A Vegan's Guide to Dairy Queen: Best Menu Options, Swaps, and More

From fries to sweet treats, Dairy Queen does not leave vegans in the dust.

dq vegan

Food images courtesy of Dairy Queen. Illustration by Catherine Song.

Dairy Queen's soft-serve ice cream treats have been a staple in American fast food since 1940. Alongside their signature curl-top cone, Dairy Queen introduced typical hamburger stand fare in the late 1950s, and today their menu has expanded to include a variety of specialty frozen drinks.

As you can imagine, given the nature of its name, finding a satisfying vegan meal at Dairy Queen can pose a bit of a challenge. But with a few adjustments and a little creativity, you can enjoy a vegan meal fit for royalty.

I'll Have Fries With That

Potato lovers will be happy to read that DQ's fries and hash browns are both vegan-friendly. Unlike other fast-food restaurants, Dairy Queen's fried potatoes do not contain any animal products, and they're cooked in soybean oil.

Beware of Dairy Queen's onion rings, which contain milk products and are not vegan. Also, the onion rings are cooked in the same oil as the fries. If you are concerned about cross-contamination, it may be best to skip the fried sides altogether.

Best Bet: Side Salad, Fries, and a Non-Dairy Dilly Bar

This simple combo at Dairy Queen ranks comfortably in our list of decent vegan fast food meals. DQ's pre-made side salad comes with romaine and iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded carrots, and cabbage. 

Dress your salad with one of the vegan salad dressings available at Dairy Queen: Marzetti Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, Marzetti Fat-Free California French Style Dressing, and Marzetti Light Italian Dressing.

Next, order yourself some fries and the new vegan Non-Dairy Dilly Bar to enjoy some hot eats and cool treats.

Grab Your Non-Dairy Dilly Bar

Dairy Queen is finally offering a vegan frozen treat, the new Non-Dairy Dilly Bar. Made with coconut cream and vegan chocolate-flavored coating, the Non-Dairy Dilly Bar is the brand's first-ever foray into vegan and gluten-free ice cream.

Non-Dairy Dilly Bars come in single-serve and multipacks. They are available at participating locations in the United States and Canada.

Vegan Burgers and Sandwiches

Until DQ offers a plant-based patty, the next best thing is to order a custom non-patty burger. Choose from either the split-top bun or the plain top bun, both of which are vegan, and order your Grillburger without the beef patty, cheese, or mayo.

Top off your creation with ketchup and mustard, then ask for extra tomato, lettuce, onion, and pickles. If you like your food on the spicy side, swap the FlameThrower Sauce (which contains egg) for a fiery vegan sauce of your choosing: BBQ Dipping Sauce or Wild Buffalo Dipping Sauce.

Vegan Snacks and Sides

In addition to their vegan-friendly fries, Dairy Queen offers a few other vegan sides.

  • Pretzel Sticks (Order them minus the Zesty Queso and ask for BBQ Dipping Sauce, Wild Buffalo Dipping Sauce Cup, ketchup, and/or mustard. Be sure to ask your server not to brush your Pretzel Sticks with butter before serving.)
  • Lay's Potato Chips (Plain, BBQ, and Oven Baked are all vegan.)
  • Applesauce (Packaged, from the Kids' Menu.)
  • Banana (From the Kids' Menu.)

Skip the Kids' Meal

Dairy Queen gets props for swapping the plastic (and ultimately disposable) toys often found in kids' meals for a consumable food item. For vegans, however, the small vanilla soft serve Kids' Cone is the, ahem, "meal" breaker.

To get the most bang for your buck, order your vegan entree, side, and drink separately. If you're looking for a healthier side dish, borrow from the vegan Kids' Meal side options: applesauce or a banana.

Vegan Treats

The vast majority of Dairy Queens's Classic Treats as well as their Moolattes, cones, cakes, cupcakes, and smoothies cannot be made vegan, but here are the few treats vegans can enjoy, too.

  • Non-Dairy Dilly Bar (Available in single-serve and multipacks of six.)
  • Star Kiss Frozen Treat (Available only at select locations.)
  • Misty Slush (Please note, the Misty Freeze is not vegan, but all the Misty Slush flavors are.)

Vegan Breakfast

If your local DQ has breakfast hours, these are your safe-bet vegan options.

  • Coffee
  • Hash browns
  • Orange juice

FAQ

Does Dairy Queen have any vegan Blizzards?

No. Blizzard Treats have a base that includes milk products and sometimes eggs. After the release of the Non-Dairy Dilly Bar, we are hoping to see more vegan-friendly frozen treats from DQ.

Are there vegan shakes or malts at Dairy Queen?

Nope, all their shakes and malts contain dairy. The same goes for smoothies and Julius Originals.