Here’s Every Vegan Option at Perkins (2021)

Perkins may not seem vegan-friendly at first. There are lots of meat dishes, and a few items that could be vegan, like their oatmeal and rice pilaf, contain milk—so that’s frustrating. But there are actually quite a few options, particularly on the breakfast menu.

Perkins vegan options:

  • Bagel (No Butter)
  • Toast (White or Sourdough, No Butter)
  • Baked Potato (No Butter or Sour Cream)
  • Breakfast Potatoes
  • Hash Browns
  • French Fries
  • Crispy Tots
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Sauteed Spinach
  • Garden Salad (No Cheese or Croutons)
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Beverages

Below, I’ll cover the details of how to order these items vegan—like which vegan salad dressings to choose. I’ll also share a list of menu items that are surprisingly NOT vegan. And I’ll end with a look at the whole-food plant-based options at Perkins!

Perkins Vegan Menu

This vegan menu was compiled with the help of the extensive allergen guide and ingredients list on the Perkins website. Due to the full ingredients lists available, I offer the following recommendations with a high degree of confidence.

That said, restaurant menus change and often vary by location. I recommend double checking any important information with staff at your local Perkins.

1. Bagel (No Butter)

This is just a plain wheat bagel. It typically comes with butter to spread on it, but you can ask for no butter. Instead, ask for some peanut butter and/or jelly to spread on it. That or get some sliced avocado for it.

2. Toast (No Butter)

You’ve got two options at Perkins for toast that are strictly vegan, and two more bread options that just contain honey. Be sure to order these with no butter:

  • The White Bread is vegan.
  • The Sourdough Bread is vegan.
  • The Rye Bread contains honey but no other animal products.
  • The Whole Wheat Bread contains honey but no other animal products.

3. Baked Potato (No Butter or Sour Cream)

Just a plain baked potato here. Of course, it’s a bit bland by itself—but it’s a healthy source of filling calories. (Did you know that potatoes are the most satiating food in the world?)

Some restaurants, like Texas Roadhouse, randomly slather their baked potato skins with animal fat. Luckily, this is not common, and it’s not the case at Perkins. 100% vegan.

4. Breakfast Potatoes

This is just potatoes cooked with some oil and various seasonings (garlic, onion, paprika, other spices). Nothing animal-based! Consider getting some avocado, tomato, onion, green peppers, or other vegetables added in.

5. Hash Browns

Hash browns are nice and simple vegan side. Cooked in soybean oil, no animal ingredients. Consider getting some avocado, tomato, onion, green peppers, or other vegetables added in.

However, keep in mind that they may be fried in a shared fryer with animal products. Ask for the details at your Perkins location if this concerns you. (Some vegans are okay with that, some vegans aren’t.)

6. French Fries

The fries are cooked in vegetable oil, not animal fat. They may also be listed as “Crispy Fries” on the menu.

As with the hash browns, keep in mind that they may be fried in a shared fryer with animal products. Ask for the details at your Perkins location if this concerns you.

7. Crispy Tots

The tater tots are cooked in vegetable oil, as well—no animal ingredients here. Again, they may be cooked in a shared fryer with animal products. Ask for the details at your location if this bothers you.

8. Veggies

There are several vegan veggie sides you should be able to order. These are the ones that come standard vegan according to the website:

  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Sauteed Spinach

Then you’ve got the following two options that come standard with butter. You may be able to special-order these without butter. Check with staff at your Perkins location:

  • Broccoli (No Butter)?
  • Buttered Corn (No Butter)?

9. Garden Salad (No Cheese or Croutons)

This simple salad contains iceberg lettuce, romaine, cabbage, carrots, onions, and tomatoes. You’ll want to order it without croutons (they contain milk) and without shredded cheese.

Here are the vegan salad dressings:

  • White Balsamic Dressing
  • French Dressing
  • Fat Free Italian Dressing

Consider asking for some extra avocado, tomato, onion, green peppers, or other vegetables added in.

If you’d like a bigger salad, you can get the Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad with more customizations. Get it with no chicken and no cheese, and switch the dressing for one of the vegan options above.

10. Fresh Fruit

This is a little fruit bowl. Just a nice little side. Typically it comes with pineapple, red apples. red grapes, and oranges.

11. Toppings and Extras

Here are some extras you can add to your salads, hash browns, or other dishes:

  • Avocado
  • Caramelized Red Onions
  • Crimini Mushrooms
  • Green Peppers
  • Marinara Sauce for Appetizers
  • Onions
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

12. Beverages

There are plenty of vegan drinks to choose from:

  • Iced Coffee
  • Coffee
  • Iced Tea
  • Hot Tea
  • Apple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Tomato Juice
  • Coca-Cola
  • Diet Coke
  • Sprite
  • Pibb Xtra
  • Fanta
  • Minute Maid Lemonade
  • Dasani Sparkling

But What About…

You might assume that some of the following items would be vegan, too—but unfortunately, these are not vegan:

  • The English Muffin contains dairy (even if you don’t add butter).
  • The Oatmeal contains dairy.
  • The Herb Rice Pilaf contains dairy.
  • The Biscuits contain dairy.
  • The Muffins all contain dairy and egg.
  • The Green Beans include Bacon.
  • The Cookies all contain dairy and egg.
  • The Fried Pickles contain dairy and egg.
  • The Onion Rings contain dairy and egg.
  • The Potato Pancakes contain dairy and egg.
  • The Tomato Basil Soup contains dairy.
  • The Cocktail Sauce contains fish.
  • The Onion Tanglers contain dairy.
  • The Fruit Pies and Cream Pies all contain dairy (and most contain egg).
  • The Smoothies contain dairy in their standard preparation.
  • The “Scrapple” is a pork product.

Does Perkins Pies Vegan?

Perkins pies are not vegan. They all contain dairy, and most of them also contain egg. Some other restaurants do have vegan apple pie, but Perkins’s contains whey and egg wash.

Here are the full ingredients to Perkins Apple Pie:

Premium Apple Pie: “Pie Filling Ingredients: Apples, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, modified food starch, spice, salt. Crust Ingredients: Enriched unbleached wheat flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), vegetable oil (soybean oil and/or palm oil, citric acid as a preservative), water. Contains 2% or less of dextrose, salt, dough conditioner (whey, L-cyctine hydrochloride), sodium propionate and sodium metabisulfite (preservatives). Brushed with egg wash.” (source)

Whole-Food Plant-Based Options

What if you’re not just vegan but also trying to avoid all processed sugar, oil, and flour? Can you get a whole-food plant-based (WFPB) meal at Perkins? Well, kind of!

WFPB options at Perkins:

  • Baked Potato (No Butter or Sour Cream)
  • Garden Salad (No Cheese or Croutons)
  • Extra Veggies: Avocado, Mushrooms, Green Peppers, Onions, Spinach, Tomatoes
  • Fresh Fruit

Unfortunately, the asparagus and sauteed spinach sides are going to include oil—so they are not strictly WFPB. But if you can successfully order the broccoli or corn without butter, then those would also be WFPB options.

As you can see, there are not a ton of WFPB options, but this is more than you’ll find at some places. You can potentially fill up on potatoes, with plenty of veggies and fruit for extra micronutrients.

Two More Recommendations for Your Vegan Journey

1. This is the best vegan multivitamin I’ve found in 13 years of being vegan. It has vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3—and nothing else. Translation: It only has the nutrients vegans are actually low in. Read my full review of Future Kind’s multivitamin here (with 10% discount).

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.

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