First Watch is a chain loved by many for its modern, hip vibe. It is a hot breakfast spot for many Americans. Since its establishment in 1983, the restaurant has steadily grown to become a household name.
More than 300 First Watch cafes serve fantastic brekkie options like smoked salmon, avocado toast, farm-stand breakfast tacos, eggs benedict, lemon ricotta pancakes, and a wide selection of juices.
But hey, what about vegan food options? We, vegans, would also love to have something to munch on when at First Watch. Well, the answer is yes. First Watch Cafe does serve vegan food, albeit it is quite limited and simple. Nonetheless, it is delicious!
This article will talk in detail about all the vegan options at First Watch and review them. Let’s get started then!
What Is First Watch?
First Watch is an American restaurant chain that first opened its doors in 1983, as mentioned before. Its first location was Pacific Grove, California.
First Watch is the brainchild of John Sullivan and Ken Pendery. The co-owners established it post leaving the Canadian Le Peep breakfast chain.
The owners moved their headquarters to Florida in 1986. Kenneth L Pendery Jr. is the appointed CEO as of now. Today, the chain has over 6000 employees and more than 300 restaurants spread all over 26 states.
First Watch has a lovely breakfast menu. They boast of using only fresh ingredients and everything to be made to order. Freshness is a priority for them. You get items like avocado toast, tacos, pancakes, their classic ‘Project Smile’ coffee, and some amazingly refreshing juice options.
What Are the Vegan Options at First Watch?
Though First Watch is not entirely vegan, you can still get many vegan options to feast upon. The options might not be very overwhelming. However, they are pretty good. Though the chain is famous for its breakfast options, you can also find some lunch options.
You can go for simple vegan brekkie options like fruit and oatmeal. If you feel a bit extra, we recommend you get the veggie burger or avocado toast. Of course, you’d have to give specific instructions to the staff to make it vegan.
So let’s dive into all the vegan options that you can find at First Watch!
Main Course Vegan Options
We will start with the most important deal: the main course. Here are all the vegan main course options you get at First Watch. For most of them, you might need to make some modifications so that it is vegan-friendly. The staff is quite friendly, and we believe they’d be more than happy to help:
- A.M. Superfoods Bowl
- Avocado Sandwich or Toast (You need to specify that you want no eggs. Instead, you can ask for a side of fruits)
- Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowl (Again, please instruct that you don’t want the feta or chicken added. It can be easily substituted with Veggie Patty or avocado)
- Veggie Burger (Ask to serve it without any butter or dijonnaise)
- Steel Cut Oatmeal (You need to again request the staff to substitute the milk with water. Moreover, you can ask them to swap the muffin with a fruit cup)
- Veggie Wrap
When it comes to veggie wraps, you need to get a wrap simply with avocado and vegetables as you are a vegan. You need to specify since they also offer non-vegan wraps with meat and egg.
We don’t think they’d have any problem and will only charge you that while the wrap gets filled with sauteed or grilled veggies, yummy avocado, and all the other vegan-compatible goodies.
If you want our personal preference, we would say go for the veggie wrap or veggie burger. However, if you’re going to play it safe, you can always order a simple but delicious avocado sandwich.
All these choices are pretty impressive since they are entirely vegan-friendly and healthy and fill you up with loads of nutrients. Finally, none of the above options compromise the taste factor!
Any meal’s sides are pretty essential and should only complement the meal to enhance the taste. There are relatively limited vegan sides options at First Watch. Of course, food options vary from one location to another, and you might get some other choices in your area.
Here are the ones we know:
- Fruit or Bowl
- Hearty Vegetable Soup
- Mixed Greens Side Salad (For this one, please ensure that no cheese is added)
One thing you need to keep in mind is that the potatoes that are offered at First Watch are non-vegan-friendly. Many times, the staff is not even able to make the potatoes vegans. Yes, we know it is quite sad for all the potato enthusiasts out there.
The only issue is that they are usually cooked with butter. It is not a significant issue, but that is what the restaurant offers. However, don’t lose hope! You can ask your outlet if they can make the potatoes vegan upon request.
We say that the chances are slim because the potatoes are often prepped up beforehand, and thus, they can’t make lean after that. We say this based on the reviews of many First Watch customers from different locations.
For all the health-conscious folks- we know how vital salads are! Thus, we have included all the vegan salads that you can find at First Watch.
They are healthy and quite delicious. You will need to modify some items to make them vegan-compatible. Here are the options you can order:
- Maple-Lemon Vinaigrette
- Chicken Avocado Chop Salad (Of course, you need to specify them to serve the salad without any cheese or chicken)
- Varied Citrus or Vinaigrette Dressings
- Superfood Kale Salad (Please instruct them not to add any meat or chicken, or cheese)
Alternatively, you can also go for a simple, large mixed-green salad.
However, what you will be essentially getting is two of the side dishes. If you want a recommendation, we’d say try the avocado-chop salad if a good salad is what you want to have.
It comes with little beans, avocado, and some bread on the side. Thus, you will be satisfied and filled with this salad at First Watch compared to the other options you can get at First Watch.
Desserts are important! Sadly, First Watch lacks in this department and doesn’t offer many extravagant options:
- Fruit Cup
At First Watch, you don’t get any real dessert options to choose from. So, your only option is fruits, which can be quite a sweet albeit healthy end to your meal.
We have good news for all the vegans in the house! All the juices are vegan-friendly at First Watch Cafe. The juices are pretty refreshing and healthy and are prepared every morning. They boast of using all-natural ingredients. Even most of the beverages are vegan-friendly. Here are some of the options:
- Morning Meditation Fresh Juice (Made with lemon, orange, organic ginger, turmeric, beet, and agave nectar)
- Kale Tonic Fresh Juice (Made with Fuji apple, kale, lemon, and cucumber)
- Watermelon Wake Up (watermelon, lime, pineapple, and mint)
- Soft Drinks (Like coca-cola)
- Apple juice
- 100% squeezed orange juice
What to Keep Away From at First Watch if You Are a Vegan
So that sums up the vegan options at First Watch. Most of them will be quite soul-satisfying. You can take our word for it. However, there might be certain options on the menu that might seem vegan, but you should avoid them if you are on a strict vegan diet.
We have mentioned some of them below.
- Elote Mexican Street Corn Hash (Contains egg, cheese)
- Sunrise Granola Bowl (Contains yogurt or milk)
- Power Breakfast Quinoa Bowl (Contains milk, sausages, eggs, and cheese)
Remember to check all the options carefully to avoid ordering anything that is not vegan-friendly. If you are confused or want to modify any dish, you can always ask the servers to help you.
We hope that now you have a good understanding of vegan options at First Watch Cafe. We have listed them all for you, from vegan main courses to vegan salads and vegan desserts.
First Watch is a household name today. Though it is doing a fairly satisfactory job of keeping its vegan customers happy, we hope it will expand its vegan menu soon.
So if you are a vegan who comes across First Watch, we’d say you can give it a try. Who knows, you might like something out there.