Few restaurants scream Hawaii the way that Zippy’s does. The restaurant has made a name for itself as a home for the Hawaiian people. For anyone who wants a taste of what Hawaiian food is like and the rich flavors that it has to offer, Zippy’s is the place to go!
Started by Frances and Charles Higa in 1966, Zippy’s had a simple beginning. But today, it has become the Hawaiian standard, with 24 locations across Maui, Oahu, Hawaii Island, and soon in Las Vegas!
However, are there any vegan options at Zippy’s on the menu with all the restaurant’s food? Some items may seem like they are vegan-friendly, but they aren’t. This article will tell you all the essential points to remember about vegan eating at Zippy’s.
What Does Zippy’s Serve – An Overview
Zippy’s has a vast and extensive menu. They offer daily specials, burgers, sandwiches, noodles, and soup. In addition, they have breakfast, bakery items, and their famous Chili. The list doesn’t end here. You will also find sushi, non-alcoholic beverages, and “zip meals” on their menu.
With a mission to make Hawaiian food accessible and affordable to all, Zippy’s is a wonderful restaurant to consider if you would like a taste of Hawaii.
However, given that a significant proportion of the Hawaiian diet is meat-based, can a vegan eat anything at Zippy’s?
Can I Order Anything on the Menu?
Unfortunately, as a vegan, you have a very small list of items on Zippy’s menu. You may ask for specific vegan substitutes for a few dishes. But the menu is overarchingly meat-based. Most of these dishes cannot need to contain meat, even if you ask for an alternative.
What Should a Vegan Order at Zippy’s?
Zippy’s has an overwhelmingly extensive menu. You may find yourself stuck and wondering about what you can order. There are so many options available! It can get stressful as a vegan since you must ensure the items are also dairy-free.
As mentioned earlier, Zippy’s does not have many vegan options on the menu. But worry not! You may consider some items as a vegan visiting Zippy’s for the first time. Let’s take a look at each section on the menu and figure out your vegan options at Zippy’s!
Zippy’s Chili is famous for its authentic Hawaiian taste and unique texture. It is smooth and bursting with flavor in every bite. What types of Chili are available, and are they vegan-friendly?
Out of the eight types of Chili that Zippy’s serves, there is only one that a vegan can consume: the basic traditional Chili. You may also opt for the no-bean variation if that suits your diet.
The traditional Chili at Zippy’s contains water, kidney beans, celery, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, corn, and soy protein concentrate. It also has green bell pepper, vegetable base, olive oil, garlic, brown sugar, and chili spice blend.
Zippy’s traditional Chili uses no animal products. Therefore, you can order this item with no doubts in your mind. However, all the other types of Chili on the menu, such as Chili and burrito, Chili and cheese fries, and Chili frank, are not vegan-friendly.
Burgers and Sandwiches
Zippy’s does not have many options for burgers and sandwiches. They offer four varieties – turkey BLT, hamburger, Teri beef sandwich, and classic grilled cheese.
Unfortunately, none of these are vegan, and there are no vegan alternatives that the restaurant offers. You will probably have to avoid Zippy’s burgers and sandwiches as a vegan.
Noodles and Soup
Much like their burgers and sandwiches, Zippy’s has limited varieties of noodles and soups. They offer five dishes – wun tun min, saimin, fried noodles, oxtail soup, and Portuguese bean soup.
Again, none of these are vegan, and the restaurant does not offer any vegan alternatives or substitutes for their noodles and soup varieties.
Zippy’s has an enticing drinks menu with several non-alcoholic beverages available to you. And the best part: there are vegan options!
The orange bang, lilikoi drink, orange juice, iced tea, hot tea, and an array of soft drinks are vegan-friendly and contain no animal or dairy products.
They also serve hot chocolate with a whipped cream topping, which is not available in a vegan edition. However, the coffee served at Zippy’s is vegan-friendly. But remember that if you prefer your coffee with milk, it will automatically make it a non-vegan beverage unless you specify a non-dairy/plant-based milk.
Despite offering a wide range of breakfast dishes, Zippy’s has no vegan-friendly alternatives or options for it.
You will find dishes that include pancake stacks, French toast, oatmeal, grilled cornbread, and omelet. You will also find a Korean fried chicken breakfast. Unfortunately, all these dishes contain either animal-based or dairy products.
You will probably have to skip out on breakfast at Zippy’s if you are a vegan.
You will find a few vegan options for side orders at Zippy’s that are delicious and worth a shot. For example, they offer onion rings, rice (one scoop), and tossed greens, which are vegan-friendly and mouth-wateringly tasty!
However, avoid ordering musubi, macaroni salad, and chicken, as none of these are vegan and will not suit your vegan diet.
Zippy’s has an extensive list of items under their daily meals section. However, none of these are vegan-friendly.
All the dishes contain animal products and are unsuitable for a vegan diet. Some examples include Korean fried chicken, hamburger steak, spaghetti with garlic bread, Teri beef, chicken trio, chicken katsu, loco moco, surf pac, zip pac, zip pac deluxe, and surf pac deluxe.
Spaghetti can be misleading; many vegans might assume it is a vegan dish. However, the sauce that Zippy’s makes contains ground meat and cannot be eaten by vegans.
Zippy’s sushi options are as wide-ranging as the rest of its menu. However, since traditional sushi contains raw fish, vegans have few alternatives.
The restaurant also serves udon noodles, which happen to have vegan options. You could opt for Kaku udon, which contains no animal or dairy products. However, be wary of the Kake soba. Although soba noodles are vegan, the dashi broth is made of fish.
Zippy’s Japanese food menu is overwhelmingly large, including temaki sushi, makimono, nigiri sushi, sashimi, teishoku, and donburi mono. There are some vegan-friendly options available under makimono.
You could choose to order kappa hosomaki, which contains cucumbers. You also have the alternative of oshinko hosomaki, pickled radish rolled up in sushi rice.
The other variations, such as soft-shell crab uramaki or the spicy tuna hosomaki, contain animal products and are not suitable for vegans.
Most of the other available items should also be avoided by vegans. These include the fried Hamachi kama, tempura udon (which contains shrimp), spicy tuna don, and spicy salmon don.
However, you could opt for the Zara udon, which is cold noodles. Udon, by nature, is vegan, so you may consider ordering that.
Zippy’s has a special menu that changes daily. Depending on the day, you may check for vegan options and alternatives on the menu.
For example, on Monday, the restaurant offers roast turkey, beef curry, garlic miso chicken, garlic miso chicken salad, chili dog combo, and corn chowder.
You may check the corn chowder and ask if additional animal-based or dairy ingredients have been used. Top the dish with pork, chicken, fish, or some seafood is common.
If your branch of Zippy’s offers corn chowder with no additional meat-based toppings and the milk they use is plant-based, you can order that.
Despite having a mouth-watering variety of bakery products, Zippy’s, unfortunately, does not have a single vegan option available.
All of the dishes, including apple pie, brownies, donut holes, glazed yeast donuts, dobash cake, and custard pie, contain eggs and possibly milk. You will have to satisfy your sweet cravings elsewhere if you are a vegan.
Zippy’s is not a restaurant where vegans can order blindly and assume that the dish is vegan-friendly. They have a wide-ranging and enticing menu, but vegan options are limited. You will find them only in specific sections, such as a few varieties of Japanese food, side orders, and drinks.
Make sure that if you are looking for a vegan dish at Zippy’s, you ask for the specific ingredients used in making the dish that has caught your attention. If not, you may be staring at meat- or dairy-based dishes you can’t eat.
There is plenty of scope for Zippy’s to expand their vegan options and alternatives. However, what they have right now is also delicious and satisfying. These dishes will keep your vegan heart happy and healthy!