Welcome to Disney California Adventure (DCA)! Let’s eat some vegan food!
These are all of the options that I know of as of July 2018. Because they change regularly, please double check with the cast members and chefs, in case something is out of date! And please contact me if you see any items that were previously vegan that are no longer, or if you know of any options that I missed 🙂 The quickest way to contact me is the message me on Instagram (@happiestveganonearth).
Table of Contents (Jump to a section!)
Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff Confectionary
Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta
Lucky Fortune Cookery
Adorable Snowman Frozen Treats
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
Clarabelle’s Ice Cream Parlor
Studio Catering Co. Truck
Starbucks / Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Café
Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums
Cozy Cone Motel
Sourdough Bread throughout the park
Dark Chocolates and “Snacks with Character” throughout the parks
Mickey Pretzels, Popcorn, Pickles, Fruit (Snack carts throughout the parks)
Olaf’s Strawberry Lemonade Bar (Ice cream carts throughout the parks)
Carthay Circle Restaurant
Wine Country Trattoria
White Water Snacks
Lamplight Lounge (Pixar Pier)
Let’s start out with the newest restaurant in DCA: Lamplight Lounge! This is very popular, so a reservation is recommended. A small party willing to sit at the bar should be fine with a walk-up though.
The upstairs part, formerly the Cove Bar, has only the “Bites” and drinks. Your best bet here is the veggie nachos, which are a modified version of the lobster nachos, with grilled veggies in place of the lobster. So you say no lobster, no cheese, and no crema. Last time I went, I was able to get them to add daiya cheese and tofu to the nachos! The chef is sometimes reluctant to add the tofu, I think we got an especially lenient chef. They should definitely add the vegan cheese for you though, but they might not want to do the tofu as well.
They are freshly made chips, and the cast member told me that they actually have 2 fryers — one for the chips and potatoes, and one for the animal products.
Downstairs, with the bigger menu (“Bigger Bites”), has several great options. First is the Ratatouille, and you can order the vegan version by saying no cheese, and then add tofu if you like! Of course I added tofu 😉
The mushrooms looked a bit like chicken at first and it freaked me out! So just be prepared for that! It’s a really delicious dish, the smoky tomato sauce is incredible.
Another option is the spinach salad with warm mushrooms and shiitake “bacon.” Yes, they even put “bacon” in quotation marks on the menu! That seems so vegan of them! Hopefully they will get better about actually using the V word on the menu to make it clearer for everyone. The dressing is vegan, a charred vinaigrette. Modifications needed on this are omit the egg and omit the blue cheese toast (or ask for a vegan version – I didn’t ask about egg/dairy in the bread, but dry toast didn’t sound great, so I wasn’t interested. But perhaps they could use the daiya! Let me know if you get this!)
You have to be a big mushroom fan to like this one! It’s very mushroomy!
They also have the Impossible Burger on the “secret menu”! Ask your server and they should be able to make it for you. I checked on the the bun, it’s vegan! And then the do melted vegan cheese on top. I asked what kind of cheese it was, and the chef brought me out this card to assure me that it was vegan 🙂 There is some controversy around Impossible Foods, so please look that up if you haven’t already (google “Impossible Foods FDA testing”) and make that call for yourself.
There are so many cocktails here — and they’re all vegan! Here are a few of them:
The Teaser: Greenbar City Bright Gin, Greenbar Hibiscus Liqueur, fresh Lime Juice, and Agave Nectar topped with Tonic Water
Please bring your own straw if you can! The bartenders were happy to wash my straw each time I ordered a new cocktail 🙂
The Open Ocean with a Splash: a Frozen Cocktail made with Bacardi Raspberry Rum, Bols Blue Curaçao, Liquid Alchemist Orgeat (Almond), Agave Nectar, and fresh Lime Juice
The Short: Plymouth Gin, fresh Lime and Lemon Juice, Agave Nectar, and Seasoned Veggies
The Morning Glory: You can see the ingredients in the photo — the Bloody Mary mix is vegan!
Final with a Fix: Greenbar IXÁ Reposado Tequila, St. George Raspberry Liqueur, Cointreau, fresh Lime Juice, Agave Nectar, and a dash of Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
Over Budget: Grey Goose Vodka, Liquid Alchemist Passion Fruit, fresh Lime Juice, Agave Nectar, and Ginger Beer
The Scream Canister: Bacardi 8 Años Rum, Cream of Coconut, Pineapple and Orange Juice with a mist of Angostura Bitters
Here is the ingredients list on the Cream of Coconut — it even has the vegan certified label!
I also took a photo of the ingredients list on the Angostura bitters — it’s a bit hard to see, but it’s alcohol, water, sugar, gentian [a root], natural flavors, caramel color, and added colors. Of course, “natural flavors” is always a bit mysterious, so I looked it up on Barnivore, and there is an email from the company saying that it is vegan! http://www.barnivore.com/search?keyword=angostura
Those are all the drinks I’ve had so far. If you get the Infinity Fizz, there are “Cherry Pearls” in that, and I took of photo of that ingredients list: water, fructose, pomegranate syrup, calcium lactate, seaweed extract, citric acid, pomegranate flavor, beta carotene, potassium sorbate.
As far as I can tell from my research, calcium lactate is vegan, it is the calcium salt from lactic acid, which is made from cornstarch or beet sugar.
Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff Confectionary (Pixar Pier)
Here they have some fancy frozen drinks called Memory Refreshers! The cast member checked the pearls (boba balls) and read the ingredients list to me — they are the same company that makes the pearls as you see above in the Lamplight Lounge Infinity Fizz. The only strange ingredient in them is calcium lactate, which is non-dairy, as far as my googling can tell me.
So here’s a rundown of the drinks at Bing Bong’s:
- Gloomy Blues: Vegan! (Blueberry pearls)
- Slow Burn: Vegan! (Mango pearls)
- Imaginary Pal: The cast member said that the marshmallow topping has egg
- Rainbow Unicorn: It’s topped with Nerds, which have carmine (insects)
- Sunshine in a cup: It has yogurt balls with dairy
- Make sure to say “no straw” if you’ve brought your own! I keep trying to get them to use my reusable cup, but always cite sanitary reasons and won’t do it. We should keep asking though — normalize reusable 🙂
This is the Gloomy Blues:
Here is the menu board:
They also have a lot of the same packaged candies that you’ll find elsewhere in the parks right now — Buena Vista Street, Main Street, Pooh’s Corner, and Downtown Disney (World of Disney and Marceline’s). Some of them have beeswax or confectioner’s glaze (shellac, from beetles). I took photos of the ones that don’t have those. They still have food dyes, so you’ll need to make the call for yourself whether that is something you’re comfortable with.
Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta (Paradise Park)
Yes, you can get pizza with vegan cheese (daiya) on it at DCA! It’s not on the menu, but if you ask the cast member, they will get the chef to make you one! It takes an extra 10-15 minutes, but it’s worth it! I always asked for the sauteed veggies on mine. Some people have said that the chef sometimes won’t do it for some reason, but it’s worth asking, I’ve always had success. The breadsticks with marinara are vegan too!
Cocina Cucamonga (Pacific Wharf)
This menu changed a few months ago — it used to be similar to Rancho del Zocalo in Disneyland, but now it’s quite different. They have potato cakes that have cheese pre-baked into them unfortunately. So the best vegan option here to my knowledge is the Cocina Bowl with no meat, no potato cakes, and no cheese. I asked for extra beans in place of those and they were happy to comply. They also have chips and guacamole here, so that would be a good side with this. So it’s black beans, roasted anaheim peppers, cilantro-lime rice (I asked about chicken stock; they told me it’s just water), roasted corn, and cucumber-tomato slaw.
They use plastic forks and spoons at this location, so what you see there on the right is my steel spork that I bring with me!
They serve Micheladas here, which is beer and tomato juice/clamato, and I asked to see the ingredients on the tomato juice — it has anchovies in it.
I would recommend the margaritas anyway though! Vegan and very tasty!
Lucky Fortune Cookery (Pacific Wharf)
This is one of my favorite meals in DCA! You build your own rice bowl — so you can get tofu, steamed veggies, and coconut curry sauce. There are four sauces, and the curry sauce is the only vegan one. It didn’t used to be vegan, though — it used to contain dairy! But then we barraged them with emails about how unnecessary that was, and they changed it! Whenever we see something in the parks that could easily be changed to have a vegan option, it really pays off when we write lots of emails, because eventually they change it! I always have the feedback form bookmarked for such occasions: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/help/email/
If you’re reading this before September 3, 2018, then you can also get the Pixar Fest special at Lucky Fortune Cookery — a chilled noodle salad that requires no modifications! They are sweet potato noodles that change color when you put the sauce on them.
Adorable Snowman Frozen Treats (Pixar Pier)
Lemon Dole Whip, like all the flavors of dole whip, is vegan! You can get it as the Pixar Pier Parfait (shown in the photo, no modifications required), or just by itself in a cone. The cones are vegan, but for that version, you need to specify “no snow cap,” which is a white chocolate topping.
The cherry doesn’t have carmine or anything like that, it has red food dye. Food dyes are sometimes controversial since they may have been tested on animals — I don’t really know how to find out for sure — but if you’re avoiding the cherry because of food dye, then of course you’d have to avoid the dole whip itself, since it’s dyed as well. Here is the ingredients list on the cherries:
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop (Pacific Wharf)
Here you can get a raspberry sorbet (I checked the ingredients list) as the Marina Raspberry Sorbet Sunday. The hot fudge has dairy unfortunately, and omit the whipped cream. You can substitute a few different toppings. I did the strawberry and pineapple purees, but you can also do crushed almonds. They top it with a dark chocolate square, which is vegan!
Clarabelle’s Ice Cream Parlor (Buena Vista Street)
Here you can get a Mangonada, which is a vegan mango sorbet, mango chunks, chamoy sauce, and chili lime seasoning! Very tasty!
There is also the Sandianada, which you would think would be vegan since it’s watermelon sorbet, but it has eggs in it. The cast member showed me the ingredients list.
This is another instance where a well-known Disney blogger repeatedly insists that there is a vegan item that actually contains eggs. Even when people show her the ingredients list, she insists that what a cast member told her somehow trumps that. Be very careful when using her post, or you might unwittingly eat eggs or dairy.
The mixed berry sorbet bar is also an option, but even the dark chocolate has dairy in it — so it can’t be dipped in anything. This dark chocolate used to be vegan, but a few months ago, they switched suppliers and it how has dairy in it — in the ingredients list itself, not just in a shared factory. You could just get the mixed berry sorbet bar on its own, not dipped in anything. I haven’t tried that yet, but let me know if you do and what you think!
Studio Catering Co. Truck (Hollywoodland, near Monsters Inc.)
Here they have a secret vegan option, which is grilled cauliflower to replace the beef on the Most Dangerous Tacos in the Galaxy. They have green onion slaw, purple cabbage, pickled onions, and habanero salsa!
Starbucks / Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Café (Buena Vista Street)
This has all of your standard vegan options at Starbucks! Almost any drink can be veganized with either soy, almond, or coconut milk. Watch out for some of the syrups that have dairy, such as the pumpkin spice. Google “vegan at Starbucks” for a comprehensive list of vegan options 🙂
Here they have soy milk and almond milk! Which is pretty cool, but all of their cookies, even the gluten-free one, have dairy. I wrote them an email to let them know that we would love a vegan cookie! Please write to them if you have a moment! https://disneyland.disney.go.com/help/email/
Award Wieners (Hollywoodland)
This is sort of a hack — their buns aren’t vegan (both regular and gluten free), so what you can do is get the Portobello Philly toppings (grilled onions, bell peppers, and portobello mushrooms) on a bed of curly fries instead of a bun. I love potatoes, so this is actually an upgrade for me!! It’s really big and quite oily, so not healthy at all, but it will fuel you for a long time!
Cozy Cone Motel (Cars Land)
The veggie chili here is actually vegan, but the cones they serve it in aren’t — the contain egg (contrary to what other vegan Disney bloggers have claimed). They will serve the chili in a cup, though! It’s topped with Fritos, which are vegan.
I try to always bring my steel spork with me so that I don’t have to use plastic spoons and forks! This is the one I use!
Sourdough Bread throughout the park
The Boudin Bakery makes variously shaped sourdough loaves that are sold throughout the park! This one is Groot with olives for eyeballs. They also do Mickey, Lightening McQueen, and Mike from Monsters. They are all vegan, except for the versions that have cheese baked on the top (there are 2 versions of Groot, for example). You can find the bread at the Fairfax Market (on Hollywood Blvd), at Mortimer’s on Buena Vista Street, and by the entrance to the Boudin Bakery in Pacific Wharf.
Bayside Brews (Paradise Park/Pixar Pier)
Most beers are vegan nowadays, but there are still a few outliers (for example Newcastle) that are hanging onto their isinglass. Karl Strauss is found all over DCA and they’re entirely vegan, except for “cask conditioned” ones, which are seasonal, as I understand it. I just wrote to them to ask for updated information, since the listing on Barnivore is quite old now (http://www.barnivore.com/search?keyword=Karl+strauss).
All of the beers currently at Bayside Brews are vegan, even the cider. Ace does make a “honey cider” as well, and that’s their only non-vegan cider, so watch out for that one. Also, they do serve the Michelada here, which has anchovies, as noted above.
The Mango Madness, Berry Schmoozie, and Strawberry Banana Sensation can be made vegan by omitting the yogurt!
This is the lavender lemonade. It’s a big pricy but soooo tasty, I’m a big fan:
Smokejumper’s Grill (Grizzly Peak)
This one has been hit and miss over the years. They came out with a BBQ jackfruit sandwich a while back, and for the first few months the BBQ sauce contained honey. Then they switched it to one that doesn’t, but recently they have been saying that it has honey again. So definitely double-check on this one to see if they’re currently using a BBQ sauce with honey. If that checks out, make sure to switch out the bun — the ciabatta bun that it comes on isn’t vegan, but they will switch it out for a regular hamburger bun for you. This is a great sandwich, but have a backup in mind in case they can’t make it vegan.
Dark Chocolates and “Snacks with Character” throughout the parks
You can find these bagged dark chocolates at the candy shop on Main Street and Pooh’s Corner, as well as the candy shop on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure, and World of Disney in Downtown Disney. The two vegan options are the non-pareils and the cocoa dusted almonds. Wouldn’t it be great if Disneyland could commit to using only fair-trade chocolate? I wrote them an email to encourage them to do that. If you have a moment, please write an email to them here to let them know that you’d love the chocolate to be fair-trade! https://disneyland.disney.go.com/help/email/
You can also find these rice milk chocolate bars, which are surprisingly good! If you are tired of dark chocolate, these mimic the traditional milk chocolate really well!
At these locations with the chocolates, you can find various “Snacks with Character,” which I think are mostly repackaged Enjoy Life products that are made for people with allergies. You can see on those rice milk bars that they are clearly labelled “vegan.” There are also a few cookies, chips, trail mixes, and other snacks that are vegan! I don’t have photos of all of them, but look for the “Snacks with Character” and you’ll be able to see which ones are labelled “vegan.”
You can also find these candy apples at the various candy shops sometimes. I haven’t gotten one before so I can’t say if they’re good — let me know if you get one!
If you’re at the candy shop on Main Street around Christmas time, you might like to get a handmade candy cane! These are very popular and people line up to get them. They are only made on a select few days each year. But they are vegan, so you can stand in line knowing that you’ll be able to buy one if you choose to stand in line!
Mickey Pretzels, Popcorn, Pickles, Fruit (Snack carts throughout the parks)
The Mickey Pretzels are vegan! Just make sure to get the version without the cheese sauce. Get some mustard packets instead!
Recently I was able to get my hands on the ingredients list for the pretzels, please note that they do have palm oil, if that’s something you avoid.
The popcorn is vegan too! It’s with oil instead of butter. I like to bring a little tupperware of nutritional yeast and sprinkle it on top of my popcorn! I leave a trail of yellow pixie dust behind me 😉
And of course the pickles you’ll find at the fruit stands! Another perfect opportunity to sprinkle some tajín on there!
Olaf’s Strawberry Lemonade Bar (Ice cream carts throughout the parks)
Carthay Circle Restaurant (Buena Vista Street)
This is a fancy table service restaurant and reservations are a must for the upstairs restaurant area. The downstairs lounge area is usually okay with walk-ins though, and they have appetizers on the menu. My sister and I got 3 appetizers between us and it was a good amount of food!
There are 3 things that can be modified to be vegan on the appetizer menu:
- The Carthay Summer Hummus with pickled artichokes, baby squash, roasted peppers, and garlic naan (the naan itself is vegan, but it usually comes buttered, so just ask for no butter!):
2. The Summer Garden Roll with hummus, portobello mushrooms, red peppers, and a modified sauce (the normal dragon sauce isn’t vegan, but our server said that the chef had an alternate vegan sauce):
3. The modified Poke bowl — papaya, avocado, cucumber, cilantro lime rice, charred bell pepper, and ancho chili vinaigrette. Modifications are to remove the fish and fish eggs and verify that the current sauce is vegan — our server double checked with the chef on the sauce, it’s a coconut milk based sauce that is vegan! But to be extra careful, I would suggest verifying that when ordering!
There are so many cocktails on the menu, it will take me a while to document them all! For now, I just got a Rose Petal Soda, which was ridiculously delicious. It’s non-alcoholic and has an edible sugar rose petal in it! Make sure to ask for “no straw” if you’ve brought your own 🙂
For the restaurant upstairs, the server told me that they have a 4-course menu that the chef can make vegan for you. The main course is a veggie tower that she says is very impressive! I will be getting that soon and updating with photos! They also have a Paint the Night dining package right now, where you can sit on very nice chairs while watching the parade. Back support!!
Wine Country Trattoria (Paradise Park)
This is a table service place, so a reservation is a good idea. They have a secret menu vegan pasta, I think it’s called Spaghetti al oglio or something like that in Italian 😉 It’s not very impressive to look at, but it is seriously very flavorful! Some of the most delicious noodles I’ve ever had!
They also have a mushroom bruschetta that is easily veganizable, just omit the cheese!
I’ve heard that they keep raspberry sorbet in stock for dessert as well!
White Water Snacks (Grand Californian Hotel)
This is in the hotel, not the park itself, but it is very convenient to the park, with a gate leading directly to the hotel (near the entrance to Grizzly River Rapids). They have off-menu veggie burgers here.
They’re your standard Gardenburger, so they’re pretty good and will fill you up, but nothing fancy.
Storyteller’s Café (Grand Californian Hotel)
For breakfast, this place is a character buffet, so you get Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Chip and Dale in their Tales of Adventure outfits!
Tell the host or hostess that you’re vegan and they will have the chef come out to tell you about their options. The vegan things on the buffet already are:
- Lots of fruit
- Oatmeal made with water, you can add brown sugar or maple syrup
- Bagels (we checked with the chef that they were vegan)
- Strawberry compote to top waffles, oatmeal, etc.
- Coffee with almond milk on request, orange juice, cocktails, etc.
- Minnie’s cantaloupe raspberry limeade (I asked about Minnie’s horchata, it does contain cow’s milk, not just rice milk)
And then the chef will make some special vegan things for you that are not on the buffet!
- Vegan Mickey Waffles (also gluten-free)
- Vegan pancakes (also gluten-free)
- Vegan omelette: potatoes and a bunch of veggies inside, topped with avocado!
For lunch and dinner at Storytellers, one of the best options is the modified ‘Nduja Prosciutto Sausage Pizza with the meat and cheese omitted. Surprisingly, there’s still a lot left on this pizza! Mushrooms, artichokes, potatoes, and fire-roasted tomatoes!
You can also modify the avocado toast — omit the quail eggs (blegh!) It’s a very fancy hipster millennial avocado toast with mustard seeds, lemon olive oil, celery leaf, parsley, and Espelette pepper, whatever that is!
The complementary bread that they usually bring to the table isn’t vegan, but on request, they can bring you their allergy bread, which is gluten-free and vegan!
Any of the salads can be modified to be vegan, and the spaghetti entree can be made vegan as well.
They have lots of fun cocktails on the menu! This is the Spicy Watermelon Margarita — so good!
For dessert, they have an off-menu raspberry sorbet, which was super tasty and refreshing on a hot day!
Napa Rose (Grand Californian Hotel)
This is the fanciest restaurant on property, so it’s quite expensive, but great for special occasions! The menu changes seasonally, so this is the Summer 2018 menu. Please let me know if you go this Fall or Winter and see that the menu has changed so that I can update this 🙂
They bring out bread before the meal, and our server checked and said that all of the normal breads have dairy and/or honey, but they have this gluten-free/vegan “allergy” bread that is very tasty! It’s reminiscent of pizza, with lots of garlic!
That mushroom/corn/fava beans/pasta appetizer you see on the menu up there is vegan with modifications: switch the pappardelle pasta (contains egg) for a fusilli pasta, which is a regular vegan pasta, and switch out the butter for oil.
None of the soups on the menu were vegan (the mushroom bisque has veal stock and dairy, which is about the grossest thing that one can put in a mushroom soup), but they had an off-menu vegan tomato bisque with mushrooms and corn. It was very tasty!
The main course is the easiest because they actually have a vegan-with-no-modifications entree! The Summer Vegetables Tossed in an Indian Curry with hummus, samosa and mint chutney.
It was a medium-sized portion, but full of flavor! It had carrots, okra, cauliflower, peas, green onions, and mushrooms. Very festive!
Our server said that there is also another vegan entree option, an off-menu pasta, so ask about that if you’re not a fan of curry 🙂
The wine list was about 20 pages long, so I didn’t take photos of the whole thing, but the wines by the glass were only the first 3 pages, and then the rest were half-bottles and bottles. One of the bottles was $18,000! But there are quite a few wines you can get for $6-10 per glass as well. The wine list is in a leather binder, so be prepared for that. It’s always hard for me if I touch something and realize it’s leather without being mentally prepared first.
I put a bunch of them into Barnivore to check if they use isinglass/gelatin, and many of them are too obscure to be in there yet. I did find the Stolpman Vineyards Syrah listed as vegan on Barnivore though, so I had a glass of that and it was delicious!
Our server described the desserts to us — 3 types of sorbet! Lemon cucumber, raspberry hibiscus, and peach vanilla. And then he said that they also had a vegan chocolate coconut cake with a house-made vegan whipped cream, so of course we went for that! He overheard that it was my birthday, so they brought out a candle and gave us the dessert for free 🙂