Mission BBQ is an all-American-style diner that began in 2011 and has branched out to more than 109 locations scattered across the states. You’ll immediately find its iconic Stars and Stripes hoisted over a brick-and-mortar structure with patriotic elements and the military font brand, Mission BBQ. The business was born out of two men’s credence in meaning and purpose behind great food.
Founded on the ideology of American patriotism, heroic dedication, and a taste for bold barbecue, Mission BBQ claims that great-tasting barbecue is the American way to give back to those who serve the communities and the country, those who are to be rightfully heralded as heroes.
Soldiers, firefighters, police officers, first responders, and all of those who serve the American people and its purpose, are those to whom the founders of Mission BBQ wholeheartedly commemorate and dedicate their services.
While dedicating food and business to the nation’s natural heroes is commendable and honorable, what makes a restaurant is its food and service, and to us who aren’t fans of slaughtering animals and grilling their meats, the issue is not due to an organization’s mission and vision.
Mission BBQ is not a place for vegans, since they don’t have a full vegan menu nor do they designate vegan-friendly items. They’re not yet ready to serve vegans since their cuisine heavily relies on beef briskets, ribs, chicken, pork, and other meats.
Maybe you can get by their veggie sides and seasonal sides, but I honestly refrain to refer vegans to restaurants with such limiting factors; the inability to serve a proper vegan meal, meat substitutes, plant-based desserts, and inept service towards vegans.
However, forgiving them leeway, let’s take a quick look at their menu items that could potentially serve vegans, but hardly fill their needs, especially if you’re one with an appetite.
They do put up allergen info on their website, and if you’re ordering any of their sauteed vegetables, remember to ask them not to cook your meal in butter and put no meat, eggs, mayonnaise, cheese, honey, and non-vegan sauces.
- Fresh Cut Fries
- Baked Cheesy Potatoes
- Baked Sweet Potato
- Broccoli Salad
- Buttered Corn on the Cob
- Corn Casserole
- Granny’s Sweet Potato Mash
- Honey Glazed Carrots
- Potato Salad
- Smashed Potato
Although remember that since they’re not keenly trained particularly to serve vegans and immediately adjust to their needs, you may find yourself in quite the awkward position of having them take this and this out of your meal just for it to be “edible.”
- Baja Bold Sauce
- Gator Bite BBQ Sauce
- Italian Vinaigrette
- KC Classic BBQ Sauce
- NC Vinegar Sauce
- Smoky Mountain Sauce
That’s pretty much it for the vegan-friendly options at Mission BBQ.
Vegan-Friendly BBQ Diners
Most certainly, there’s no lack of great, vegan-friendly diners in the States, and the valuable traits we’re looking for in such barbecue eateries are, first, a full vegan menu that presents delicious and nutritious “meats” and sides, great quality service accustomed to serving vegans, and a notable ambiance and sense of purpose.
Gathering helpful information from the two leading vegan news bases, PETA and the VegNews, here are some of the best vegan-friendly, BBQ places you should pay a visit!
Southern Fried Vegan
Vegan comfort food that could pop up right next to you! Southern Fried Vegan is a traveling food company that only serves 100% delicious and 0% cholesterol barbecue. They’d rear up their stall anywhere in the United States, from Los Angeles to Greenville, Oklahoma, Austin, New Orleans, Fort Myers, and more!
Typically serving vegan-favored BBQ, Beyond Burgers with vegan cheese, Jambalaya, Totchos, and Mac N Cheeze, be sure to check out their page and follow them to get the latest updates on where they’ll be hitting next!
Homegrown Smoker, Portland, OR
While there’s only one main base for Homegrown Smoker in Portland, it’s worth visiting them when you’re in or near Oregon because you don’t want to miss out on their smokey tempeh ribs and soy-based Champ Burger.
They’ve got every meat substitute you’ll ever need in your life; Buffalo wings, BBQ, tofu, sausage, Beyond Ribz, Mocking Bird Chick’n, nuggets, beef seitan, spicy jerky, Bakon, and ham. You don’t have to be shy with their sauces, mayo, and cheese either because they’re all plant-based too. So have a go with their special Macno cheese and vegan desserts!
You can also order from them online for a decent shipping fee.
Compton Vegan, Los Angeles, CA
One of the best vegan BBQ diners in California, Compton Vegan is notorious for selling out too quickly! Famous for their full-set meals with baked beans, collard greens, mac n’ cheese, cornbread, and their special Jackfruit Ribz. Their cheese is cashew-based and their Jackfruit Ribz can be served in slices or as a patty.
They don’t stop there, they’ve also got fried Chik’n with two flavors you can choose from, Buffalo and BBQ. Gumbo with vegan shrimp and Chik’n sausages is also available on a platter served with onions, fire-roasted tomatoes, bell peppers, celery, and rice.
Order up quickly and you won’t regret it! Check out their full menu here.
Sandwiches by BBQ4LIFE, Boise, ID
Once a food truck traveling in Idaho and neighboring states, BBQ4LIFE had changed its name twice before settling down as Idaho’s best BBQ and Vegan food in Boise Bench, Vista Village. Working in partnership with Idaho’s My Family Tradition Sauces, BBQ4LIFE offers you “the best darn BBQ for life!”
While the single base restaurant also serves traditional BBQ meat, they make sure to prepare and cook their vegan meats in separate stations to avoid cross-contamination.
Sandwiches loaded with smoked vegan meats and drizzled with MFT Sauces are their specialty, and they have a full menu for such which includes Spicy Smoked Spaghetti Squash Sandwich, Smoked Tempeh Sandwich, Green & Beans Burger, Vegaloaf Sandwich, Vegan-Foot Sandwich, and Vegan Mushroom Mozzarella Burger.
Their smoked meat is made with soy, and cheeses from cashew, while the mayo and buns are also vegan. They also have Tempeh Salad, Vegan Nachos, and Mac N Cheese. Check them out here.
Monk’s Meats, Brooklyn, NY
This vegan smokehouse picks a rather intriguing name, since monks of the past were mostly vegetarians, and some continue to adhere to a strict, plant-based diet and peaceful disciplines.
City folks no longer need to visit the country states just to get a taste of their well-beloved, vegan dishes as Monk’s Meats is just as complete and prepared as the ones we’ve previously mentioned.
All of their menu items are vegan and though they have a humble number of options, they’re much more filling than you’d expect. Chow down on their BBQ Seitan Sandwich with a side of mushroom slathered Disco Fries and Hawaiian Mac Salad, or go spicy with their Pulled Mushroom Sandwich with a combo of Red Cabbage Slaw Rodeo Fries and Three Bean & Seitan Chilli.
Check out their modest menu right here.
The Acre Restaurant, Albuquerque, NM
A local vegetarian restaurant with the visage of grandma’s kitchen and dining, the Acre isn’t 100% vegan, but they do serve a full vegan menu and are willing to adjust other dishes to suit your palates. A friendly place with a comfortable ambiance makes the food taste even more delicious.
From their scratch kitchen, every dish is served fresh and healthful, so why not stop by when you’re nearby and pull yourself a neat chair.
Two rotational menus are available, Heights and Downtown, although not much is different except potato fries are available on the former menu. They serve starters, salads, and soups, but you might want to try their Acre and New Mexico True Burgers, both of which are made with their housemade beet/black bean/quinoa patty, lettuce, tomato, mustard, and mayo and sided with french fries and pickles.
The New Mexico True Burger contains green chile, red chile, carrot bacon, and cheddar cheese. While their mayo and cheese aren’t vegan, you may ask them to convert your order into a full vegan meal. Gluten-free buns are also available.
They also have Meat Loaf as one of their main dishes, made of chickpea portabello loaf, BBQ sauce, onion strings, mashed potatoes, and sauteed seasonal vegetables. Request for no butter.
Find them here and treat yourself or your friends to a meal or two.
Even though hundreds of cruel BBQ diners run the states, there is still hope with the vegan-friendly ones that forge on to do their best to serve us the guilt-free food that we deserve. In return, we must support these businesses in their journey to creating a trend for health and animal welfare awareness.
Billions of farm animals are being slaughtered each year to fuel the operations of traditional BBQ restaurants, but there are still those who refrain from partaking in such a cruel order of things.
Mission BBQ may have great admiration and dedication for the nation’s patriots and local heroes, but they’re not a haven for vegans or animals. We believe in different things and find purpose and meaning in the opposite of their obsession with slaughtered meat.