu vermicelli, tofu black bean sauce and baby bok-choy on steam rice, tomato sauce and tofu on steamed rice, vegetable and tofu soup, vegetable and tofu rice noodle soup, vegetable and tofu on steam rice. They list their pad thai noodles as vegan, though it’s likely it contains eggs if you don’t request without.
Better to avoid
Tiki Ming – Probably best avoided, as they don’t seem have any menu items remotely vegetarian/vegan.
California Thai – Probably best avoided. No information via their website, not even a menu; just some pictures of their dishes, all of which contain meat. They did not respond to emails requesting ingredient information.
Ruby Thai –Ruby Thai along with a bunch of other fast food restaurants like Bourbon St. Grill and Nori Japan are opened by a conglomerate company called IRG: Innovated Restaurant Group. They did not respond via email to confirm any ingredients or options.
The Mandarin Buffet – In response to a recent inquiry about vegetarian and vegan options, the following info was given from Mandarin’s headquarters in Brampton. Their mushroom salad contains chicken stock, and generally most of the stir fried dishes on their hot buffet, even veggie stir fries, contain chicken stock as well. The only dishes they could guarantee are plant-based are steamed rice for vegans, and cheese pizza for vegetarians who eat dairy.