Vegetarian fast food options: Subs, pitas and falafels

Chains that sell submarine sandwiches or pitas tend to be great places for vegetarians, especially if you each cheese. Worst comes to worst one can just order a sandwich with all the veggie fillings and condiments.

Multi-cultural citys like Toronto have numerous independent falafel places that offer excellent fast food. Falafel sandwiches are good and cheap vegan fare. Falafel is a signature Middle Eastern pita sandwich filled with crispy balls of deep-fried chickpea batter, veggies and tahini sauce. These places also offer vegan dishes like baba ganoush (eggplant dip), hummus, foul and stuffed vine leaves.

Arby’s

Over 3,600 locations in the U.S and Canada

There aren’t many options at this roast beef sandwich chain. The only option is the Chopped Farmhouse salad (without cheddar to make it vegan). On their website, it notes that everything is fried in the same fryer so everything fried may contain egg, milk and fish.
www.arbys.com

Extreme Pita

Over 150 locations in Canada and 11 U.S. states

Vegan meal options include: Falafel pita sandwich and the Market Fresh Veggie Pita. Pitas are available in a 6 or 9 inch size. On the kids menu, you can also get the Fee-Fi-Fo Hummus wrap off the Kids Menu. There are also flat baked pitas (read: pizza) that can be made to order.  Choice of white or whole wheat, several veggie toppings including black olives and pineapple, and a choice of one of three cheeses. For a snack try the vegan Pita Chips with Hummus, Salads can also be made to order. Their Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing is vegan.
www.extremepita.com

Just Falafel

With 52 restaurants in 18 countries, this chain is catering to veg*ns worldwide! If you are sick of regular falafel and want to experience something new, check out their extensive falafel menu. They also have a list of organic salads including an Organic Quinoa salad! The Toronto restaurant is located just north of Bay and College.

www.justfalafel.com

The Pita Pit

Over 220 locations across Canada and the U.S.

Vegetarian pita sandwiches include the Falafel, Babaganoush (eggplant dip), Hummus, Garden (veggies only), Feta, American Swiss and Cheddar. You can also order any pita as a fresh salad for the same price (at least in the U.S.) See their website for nutrition info.

Update: Marci wrote us Jul 18, 2007, “A girl that worked there told me to always request that falafel be heated up in the microwave and not on the grill, as it is not meat-free.”
www.pitapit.com and www.pitapitusa.com (U.S.)

Quiznos Sub

Over 5,000 locations in the U.S., Canada, the UK and other countries

Limited vegetarian options include the Veggie Sub (guacamole, black olives, lettuce, tomato, red onion, mushrooms, mozzarella, cheddar, Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing), a smaller version on folded flatbread called the Veggie Sammie and a garden side salad. They do have a Broccoli and Cheese soup and in Canada, a Hearty Vegetable soup with carrots, tomato chunks, potatoes, green beans, peas, onions, spinach and celery. But the website doesn’t say what the soup stock is made of.
www.quiznos.com Canada: www.quiznos.ca

Subway

Over 30,000 locations In 87 Countries

On the menu, they have a vegan salad sandwich called the Veggie Delite. It is described as: “a crunchy combination of garden fresh lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, olives and pickles and your choice of condiments served on freshly baked bread.” All of Subway’s breads are egg and diary-free except three cheese breads that contain rennet of unknown origin. Their special sauces all contain egg yolk and/or milk ingredients except for the fat-free Sweet Onion Sauce. Their cookies all contain egg and milk products but are otherwise vegetarian.  They also have launched a “Totally-Vegged” patty. The poster boasts, “It’s vegan!” and our friends at Compassion Over Kiling did the leg work and indeed it is! Read all about it here.(March 2012)

See the AllergenChart.pdf (Canadian version at AllergenChartCAN.pdf) and ingredient list (Canada | U.S.) for more information. See their website for more regions. You can call them at (800) 888-4848 to request more veggie options in your home town, and they have a  Customer Service Form on their website – “Your comments and questions are welcomed.”

U.S. only:

Blimpie

Over 1,500 franchises in the U.S.

Vegetarian options include: The VegiMax (Veggie patty with melted provolone, tomatoes and lettuce with creamy Italian dressing), the Veggie Supreme (Provolone, American and Swiss with banana peppers, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, vinegar, oil and oregano) and a garden salad. You can also request a vegan sub made to order. Fillings include roasted red peppers, guacamole (vegan?), olives, and more. Their nutrition pdf also mentions a plain Bluffin (muffin) that is dairy and egg free.

Note: VegiMax patties contains egg white. Subway also offers these (see this blog post for the ingredients). They are made by MorningStar Farms (which is owned by Kellogg’s). Searching Blimpie’s website Jan 2009, they appear to also offer MorningStar’s Gardenburger that contains cheese and egg white.
www.blimpie.com

Canada only

Mr. Sub

Over 400 locations across Canada

Options include the Veggie Sub and Veggie Wrap. Three of their rotating soups have zero cholesterol (Garden Vegetable, Minestrone and Paste Fagioli) so there is a chance that these may be vegetarian. Ask.

Several year ago, Mr. Sub sent me an email with some ingredient listings for their buns and toppings. The multigrain, white, and whole-wheat submarine buns were vegan and contained surprisingly few chemicals. The “fresh” vegetable toppings contained a yummy mix of preservatives but were otherwise vegan. The green olives and the dill pickles contained lactic acid but this is likely from a vegan source. The cheese, spinach, sun-dried tomato and whole-wheat tortilla wraps all contained skim milk powder. Mr. Sub slipped up and sent me their secret sauce recipe. So the secret’s out but at least it’s vegan. –Thom
www.mrsub.ca