With a staggering thirty-five hundred stores spread out across forty-six states, and with this number only growing, Sonic is the nation’s eleventh most popular fast food chain which is certainly no small achievement considering how many options there are nowadays.
While they are well known for their deliciously fresh and appetizing drinks along with a wide selection of burgers and sandwiches, Sonic does actually offer a few vegan options which still taste incredible and are a lot healthier than many of their main-menu choices.
Here are 7 of the most delicious vegan options that you should definitely consider trying out next time you pull up at a Sonic Drive-In.
1. Pretzel Twist
There’s something about Sonic’s pretzels that makes them stand out from those served by other fast food chains, and it probably has to do with the downright delicious vegan bread that is used as the coating, however another bonus is that they don’t contain any milk or bread, so they are safe to eat when on a vegan diet.
Just be sure to switch out the condiments that come with the pretzels however, specifically the butter that can be spread on top of them and the nacho cheese dip they come with.
Since these are both non-vegan, avoid them and instead try out the incredible Asian sweet chili sauce or the marinara sauce instead to add just as much flavor to these delightful snacks,
2. Tater Tots
It might come as a surprise, but Tater Tots are actually one of Sonic’s most popular menu options, not only because of how easily they can be eaten as both a side dish, and even just on their own, but also because they taste incredible with their crispy outside texture complimented perfectly by the soft and warm inside.
They are an incredible vegan-friendly option which are prepared in a separate fryer from the meat, ensuring you get that full mashed potato taste with the deep-fried vegetable coating and nothing more.
3. Lemonade and Limeade Slush
Sonic’s drinks are also worth a mention since they offer such a wide selection on their menu, however, this can also make it hard to differentiate the non-vegan and vegan-friendly options apart from each other.
Luckily, because Sonic gives you the option to mix and match different flavors to make your very own slushie, you actually have a lot of vegan-friendly variety to choose from.
The Lemonade Slush or Limeade Slush are two base flavors that are completely vegan-free, and in terms of the flavored syrups, there is a decent selection to choose from which are not derived from cookies or candies. These include:
- Blue Coconut
- Blue Raspberry
- French Vanilla
Similar to a lot of modern fast food chains, Sonic’s fries are entirely vegan-friendly and are also prepared in a separate fryer from any of the meat.
While you can stick with the regular fries which have a nice crunch to them, along with a nice golden-brown texture surrounding them, you also have the choice to choose oven-baked fries instead if you want them to be a little softer and easier to bite into.
Try and avoid any of the cheesy dips or sauces that you can get along with the fries and opt for either Sonic’s BBQ or marinara sauce instead.
5. Make Your Own Vegan Sandwich
As the years go by, fast food chains are granting much more agency to the customers, especially when it comes to customizing your own sandwich or burger.
Luckily, being as popular as it is, Sonic has kept up with the times and allows you to make a sandwich just the way you like, which includes only using vegan-friendly ingredients.
While you might not be able to incorporate any of the meat or fish that is used in the majority of Sonic’s sandwiches, there is still a wide variety of much healthier alternatives that can be used as the core of a sandwich. These toppings include:
- Dill pickle chips
- Diced onions
- Hatch green chilies
- Sport peppers
In terms of the bread, you also get a good amount of vegan choices to choose from:
- Hot Dog bun
- Hamburger bun
It should be noted that in certain drive-ins, they may incorporate milk and cheese into their bread, so always double-check with the staff to see which options are cleanest.
Whether you decide to enjoy a bowl of pretzels or a few fries on their own, Sonic has a decent selection of vegan-friendly sauces that will enhance the flavors tremendously. These sauces include:
- Grape jelly
- Salsa de Sonic
- Strawberry jam
- Sweet relish
- Sweet and sour sauce
When making your own sandwich, or even when simply ordering some fries or pretzel sticks, Sonic will often try and offer their tartar sauce, mayonnaise, and the Sonic signature sauce, however, these are all obviously not vegan so feel free to switch them out for one of these delicious options instead.
7. Vegan Drinks
The good news is that while Sonic may be most well known for its wide range of drink selections, you will still be able to enjoy a good selection of these since there are a wide variety of delicious vegan-friendly options to choose from.
While these include the standard brands such as Fanta, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper and Sprite Zero, there are a few more unique vegan beverages Sonic sells which are just as tasty. These include:
- Green Tea
- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Coffee
- Fresh Brewed Unsweet Tea
- Barq’s Root Beer
- Fresh Brewed Sweet Tea
- Mello Yello
- Hi-C Fruit Punch
While many fast food chains have started paying more attention to their vegan selections over recent years, and rightfully so, Sonic has definitely kept up with this trend, however they still have a long way to go.
At this current moment in time, while you can definitely make a vegan meal out of the options Sonic offers, and while the sandwich customization options are good enough to make for a deliciously hearty main option that goes great along with some fries or pretzel twists, it’s a shame that Sonic is still yet to offer an entirely plant-based burger or sandwich to their menu, which does mean it is a step behind many of its competitors in terms of vegan variety.
With that being said however, if you find yourself driving through a Sonic in the near future, we would still recommend their vegan snacks and drink options as they are still more than satisfactory both on their own, and as part of a vegan-friendly meal.