Update February 2017

East Side Mario’s sent a message via Facebook that they have the following vegan options, although modifications need to be made:

  • Bruschetta – say no garlic butter
  • Vegetarian pizza – ask for no cheese
  • Garden salad – ask for no croutons
  • Ministrone soup – already vegan!
  • Spaghettini primavara – ask no cheese
  • Pasta with Napolitana or Arrabiata sauce – already vegan! Ask for extra veggies if you like
  • Homeloaf – ask for no garlic spread

Is There a Veggie Burger in the House?

Written & researched by Kenneth Butland. Updated Jan 2013.

One welcome trend at family and casual dining restaurant chains in the GTA is that they are adding veggie-friendly options to their usually meat-laden menus. Often these “heart-smart” labeled items are covered in cholesterol-packed cheese, but not always. Even us vegans, when we are obliged to join outings with family or coworkers, no longer have to order the salad without the croutons or the blue cheese or the parm. And that is one kind of victory.

One potential winner it pays to scan the menu for is the humble veggie burger. Lots of the big chains, from Swiss Chalet to Kelsey’s, offer one—usually soy, although some get creative and use Portobello—but are they vegan? Does dairy lurk in that patty? Does egg hide in that bun? Turns out, it’s hit and miss, so if you’re keen to know for the next time you can’t convince your coworkers to try Loving Hut, read on.

This information was obtained through customer service inquiries at the corporate, or if unavailable, local levels.

The Pickle Barrel
Veggie Burger? Yes.
Vegan? Yes (request without the pesto).

Swiss Chalet
Veggie Burger? Yes.
Vegan? Yes (the regular burger bun contains dairy, but you may request it with a dinner roll—or two—instead, which are vegan).

The Pump House (Mississauga)
Veggie Burger? Yes.
Vegan? Yes.

Kelsey’s
Veggie Burger? Yes.
Vegan? No (the patty is vegan but the bun contains dairy).
Alternatives? Items with a green ‘V’ next to them indicate they are vegetarian. Vegans are instructed to inquire at location.

Moxie’s Grill & Bar
Veggie Burger? Yes.
Vegan? No (the patty contains dairy).
Alternatives? Salads and steamed vegetables.

Milestone’s
Veggie Burger? No.
Alternatives? Corporate has instructed vegans to contact individual locations for requests. Vegetarian items on the menu are indicated by a green leaf.

Appleby’s
Do not go here unless you like canned fruit cups for dinner.

The Keg
Veggie Burger? No.
Alternatives? From their email response: “We do have a couple of  ‘off menu’ items for you to consider. Your server should be able to provide you the details of either the Asian Vegetable Salad or the Vegetable Stirfry (Our rice pilaf is made using vegetable stock). In addition, we do offer a few side options: including steamed asparagus, bruschetta loaf, and sautéed mushroom in addition to a selection of salads listed on our menu. Our Foodservices team is also aware of the growing demand and will continue to work to come up with new options.”

Canyon Creek Chophouse
Veggie Burger? Yes (Portobello mushroom).
Vegan? No.
Alternatives? No response from corporate.

Lone Star Texas Grill
Veggie Burger? No.
Alternatives? Order the vegetarian fajitas with corn tortillas, refried beans, guacamole and steamed vegetables without butter.

Jack Astor’s
Veggie Burger? Yes.
Vegan? No.
Alternatives? Most items on the menu that are labeled as veggie contain dairy, egg and even fish. Your best bet is to order the veggie stir fry and request a sauce substitute (the regular sauce has fish, but the teriyaki sauce does not).
Source: http://thisisvegan.blogspot.ca/2010/01/dinner-at-jack-astors.html

Montana’s Cookhouse
Veggie Burger? Yes.
Vegan? No response from corporate.
Alternatives? No response from corporate.

Shoeless Joe’s
Veggie Burger? Yes.
Vegan? No response from corporate.
Alternatives? No response from corporate.