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When transitioning from a standard diet to one that follows veganism, it can sometimes be quite harrowing having to discover or relearn what places you can eat from. Home cooking is always a safe bet, as you know what ingredients are used, yet everyone still loves a nice meal out just to kick back and relax.
The popular American food chain IHOP has a fair few vegan options that are delicious and guaranteed to be safe for vegans. So in response to ‘Is IHOP vegan?’ the answer would be a yes, but with exceptions. There are no vegan pancakes, much to everyone’s disappointment.
Table of Contents
What Is Ihop?
IHOP is a very well-known family-friendly restaurant chain that specializes in serving breakfast all day, every day. Unlike other places and direct competitors of IHOP who shut down their breakfast menu at 11 am or a similar time, IHOP serves breakfast as long as they are open.
Alongside this, IHOP is known for being the perfect place for both a family meal and a late-night hangout. They try to cater to almost everyone, so vegans and vegetarians are sure to find something they can eat on the menu. Despite being famed for their pancakes, waffles, and crepes; IHOP does not make vegan alternatives to these, which is seriously disappointing.
What Is Veganism?
In simple terms, veganism is the exclusion of any animal products from one’s diet. Veganism is heavily about protesting the exploitation of animals and their goods, which goes further than vegetarianism which only abstains from the meat of animals.
Veganism is labeled as a diet, but it can be argued to be much more of a philosophy or lifestyle as it affects much more than just food. Vegans abstain from wearing leather clothing, shopping at places that negatively affect the world and the animals, and also try to avoid anything that further harms any animals if possible.
This does not mean that every vegan is 100% green as that would be an unrealistic way to live life. Cars are needed by a lot of people, and vegan alternatives can be expensive. Vegans are mostly doing everything they can to help, without putting themselves in too much discomfort.
Does IHOP Have Vegan Options?
While the majority of the IHOP menu will have dairy products, meat, and other animal products in it; there are quite a few options that are vegan. Some of these are intentionally made with vegans in mind, whereas others are made and are unintentionally vegan as there are no animal products in the recipes.
As mentioned, the beloved IHOP pancakes are not vegan-friendly but that does not mean there are no breakfast alternatives that you can eat. There are plenty of vegan options for breakfast, as well as snacks or meals.
IHOP, as a brand, tries to cater to as many people as possible. This means being as inclusive as they can with what they serve. While not everything on the menu can fit everyone’s dietary or religious needs, they make sure to have something for everyone.
Vegan Options At IHOP
There are plenty of options at IHOP for any vegan to make sure you are well fed when visiting. There is certainly enough variety so that you can choose something and not just sit there drinking water or soda while everyone else has a good time.
Some of the options that are vegan-friendly can often be accompanied by non-vegan toppings or condiments. So, if you are going to order one of these, make sure to let your waiter or waitress know that you are vegan so that they can ensure you do not get served any non-vegan products.
The baked potato at IHOP is entirely vegan-friendly and will fill you up while still being tasty. After all, who doesn’t like potatoes? The only issue is that a lot of the servings of baked potatoes will come with cheese, butter, or sour cream. It is important that you ask for the baked potato without these.
While they may not be paired together in every IHOP, it is best to ask just to make sure. Instead of these toppings, you could try adding some sauteed veggies on top of your baked potato, or baked beans to give it a kick of flavor and texture. Baked beans are entirely vegan as they are just white beans, tomato sauce, and a splash of sugar. They are also completely delicious and will fill you up white some helpful carbohydrates too. By all means, you can have a plain baked potato, but they are so much better with something on the top.
Crispy Potato Pancakes
Can vegans eat IHOP pancakes? No. But, thankfully they can eat potato pancakes. While they may not quite be the same, these fried potatoes are packed into a pancake shape and fried until they are extra crispy. They are delicious, crunchy, and completely addictive. Pair these with a pinch of salt and some tomato sauce to dip them in and you will be completely satisfied.
One of the most famous and popular breakfast items is of course the hash brown. These are essentially burger patties made from potatoes and onions. They are crispy on the outside, and amazingly fluffy on the inside. There seriously isn’t anything more you could ask for.
These entirely vegan slices of heaven pair amazingly well with salsa or some avocado. Just make sure to ask the employee not to put butter on them. It is not certain that they would, but just in case it is best to make them aware. Hash browns are amazing and easily one of the best breakfast items available anywhere. They are typically served with a full English breakfast but work just as well on their own.
While it may seem like a weird choice, IHOP serves grits that are entirely vegan. Grits are a type of cornmeal porridge that is healthy and filling. Obviously, this is not a typical item to order when eating out, but it is always there as an option in case you fancy it. To make the grits more flavorful, you can add sugar or some maple syrup.
IHOP also sells a different type of porridge that is made from bananas and brown sugar oatmeal. The oatmeal is made with full-fat milk, which is not vegan-friendly, yet you could request them to make it with water instead if you really wanted to. Alongside your bowl of porridge, you could order a fresh fruit cup which will add some nutrients and flavor to your breakfast.
While IHOP offers a lot of different types of bread for breakfast sandwiches and such, all of them are non-vegan. The only exception to this is the sourdough bread. Ask for this without butter, and pair it with soup or jam to add some flavor. Sourdough might be the only vegan bread sold here, but it is still so delicious and worth a try.
Surprisingly, avocado toast is seeing more love in recent years than ever before. The popularity of this simple yet delicious snack is at an all-time high. While the idea is simple, it somehow works and is better than could ever be expected.
The ingredients are all vegan with the exception of the bread. For this, you will want to opt for sourdough bread as it is vegan-friendly, and will also want to make sure to request them to not butter it, as the butter used in IHOP is non-vegan. The bread is accompanied by avocado, tomatoes, seasonings, and a lemon slice.
While hash browns are an amazing breakfast item, nothing can beat the best use for potatoes. French fries are crunchy, delicious, and entirely vegan. Serve these with some salt, tomato sauce, and any other vegan-friendly condiments you can find.
While french fries are always a safe option for vegans to find on a menu, IHOP takes this a step further and seasons the french fries while cooking them. This adds so much flavor to the fries and it is entirely worth it.
Out of all the IHOP vegan options, you would not expect to see an English muffin. Yet surprisingly, as long as you hold off on adding butter, they are entirely vegan. You should request for them to come without butter, just to be on the safe side.
If you want a sweet sandwich, you can add your favorite jam to the muffin and enjoy it like that. Alternatively, you could add some sauteed veggies and ketchup to your English muffin and have a more savory sandwich.
If you want something that is both delicious and warm, you should order the minestrone soup. This hearty Italian soup is a spiced vegetable broth mixed with richly seasoned tomato sauce. Not only is it healthy, and delicious, but the minestrone soup is entirely vegan and is a great way to fill yourself up and get all the nutrients you need.
If your soup is not enough for you, order a slice of sourdough bread as well and dip it into the soup. This will fill you up even more and is a great well-rounded vegan meal.
Fresh Fruit Cup
While it may not seem like the typical breakfast or snack to have when you go out somewhere, a fresh fruit cup is exactly what it sounds like. There is a mix of fresh fruit in a cup that is tasty, sweet, and super healthy.
While it is not as filling as the other vegan options, it is cheap enough that you can buy it alongside anything else as a little something extra for once you have finished your other food. The fruit cup works great alongside grits, and can even prove to be a nice second course after a soup or hash browns.
Sauteed veggies are not exclusively listed on the IHOP menu, so they are easy to miss. You can ask any employee for them and they should be able to help you out. However, if they do not know what you are asking for, you have to make a rather weird request.
The veggies are actually part of the omelets that IHOP serves, which are obviously not vegan-friendly. If you want spinach, mushrooms, onions, and diced tomatoes; you will have to order the spinach and mushroom omelet, and request it to be without eggs and cheese.
If you are in the mood for fresh green peppers, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms then you will want to order the garden omelet, again without the eggs and cheese. The final option is the veggie omelet which includes onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and oven-roasted tomatoes.
While making these requests may seem weird, the sauteed veggies work really well alongside other items such as hash browns, English muffins, and sourdough bread.
Vegan-Friendly Syrups And Salad Dressings
While we have covered what food is acceptable to eat while being vegan, the syrups and salad dressings you may be tempted to use might not be vegan. While it would be great to pour some mayonnaise on your sourdough bread, unfortunately, you cannot as it is not vegan-friendly.
The IHOP vegan options for salad dressings and syrups are quite surprising and are mostly universal so you can use them on everything from a salad to hash browns. The acceptable vegan syrups used at IHOP are;
- Sugar-free syrup
- Old fashioned maple syrup
- Blueberry syrup
- Strawberry Syrup
- Boysenberry syrup
The list of syrups is impressive, especially the maple syrup as you can use that to add some flavor to your grits. The salad dressings at IHOP which are vegan-friendly are;
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Raspberry Vinaigrette
- French Dressing
- Catalina Dressing
- Creamy Italian Dressing
As you can see, your salads will still be bursting with flavor whether you are vegan or not.
Vegan Beverages at IHOP
One of the most important parts of a meal is the drink that you pair with it. Thankfully, at IHOP there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to picking your perfect drink. If you are hoping for a latte, or a coffee with cream, you might have to ask and see if they have a vegan alternative to milk. However, the vegan certified drinks sold at IHOP are;
- Coca Cola
- Cherry Coke
- Diet Coke
- Coke Zero
- Pepsi – Wild Cherry
- Fanta Orange
- Mountain Dew
- Dr. Pepper
- Root Beer
- Iced Tea
- English Tea
- Roast Coffee
Is IHOP A Good Place For Vegans?
While there are still no vegan pancakes, much to everyone’s disappointment, IHOP is still a brilliant place to go if you are vegan or not. The atmosphere is second to none and is a fun place to just be in. When it comes to food and drinks, sure it could be a bit better. But thankfully you are not stuck for options and can quite easily find something that you will like.
FAQS On Vegan Options At IHOP
What is vegan at IHOP?
There are a lot of vegan options at IHOP that are sure to cater to your taste in food. While not everything is vegan, there are a lot of good alternatives for breakfast that are.
Are pancakes vegan at IHOP?
“Are IHOP pancakes vegan?” is the question everyone asks as it is the international house of pancakes. Well very sadly, they are not vegan.
Are the fries at IHOP vegan?
The fries at IHOP are completely vegan and are also seasoned while they are being cooked, which means they are insanely tasty.