I love to cook and 95% of my meals come from food I prepare myself, but sometimes it’s way more convenient to grab food from a restaurant. Though most people are out and about a lot less due to COVID, I thought it still may be useful to compile a list of whole food plant-based food options while away from home. Some of my recommendations come from chain restaurants and others are from local eateries near my hometown in Indianapolis.
All of my suggestions below contain no meat and diary and are minimally processed. Finding food made without oil from a restaurant can be tricky, but my list keeps things as oil free (or with minimal oil added) as possible.
Let’s get started!
Ok so this first one isn’t necessarily a restaurant per se, but I absolutely love the fresh options they offer! If you’ve never heard of Farmer’s Fridge before, they are essentially large vending machines that are fully stocked with a ton of healthy and fresh food options. Anytime I go to the Indianapolis airport, FF is my first stop. They have locations in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and New York. Some of my favorite food options from Farmer’s Fridge include the Almond Butter Oats Bowl, Pineapple Coconut Chia Pudding, Asian Chopped Salad, Burrito Bowl, Kimchi Fried Rice Bowl, and Raw Cookie Dough Bites.
Qdoba and Chipotle used to be my jam! I used to get either one or the other on a weekly basis. Now I typically just do my own version of a burrito bowl at home, but if I am traveling, these two are still my favorite chain restaurant to grab food from. My favorite is a burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, grilled veggies (unfortunately the grilled veggies are sautéed in oil though), pico, salsa verde, corn salsa, extra lettuce, and guac.
Since Subway restaurants can be found all across the world, it’s nice to know that they have some whole food plant-based options to choose from. My recommendation is either a veggie packed sub with 9 Grain Wheat Bread or a chopped salad with all the veggies. Usually I go for the sub piled high with almost all the veggies and topped with sub spice, guacamole and/or vinegar. Mustard is another good condiment option as well. They also have a few wrap options too.
Jason’s deli has a phenomenal salad bar!! I admit though, I haven’t had their salad bar since going fully plant-based (I ate there several times as a vegetarian though) so I’m not sure what options they have as far as dressings go besides vinaigrettes, but I was always impressed with their fresh selection. They also have an Organic Vegetable Soup and a few wraps that can be ordered without cheese.
Hard finding options without added oil, but Noodles & Co do carry some tasty veg options that are quite filling. My favorite is the Japanese Pan Noodles with tofu. They also offer Indonesian Peanut Sauté and a fresh Tomato Cucumber Salad.
I cannot say enough good things about this local gem! Ezra’s is located in Indianapolis and prides themselves on fresh, organic food, most of which they grow themselves. You will not find any animal products on their menu with the exception of raw local sustainably sourced honey. They consider themselves a (mostly) raw “bee”gan restaurant. From smoothies and herbal elixirs to granola bowls and their daily rotating nourishing entrée, each option will leave you feeling amazing. My favorite is the Nacho Mama’s Bean Bowl, which is filled with slow cooked pinto beans, quinoa, local greens, fermented veggies, avocado, pumpkin seed and their cashew nacho cheese.
Ever since I first stumbled upon this place I’ve been obsessed! This place is a vegan/vegetarians paradise! Not all of their options are dairy free, most there are still a TON of vegan friendly options. Some of their options are cooked in oil. Their menu includes appetizers, salads, handheld, entrees, sides, desserts, drinks, and even a brunch menu. Everything I’ve tried from Three Carrots I’ve given two thumbs up! Some of their popular dishes include Seitan Gyro, Banh Mi Bowl, Breakfast Tacos, Biscuits & Gravy, and more!
If you have some suggestions to add to the list, please comment below!