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The restaurant and bakery Perkins has hundreds of stores throughout America, and it’s a favorite for many Americans. That being said, it’s not the best when it comes to vegan friendliness; it lacks a lot of vegan-focused choices or even vegan-appropriate foods.
However, it’s not always possible to attend another restaurant, whether because you are going to Perkins with your family or because you want to eat something fast to avoid getting hangry. If that’s the case, you’ll need to know the Perkins vegan options available.
Let’s break down those options now. Here is a quick table overview of vegan options:
|Hash Browns||Side||Contain “natural and artificial flavors” which may not be vegan|
|Oatmeal||Side||Order with no milk|
|Toast||Side||Whole Wheat, White & Sourdough. Rye Bread contains honey|
|Fried Pickles||Appetizer||Breaded Pickle Chips contain “natural flavor” that has not been confirmed as vegan and are processed in a facility that processes fish and shrimp products|
|Buttered Corn||Side||Made with a liquid margarine that contains “natural flavor” that has not been confirmed as vegan|
|Side of Fresh Fruit||Side|
|Garden Salad||Side||Order with no cheese and no croutons|
|Grilled Asparagus||Side||Cooked with a Blended Soybean Oil that includes “natural and artificial flavors” that have not been confirmed as vegan|
|Sautéed Spinach||Side||Cooked with a Blended Soybean Oil that includes “natural and artificial flavors” that have not been confirmed as vegan|
Vegan Entrees and Sides at Perkins
The big flaw with Perkins is that it doesn’t have a main entrée or full meal for vegans at all. It does include several sides you can potentially expand into an entrée, however. The vegan appropriate sides at Perkins include:
- A plain baked potato
- French fries, though these are fried in a shared frying device. So if cross-contamination is a problem for you, these aren’t really vegan friendly
- Breakfast potatoes
- Fried pickles, though you have to order them without any ranch dip to make them vegan friendly
- Broccoli, though note that you must order them without any butter to make them vegan friendly
- Plain oatmeal. The oatmeal comes made with syrup by default, so specify that you want your oatmeal made with water to prevent any non-vegan contamination
- Fruit cups, which contain a selection of fresh fruit – this is vegan all the way, naturally
- A plain bagel, but you need to specify that you don’t want any butter
- Sauteed spinach, which usually comes vegan friendly by default
- Sliced avocado, which can be a tasty addition to your bagel or just a healthy snack
- Side salad, which can be expanded to become entrée sized. For the side salad to be vegan friendly, specify that you want it without croutons or cheese
- The Southwest avocado chicken salad. Just be sure, naturally, to get rid of the chicken and cheese; you can swap these for the vegan dressing options below
Vegan Salads Dressings at Perkins
Aside from the major side options at Perkins, this eatery also includes several vegan-friendly salad dressings you can add to the house salad. These include:
- Saltine crackers
- Fat-free French dressing and regular French dressing
- Italian dressing and fat-free Italian dressing
- Balsamic vinaigrette dressing
Vegan Dessert at Perkins
Technically, there aren’t any vegan dessert options at Perkins, but you can order the above-mentioned fruit cup if you want something relatively sweet to cap off your “meal”.
The Best Vegan Options at Perkins
Given that Perkins has a pretty low range of vegan options, it can be tough to know what to eat. In our opinion, the best vegan options at Perkins include:
- The plain bagel without any butter. The bagel is made with wheat bread, so it’s reasonably satisfying and tasty. Instead of butter, you can ask for peanut butter and/or jelly so you don’t have to eat plain bread. Alternatively, add some sliced avocado to the bagel for a filling and nutritious snack or breakfast
- The baked potato, which should be ordered without butter or sour cream. This is a bit bland all by itself, but it is relatively filling and pretty healthy. You can also add avocado or some of the other dressings and sides mentioned above to spice up your meal a bit
- The breakfast potatoes are also another good vegan from the choice at Perkins. That’s because they are cooked in vegetable-based oil rather than animal oil, and various seasonings are added to them ranging from onion to paprika to garlic and more. You can add other things to your breakfast potatoes like avocado or green peppers if you specify so on your order
- The hashbrowns are also great for vegans since they are cooked in soybean oil and don’t use any animal ingredients
- Perkins allows you to order several side veggies and make them tastier than they are normally. The sautéed spinach is pretty good by itself, but you can also order grilled asparagus. The asparagus is grilled in soybean oil like the other fried options above, so it’s totally vegan friendly but it tastes much better than regular asparagus
- The last great vegan-friendly option is the garden salad. It’s comprised of romaine and iceberg lettuce, cabbage, onions, carrots, and tomatoes. So there’s a healthy spread of different ingredients included with every order
Perkins Vegan Meals FAQs
They do indeed, including a variety of caffeinated beverages like Coca-Cola and Cherry Coke, as well as bottled water, Sprite, root beer, lemonade, hot or iced tea, coffee, ginger ale, and tons of juices ranging from orange juice to tomato juice to apple juice. Simply put, vegans will find plenty of beverages suitable for their diets here.
Yes, they do. Therefore, any fried foods like French fries or foods that are prepared in the main kitchen, like baked potatoes, are probably exposed to cross-contamination before they reach your plate. If this bothers you, you may need to order things like the side salad or stay away from Perkins altogether.
Is Perkins a Good Eatery for Vegans?
All in all, Perkins is not a very good eatery for vegans overall. There aren’t many vegan-friendly options, and your picks for full meals are slim. Instead, we would recommend opting for more vegan-friendly restaurants, such as Denny’s or IHOP; both of these chains have far better options for vegans than Perkins. Chili’s also has a great vegan menu to check out!
We also offer an extensive list of restaurant vegan menus so you know what places are the best to grab a tasty vegan bite.
Still, now you know exactly what to expect from Perkins’ vegan menu. If you ever have to eat here, you’ll know what you can order in a pinch!