Vegan Options At Dave & Buster's

What Are The Vegan Options At Dave & Buster’s? (Updated Guide)

Do you remember the days when you could spend an entire day, and a better part of an evening if your parents allowed it, at the local arcade? No matter how dilapidated the machines were, it was always a good time. Reliving these childhood memories is what Dave & Buster’s is all about.

Imagine losing yourself on top-of-the-line machines that feature games like Super Shot, Star Wars Battle Pods, Galaga Assault, Pac-Man, and many more. It’s nothing but sweet memories and joy – hopefully. 

Dave & Buster’s is an adult arcade spot and a bar and restaurant that serves pretty decent food. The place opens for early lunch and closes late into the night. It would be difficult to say what cuisine Dave & Buster’s serves, but I would say it serves fancy bar food if I had to choose. You can expect your typical burgers, sandwiches, wings, pizzas, steaks, and pasta dishes – ordinary and nothing more. So, what’s all the fuss about?

Dave & Buster’s does more than sell food and drinks, it sells an experience, and that’s what sets it apart. That’s all swell and sweet, but is Dave & Buster’s for everyone? Yes, even though it’s an adult arcade, you can still bring the entire family. You have to be over 18 to enter or accompanied by a guardian that’s older than 25 if you’re a minor. That’s awesome, but how about vegan dieters? Can they have a decent meal before or after they play at the arcade? Yes, but don’t expect an extensive list of options.

Can Vegans Eat At Dave & Buster’s?

At Dave & Buster’s, what’s certain is that you’ll have a great time shooting pool, bowling, or playing Time Crisis, but it get a little more complicated when it comes to eating vegan food. The restaurant’s vegan-friendly selection isn’t anything to brag about. Still, they do have some options that will satisfy your hunger – don’t anticipate a grand meal, or you’ll be sorely disappointed.

You don’t have time to read the entire article? Order this! 

If you’ve just sat down at your table, have looked at the menu, and don’t trust your waiter to know what veganism is, get these:

  • Chips and salsa (make sure to ask for them without any sour cream)
  • Freshly made guacamole (ask for it without any cheese)
  • Steamed edamame (that one is a guaranteed winner – how could you ruin this one?)
  • Garden salad (careful with the sauces, I would ask for a vinaigrette or have them bring out olive oil and vinegar to make sure you aren’t given a honey or dairy sauce)

Hopefully, the four options above will somewhat satiate your hunger. I guess it’s up to how hungry you find yourself.

The Story

Once upon a time, there lived a man named Dave Corriveau who loved games. He believed that grown-ups didn’t spend enough time having fun. Dave opened an arcade that he named Cash McCool’s. His arcade was across from a popular restaurant called Buster’s, owned by a gentleman called James “Buster” Corley.

After a time, both establishments were doing well, and they noticed that a lot of their respective customers frequently went to Cash McCool’s before going to Buster’s and vice versa. Both men were clever and realized that they would do well to combine their businesses and create a place where people could order great food and have fun playing arcade games.

A coin toss decided that Dave’s name would be first in their new business name, so it became Dave & Buster’s. The thought of it being called Buster’s and Dave does make you wonder if it’s as catchy, but either way, their now-famous coin toss adds a little more magic to their legacy.

Dave & Buster’s opened in 1982 in Dallas, Texas, with the mission to serve great food and drinks in a fun environment where adults could release their inner child. Today, Dave & Buster’s has 140 locations in the United States and Canada. You can find them on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the symbol PLAY.

Fun Facts

A company as big as Dave & Buster’s doesn’t lack fun facts. Here are some good ones you might find interesting. Hopefully, you’ll dazzle your friends with them when you’re waiting for your food.

  1. In 1996, Dave & Buster’s introduced a new game that they coined, The Original Shocker Electric Chair. It’s a replica of an electric chair with which people could “mimic” what capital punishment “felt” like. It seems in poor taste, but you can ask your local Dave & Buster’s if they still have one lying around somewhere. 
  2. Dave & Buster’s doesn’t hold back when it comes to their arcade machines. Indeed, the company invests over a million dollars on their game floor – no wonder it’s called the Million Dollard Midway.
  3. If you’re good at arcade games, you can make some cash at Dave & Buster’s. Trade your winning tickets for cold, hard cash.
  4. Wednesdays are magical days at Dave & Buster’s – all games are half-off.
  5. Dave & Buster’s donates a portion of their profits to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Menu

Dave & Buster’s menu isn’t too lengthy, and it seems to change often. 

From what I gathered, the menus can differ depending on the restaurant’s location. The menu you’ll find on their website is different from the one I found at the restaurant. So, before writing this piece, I decided to contact Dave & Buster’s by email, Messenger, and Instagram but received no answers after days of waiting. So, we’ll have no choice but to fly solo on this one and use all the resources available on the net.

Here Is Your Vegan Menu

It’s essential to state that cross-contamination is most likely inevitable at Dave & Buster’s. It isn’t a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, and it serves a massive amount of dairy products and meat. The chances that your French fries are fried in the same oil as a chicken drumstick are very likely. That being said, remember that being vegan is about saving animals as much as it’s a way of life. By ordering vegan at any establishment, you’re doing your part in creating a cruelty-free society. Let’s have a look at the vegan options:

  • French fries (there should be no problem here, make sure that you ask for them without any sauces including ketchup)
  • Seasonal vegetables (make sure to ask to have them sauteed in olive oil instead of butter)
  • Fresh-made guacamole (for some reason, cheese is added as a topping – ask your waiter to get rid of it)
  • Steamed edamame (even though it won’t fill your belly at all, it’s really good)
  • Sweet potato fries (same as French fries about the sauces)
  • Side salad or garden salad (whichever you chose, make sure you ask for no cheese or croutons)
  • Build your tacos – if the location offers it (here you can go crazy with their sides and craft monster tacos)
  • Grilled portobello & veggie sandwich (ask for no Swiss cheese and aioli and demand that the brioche bun contains no butter – it’s a gamble but worth a shot)

Is It Worth It?

Being able to go wild on epic arcade games is always worth it. Dave & Buster’s allows you to let loose in a friendly environment. It has a great bar where you can watch tons of sports, including WWE and UFC fights.

However, if it’s just for the food, Dave & Buster’s is a little disappointing. If you’re a very picky vegan dieter, have dinner elsewhere and come for the killer arcade games and affordable drinks afterward.

Final Thoughts

Dave & Buster’s is supposed to combine great food and great fun, but Dave & Buster’s has not delivered on vegan dieters’ excellent food part. If you’re looking for a great vegan meal in your area but aren’t into arcade games, Dave & Buster’s isn’t the place for you.

Still, if you’re invited there, it won’t be impossible to order something edible that will get you through the meal. And when you’re there, mention that you’re vegan to your waiter; who knows, they might surprise you with an out-of-this-world smoothie bowl.

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