I recently made my second trip to what might be America’s first Vegetarian Drive Thru, Amy’s Drive Thru, in Rohnert Park, California. Located just about 45 miles north of San Francisco directly off Highway 101, this fast food joint is somewhat remeniscent of a In-n-Out Burger, only there’s one major difference– there’s NO meat! That’s right, Amy’s Drive Thru is 100% vegetarian. And not only are all of the meals meatless, but all menu items can be made both vegan and gluten free. The restaurant takes it one step further though, the vegan and gluten free foods are prepared in an entirely different area of the kitchen to avoid any cross contamination. Pretty impressive if you ask me. The restaurant’s main focus is on sustainability. The company prides themselves on organic, GMO-free, and locally sourced food. The menu consists of traditional American fast food items like (meatless) burgers, fries and milkshakes, but also includes comfort food favorites like burritos, pizza and mac ‘n’ cheese.
The restaurant is clean and has a simple and modern feel to it with bright colors, a high vaulted, exposed ceiling and an “Amy’s” mural out front. If you have time to dine-in, I recommend sitting outside at one of the many communal wooden picnic tables.
The parent company (which you might know better as Amy’s Kitchen— seller of popular frozen vegan and vegetarian meals and more recently, candy bars) takes pride in its eco-friendliness. All of the food packaging is totally recyclable, right down to the paper straws. Additionally, there are several clearly-marked bins for recycling in and outside of the restaurant. Many of the materials used to construct the current drive thru location were salvaged and reused to build the structure. The roof is green– it not only has grass growing from it, but there are also solar panels too. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, the list of all things sustainable goes on. Amy’s Drive Thru is truly one of a kind.
Between both of my visits in the last year, I have tried almost every item on the menu with the exception of their salads (I just couldn’t give into health while eating all the yummy vegan junk food). I’ve tried the Mac ‘N’ Cheese, Margherita pizza, Chili & Cheese Fries, the (single) burger, the burrito as well as the Chocolate Shake (currently winning as my most favorite menu item). Everything tasted great. While it’s not the best food I’ve ever eaten per say, it’s most definitely a better-for-you choice than most of the other fast food chains in America. And because Amy’s Drive Thru is the only one of its kind (and it’s a 5 hour roundtrip drive for me), I feel totally ok about splurging and enjoying both the food and experience. I mean, how many other vegan-friendly fast food joints are there? Not many.
What about price? You can see from the menu above that the pricing is fair. Ironically, the most expensive item on the menu is the salad, least expensive is the fries, and you can get a burger for as little as $2.69. I’m used to paying upwards of $12-16 every time I eat out so even if you ordered a burger, fries and a shake, you’d still be spending around $10 total. What a deal!
Amy’s Drive Thru celebrates its one year anniversary this month and from what I can tell the healthier-for-you fast food joint seems to be booming. I’d love to see many more Amy’s Drive Thrus sprinkled across the country. Specifically, I’d love to see the drive thrus replace some of the “other” fast food establishments.
Because I feel that Amy’s Drive Thru is a must-eat spot, I’ve teamed up with them for this blog post and they’ve so kindly donated a $100 Amy’s Drive Thru gift card to be given away! Yes, you heard that RIGHT! I’m going to keep the rules super simple. For your chance to win, follow these simple steps to enter the GIVEAWAY:
- First, please ensure that you’re receiving my blog posts via email. If not, please sign up here (if I don’t have your email, I can’t contact you if you win).
- Leave a comment below telling me whether or not you’ve been to Amy’s Drive Thru. If you have, please share your experience or favorite menu item. If you’ve never been to Amy’s Drive Thru before, please share what you’re looking forward to most when you go!
- That’s it! Thanks so much for reading this post and for your support. Best of luck to all entries!
*Giveaway for Amy’s Drive Thru $100 gift card is open to U.S. Residents only. One winner will be randomly chosen on Sunday, July 31st at noon PST; please enter by 7/31/16 at 11:59 am. The gift card will be mailed to winner via postal mail.