Vegan Guide to Einstein Bros. Bagels: Best Menu Options, Swaps, and More

From savory selections to sweet treats, Einstein has plenty for vegans.

einstein bros

Food images courtesy of Einstein Bros Bagels. Illustration by Catherine Song.

Describing Einstein Bros. Bagels as simply a “bagel-and-coffee place” only scratches the surface. Chef Chad Thompson, Head of Culinary Innovation, notes that the company’s commitment to making the majority of its bagels dairy-free for its vegan guests to enjoy is a point of pride. “Not only do we have the tastiest bagels, but they are created with compassion for our guests' needs,” he told Treehugger.

Einstein Bros. Bagels' recipe for success among vegan diners is still being tweaked, however. The chain's ongoing “schmear” campaign promoting its many spreads does not yet include a permanent dairy-free selection, and hummus is no longer available inside the stores.

Yet once we get past the limited spread options and the glossy non-veg sandwich posters, we still have a nice selection of plant-based treats and satisfying selections. 

Our Top Picks

Within Einstein Bros. Bagels' well-rounded menu, there are a few vegan standouts that will power your day with flavor as well as substance.

Avocado Toast

The menu presents the Einstein spin on a trendy favorite, featuring fresh avocado “shmeared” onto a Plain Bagel and finished with an Everything Spice Mix of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion, garlic, caraway, kosher salt and black pepper. However, swapping the Plain Bagel with a Toasted Onion, Sesame, or Garlic Bagel brings in extra oomph with little effort.

Avocado Veg Out Deli Lunch Sandwich

There’s a whole lot of flavor on a sesame bagel when it’s topped with tomato, cucumber, red onion, spinach and lettuce, all held together with fresh, smashed avocado. Swap out leaf lettuce with arugula, if available, for a more complex flavor profile.

Apple Cinnamon Gourmet Bagel and French Toast Bagel

Sweet tooth vegans, rejoice! These dessert-y bagels are a perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea. The Apple Cinnamon Bagel, listed in the Gourmet category, has a pie filling-like topper consisting of fire-roasted Fuji apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a cinnamon crunch streusel topping. The Signature (and totally egg-free) French Toast Bagel is a touch simpler, with the cinnamon crunch topping and brown sugar enhanced with vanilla.

Vegan Bagels

It may be a little disappointing that the Power Protein, Ancient Grain, and Whole Wheat Bagels are not vegan because they all contain honey. That said, you still won’t be starved for bagel choices.

Classic

  • Plain
  • Everything
  • Poppyseed
  • Pumpernickel
  • Sesame
  • Cinnamon Raisin
  • Cranberry
  • Garlic

Signature and Gourmet

  • Potato
  • Chocolate Chip
  • French Toast
  • Pumpkin (Seasonal)
  • Blueberry
  • Pretzel
  • Apple Cinnamon

Other Vegan Breads and Rolls

  • Potato roll
  • Multigrain roll

Vegan Breakfast

For a light breakfast, try the Garden Avocado—avocado, tomato, and spinach on an Everything Bagel. Just make sure to skip the eggs and Roasted Tomato Shmear. Add in onions and other veggie toppings to get more bang for your buck.

Vegan Lunch

Vegans' sole lunch option is still a great one: the Veg Out Sandwich. Make sure to skip the Garden Veggie Shmear, and swap the Ancient Grain bagel for Pumpernickel, Sesame, or Plain.

Treehugger Tip

Avocados and peanut butter are yummy, hearty spreads. However, for some, a bagel just isn’t a bagel if it doesn’t have a “shmear,” or cream cheese spread. If you fall into that camp, look for dairy-free alternatives the next time you're at the grocery store so you can get that velvety finish to a freshly baked and perfectly toasted bagel.

Vegan Condiments and Toppings

While Einstein Bros. Bagels is short on vegan schmears, they still provide a variety of delicious vegan condiments and toppings.

  • Avocado/Guacamole Spread
  • All-Natural Peanut Butter
  • Strawberry Jelly
  • Arugula
  • Capers
  • Cucumber
  • Pickle Spear
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Red Onion
  • Spinach
  • Tomato Slices

Vegan Sides

Want to complete your breakfast or lunch with a little something extra? Here are your side options:

  • Fruit Cup
  • Barbecue Kettle Chips
  • Original Kettle Chips

Vegan Beverages

Almond milk is available at most locations for the “Coffee of the Day” and hot and iced latte drinks.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are all Einstein Bagels vegan?

    No, but most Einstein Bagels are. Your options are Plain, Everything, Poppyseed, Pumpernickel, Sesame, Cinnamon Raisin, Cranberry, and Garlic from the Classic menu section, and Potato, Chocolate Chip. French Toast, Pumpkin, Blueberry, Pretzel, and Apple Cinnamon from the Signature and Gourmet sections.

  • Is Einstein Bros. Avocado Toast vegan?

    Yes, their Avocado Toast is vegan. If you're swapping bagels, make sure you choose a vegan one.

  • ​Can you swap a non-vegan for a vegan sandwich filling at Einstein Bros?

    Yes. In response to demand, the company's website is underscoring the toppings menu as a “build-your-own section” for customers who want to pick and choose the base, condiment, toppings, alternative portions, and such.

  • Does Einstein Bros have any vegan meat or dairy substitutes?

    Not at this time. While Einstein Bros. Bagels had test-marketed plant-based cream cheese (Kite Hill and Daiya) and Beyond Meat’s breakfast sausage patty at select locations, none of these substitutes have been permanently added to the nationwide menu.