You’ll recognize Culver’s from its signature ButterBurgers, Concrete Mixers, and Frozen Custard. But these should be none of your concerns if you’re looking for vegan options at Culver’s.
From a family-owned business in Wisconsin, the fast-food restaurant chain has grown to 775 outlets in 25 states. It added about 50 outlets in the year 2020. The ButterBugers (which are considered to be Wisconsin) and creamy frozen custard remain core to Culver’s product offerings. But you’d need to scratch the surface to get to the vegan options at Culver’s.
Vegan Options at Culver’s
Culver’s is not a vegan-friendly eatery. Many chains do better at serving vegan food than the Wisconsin-based restaurant chain. But there are vegan options nonetheless. You can find as many as 10 vegan food items to order, ranging from salads to crunch fries. While Culver’s is responsible enough to affirm that there’s cross-contamination, you can confidently order these products.
You’ll find most of the items on the menu. But some locations may opt to exclude it for strategic, tactical, or any other reasons. So if you’re a vegan aficionado, you should ask for these items mentioned below the next time you walk into a Culver’s near you.
Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, that’s what crinkle-cut fries are all about. The fries are straight-up delicious and find themselves as part of most meals served at Culver’s.
To experience veganism at its best at Culver’s, you must order three-four grease-soiled bags made of paper with these crispy-cut fries packed in them. Despite the restaurants not being known for being vegan-friendly, their condiments are, in fact, vegan-friendly.
You’ll see some condiments to order later on in the list. But it’s highly recommended to start your order with crinkle-cut fries.
Sweet Potato Fries
Similarly, you can also order sweet potato fries at Culver’s. This side item is found seasonally and for a limited period. It is made from sweet potatoes fried in canola oil. August to September is when you find them at various outlets.
Besides the fats and carbs, you’ll also get a rich amount of carotenoids or vitamin A, vitamin C, and selenium, commonly found in Southern-grown sweet potatoes. Since they’re procured during the peak season, you can expect the best fries.
The Dinner Roll
Next on the list is the dinner roll. Call it a bun or a roll (Culver’s like to call it a roll); it is entirely vegan. There’s no butter or dairy involved. Just unbleached flour and yeast that’s perfectly raised.
This is a great option you aren’t likely to find at other restaurants.
The fluffy rolls are carb-rich. One serving delivers about 110 calories, 70% of which come directly from carbs. If hitting the daily carbohydrate dietary requirement is your goal, you can order the rolls along with Crinkle Cut Fries and some vegan beverages mentioned in the list.
The Side Salad (Without Cheese and Croutons)
Other than the ButterBurgers and Concrete Mixers, Culver’s also sells a variety of salads. But for the vegan population, it’s recommended to go for the side salad. You have the greens like cabbage, and beet greens topped with tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, and croutons.
Garden Fresco Salad (Without Cheese and Croutons)
Another salad recipe will be labeled vegan if you take the cheese and croutons out. The green base remains the same, and you add a French dressing to it or keep it simple with sesame, ginger, raspberry, and tomatoes.
When placing your order, ask for cashew, strawberry slices, and cranberries to make the salad even more nutritious and balanced. These toppings, of course, are seasonal.
Here’s a list of items to have in your salad:
- Apple slices
- Mixed green
- Diced onion
Salad dressings like french dressing, raspberry vinaigrette, or sesame ginger dressing are available options.
You can get steamed broccoli as a side item at Culver’s. This is a great way to add some green veggies to your diet. It replaced the green beans that were once really popular, but the company scraped it for whatever reasons. When ordering steamed broccoli, make sure there are no add-ons like butter sauce or shredded cheese. Salt and pepper will spice up the broccoli sufficiently. Pair them up with sweet potato fries as a side item.
After you’re done with rolls and cut fries for a vegan dessert, you can order the lemon ice. This is an Italian ice cream and a non-dairy fruity dessert that will cater to vegans with a sweet tooth. To make this healthier, you can add strawberries and raspberries as toppings. But crushed nuts and Oreo bits remain an option too. There’s ample room for experimentation.
If you’re looking for something more refreshing, order the lemon ice cooler made from lemonade. The slushy is dairy-free, with strawberries or raspberry topped on it.
If you’re looking for something sweet and creamy to order along with the fries or the rolls (that’s vegan at the same time), then you can get applesauce. The extra tangy flavor will surely appeal to your taste bud and made from the best quality, along with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.
The vegan condiments at Culver’s include ketchup, yellow mustard, dill pickles, and other sauces. You can have the condiments with crinkle-cut fries or other vegan menu items. There might be seasonal condiments too listed on the menu.
Plain Waffle Cone
Custards might not be vegan at Culver’s, but the plain waffle cones certainly are. Or get yourself some plain cake cone to have something sweet and crunchy at Culver’s. Order them separately without any ice cream.
What PETA Has to Say About Culver’s?
Culver’s isn’t a vegan-friendly restaurant option, and PETA places it in the Grade D tier. The animal rights organization states that it offers a veggie patty with milk and eggs. But even that is not listed correctly on the menu. It urged the Wisconsin-based fast food restaurant chain to present a vegan burger at most locations.
Culver’s did introduce a Harvest Veggie Burger that’s meat-free towards the end of 2020. The burger is available at most locations but is far from being vegan.
You have Wisconsin cheese and mayo as the core ingredients. But if that’s adjustable in your case, then you’ll be treated to a burger with portobello mushrooms, chickpeas, spinach, corn, and peppers.
As for toppings, you’ll have tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and ketchup. All of these are sandwiched between two kaiser rolls. Culver’s provides the option of customizing your menu.
So it’s worth trying to get the burger without the cheese and mayo.
The burger is still focused as a plant-forward option and not as a vegan buy.
Other Restaurant Chains With Vegan Options
Here are some options if you’re searching for restaurants that offer a dedicated vegan menu.
Burger King is at the forefront of the vegan revolution in the fast-food industry. You can order an animal-free Whopper sandwich that’s topped with veggies, pickles, and sesame seeds. They announced the Impossible Whopper sandwich with vegan meat procured from Impossible Meat. Similarly, French fries, garden side salad, toast sticks, and hashbrowns are other vegan items you can order at a Burger King location.
Like Burger King, Carl’s Jr. has its own Beyond Burger patty on offer that’s vegan friendly. You order it with pickles and vegetables and without cheese or mayo. Other vegan menu options include a Sausage Burrito (also prepared in collaboration with Beyond Meat), French fries, and CrissCut fries. Order them with guacamole dip for a completely vegan meal.
You can get some vegan treats at the largest ice cream chain. It offers Chocolate Extreme and Chocolate Dip Cookie Dough, both of which are dairy-free. These are made from coconut oil, almond butter, flour, and corn syrup. The third flavor, Coffee Caramel Chunk, was introduced after the success of the first two vegan options.
Bareburger is concentrated mainly around New York and New Jersey but is highly rated by PETA for its vegan-friendliness. So when you’re ordering vegan, you can be sure that your food doesn’t contain any animal products or anything that goes against veganism.
Vegan options at Culver’s aren’t the best, but they’re certainly worth considering. You’ll find the above-listed items at most of Culver’s locations. They may add more vegan items to their menu in the coming months since they’re already focused on meatless and veggie burgers.