Here’s Every Vegan Option at Captain D’s (2021)

Captain D’s is not the best for vegans…. In fact, when it comes to seafood restaurants, Red Lobster is quite a bit better for us. That said, you can still find some vegan sides at Captain D’s.

Vegan options at Captain D’s:

  • Baked Potato (No Butter or Sour Cream)
  • Broccoli
  • Corn on the Cob (No Butter)
  • Side Salad (with Fat-Free Italian Dressing)
  • Peach Smoothie
  • Strawberry Smoothie
  • Tropical Mango Smoothie
  • Pepsi products
  • Tea (Sweet or Unsweetened)

Below, I’ll share more about how to order these vegan. I’ll also some menu items that are surprisingly NOT vegan. And I’ll answer common questions about Captain D’s cooking oil, fries, breadsticks, okra, hush puppies, and more!

Captain D’s Vegan Menu

The following vegan menu was compiled with the help of the menu and nutrition and allergen information on the Captain D’s website. I also consulted Business Insider when it comes to the cooking oil issue.

Restaurant menus change and often vary by location. I recommend double checking any important information with staff at your location!

1. Baked Potato (No Butter or Sour Cream)

I love restaurants that offer a plain baked potato. Sure, it’s a little bland. But it’s actually a healthy, whole food. You can ask for some ketchup, barbecue sauce, or see what else they have to spice it up.

You need to ask for “no butter” and “no sour cream.” Even the normal “Baked Potato” comes standard with these toppings, so be sure to exclude them.

2. Broccoli

This is just steamed broccoli florets. They appear to come dairy-free in their standard preparation. But I’d still specify “No Butter” to make sure they don’t add any at your location.

3. Corn on the Cob (No Butter)

This is just steamed corn on the cob. It’s just a side, so not a huge serving or anything. Be sure to specify that you don’t want any butter.

4. Side Salad

According to the allergen menu, the Side Salad doesn’t include any dairy. But just to be safe, you may want to specify “No Cheese” and “No Croutons.” (Croutons usually contain dairy.)

It looks like there’s only one vegan salad dressing:

  • Fat-Free Italian Dressing

4. Smoothies

According to Captain D’s allergen menu, their smoothies do not contain dairy. You still may want to double-check this at your specific location. As I’ll share below with the cooking oil, Captain D’s seems to be a bit inconsistent from location to location.

Here are the 3 smoothie flavors you’re likely to see offered:

  • Peach Smoothie
  • Strawberry Smoothie
  • Tropical Mango Smoothie

5. Tea and Soft Drinks

You’ve also got the standard selection of Pepsi products and teas:

  • Diet Dr Pepper
  • Diet Mountain Dew
  • Diet Pepsi
  • Dr Pepper
  • Mist Twist
  • Mountain Dew
  • Mountain Dew Code Red
  • Mug Root Beer
  • Pepsi
  • Sweet Tea
  • Unsweetened Tea

But What About…

You may assume that some of the following items would be vegan, too—but unfortunately they’re not:

  • The French Fries are probably not vegan. At least at some locations, they are fried in beef tallow (see below about cooking oil).
  • The Green Beans are not vegan, as they contain ham.
  • The Seasoned Rice is not vegan, as it contains milk.
  • The Coleslaw is not vegan, as it contains egg.
  • The Funnel Cake Stix are not vegan, as they contain milk and egg.

Now let’s answer some common questions about eating vegan at Captain D’s.

What Cooking Oil Does Captain D’s Use?

Captain D uses a “proprietary blend” of cooking oils. In 2018, Business Insider reported that several Captain D locations said they use beef tallow in their fryers. However, other Captain D locations in Texas and Memphis said soybean oil is used. (Source)

What does this mean for vegans? Well, you have two options:

  1. Ask your local Captain D’s what they use in their fryers. Or…
  2. Just assume that any fried food at Captain D’s—specifically, the fries—are not vegan.

Are Captain D’s Breadsticks Vegan?

I struggled to find good information on Captain D’s breadsticks.

Captain D’s allergen menu says their breadsticks do not contain dairy, egg, or any other animal-based allergen. However, the nutritional information lists their cholesterol content as 2 mg. Dietary cholesterol is only found in animal fat. So vegan products should always have 0 mg.

This makes me believe that the breadsticks actually do contain dairy or some other animal product. The vegan status of Captain D’s Breadsticks may vary by location.

If you’re interested in Captain D’s breadsticks, I would ask if they’re vegan at your location.

Are Captain D’s Hush Puppies Vegan?

Captain D’s Hush Puppies are not vegan, as they contain milk and egg. They are likely also fried in beef tallow (at some locations, at least). As mentioned above, at least some Captain D locations have been found to use beef tallow in their fryers.

Is Captain D’s Okra Vegan?

Captain D’s Okra is not vegan, as it contains milk and egg. It is likely also fried in beef tallow (at some locations, at least). As mentioned above, at least some Captain D locations have been found to use beef tallow in their fryers.

Whole-Food Plant-Based Options

What if you’re not just vegan but also trying to avoid processed foods? Can you get a whole-food plant-based (WFPB) meal at Captain D’s? Actually, yes!

WFPB options at Captain D’s:

  • Baked Potato (No Butter or Sour Cream)
  • Broccoli
  • Corn on the Cob (No Butter)
  • Side Salad (No Dressing)

As you can see, most of the vegan options at Captain D’s are also WFPB options.

Restaurants with baked potatoes make it a lot easier to actually fill up as a health-minded vegan. And the multiple vegetable sides at Captain D’s also helps us fill out the meal a bit, too.

If you want your salad to be strictly WFPB, then you’ll probably want to skip the dressing, as I’m guessing the dressing contains a bit of sugar.

More Vegan Guides to Restaurants

I’ve created vegan guides to nearly 100 chain restaurants. Here are a few more you may want to check out:

Two More Recommendations for Your Vegan Journey

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2. This is the best vegan starter kit I know of. It’s a bundle of 9 beautiful e-books that help you transition to a healthy plant-based diet—the right way. The advice is spot-on, and it has print-outs and checklists that make it easy to implement. Read my full review of Nutriciously here.