Culver's may not be the most vegan-friendly of all restaurants (they're famous for Butter Burgers, fried cheese curds, and frozen custard, after all), but if you look carefully enough, there are some vegan Culver's items you can definitely order and enjoy. Even though many of these options are side options, if you custom order a salad, add some fries and a dinner roll, and opt for a lemonade-based dessert, you can enter Culver's a hungry vegan and leave at least somewhat satisfied. 

#SpoonTip: The ingredient information for these vegan menu items was tripled checked using Culver's allergen guide

1. Crinkle Cut Fries

Culver's crinkle cut fries are straight-up delicious. Hot and crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, a steamy grease-soiled paper bag of these babies will warm you right up on even the coldest of Midwest winter days. Many of Culver's condiments are vegan-friendly (see #8 on this list) so get yourself a large and go dip-crazy for some fun.

2. Dinner Roll

This fluffy dinner roll will remind you of the deflatable rolls that came with your school lunches in a good, nostalgic way. It's worth adding to your meal if you want some more carbs. Because who doesn't want more carbs?

3. Side Salad (No Cheese Or Croutons)

Order without the shredded cheese and you'll have an inexpensive side dish to add to your meal if you find yourself craving something green. For dressing, vegan options include sesame ginger, raspberry vinaigrette, French, and reduced-fat French.

4. Lemon Ice

While you may not be able to order any custard-based desserts, Culver's does offer Lemon Ice, a refreshing non-dairy dessert option which will satisfy your sweet tooth. Add raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries on top for a fruity contrast to the tangy lemonade base. Or add Oreo bits, peanut butter, and/or crushed nuts, and invent a new tangy-sweet crunchy combo.

5. Green Beans

Order this side without butter and you have another vegan Culver's option. You could even order a dairy-free dressing (like sesame ginger) on the side to spruce it up a bit.

6. Garden Fresco Salad (No Cheese Or Croutons)

Order sans cheese or croutons with sesame ginger, raspberry vinaigrette, or French dressing, and you have yourself a nice vegan salad. You can also add cashews, dried cranberries, and fresh strawberry slices to salads, depending on the season.

7. Applesauce

apples, Fuji apple, Fruit, whole apple
Jocelyn Hsu

This side option is vegan-friendly if you're feeling something sweet and creamy. 

8. Condiments

Ketchup, yellow mustard, BBQ sauce, picante sauce, sweet and sour dipping sauces, steak sauce, and dill pickles are all vegan-friendly condiment options you can add to your fries or other menu items. 

9. Sweet Potato Fries

A seasonal item, these sweet fries are available in the fall and are vegan-friendly.

10. Lemon Ice Cooler

This is a non-dairy slushy treat made from real lemonade. You can also get the drink blended with fruit. Try the raspberry or mango strawberry for a sweet, tangy treat.

11. Plain Waffle Cone or Plain Cake Cone

If you want something sweet to nibble on, the waffle and cake cones are both egg- and dairy-free. However, none of the custard options are vegan.

12. PB & Banana Sandwich

If you're really desperate, order a roll, a side of peanut butter (meant to be an ice cream topping) and a side of banana (also an ice cream topping) and make a DIY sandwich. It may not be conventional, but hey, it works.

Foods That Appear Vegan, But Are Not

Certain menu items may seem vegan upon first glance, but a peak at their ingredient lists shows otherwise. For example, the mashed potatoes are made with milk, the vegetarian tomato Florentine soup contains eggs and dairy, and the onion rings contain whey powder. The veggie burger patty also contains whey and cheese, and is therefore vegetarian but not vegan.

If you're on the fence about a menu item, check the Culver's website for ingredient lists, which are readily accessible to the general public. Bottom line: vegan Culver's menu items do exist. Just be flexible and careful with your orders, and prepared to become addicted to the crinkle cut fries.