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First Watch is hardly the first restaurant to try and update breakfasts into a trendier and healthier version, but they’re one of the better restaurants in the genre. While this isn’t a vegan or vegetarian restaurant by any means, First Watch has a good number of vegan options. The staff also tend to be willing to make substitutions or small changes to accommodate a vegan diet.
Let’s take a look at what First Watch has to offer vegans!
|Menu Item||Dish Type||Notes|
|A.M Superfoods Bowl||Bowl||–|
|Avocado Toast||Toast||Order without eggs and butter/margarine on the toast|
|Citrus Chipotle Dressing||Dressing||–|
|Fresh, Seasoned Potatoes||Side||–|
|Grits||Side||Order without butter/margarine|
|Lemon Dressed Greens||Side||–|
|Maple Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing||Dressing||–|
|Market Vegetable Soup||Soup||–|
|Steel Cut Oatmeal||Oatmeal||Order without milk and almond butter for the muffin|
First Watch Vegan Main Course Options
First Watch offers a range of seasonal menu items that we won’t be reviewing here since availability and recipes can change every season. However, if you’re interested in a seasonal menu, you can always ask if they are vegan, or if you can substitute certain ingredients for vegan options.
Unfortunately, First Watch has a lot of egg-heavy options that don’t have good substitutions. Instead, focus on some of the meals like the Avocado Toast, which only has eggs on the side. You can usually substitute the eggs for fruit or another vegan-friendly side to make them vegan.
You can also order an Avocado Sandwich for a slightly heartier version, though you’ll still need to sub or skip the eggs.
The A.M. Superfoods Bowl, which is made with chia seed coconut milk pudding, is an excellent option. Light, fruity, and sweet, this bowl is already vegan, no substitutions are necessary.
Steel Cut Oatmeal is another good option, just replace the included milk with water or one of their specialty drinks, like the seasonal Carrot Crush. The included muffin, however, isn’t vegan. You can easily replace the muffin with a bowl of fruit, though!
Unfortunately, all of First Watch’s waffles, pancakes, and French toast include eggs in the bread recipes, so none of them are vegan-friendly.
If you’re looking for something a little heartier, or a good lunch option, you can go with the pesto chicken quinoa bowl. Ask for no chicken or feta and the remaining ingredients are vegan-friendly and delicious!
The Power Breakfast Quinoa bowl is another good option, just as for no eggs or Italian Sausage. However, some people find that this bowl is a little under seasoned in its vegan version since a lot of the recipe’s original flavor relies on the sausage.
The last option is getting a Veggie Wrap, though this is an off-menu choice. First Watch’s other wraps all have eggs or other animal proteins, so you’ll just need to ask for a veggie wrap instead. Generally, First Watch is more than happy to load a wrap with avocados and other delicious and healthy vegetables, making the wrap one of the more filling and satisfying options.
First Watch Vegan Sides
When it comes to sides, First Watch doesn’t offer too many options in general. It’s no surprise then that there aren’t too many vegan options. The potato options at First Watch aren’t vegan in their base recipe, and only some locations can make them vegan, so you can’t count on potatoes being a good option.
- Hearty Vegetable Soup – this is a great option year-round, especially if you’re looking for something warm and filling.
- Bowl of Fruit – The included fruit changes a bit from location to location and is sometimes seasonal.
- Lemon Dressed Greens – A delicious vegan side salad, though lacking in other vegetables.
- Side Salad – You’ll need to check and make sure the side salad doesn’t have cheese and that the dressing is vegan. However, those items can often be left out or replaced.
Honestly, while a little more limited than the main dish section, this selection isn’t too bad by most non-vegan restaurant standards.
First Watch Vegan Salad Options
First Watch has a surprisingly large selection of salads for a breakfast restaurant. Thankfully, several of their options can be reasonably modified to suit vegans, and they still taste great too!
The Superfood Kale Salad is a great nutrient-dense option for vegans. Simply ask for no chicken and no parmesan cheese and this salad is vegan friendly.
The Avocado Chop Salad (order without chicken) is another good choice, and it’s a little more filling thanks to the healthy fats in the avocado.
First Watch Vegan FAQ:
At the moment, no, First Watch doesn’t offer any vegan alternatives to the eggs in their dishes.
While some of the sandwich breads are vegan-friendly, in-house bread products like waffles, specialty breads, and pancakes almost all contain eggs or milk. Some of the pancakes also contain ricotta cheese, making vegan replacements more difficult.
Citrus-based dressings and the vinaigrettes are all vegan safe. Other options may or may not be, depending on location. You can always ask ahead. There are also some options, like a honey-Dijon dressing that are good for vegans who aren’t strict about honey, but that isn’t technically vegan.
Currently, First Watch offers a veggie burger but doesn’t have any other vegan meat products available. That means that breakfast meats, like bacon or sausage, cannot be replaced with vegan alternatives.
Is First Watch A Good Restaurant For Vegans?
Overall, First Watch is fairly vegan friendly, though it doesn’t have as many options as some breakfast places. It would be nice if First Watch included a vegan-friendly pancake or waffle recipe in their lineup, and more options to include vegan proteins instead of eggs or meats would go a long way with this menu.
Still, if you’re looking for healthy vegan food from a restaurant, First Watch has a reasonable selection. The staff is also often willing to make substitutions or mild alterations to anything that isn’t pre-cooked.
However, since potatoes and several other vegetable options are cooking in butter and cooked ahead, it’s a good idea to call the First Watch to confirm which options are vegan. While some locations may be able to prepare your food special, most cannot substitute out anything that’s been pre-cooked and put together before you order.