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Dairy Queen, the chain fast food restaurant perhaps best known for its Blizzard ice cream treats, also offers regular fast food options like sandwiches, French fries, and more. This staple fast-food chain found throughout the US is a popular one, but is it a good choice if you are a vegan or vegetarian?
Turns out, it’s not as bad as you might think. However, Dairy Queen also isn’t the number one when it comes to vegan or vegetarian flexibility. Today, let’s break down Dairy Queen’s vegan and vegetarian options in detail.
Dairy Queen Vegetarian and Vegan Sides, Snacks, and More
Dairy Queen offers a wide variety of treats, sides, and foods that vegans and vegetarians can enjoy.
Anything good for vegans at Dairy Queen will naturally be good for vegetarians as well. Surprisingly, Dairy Queen does reasonably well in this regard, though of course it lacks any specific vegan-friendly entrée or main menu options. You’ll either have to make up your own meal from the vegetarian or vegan-friendly ingredients or content yourself with sides.
All the vegan-friendly food at Dairy Queen include:
- A cheeseburger deluxe. Naturally, you’ll need to order the cheeseburger without any meat, cheese, or mayonnaise. Instead, you can ask for double veggies and get something like a fresh burger for yourself, though we can’t speak to the taste of this creation!
- Pretzel sticks, although be sure to order them without any queso. But note that the pretzel sticks are currently made with an ingredient called L-Cysteine. This may or may not be healthy or vegan-friendly depending on your diet
- A side salad. Fortunately, you can order Dairy Queen’s side salad with one of four vegan-friendly dressings: the Marzetti Asian sesame dressing, balsamic vinaigrette, fat-free California French style dressing, or light Italian dressing. So if you just want something light to snack on, Dairy Queen has you covered with its side salad!
- Applesauce if you want another snack or want to eat it with your salad
- Bananas, which is no surprise since these are often added to the ice cream desserts Dairy Queen is most famous for
- Hashbrowns and French fries. While these are technically vegan or vegetarian friendly, they don’t have a designated cooking space for these foods. As a result, if cross-contamination disqualifies a food item as vegetarian or vegan friendly, neither of these choices will be right for you
- Lay’s BBQ Chips, Original Chips, and Baked Potato Chips. Careful of other varieties they may not be vegan.
As you can see, Dairy Queen does offer a wide variety of snacks inside you can eat. This is much better than some more limited fast-food chains found throughout America.
Vegan/Vegetarian Ice Creams
If you stop by Dairy Queen, odds are you want something delicious to treat your sweet tooth with. Luckily, vegans do have two limited options: non-dairy Dilly Bars and Star Kiss Frozen Treats. Unfortunately, the latter treat is not available at all Dairy Queen locations, so you should call ahead of time if you plan to visit a Dairy Queen and see if they have this option available.
The Star Kiss is quite delicious and the Dilly Bars are very convenient for snacking on something sweet while on the road. However, none of Dairy Queen’s Blizzards or other ice cream offerings are vegan or vegetarian friendly.
If you have a sweet tooth, consider checking out some DIY vegan dessert recipes, like easy avocado chocolate mousse!
Lastly, Dairy Queen does offer several smoothies and slushes if you’re vegan or vegetarian. These include the:
- Limited time offer Papaya Paradise Light. This is a new version of the Papaya Paradise, which normally includes dairy. The Light version is not, making it great for vegans or vegetarians
- Misty Slush, which comes in flavors like grape, cherry, blue raspberry, lemon-lime, and more. All of these slushes unfortunately contain artificial colors, but they are vegan or vegetarian unfriendly
- Light smoothies, which come in flavors like strawberry banana, tripleberry Mango pineapple, orange, strawberry, and more. Once again, it’s a good idea to call at your local Dairy Queen and make sure that they make these smoothies without any dairy – they are supposed to be made with fresh fruit and no yogurt, although some places are known to bend the rules to fulfill customer orders in time
Is Cross-Contamination a Problem at Dairy Queen?
As touched on above, cross-contamination is definitely an issue at Dairy Queen. There are no vegan or vegetarian only preparatory services or tools used when they make their French fries, sweet treats, or anything else.
Therefore, you should keep this in mind when ordering from Dairy Queen and know that even the most vegan-friendly food you order may have touched non-vegan food items or particles at some point. The only exceptions are the chips and the applesauce, both of which come in sealed containers and thus are never exposed to cross-contamination.
Dairy Queen Vegan/Vegetarian Option FAQs
No, sadly. The onion rings always contain milk, so they aren’t vegan-friendly. They may be vegetarian-friendly depending on your diet, however.
Sure. Non-dairy Dilly Bars were first offered in April 2020. This is the first non-dairy and vegan ice cream option from Dairy Queen. While we hope to see more options in the future, this is a hopeful start toward more vegan-friendly menus.
Is Dairy Queen Good for Vegetarians or Vegans?
Ultimately, Dairy Queen isn’t the best option for vegans or vegetarians, but it’s also not the worst. In fact, there’s a surprising amount of vegan-friendly options available given the fact that it is primarily known for its ice cream: a sweet treat made mostly with dairy products. So if you have a hankering for a sweet treat or want a snack on the road, Dairy Queen could be a great place to check out.
Alternatively, you can look at our guide to vegan-friendly restaurants or vegetarian menu options for more choices.