Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD
More and more people have adopted vegetarian diets, and finding fast-food options that cater to their needs is challenging.
Sonic Drive-In is a popular fast-food chain that is well-known for its burgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes, but it may not be the first place that comes to mind for vegetarians. However, Sonic actually offers a variety of vegetarian options that are quick, cheap, and satisfying.
In this blog post, we will explore the various vegetarian options available at Sonic, so whether you’re a seasoned vegetarian or just looking to cut back on your meat intake, you can still enjoy a meal at Sonic without compromising on convenience.
Just a heads up before we get started… There’s not a lot here.
Fast food for me is for those instances where I’ve been running around and suddenly realize I’M STARVING!!! I usually pick a snack to hold me over wherever I am. Don’t expect to get full here.
As such, I’m not choosing options for nutrition specifically but to fill a growling belly. So let’s see what our options are here.
Burgers and Hot Dogs
Looking at the national menu and my local menu, Sonic does not offer a vegetarian burger option.
However, you’ll see some mention of veggie burgers at Sonic, so this MIGHT be a local option depending on where you live. The allergen guide does mention a veggie burger at select locations, though this not a vegan-friendly menu option, as it lists both egg and milk as an allergen.
There does not appear to be any veg*n-friendly hot dog options.
Grilled cheese sandwich made with Texas toast. That’s it. I’ve had it before; it’s pretty bland.
If I’m ever here again, I might consider adding the zesty cheese sauce (from the Spicy Steak and Bacon Grilled Cheese) to add some flavor.
There is a grilled cheese kids meal that also comes with applesauce, fries or tots, and a small drink. Still carb-heavy, but at least there’s some variety.
Snacks and Sides
I think this is where most of us would be ordering from.
Mozzarella sticks, French fries, tater tots (both +/- cheese sauce), onion rings, soft pretzel twists, and Ched ‘R’ Pepper are all potential options for a vegetarian.
Vegans need to be aware of the possibility of buttermilk in the breading of onion rings and maybe in the pretzel twists.
Using Sonic Drive-In’s Allergen Guide as a reference, the onion rings are not vegan. But the pretzel twists appear to be.
Breakfast Toaster – order with no meat
Breakfast Burrito – again, specify no meat.
SuperSonic Breakfast Burrito – basically a breakfast burrito, but with tomatoes and onions added. Specify no meat.
Cinnabon Cinnasnacks – not my cup of tea, but they are vegetarian. Possibly vegan if you skip the cream cheese frosting.
French Toast Sticks are also mentioned in the menu, but it is stated that they may not be available, along with items containing eggs due to supply issues.
Sonic is arguably most famous for its drinks and ice creams (and their skates). These should be vegetarian-friendly. The dairy-free options should be vegan as well!
But again, make sure to verify vegan-friendliness at the restaurant.
So overall, Sonic Drive-In is best reserved as a quick option when a veg*n is super hungry, in a rush, and maybe wants a specialty drink.
Our options here are pretty much limited to grilled cheese and fried sides, not giving us many well-rounded options. Vegan options are particularly slim.
However, it’s more than some other chains give us, and the tater tots tend to be nostalgic!
Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian, mom, wife, and vegetarian in North Texas. She has dedicated Dietitian Jenn to be a source of information, ideas, and inspiration for people like her, vegetarians that live with people with different dietary beliefs and/or needs in a multivore household.