A Vegan's Guide to The Cheesecake Factory: Best Menu Options, Swaps, and More

Vegan guide to The Cheesecake Factory

Photos courtesy of The Cheesecake Factory. Illustration by Treehugger / Catherine Song

You may think that a restaurant with “cheese” literally in the title would be lacking in the vegan department, but those seeking non-animal or plant-based options at The Cheesecake Factory aren’t completely out of luck.

First of all, however, let’s get one thing out of the way—there are exactly zero actual vegan cheesecake flavors on The Cheesecake Factory dessert menu, though there are a few viable choices when it comes to appetizers, lunch, dinner, and sides.

Some of the most popular vegan dishes are the vegan Cobb salad and the Impossible burger, but there are other selections that can easily go the way of plant-based with a simple tweak or two. We’ll walk you through everything else there is to know about eating vegan at The Cheesecake Factory.

Our Top Picks

Already feeling hungry? Here are our top four choices for delicious vegan meals at The Cheesecake Factory. As different locations may have different kitchen operations and recipes (and Cheesecake Factory has A LOT of locations), always remember to let your server know that you have dietary restrictions so they can give you the best possible options. 

Vegan Cobb Salad

A fresh combination of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, the vegan Cobb salad is everything you need to feel fully satisfied after a meal (plus, it requires no modifications as it already comes completely plant-based).

The salad includes crisp lettuce, grilled asparagus, avocado, roasted beets, green beans, tomato, cucumber, and carrot, topped off with quinoa, farro, toasted pepitas, and almonds. This salad comes together with a vegan house vinaigrette. 

Impossible Burger

The well-known plant-based burger is available at The Cheesecake Factory with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayonnaise (ask to leave it off to make it vegan) and onion on a toasted bun.

It’s served with a green salad on the side that can be modified and tossed in the vegan house vinaigrette from the vegan Cobb or another vegan dressing option.

Avocado Toast

Who doesn’t love a good avocado toast? The Cheesecake Factory version is less of a breakfast dish and more of a sharable small plate featuring grilled artisan bread topped with fresh avocado mash, marinated tomato, arugula, radish, and red onion. It’s then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon for a touch of brightness. 

Pasta Pomodoro

A hearty spaghetti pasta tossed with housemade marinara sauce, imported cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil, the pasta pomodoro is a classic vegan dish that doesn’t sacrifice taste (be sure to specify no cheese).

Vegan Appetizers

Start your meal off right with one of Cheesecake Factory’s vegan appetizers.

  • Avocado toast
  • Edamame
  • Korean fried cauliflower (specify no ranch dressing)
  • Guacamole and chips (specify no sour cream)

Vegan Salads

The restaurant includes a diverse selection of salads, many of which are already vegan or just need a few simple swaps to get there. Don’t forget to substitute for one of the restaurant’s vegan choices for dressings if the salad doesn’t already come with one.

  • Little house salad
  • Tossed green salad (specify no croutons)
  • Vegan Cobb salad
  • Greek salad (specify no feta cheese)
  • Thai chicken salad (specify no chicken)
  • French country salad (specify no goat cheese)
  • Mexican tortilla salad (specify no chicken and no sour cream)
  • Sheila's chicken and avocado Salad (specify no chicken)

Vegan Salad Dressings

  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Chinese plum vinaigrette
  • Citrus honey dressing
  • Shallot vinaigrette
  • SkinnyLicious mustard vinaigrette
  • SkinnyLicious sesame soy dressing
  • Spicy peanut vinaigrette

Vegan Entrees

There are only a few vegan entrees at The Cheesecake Factory, but luckily they are all filling, especially when paired with a vegan salad, side, or appetizer.

  • Impossible burger
  • Pasta pomodoro (specify no cheese)
  • Everlyn’s favorite pasta (specify no parmesan)

Vegan Sides

Cheesecake Factory has a good selection of vegetable sides on the menu, though be advised that they may come tossed in butter by default. 

  • French fries
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Green beans (specify no butter)
  • Bell peppers (specify no butter)
  • Sauteed spinach (specify no butter)
  • Fresh mushrooms (specify no butter)
  • Grilled asparagus (specify no butter)

Vegan Desserts

While The Cheesecake Factory does offer desserts that aren’t cheesecake, none of these options are vegan. You can, however, order a side of fresh strawberries (hold the cream) if you want something sweet after your meal.

Vegan Drinks

There are also a couple of iced and frozen drinks at The Cheesecake Factory that contain no dairy, as well as staples like coffee and hot tea.

  • Frozen iced mango
  • Peach smoothie
  • Strawberry fruit smoothie
  • Tropical smoothie
  • Arnold Palmer
  • Certified organic black and herb teas
  • Cold brew iced coffee
  • Cucumber lemonade
  • Espresso
  • Freshly brewed black, green, or tropical iced teas
  • Raspberry lemonade
  • Strawberry lemonade
  • The Cheesecake Factory signature lemonade
  • Apple juice

Keep in mind that The Cheesecake Factory’s allergen page advises guests that they are unable to guarantee that any menu item will be free of any allergen due to sourcing, preparation, and handling procedures.

The menu items are handcrafted in their restaurants, which are not allergen-free environments, so menu items may be prepared using shared equipment (such as friers) and cross-contamination may occur.

They also do not take unregulated statements into consideration, such as unregulated advisory statements like “may contain” on supplier ingredient labels. Please inform your server if you have a food allergy.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is The Cheesecake Factory Cobb salad vegan?

    No, the regular Cobb salad includes chicken breast, blue cheese, bacon, and egg, so modifying it would just leave you with lettuce and tomato. However, there is a vegan Cobb salad on the menu.

  • Does The Cheesecake Factory have vegan cheese?

    Some locations, though not all, have vegan cheese and vegan thousand island dressing. Be sure to ask for your options.

  • Does The Cheesecake Factory have vegan bread?

    The restaurant has sourdough baguette, wheat baguette, and white bread available to vegan guests.

  • Are there vegan menu items for kids at The Cheesecake Factory?

    The only vegan option on the children’s menu is the kids’ pasta, which is bowtie pasta mixed with marinara sauce (be sure to ask for no cheese). As for sides, the kids' menu includes French fries and fresh fruit.