Breakfast is, arguably, one of the best meals of the day. Whether you eat first thing in the morning or you’re more of a brunch-lover, you can’t go wrong with a stack of pancakes, a plate of (vegan) bacon and eggs, a bagel, or a simple bowl of cereal and oat milk. But when did we first start eating breakfast? And why? We’ve got the answers below. And, for days when you roll out of bed and just don’t feel like cooking, we’ve also listed the very best chains to grab some tasty plant-based morning grub.
Why do we eat breakfast?
While it’s now considered by many as the most important meal of the day, people haven’t always eaten breakfast.
Those who lived in medieval Europe, for example, would only eat early in the morning if they were up early for work, or they were suffering from an illness. Some also rejected the idea on religious grounds. Fasting was the pinnacle of morality, and eating too soon in the morning was seen as a sign of gluttony. Fun fact: the word breakfast literally means to break the fast—because we fast as we sleep.
But over the centuries, as new foods and beverages (like tea and coffee) were introduced to Europe from countries they had colonized, breakfast became more normalized, and even celebrated.
By the Victorian era, people on both sides of the Atlantic were enjoying breakfast. For poorer, working people, this would be something simple and quick, but for, say, wealthy Americans, breakfast became a feast of poached eggs, English muffins, toast, and French cheese, reports CBS.
The 19th century also brought with it the invention of Quaker Oats and cereals, like cornflakes. And by the turn of the 20th century, breakfast, as we know it today, had started to take shape.
Popular vegan breakfast foods
According to USA Today, bacon, eggs, sausage, and pancakes are all in the top five breakfast foods for Americans. But plant-based alternatives to all of these foods exist, so if you want to indulge in a big vegan meal in the morning, you don’t have to miss out. For more on vegan bacon options, follow our guide to the best brands here. We’ve also got the ultimate guide to vegan sausages, and you can find out everything you need to know about one of the most popular vegan egg products, Just Egg, here.
Where to buy vegan breakfast
Life is all about the little things that make us happy. And waking up at the weekend and finding somewhere to eat a delicious breakfast is one of those little things. Luckily, the vegan breakfast options are leveling up all of the time—and not just in the US.
If you’re in Toronto, Revelstoke Cafe is the newest brunch spot turning its customers on to plant-based foods with vegan breakfast classics, like tofu scramble and cashew hollandaise. And in London, popular breakfast chain the Breakfast Club serves an extensive vegan menu, and even turned one location totally vegan for Veganuary.
But in the US, there is also an abundance of vegan breakfast options. Next time your stomach growls in the morning, consider breaking your fast at one of these chains.
1 Crossroads Kitchen
On the weekends, head down to one of Crossroads Kitchen’s three locations for a satisfyingly meaty, yet totally vegan brunch. Depending on your mood, there are options like Chicken & Waffles, Impossible Breakfast Sausage Sandwich, and Impossible Breakfast Sausage Burrito. If you prefer something lighter, grab a Grapefruit & Avocado salad or a toasted bagel.
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2 Peet’s Coffee
If you’re in the mood for a munch and a morning coffee (with dairy-free milk, of course), head down to Peet’s and try the Everything Plant-Based Sandwich, which includes Beyond Breakfast Sausage, Just Egg, and vegan cheddar cheese.
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3 Alfred Coffee
Popular LA coffee chain Alfred has something for everyone—including vegans. Grab an iced, dairy-free latte, and if your stomach is rumbling, there are choices like an Avo Bagel with chives and micro greens or a VLT bagel with avocado, lettuce, and tomato.
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4 Caribou Coffee
Caribou Coffee started in Minnesota in the 1990s and has since expanded to around 485 locations across the US. If there’s a spot near you, head down in the morning for an Iced Oatmilk Crafted Press and a Just Egg Roasted Tomato & Pesto Flatbread, complete with vegan cheese.
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If you’re passing a Starbucks (which, to be honest, is a frequent occurrence for most of us), meat-free breakfast options include an Impossible Breakfast Sandwich (which comes with egg and cheese) or a bagel with avocado spread (which is totally vegan!).
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Plant Power Fast Food/Instagram
6 Plant Power Fast Food
McDonald’s may be lacking in vegan breakfast options, but you still can grab a meaty, cheesy plant-based muffin, croissant, or bagel at California-based chain Plant Power Fast Food. Don’t forget the side of hash browns!
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7 Odd Burger
Odd Burger (formerly known as Globally Local) is currently a Canada-based vegan chain, but it’s on its way to the US very soon, as it signed a letter of intent last year to open 50 new spots in the US and Europe. And when that moment comes, make sure your stomach is ready, because its vegan breakfast menu—which includes the Bacun Maple Crunch, the Faconator, and the Ham Breakfast Sandwich—is extensive.
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8 Jajaja Mexicana
For a taste of Mexico in the morning, head down to one of Jajaja Mexicana New York locations and grab a Breaky Burrito with vegan eggs and mushrooms, or treat yourself to a big stack of Kale Pancakes with coconut mango jam.
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The Butcher’s Daughter/Instagram
9 The Butcher’s Daughter
Despite the name, The Butcher’s Daughter is an entirely vegetarian chain, with locations in Venice, West Hollywood, Nolita, Williamsburg, and West Village. At the weekend, it serves a brunch menu, complete with vegan Loaded Banana Bread and Butcher’s Pancakes with coconut drizzle and berry sauce.
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10 Caffe Nero
Based in London and inspired by Italy, the coffee chain Caffe Nero also has several locations in the US. And just like its UK spots, a handful of vegan options are on the menu, including a Vegan Breakfast Roll with Beyond Sausage, Just Egg, and Daiya vegan cheese.
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Ok, so unfortunately the pancakes at IHOP are not vegan. But don’t despair, the menu at the popular pancake chain has plenty of other plant-based choices, including plant-based sausages, avocado toast, and crispy hashbrowns.
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Qdoba is a great place to grab a quick burrito for lunch or dinner, but there are some vegan breakfast options too. Ask for the Potato Breakfast Burrito, or the Potato Breakfast Bowl, without egg or cheese, and ask for extra guac.
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13 Breakfast Republic
Breakfast Republic caters to all tastes and lifestyle choices, and its vegan menu doesn’t disappoint. There’s even a Harvest Omelet, complete with plant-based eggs, veggies, vegan sausage, pancakes, and a Vegan Breakfast Burrito with meatless beef strips.
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With 10 locations across the US and Canada, Planta is the place to go if you’re celebrating something special. Its indulgent plant-based brunch menu includes French Toast, Frittata, and Overnight Oats. If you prefer something a little less breakfast-y, there’s also a Poke Bowl with spicy ahi watermelon and hearts of palm.
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It’s breakfast all day every day at Philadelphia-based Saxbys, so don’t worry if you want a super long lie-in. After you’ve emerged from your slumber though, you should definitely try the Plant-Powered Breakfast Grilled Cheese with dairy-free cheddar and Just Egg.
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16 Silver Diner
Eastern US chain Silver Diner really delivers on the vegan breakfast options. If you want to keep it simple, there’s the standard (yet always delicious) pancake stack, or you can indulge in Just Egg Breakfast Tacos, which are served with BBQ Beyond Meat. If you’re extra hungry, you could add some tempeh bacon too.
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17 Turning Point
With 20 locations across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, Turning Point is a bit of a vegan breakfast paradise. There are plant-based omelets, sausages, patties, and Just Egg, but the star of the menu is the I Can’t Believe They’re Vegan Pancakes, served with fresh fruit.
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18 Gregory’s Coffee
New York-based Gregory’s Coffee goes above and beyond with its breakfast menu, which is prepared under the guidance of its own in-house registered dietitian. The croissant Deluxe is one of its most popular menu items, but vegans don’t have to miss out, because the chain has made a plant-based version with vegan eggs, sausage, and cheese.
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For more on vegan breakfast, read:
- 7-Eleven’s Vegan Breakfast Sandwich Taps Just Egg, Impossible, and Violife
- 7 Vegan Breakfast Desserts for Each Day of the Week
- 8 Easy Vegan Breakfasts to Make Before School
Charlotte is a writer and editor based in sunny Southsea on England's southern coast.
Some popular choices include oatmeal with fruit, tofu scramble, avocado toast, chia pudding, smoothie bowls, and plant-based yogurt with granola and fruit. Vegans also often enjoy traditional breakfast foods made with plant-based ingredients such as vegan pancakes, waffles, and french toast.
Is Burger King French Toast vegan? ›
French toast sticks contain a substantial amount of added sugar but are a vegan option on the Burger King breakfast menu.
What to order for vegan? ›
Try deep fried pickles, french fries, sweet potato fries, vegetable chili, BBQ vegetables, sometimes they even have BBQ tofu, vegetable sandwiches, salads, and baked potatoes. Make sure to ask for no cheese, sour cream, butter, mayonnaise and make sure the batters don't contain buttermilk.
What do vegans eat when they are hungry? ›
Great vegan and vegetarian protein sources are beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, quinoa, lentils, whole grains, and starchy vegetables. As long as you focus on whole foods (rich in nutrients) and avoid processed foods and oils, it will be hard to overeat.
What vegans must eat daily? ›
What bread is vegan? ›
For a healthy vegan diet:
- eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
- base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates (choose wholegrain where possible)
- have some fortified dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts (choose lower-fat and lower-sugar options)
Editor's Note: The most common vegan bread types are sourdough, Ezekiel bread, ciabatta, focaccia and baguettes.
What do vegans eat instead of eggs? ›
Can vegans eat pancakes? ›
The 10 best vegan egg alternatives for eggless baking and cooking
- Apple sauce. Using apple sauce is a fat-free way to replace eggs in baked goods. ...
- Aquafaba. ...
- Black salt (kala namak) ...
- Egg substitute powders. ...
- Flaxseed (aka linseed) ...
- Ripe bananas. ...
- Silken tofu & firm tofu. ...
- Tapioca starch.
Can vegans eat pancakes? If the pancakes don't contain animal products, then yes, vegans can eat them. The great majority of pancakes around the world, however, are not vegan-friendly. Vegans need to confirm the ingredients to ensure their meal is completely plant-based.
Are Wendy's French toast vegan? ›
Are Wendy's French Toast Sticks Vegan? No. Wendy's French Toast Sticks contain egg and dairy.
Are Wendy's french fries vegan? ›
Are wendy's fries vegan? Yes! Luckily, Wendy's Natural Cut Fries are vegan, along with their Seasoned Homestyle Potatoes!
Are Dairy Queen fries vegan? Yes! Dairy Queen offers hash browns and french fries that are 100 percent vegan (yay!). Unlike other fast-food chains that use animal fat, Dairy Queen deep-fries these snacks to a golden brown crisp using soybean oil.
Does Taco Bell do vegan? ›
Aside from the Spicy Potato Soft Tacos, all tacos, soft and crunchy, can be vegan so long as you swap the meat for black or refried beans and leave off the cheese, sour cream, and chipotle sauce. Try the Crunchy Taco Supreme fresco-style with beans instead of beef and load up on add-ons.
Are Taco Bell beans vegan? ›
Yes! In fact both of our beans – black beans and refried beans – are certified vegan (2) by the American Vegetarian Association (AVA).
Is Taco Bell rice vegan? ›
Yes, all items ordered at Taco Bell are able to be made vegan-friendly by some type of substitution or removal. Our Mexican seasoned rice and Black Beans are both vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
How do vegans stay full? ›
What are the 5 most important rules of a vegan diet? ›
How to Feel Full on a Vegan Diet
- Tips to Feel Full as a Vegan.
- Add Plant-Based Protein. Protein helps us feel satisfied and full after our meals. ...
- Don't Skip the Fats. ...
- Choose Fiber-Rich Foods. ...
- Combine Protein, Fats and Fiber. ...
- Eat Enough. ...
- Enjoy Your Food. ...
- Satisfy Your Cravings.
What food do vegans miss most? ›
5 diet rules vegans get right
- Eat foods that are in season. This isn't a steadfast vegan "rule," but many people who consciously choose to eat vegan are also making other conscious (or even unconscious) decisions. ...
- Fill up with fiber. ...
- Plant your protein. ...
- Eat those good-for-you fats. ...
- You may need to supplement.
Vegan confectionary company NOMO carried out a survey to find out what people miss the most when they're trying out a plant-based diet. Chocolate and roast chicken topped the list, with 36 and 32 percent of people saying that they were pining for the taste.
What pastas are vegan? ›
yes, most dry pasta is vegan. The general everyday dry pasta in shapes like spaghetti, linguini, fettuccini, fusilli, penne, orzo, jumbo shells, manicotti, lasagna noodles, and elbow macaroni are usually vegan. The fresh pasta sold in the refrigerated section usually contains eggs and is therefore not vegan.
What do vegans use instead of butter? ›
What are good vegan butter substitutes? In baking, you can use vegan butter, applesauce, dairy-free yogurt, coconut oil, coconut butter, olive oil, nut butter, mashed banana and mashed avocado. In cooking, you can use olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable stock, or avocado oil to replace butter.
Is mayonnaise vegan? ›
Is mayo vegan? Due to the presence of egg yolk, mayo typically isn't vegan friendly. This means that a lot of commonly-found mayo is not suitable for those on a plant-based diet.
Most dark chocolate is inherently vegan. Superior quality dark chocolate only has a handful of ingredients: cocoa, (usually listed as cocoa mass and cocoa butter), sugar, lecithin, and sometimes vanilla.
What do vegans eat for protein? ›
Vegans can get protein from nuts, peanut butter, seeds, grains, and legumes. Non-animal products like tofu and soymilk also provide protein. Vegans have to consider getting enough “complete proteins.” A complete protein contains all the amino acids your body needs to help maintain your metabolism.
What surprising foods are vegan? ›
What snacks can vegans not eat? ›
Top Accidentally Vegan Foods
- Cinnamon Life.
- Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix.
- SkinnyPop White Cheddar Flavored Popped Popcorn.
- Cracker Jack.
- Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili–Flavored Tortilla Chips.
- Fruit by the Foot.
Are Cracker Barrel pancakes vegan? ›
Vegans can't eat any foods made from animals, including:
- Beef, pork, lamb, and other red meat.
- Chicken, duck, and other poultry.
- Fish or shellfish such as crabs, clams, and mussels.
- Cheese, butter.
- Milk, cream, ice cream, and other dairy products.
- Mayonnaise (because it includes egg yolks)
Unfortunately, all of the pancakes at Cracker Barrel contain milk and eggs and cannot be made vegan.
Is Subway sandwich bread vegan? ›
At Subway, it begins with bread. The only vegan option available across all locations is the Italian (white), though the chain carries other plant-based bread options that vary by region. These include Hearty Multigrain and Sourdough. Both the tomato basil and spinach wraps are animal-free as well.
Are Chick-fil-A fries vegan? ›
And last but not least, the super-sidekick to every Chick-fil-A order, the crowd favorite for three decades, the crispy, savory #cheatday treat… yes, our Waffle Potato Fries® are vegan-friendly! Ready to grab a vegan meal or snack? Head to your closest Chick-fil-A!
Is Subway Soup vegan? ›
Soup. Subway's Black Bean Soup is their only vegan soup option for those cold winter days.
What alcohol can you drink as a vegan? ›
Vegan alcohol includes spirits, beer, wine and cider which are free from animal products. Like the food we eat, vegans choose to avoid non-vegan alcohol and any products with animal-derived ingredients.
Is Coca Cola vegan? ›
Products that are suitable for vegans: Coke Classic, Coke Vanilla, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Coke No Sugar, Fanta Orange, Fanta Jelly Fizz, Sprite, Powerade, Powerade Zero, Lift, Appletiser & Grapetiser, Coke Raspberry, Fanta Passionfruit Cream.
But are the chips in KFC vegan? Unfortunately, KFC chips aren't vegan. They're cooked in the same oil as some of the chicken fryers, preventing them from being vegan; this is why the KFC vegan meal is only a burger and a drink.
Are Applebee's fries vegan? ›
Are Applebee's Fries Vegan? The fries themselves are vegan, however, the fries at Applebee's may be cooked in the same fryer as meat products.
Are DQ onion rings vegan? ›
Are onion rings at Dairy Queen vegan? No. The Onion Rings at Dairy Queen contain whey which is from dairy.
Are the pretzels at DQ vegan? ›
Yes! If you order Dairy Queen pretzel sticks without the queso, they are vegan-friendly!
Is sour cream vegan? ›
Is sour cream vegan? No, as it's generally made from cow's milk, sour cream is not suitable for anyone on a vegan diet. However, there are plenty of plant-based alternatives that skip out the diary bit.
Which taco shell is vegan? ›
Corn tortillas are traditionally made vegan so when in doubt, opt for corn. Yellow or white corn tortillas are both safe vegan choices.
Are refried beans vegan? ›
Nope! Be really careful when buying premade canned refried beans or ordering them at a restaurant, because refried beans often contain lard. Not only are they not vegan, they're not even vegetarian!
Is Popeyes red beans vegan? ›
Unfortunately, the red beans and rice at Popeye's are not vegan. They are, in fact, cooked with pork which makes them obviously not vegan. And since they're cooked in the pork, there is no way to even modify them like can be done with some menu items by requesting 'no butter' or something similar.
Is Honey vegan? ›
Honey is by definition not vegan, since it a bee product, and bees are animals. Here's a nuanced article about how the ethical issues surrounding this sweetener fit into the broader concept of vegan living.
Are hashbrowns at Taco Bell vegan? ›
These ingredients are all certified vegan: black beans, chalupa shells, gordita flatbreads, hash browns, jalapeno peppers, lettuce, nacho chips, onion, potato bites, guacamole, red strips, refried beans, seasoned rice, taco shells, tomatoes, tortillas, and tostada shells.
Unfortunately for vegan American McDonald's fans, the fries there aren't plant-based. This is because one of the ingredients is “natural beef flavoring,” which contains milk. “When our suppliers partially fry our cut potatoes, they use an oil blend that contains beef flavoring,” the McDonald's website states.
What rice is vegan? ›
Plain white rice is, generally speaking, vegan. It contains only the rice grain without the hull, making it a good alternative for people who have trouble processing high-fiber foods. White rice often comes topped with non-vegan butter, so be sure to order yours plain.
Is Minute Maid rice vegan? ›
Yes that's right it only contains 1 simple ingredient, rice which is grown in the USA. It doesn't matter if you eat Gluten Free, vegan, or vegetarian, you can always count on Minute® Rice.
Which of the following breakfast meals would be appropriate for a vegan to consume quizlet? ›
What type of breakfast would be appropriate for a vegan? A peanut butter and banana on whole wheat toast. What is the correct sequence of the stages of cancer development?
Should vegans eat oatmeal? ›
Can you eat oatmeal as a vegan? Absolutely. Not only can you eat it, but you can pile on allllll the amazing toppings and make it one of the best breakfasts ever. Oats themselves are vegan, so it's all in the ingredients you use to make it.
What meals do vegan people eat? ›
What do vegan vegetarians eat for breakfast? ›
On a vegan diet, you can eat foods made from plants, including:
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Legumes such as peas, beans, and lentils.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Breads, rice, and pasta.
- Dairy alternatives such as soymilk, coconut milk, and almond milk.
- Vegetable oils.
What to eat for breakfast lunch and dinner on a vegan diet? ›
BREAKFAST ITEMS TO STOCK
- HIGH-FIBER CEREALS, INCLUDING OATS, GRANOLA, AND BRAN.
- PLANT-BASED DAIRY INCLUDING PLANT-BASED MILK, YOGURT, AND CHEESE.
- WHOLEGRAIN OR RYE BREAD.
- NUTS, SEEDS, AND DRIED FRUIT.
- NUT BUTTER.
- TOFU AND BEANS.
- PLANT-BASED PROTEIN POWDER FOR SMOOTHIES.
- FRESH FRUIT.
What 2 types of vegan meals would combine foods and complement each other to provide all essential amino acids? ›
Sample meal plan
- Breakfast: tempeh bacon with sautéed mushrooms, avocado, and wilted arugula.
- Lunch: whole-grain pasta with lentil “meatballs” and a side salad.
- Dinner: cauliflower and chickpea tacos with guacamole and pico de gallo.
- Snacks: air-popped popcorn, kale chips, and trail mix.
What are some five good food choices that a strict vegan would want to add to their diet for protein? ›
Here are six vegan complete protein food combinations that deliver all nine essential amino acids.
- Spinach salad with chickpeas and sunflower seeds. ...
- Peanut butter on whole-wheat toast. ...
- Lentils and almonds. ...
- Whole wheat pasta and peas. ...
- Hummus and whole-wheat pitas. ...
- Barley and lentil soup.
Fifteen best plant-based proteins
- Tofu, tempeh, and edamame. Share on Pinterest Soy products such as tofu, tempeh, and edamame are among the richest sources of protein in a vegan diet. ...
- Lentils. ...
- Chickpeas. ...
- Peanuts. ...
- Almonds. ...
- Spirulina. ...
- Quinoa. ...
Unfortunately, most Cheerios aren't vegan. This is because Honey Nut Cheerios contains, as the name implies, honey, which is not vegan. However, both this cereal and the original Cheerios are also fortified with Vitamin D, derived from wool grease.
Is Jif peanut butter vegan? ›
Is Jif® peanut butter vegan? Some of our products do contain ingredients from animal origin, such as our Jif® Natural with Honey, so our products are not considered vegan at this time.
Can vegans eat honey? ›
The bottom line. Vegans try to avoid or minimize all forms of animal exploitation, including that of bees. As a result, most vegans exclude honey from their diets. Some vegans also avoid honey to take a stand against conventional beekeeping practices that can harm bee health.
What kind of bread do vegans eat? ›
Editor's Note: The most common vegan bread types are sourdough, Ezekiel bread, ciabatta, focaccia and baguettes. Don't miss our recipe for homemade vegan banana bread!
What do vegans drink? ›
There are a lot of drinks you can enjoy when following a vegan diet. Besides water, black coffee, and tea, you can have different types of plant-based milk, fruits and vegetable juices, smoothies, and healthy fizzy drinks like FUL® sparkling spirulina beverages.
What cereals can vegans eat? ›
A vegan diet excludes all animal products, such as dairy, eggs, honey, and gelatin. Popular cereal brands such as Cheerios, Special K, Raisin Bran, and Frosted Flakes are vegan-friendly. Specialized vegan cereals include Nature's Path, One Degree Organic Foods, Kashi, and Cascadian Farm.
What oatmeal is vegan? ›
Oatmeal is vegan because it comes from an oat plant. Oat grains in old-fashioned oats remain vegan as long as there are no non-vegan ingredients added to them. Quaker old-fashioned oats are the same even if these are considered instant oatmeal.