Vegan Guide to Cracker Barrel: Best Menu Options, Swaps, and More

What's vegan at this fan-favorite, old country restaurant?

Vegan guide to Cracker Barrel. Illo includes broccoli cup and fried apples.

Treehugger / Photo illustration by Catherine Song / Cracker Barrel

Tucked neatly inside an old-timey general store, Cracker Barrel has been cooking up homestyle Southern cuisine since 1969. Cracker Barrel welcomes folks for all three squares—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—offering quality food for a reasonable price in a quaint, casual-dining setting. 

If you’re looking to eat vegan at Cracker Barrel, however, it can prove a bit difficult. But lucky for you, we’ve listed all the ways you can customize your next Cracker Barrel meal to have yourself a little slice of plant-based heaven.

Treehugger Tip

Cracker Barrel’s allergen guide recommends that guests speak with the manager at their specific location before ordering to make the kitchen aware of all dietary needs. 

Top Pick: Modified House Salad and Modified Sweet Potato

Make yourself a fantastic vegan lunch or dinner with Cracker Barrel’s modified house salad and modified sweet potato. On the salad, hold the bacon and the cheese, and ask for the vegan-friendly balsamic herb vinaigrette dressing. Then, indulge in sweet potato goodness. Skip the butter and opt for margarine. Add pecans and syrup for an even sweeter sweet potato, or go the savory route by adding green onions and barbecue sauce.

Vegan Breakfast

One advantage of eating vegan at Cracker Barrel is that you can order your breakfast items as either sides or mains. Mix and match these vegan-friendly eats to start your day on the right foot.

  • Coarse Ground Grits (Top yours with vegan-friendly natural, blueberry, or sugar-free syrup.) 
  • Fried Apples (These are actually baked, not fried, and don’t share oil with non-vegan food.)
  • Fresh Seasonal Fruit
  • Multigrain Toast (Order your toast dry with a side of margarine and low-sugar fruit spread.)
  • Hatch Valley Green Chiles (Regional item that goes great on grits and toast for a savory morning treat!)

Vegan Entrées

Unfortunately, it’s slim pickings when it comes to vegan entrées at Cracker Barrel. Still, the Country Vegetable Plate offers vegans a hearty serving of veggies. Choose four sides from these vegan options: broccoli, carrots, corn, fried apples, and fried okra. Hold the buttermilk biscuit and cornbread muffin—neither are vegan.

Vegan Sides

From healthy choices to comfort food, Cracker Barrel has a number of vegan-friendly sides. Unfortunately, many of the vegetable sides like the turnip greens, cabbage, green beans, pinto beans, and lima beans, are cooked with meat, so stick with these for vegan eating.

  • Steak Fries 
  • Tater Rounds
  • Breaded Fried Okra 
  • Fried Apples
  • Fresh Steamed Broccoli (Topped with savory seasoning)
  • Sweet Whole Baby Carrots
  • Whole Kernel Corn
  • Fresh Seasonal Fruit 
  • Fresh Apple Slices
  • Mixed Green Side Salad (Dress yours with balsamic herb vinaigrette.)
  • Baked Potato (Leave off the sour cream and top with margarine instead of butter. Add green onions or barbecue sauce to shake things up.)
  • Baked Sweet Potato (Skip the butter and request margarine instead. Sweeten yours up with pecans and syrup, but hold the marshmallows as they contain gelatin.)

Treehugger Tips

Although Cracker Barrel’s steak fries, tater rounds, and breaded fried okra don’t contain any non-vegan ingredients, they are cooked in soybean oil shared with non-vegan food. Beware the fried sides if you want to avoid cross-contamination.

Vegan Salads

Dine light with Cracker Barrel’s house salad served vegan-style. Enjoy fresh greens topped with cucumbers, grape tomatoes, balsamic herb vinaigrette, house-baked croutons, and saltine crackers. Make it vegan by removing the bacon and the cheese.

Vegan Kids

The Veggie Plate on the kids menu can easily be ordered vegan. Choose two of the vegan sides (broccoli, carrots, corn, fried apples, and fried okra) and skip the buttermilk biscuit. Vegan beverage options include orange or apple juice, tea, lemonade, or a fountain drink.

Vegan Beverages

Enjoy Cracker Barrel’s classic Southern drinks like iced tea and lemonade, or choose from a variety of vegan-friendly sodas, fruit juices, coffee (decaf or regular), and hot tea. Cracker Barrel now offers crafted coffee as well, but none of those menu drinks are available vegan.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are the hashbrowns at Cracker Barrel vegan?

    Cracker Barrel doesn’t have plain hash browns on its menu. Their Hashbrown Casserole contains milk and is therefore not vegan. 

  • Does Cracker Barrel have vegan pancakes?

    Unfortunately, all of the pancakes at Cracker Barrel contain milk and eggs and cannot be made vegan.

  • Are Cracker Barrel's fries vegan?

    Cracker Barrel’s steak fries do not contain any animal products, but they are cooked in soybean oil with non-vegan foods, so it’s a matter of choice whether vegans feel comfortable eating them.

  • Are Cracker Barrel biscuits vegan?

    The buttermilk biscuits at Cracker Barrel say it all in the name—they contain milk. Opt for vegan-friendly multigrain toast with your choice of vegan topping instead.

  • Is the Cracker Barrel cornbread vegan?

    Cracker Barrel’s corn muffins contain both eggs and milk, and like the buttermilk biscuits, they’re not vegan.