5 Hacks For A Cheap, Vegan Meal At Chipotle

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When you’re vegan, it can be difficult popping into a fast food joint with your friends expecting to actually be able to eat a fully satisfying meal complete with protein. More and more fast food places are starting to carry plant-based meat substitutes like Impossible Burgers or Beyond Meat, but there is also the good old stand-by that’s carried vegan products for years: Chipotle. If you’re looking for cost-effective vegan options at Chipotle, you’ll happily be able to find plenty.

Whether you’re looking for a burrito bowl, some tacos, or — yes, because vegans do eat these sometimes — a salad, Chipotle has a bunch of options. From classic rice and beans to vegan sofritas, you can stroll into any old Chipotle with your omnivorous friends and be confident that you can stroll back out just as satisfied with your meal as they are.

As with eating out anywhere, if you're vegan and also have food allergies, it's important to check out the menu before you go. If you're allergic to soy, steer clear of the sofritas, as they're tofu-based. Of the many vegan foods at Chipotle, only the sofritas and tortillas (both corn and flour) contain sulfites, according to the company’s website. So if you’re trying to avoid any of those ingredients, stick with veggie-based burrito bowls and salads, and you’ll be good to go. With these five vegan Chipotle hacks, you can get as much veggie goodness as you want.


The Guac Will Not Be Extra

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With a veggie bowl or burrito, you should be able to get guac for free, even though the avocado goodness usually costs around $2, depending on the location of your local Chipotle. But if you’re in the mood for sofritas and guacamole, be aware — in terms of price, sofritas at Chipotle counts as a “meat.” This means that if you do order a sofritas bowl rather than a straight-up veggie bowl, the guac, once again, is extra.


Get Both Kinds Of Beans And Both Kinds Of Rice

If you want more bang for your vegan buck, when the lovely folks at Chipotle ask “brown or white rice” and “black or pinto beans,” you can (politely) ask for both of each. This will give you more than your usual amount of rice and beans, plus it’ll give your burrito or burrito bowl a much broader flavor profile to work with.


Have At It With Tortillas

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Rejoice, tortilla-loving vegans. Corn and flour tortillas are both vegan at Chipotle, as are all of their salsa varieties (except the honey vinaigrette, because, you know... honey). Plus, if you order a burrito bowl, you can ask for a flour tortilla on the side, free with your order, or extra hard-shell tacos for later taco creation. Because who doesn't want both a burrito and a burrito bowl? I know I do.


Don’t Forget The Fajita Veggies And Corn-Chili Salsa

Even though servers rarely ask if you want these options, they’re right there and free for you to add to your Chipotle order. If you're not used to ordering vegan, you might not be accustomed to having so many additional choices for your burrito or bowl. Meat and cheese take up a lot of physical space, so veggies and substantive salsa might not have made it onto your past list of things to get in your meal. But these two add-ons are excellent, free ways to expand what goes into your burrito, taco or bowl. Enjoy the knowledge that adding more colorful veggies to your plate is great for your whole body, too.


Stick To Water Cups

Soda dispensers will have water options at your local Chipotle, so instead of shelling out for soda, ask for a water cup (it will be free) and you’ll have the ultimate vegan meal complete with the ultimate vegan drink option.


Going out to eat can be a nightmare when you're vegan, but it doesn't have to be. If your friends are starting to get frustrated with your refrain of "Sorry guys, I can't eat there," feel free to (1) invest in more supportive friends and (2) suggest these hacks for a cheap and vegan-inclusive option.