17 Vegan Fried Chicken Sandwiches That Are Better Than Chick-fil-A and Popeyes – VegNews

Posted: May 9, 2021 at 1:50 am

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Lucky for the vegan-inclined, there are impossibly tasty chicken sandwiches beyond Popeyes and Chick-fil-A, and no animals were harmed in the making of them. Not only are these 17 vegan twists on the classic chicken sandwich better for you, but theyre much kinder choices for the animals and the planet, too. And if you think youll be sacrificing taste or texture by biting into one of these bad boys, youd be wrong. Bring a friend and a napkinyour taste buds (and your worldview) will never be the same again.

Atlas Monroe

This soul food pop-up may have engineered the perfect fried chicken recipe, and it just happens to be plant-based. The company was not only the first vegan chicken producer to enter the competitive National Fried Chicken Festival in New Orleans in 2018, but it was also deemed Best Dish by Extra Crispy editor Ryan Grim. The menu has expanded from buckets to bunsputting its finger-licking, crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside vegan chicken between slices of bread. In between its sprawling pop-ups, Atlas Monroe markets its famous chicken online for nationwide shipping. Cooks, to your dredging stations! There are a lot of orders to fill.

Veggie Grill

One of the earliest vegan restaurants to compete in the chicken sandwich games, Veggie Grills signature menu item rivals even the buzzy newcomers. For over a decade, Veggie Grill has been the place where omnivores gently place their hand on their vegan friends knee, look them in the eye, and say, This isnt vegan. The chains new slogan should be, Veggie Grill: successfully duping omnivores since 2006. The Sante Fe Chickin is a standout sandwich comprised of a juicy, meaty chickn patty, romaine, sliced tomato, red onion, mashed avocado, and spicy mayo on a toasted wheat bun. Dare we say it rivals Wendys chicken sandwich? Yes, yes we do.

Daniel Burapovong

Its more than just the name that attracts attention; the food at this Atlanta fast-food concept is equally headline-grabbing. Opt for the ChikN Head which offers a sweet and savory sandwich experiencethe housemade crispy plant-based chicken is tossed in a spicy buffalo sauce, cooled down with a slather of vegan ranch and coleslaw, balanced with a bit of acid from a few pickles, and held between two slightly sweet and fluffy Hawaiian buns. As with all of its sandwiches, this handhold is served with a side of Slutty Fries.

Konrad Odhiambo

People drive from the city and even neighboring states to get a taste of this upstate vegan sandwich shop, which just opened its second location. While it may be difficult to pass up the plant-based renditions of PoBoys, Reubens, and Cubanos, the delis version of a fried chicken sandwich doesnt disappoint. Order the Wing Burger doused with your choice of buffalo or barbecue sauce then topped with shredded carrots, celery, and ranch on a sesame seed bun. Its like a basket of chicken wings in sandwich form.

Green New American

A play on a certain fast-food chain featuring a red-headed female mascot, the Wendys Pickle sandwich outshines the original. With only a few pickles, hot sauce, and mayo to accompany it, the southern-style breaded vegan chicken patty is truly the star of the sandwich. The toasted ciabatta bread acts as the perfect serving vessel. Order with one of the unique sides such as the thyme fries, fried brussels sprouts, tahini coleslaw, fruit, or Grandmas Chili.

Souley Vegan

If plain isnt your game, Souley Vegans Proud Mary might just suit your style. The sandwich starts off with a plant-based, crackly-yet-tender chicken patty schmeared with special sauce and barbecue sauce then topped with tomato slices and romaine. Ok, fine, nothing too special here. Underneath that chicken, however, is a thick layer of crispy barbecue tofu, pickles, and more special sauce. This monstrosity is barely contained between a soft cracked wheat burger bun. There are two ways to tackle this sandwich: take a knife and fork to it or unhinge your jaw.

Wayward Vegan Cafe

Wayward is serving up classic American diner food at its bestlarge portions, affordable prices, and a down-home atmosphere. Here, you can get your fried chicken sandwich fix for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In the morning, order The Freebirdan open-faced homemade herb biscuit sandwich made with the diners signature battered and fried Southern-style chicken, country gravy, onion frizzles, and flowering kale. For lunch or dinner, try the Southern Comfort, Chico Vegan Melt, or Southern Belle which features a generous scoop of potato salad on top of a ranch and barbecue-slathered fried chicken patty. Why not put your side in your sandwich?

The Soutern V

The country music capitals first vegan restaurant offers a bit of Southern charm along with a great fried chicken sandwich. Diners have two optionsthe reliable Chickn Sandwich simply stacked with a seasoned and fried seitan-based chicken cutlet, chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion; or the Nashville Hot Chickn Sandwich that includes all the above with a significantly spicy hot sauce. Pair your sandwich with a complimentary Southern-style side from mac and cheese to turnip greens.


When its literally zero degrees outside, you need something spicy to warm you from the inside out. J. Selbys Nashville Hot Chickin Sandwich will set a fire to your belly, but not in an excruciating, my-tastebuds-are-gone, kind of way. This hot handhold consists of a perfectly fried and battered, plant-based chicken patty brushed with just the right amount of housemade hot sauce and topped with cooling coleslaw, sweet pickles, and thick, mayo-swiped Texas toast. After this sandwich, youll wonder why more restaurants dont use Texas toast for their bread.

Lettuce Feast

Truth be told, this vegan food truck goes relatively light on the lettuce. Its all about that crispy, crackly vegan fried chicken. Wait patiently in line for your Nashville Hot Chicken Sando or OG Sando and try the Ghost or Reaper dippers, if you dare. Both are made with the companys homemade crispy chicken patty and vegan butter bunthough the OG is paired with lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard, while the Nashville comes with slaw, ranch, and your choice of hot sauce. Again, theres no need to be a hero. The OG, Mild, Medium, and Hot Honey sauces are spicy enough. Only true heat-seekers should take on the more advanced hot sauce dipping options.


If Chef Velvet and Colonel Sanders squared off in a fried chicken sandwich duel, theres no doubt Chef Velvets vegan version would reign supreme. Her extra crispy, plant-based fried chicken breast is seasoned to perfection and needs no adornment beyond a simple, squishy bun. Having made her mark in Charlotte, the chef crossed the country to open another soul cuisine spot in Los Angeles, shortening the name to VTree and expanding the menu to include a range of foods representative of the Southern Black diaspora.

Justin Nelson

Compliments tend to hold more gravitas when coming from an omnivore, and when that omnivore happens to be a celebrity, you might as well call in the Michelin team to hand out a star. Actor Dan Levy of Schitts Creek fame gushed over this plant-based fried chicken sandwich co-created by Discovery Channel host Ziya Tong. The restaurant sources its vegan chicken from Barcelona-based company Heura and coats it in Tongs top-secret spice blend. The meaty filling is accompanied by preserved chilies, vegan mayo, shredded lettuce, and pickles all held together by a crusty ciabatta roll.

Modern Love Omaha

Tofu is a tricksteryoud never know this succulent, fried patty was soy in disguise. Modern Loves take on the classic pairs fresh ingredients with golden-fried lusciousness and douses both sides of its ciabatta bun with creamy vegan ranch. You heard rightdouble ranch. Need we say more?

Meatless Molly

Residents of Washington, DC and Philadelphia rejoice: this decadent sando is in your neck of the woods. Sink your teeth into the Crispy HipCity Ranch sandwich. Its got all the classic toppingslettuce, tomato, onion, and picklesbut the peppercorn ranch offers a pleasant touch of heat without moving into Nashville hot territory. Order the chains signature Banana Whip for a light, sweet end to your meal.

The BeetBox Food Truck

Arguably some of the best food comes from a truck. Launched by two young vegan entrepreneurs craving comfort in their college town, this middle-of-America kitchen on wheels serves the best vegan kitchen sandwiches around (and its not just because theyre the only vegan concept around). Their chickenless sandwich menu allows patrons to customize their handhold with a variety of sauces and heat levels. Dare to go spicy or slather on the Eat Mor Chkn sauce that will remind you of a certain non-vegan chain thats closed on Sundays. This vegan chicken sandwich is transforming Stillwater into a destination town.

Project Pollo

This chickenless chicken chain does one thing, and they do it right. Each menu item features crispy vegan chicken in one way or another, but were focusing on the mouthwatering array of sandwiches. Options range from basic (the Original Project) to fiery (Spicy Project) to baconified (The Deluxe). Vegan crispy chicken sandwich with plant-based bacon and melty gouda cheese? Yes, please and thank you.

Herbie Butchers Fried Chicken

After five years of success, Americas first vegan butchery is expanding. The Herbivorous Butcher co-founders Kale and Aubry Walch arent opening another general butcher shop, though. Theyre jumping into the vegan fried chicken market. Expect nothing less than an endless line of people spaced six feet apart during the opening weekend (May 21-23). Bring a book or your Kindle, but the wait will be worth it.

Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.

Photo credit: Lettuce Feast

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17 Vegan Fried Chicken Sandwiches That Are Better Than Chick-fil-A and Popeyes - VegNews

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May 9th, 2021 at 1:50 am

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