What’s Vegan at Shake Shack? Our Favorite Plant-Based Items to Order

You may think that there’s nothing for a plant-based girly to order at Shake Shack, considering it’s a hamburger chain. But you may be pleasantly surprised to find out that there are a select few items that vegans can order there. (In fact, the resto launched a non-dairy custard and shake earlier this year that are totally vegan—more on that later.) Read on for a full breakdown of what’s on and off the menu for plant-based eaters, plus tweaks that will help you order vegan at Shake Shack. (P.S.: All of Shake Shack’s nutritional info and allergen info is available online. The nutrition info listed below doesn’t account for modifications.)

How to Order Gluten-Free at Shake Shack: Our Top Menu Recs, from Fries to Burgers

A Quick Refresher on the Vegan Diet

Veganism calls for abstaining from the consumption of animal products. Of course, that means no meat, poultry or seafood, but it also includes foods that come from animals, like dairy, eggs and even honey for strict vegans. Vegans rely on plant-based foods—like vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and legumes—for nutrition, ideally focusing on fiber- and protein-rich plant-based foods to make their diet as sustainable and satiating as possible.

vegan at shake shack: shake shack shroom burger
Shake Shack

What Isn’t Vegan at Shake Shack

It goes without saying that beef burgers, hot dogs and all chicken items are off the menu for vegans. The grilled cheese sandwich and nearly all the frozen treats (including shakes, concretes, cups, floats and cones) contain dairy, so those are off the table too. It may also surprise you that the vegetarian ’Shroom Burger isn’t vegan either. Even if you substitute a vegan bun, the Portobello mushroom itself is filled with cheese, so it can’t be modified for a vegan diet. All the breakfast sandwiches can’t be made vegan, and the case is the same for the hot dogs. (Even if you order the secret menu’s Garden Dog—which uses a pickle in place of a frank and piles on the veggies—the hot dog bun still contains milk and there’s no alternative option.)

How to Order Vegan at Shake Shack

vegan at shake shack: shake shack veggie shack burger
Shake Shack

1. Veggie Shack

  • Nutrition Information: 630 calories, 31g fat, 53g carbs, 20g protein, 8g sugar
  • Make It Vegan: ask for no cheese, no crispy onions and no ShackSauce; replace bun with a gluten-free bun or lettuce wrap

You may think the Veggie Shack veggie burger is vegan, but not so fast. While the patty is packed with vegetables and grains (like mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, farro and quinoa), it’s also topped with American cheese, crispy onions that are battered in dairy and egg-containing ShackSauce. The burger bun also contains dairy, so you’ll have to swap in an alternative bun or lettuce wrap to make it work. Keep the pickles and ask for extra vegan-friendly toppings, like tomato and raw onion.

vegan at shake shack: shake shack fries
Shake Shack

2. Fries

  • Nutrition Information: 470 calories, 22g fat, 63g carbs, 6g protein, 1g sugar
  • Make It Vegan: no modifications necessary

As long as you order plain fries (not Cheese Fries, Bacon Cheese Fries or Double Down Fries), you’re in the clear. The fries contain soy and could have possible cross contact with wheat, but that shouldn’t be an issue for vegans, unless they have an allergy to either of those ingredients. 

vegan at shake shack: shake shack non-dairy chocolate custard
Shake Shack

3. Non-Dairy Chocolate Custard

  • Nutrition Information (single): 400 calories, 22g fat, 48g carbs, 5g protein, 36g sugar
  • Make It Vegan: no modifications necessary

If they aren’t allergic to tree nuts, this new, plant-based menu item is safe for vegans to eat. (However, Shake Shack’s allergen information says that the non-dairy custard is processed in a factory where it could come into contact with milk and eggs.) Made with NotMilk, a sustainable plant-based substitute that tastes, cooks and blends like the real thing, the chocolate custard is ridiculously creamy despite being free of dairy. The hand-spun shake is also totally plant-based, so sip your hearts out, vegans. (BTW, if you’re feeling like a drink instead of a shake, all the lemonades, iced teas and sodas are vegan-friendly.)

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...