Cheesecake Factory’s menu can be daunting, but the vast selection is easily whittled down if you only look at the vegan options. The chain has improved its plant-based menu a lot over the years – hello, Impossible burgers and Pasta Pomodoro! Alas, we’re still waiting for that vegan cheesecake, but if you’re invited to a celebratory dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, you definitely won’t go hungry.

Note: We include several changes to non-vegan items in this list to cover all possible options, however, The Cheesecake Factory kitchen staff we spoke with advised against most changes so as not to “disrupt food profiles”. flavor”. Edit at your own risk.

Appetizers

Go past the fusion spring rolls and go straight to the edamame. Hoard this bowl for yourself while others compete for the meat and cheese laden fried foods. If you don’t feel comfortable with salty soy, opt for the avocado toast or the Korean fried cauliflower, no dip (it contains dairy). For an appetizer that could double as a meal, Grilled Avocado Thai Lettuce Wraps are your best bet. The dish comes with beautifully charred grilled avocado halves, cups of lettuce, bean sprouts, coconut curry noodles, julienned carrots, bean sprouts and three vegan sauces.

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Salads

One thing to note: there are starter salads and entree salads. Little House Salad and Mixed Green Salad are vegan as is when ordered with vegan dressing (Balsamic Dressing, Shallot Dressing, SkinnyLicious Mustard Dressing, and French Mustard Dressing). Greek Salad (don’t ask for cheese), Avocado Beet Salad (don’t ask for yogurt dressing) and French Country Salad (don’t ask for cheese, no candied pecans) are also salads smaller ones that are clear. For a heavier bowl of greens, dip your fork into the substantial Vegan Cobb Salad. It’s a dip of lettuce, fresh and roasted produce, grains, nuts and seeds in an addictive dressing. Vegans can also modify the Santa Fe Salad (don’t ask for cheese or chicken), the Ranch BBQ Chicken Salad (no cheese, chicken, onion strings and sub with vegan dressing) and the Salmon Salad (don’t ask no salmon). Basically, if a salad looks good but has animal ingredients, remove the meat and cheese, replace it with a vegan dressing, and ask to fill it with cereal or grilled avocado.

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The cheesecake factory

Glamburger

In other words, burgers. If you’re craving something meaty, the Impossible Burger is your best bet. The all-plant-based sandwich is stacked between two buns slathered in a special sauce with impossible patty, melty vegan cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion. It comes with your choice of green salad or fries. The Veggie Burger made from scratch is vegan in some places, so be sure to check with your server. If given the go-ahead, remember to omit the garlic dip and ask for vegan cheese, mayonnaise and rolls. Equipped with the knowledge of vegan burger toppings, feel free to get creative and alter your veggie or impossible patty with whatever calls your way.

sides

Much like a steakhouse, the sides at The Cheesecake Factory are relatively vegan. Create a meal in itself with grilled asparagus, steamed broccoli, fresh corn, sweet potato or regular fries, green beans and sautéed spinach.

Pasta

The pizza selection may be lacking, but there are plenty of pasta dishes that can be modified for vegans. Pomodoro pasta is plant-based – it stays true to the classic recipe of spaghetti, marinara sauce, cherry tomatoes and basil. Evelyn’s favorite pasta, rich in vegetables, is almost vegan, just omit the cheese. If you’re willing to pay for it, the angel hair shrimp is vegan without the shrimp (you’ll still get a side dish of lemon garlic angel hair with marinara and tomatoes). Ask nicely, and the waiter may grant your request to flesh out that final dish with additional vegetables.

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Specialties

Mexican isn’t the first cuisine you think of when you think of Cheesecake Factory, but that hasn’t stopped the chain from including plenty of Mexican-inspired tacos, burritos, and other entrees on its specialty menu. Soft cauliflower tacos stuffed with fried cauliflower, avocado, onions, chipotle sauce, and toasted nuggets are vegan without the sauce (under it for the salsa) and when you don’t ask for cheese on the side of the beans. Beyond that, you can create your own taco by asking for corn tortillas with black beans, onions, avocado, rice, lettuce, and salsa, all topped with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Breakfast

If you find yourself accompanying a non-vegan crowd, there are ways to hack it. Your options are avocado toast, fruit, bagels, crispy potatoes, and plain toast. If you need a veggie, you might be able to persuade the chef to sauté a hash of potatoes and veggies, but that’s definitely off the menu. As always, ask for changes with a polite smile and you’ll have a better chance of getting your wish granted.

Dessert

Technically, there is a vegan option: a bowl of fresh strawberries, not whipped cream. In any other environment, we’re often content to munch on juicy, ripe strawberries, but when we do so while our dining companions groan at the delight of a four-inch-tall slice of cheesecake, we’d rather seek out something something a little sweeter. Dear Cheesecake Factory, if you’re reading this, please, with a huge pile of dairy-free whipped cream on top, give the world a vegan cheesecake option. Thanks.

For more vegan eating guides, read:
How to Eat Vegan at Olive Garden
How to order vegan at Benihana
VegNews Guide to TGI Fridays

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