IHOP is a popular pancake house that specializes in breakfast dishes but also seems an array of food to eat throughout the day. Compared to more vegan-friendly restaurants chains, such as Denny’s, IHOP is limited in plant-based options but you will be able to put a meal together with some thought.
If you are vegan or you follow a plant-based diet you can look for the following items on the menu
- Hashbrown (made without butter)
- English Muffin (with jam instead of butter)
- Mixed Fruit Cup
- Plain Baked Potato
- French Fries
- Crispy potato pancakes
- Steamed Vegetables/Broccoli (No butter)
- Sautéed Veggies
- Red Potato Pepper and Onion Hash
- Sourdough Toast
- Avocado (you can have on your toast
- French Fries
- House Salad
- Minestrone Soup
- Sautéed Veggies
- Vegan Toppings, Syrups, and Dressings
At the moment IHOP does not have any dedicated vegan dishes on their menu so the above foods are all you have to choose from. This means that IHOP is not a place that you would want to eat out at every day but there are enough food items on the menu so that you will not go hungry if you are joining friends or there are no other food places nearby.
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While you are unable to enjoy the bacon and eggs on the breakfast menu you can still enjoy a classic US breakfast ingredient in the form of hash browns. Any vegan will tell you that potatoes are a staple of their diet and the delicious hash brown has to be up there with the best style of potato.
It is important to ensure that the hash brown that you order has not been cooked in butter or any animal fats (such as lard). While not necessarily a breakfast item, we think the hash browns go well with red peppers or the Sautéed broccoli.
You can always enjoy toast or sourdough toast with your has brown too.
Crispy potato pancakes
Not quite the pancakes that you would expect from a well-known pancake house but the only ones, for now, that are vegan. These potato-based pancakes are similar to has browns but are thinner and crisper, as the name suggests.
These potato pancakes can be eaten on their own, with ketchup or vegan dips, or accompanied by salsa or vegetables. Be careful to ask the server if the pancakes have been cooked in vegetable-based oil rather than animal fats.
You can either enjoy an array of Sautéed vegetables on their own or you can ask for an eggless omelet (mushroom and spinach work well). You can enjoy the dish by itself or you can add a vegan-friendly salsa to add an extra dimension to your meal.
Soup is the perfect lunchtime dish on a cold day or you are feeling like you need a hug in food form. The minestrone at IHOP is made using a hearty array of vegetables and seasonings that make up this Italian favorite.
Made with vegetable broth alongside the vegetables and small pasta pieces you can rest assured that the IHOP is vegan-friendly. You can enjoy the soup on its own or add sourdough bread on the side for a more filling meal.
A simple vegan-friendly dish that makes a quick and healthy breakfast or a snack throughout the day. The IHOP fruit cup is a sweet treat that won’t push your sugar levels too far up.
It contains grapes, banana, apple, pineapple, watermelon, and orange or you can choose a cantaloupe melody if you want to change things up.
Another potato-based offering for vegans is, of course, the classic baked potato. While the baked potatoes at IHOP are not the best we have tasted they are cooked well and will taste good with just salt and pepper or any other vegan-friendly filling.
You can also add a side salad to make your meal as healthy as possible and add a bit of variety.
English Muffin with Jam
The English Muffin at IHOP is fully vegan-friendly as long as you do not add butter. You can add jams/jellies to your muffin instead of butter or you can bring a vegan spread with you if you plan ahead.
Many people enjoy smashed avocado or sautéed mushrooms with their English muffins, which are great breakfast options. With any sautéed food items you need to make sure they have been cooked in vegan-friendly oils rather than animal fats.
IHOP serves flour and corn tortillas that are vegan-friendly.
They are not vegan if you add one of the popular fillings, such as cheese and meat but you could eat them plain alongside your soup or salad or you can add avocado or sals, which work well with tortillas. You could even ask for a portion of salsa and hash brown to make a breakfast burrito.
IHOP offers a house salad that you can enjoy with a vegan-friendly dressing or the Citrus Chicken Pecan Salad without the chicken!
In terms of dressings, you can choose from the delicious-sounding Raspberry Vinaigrette and Fat-Free Raspberry Vinaigrette, Creamy Italian, French or Catalina Dressing, and Orange Vinaigrette.
We love the taste of all of these dressings.
In addition to the main salad ingredients, you can enjoy extras such as bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, pickles, and mushrooms for an added cost. While adding more toppings will increase the price of your meal it will not be a significant amount and it will elevate your salad.
The grits at IHOP can also be made with water so that they are suitable for vegans. If you did want to make your oatmeal and grits creamier you can ask the server if they can make them with plant-based milk such as almond milk or oat milk.
There is a potato theme in all vegan-friendly restaurant round-ups as they are the go-to food for many vegans and restaurant owners. Fries, then, are one of the most common meals ordered by vegans and you will be glad to know that the fries at IHOP are very good.
We believe the fries to be seasoned to perfection and they are perfect to eat at any time of the day, whether it is a quick lunch or a drunken snack. Fries can be served with classic ketchup or a mustard sauce or you can ask at each restaurant for any additional vegan-friendly sauces or condiments.
It is important to ask the server if the fries are cooked using plant-based oils, which is generally the case. If you are a strict vegan you will want to check that no meat products have been cooked in the fryer used to cook your fries.
You may not have known that the flavored coffees at IHOP are also suitable for vegans. IHOP’s syrups for coffee are all vegan apart from the butter pecan syrup.
Adding syrup to your coffee will make your drink extra special and will give you a sweet treat if you need a sugar fix.
To confirm, the syrups that you can have at IHOP are:
- Blueberry Syrup
- Boysenberry Syrup
- Old Fashioned Maple Syrup
- Strawberry Syrup
- Sugar-Free (Maple-flavored) Syrup
Some of the above syrups, as are the jellies and jams, are generally served with IHOP pancakes but sadly there are no vegan pancakes on offer.
The fact that there are no vegan pancakes at an International pancake is both confusing and disappointing in this day and age but we are hopeful that they are in development.
While there is little in the way of full vegan meals you can enjoy a wide array of vegan soft drinks. The list of drinks available are:
- Coca Cola
- Diet Coke
- Cherry Coke
- Coke Zero
- Mountain Dew
- Pepsi – Wild Cherry
- Fanta Orange
- Dr. Pepper
- Iced Tea
- Brisk Raspberry Iced Tea
- Minute Mint Lemonade
- Orange Juice
- Apple Juice
- Grapefruit Juice
- Cranberry Juice
- Tomato Juice
- Barq’s Root Beer
- Mug Root Beer
- Fruit Punch
There is also a variety of teas for you to choose from including fruit teas and herbal teas.
The best vegan options
As you can see, there is little in the way of vegan options at IHOP but the following combinations can make a reasonable meal if you are hungry
- Oatmeal with bananas, nuts, and vegan-friendly syrup
- Hashbrowns with sauteed vegetables or salad
- Fries with a vegan-friendly dip
- Avocado on toast with a side of mushrooms or salsa
- Fruit cups