Based on the name alone, you may not think that El Pollo Loco would have a lot of plant-based options, but the fast-food chain is actually a hidden gem! There are tons of unexpected vegan options at El Pollo Loco.
Almost all its menu items contain chicken by default, but my favorite thing about this restaurant is that it’ll let you sub avocado for chicken at no extra charge!
This is a total game changer. The combinations that you can make by using this trick and removing the cheese are endless, so I’m going to break them down by sharing my favorite ways to veganize the menu:
Sub the chicken for avocado. Ask for no cheese and no creamy cilantro dressing.
Sub avocado for chicken, and ask for no cheese and no creamy cilantro dressing or sour cream. (Try avocado salsa instead!)
Double Chicken Avocado Salad
Replace the chicken with more avocado. Ask for it without cheese or sour cream. Add beans for some extra protein.
Avocado Bacon Tostada Salad
Sub avocado for the chicken, and leave the bacon out. This one’s already dairy-free.
Add jalapenos to any of the bowls for an extra kick of flavor.
This is my go-to bowl. It’s cheap and comes with a side of tortillas. YUM! Just sub avocado for the chicken and add your fave salsa from the salsa bar.
Chicken Black Bean Bowl
Sub extra avocado for the chicken, and leave the cheese off. This bowl comes with broccoli and black beans. Listed on the menu in the “under 500 calories” section.
Mango Shrimp Hand-Crafted Bowl
Sub avocado for the shrimp, and get it without cheese. This is similar to the other bowls, but it comes with a mango salsa.
The BRC (beans, rice, and cheese) burrito is a classic. It’s affordable but super-filling. Just get it without the cheese. They’ll charge you extra for avocado on this one, but it’s well worth it.
Double Chicken Burrito
Sub avocado for the chicken, and ask for no cheese. This is similar to the BRC, but it has cabbage, pico de gallo, and cilantro.
Chipotle Avocado Burrito
Sub more avocado for the chicken, and omit the cheese and sour cream. This is similar to the BRC and Double Chicken burritos, but it comes with housemade chipotle salsa.
Sub avocado for the chicken, and ask for no cheese or sour cream.
Classic Crunchy Taco
Sub avocado for the chicken, and add beans for protein. Ask for it without cheese.
Chicken Avocado Taco Platter
Ask for no meat, and get beans inside the tacos or sub more avocado for the chicken. Ask for no cheese on the tacos or sides and no creamy cilantro dressing.
Avocado Taco Al Carbon Platter
Ask for no meat, and get beans inside the tacos or sub more avocado for the chicken. Ask for no cheese on the tacos or sides.
Chunky Guacamole & Chips
No special ordering is required for this classic side dish.
The rice is seasoned with tomatoes and seasonings. No special ordering is required.
This is vegan and delicious.
The pinto beans at El Pollo Loco are already meat- and dairy-free.
This healthy and delicious side dish requires no special ordering.
Now You’re a Pro
So there you have it! In a dream life, the whole world would stop eating animals today and there would be affordable all-vegan restaurants on every corner, but that’s just not the case (yet!). That’s where your awesome vegan ordering skills come into play. With this handy guide, you can show everyone that people truly can eat ANYWHERE without harming any animals.
When being vegan is this easy, there’s just no excuse to keep consuming meat and dairy “products.” Share these vegan options at El Pollo Loco with your friends, and check out our Guide to Going Vegan for more ways to to eat without hurting animals.
Note: Like at many restaurants, there’s a risk of cross-contamination when ordering food at El Pollo Loco, as your meal might have been prepared on the same surface as nonvegan foods. Our guides are meant to help you make compassionate food choices easily in any type of situation. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide where you feel comfortable eating.