Every Vegan Option at On The Border (Updated: 2020)

on the border

On The Border is a chain of Tex-Mex casual dining restaurants known for its selection of fajitas and a wide variety of margaritas. In addition, they have what’s aptly named “Guacamole Live”, which is the preparation of guacamole tableside.

On The Border is available in over 150 locations in the United States and has recently expanded to South Korea. On a curious note, they’ve been rated by Men’s Health for several years as one of the unhealthiest chains in the Restaurant Report Card due to the high-calorie content of each dish.

Given the nature of Tex-Mex cuisine, you can certainly find some vegan options to fill your belly with— but does On The Border have any real vegan dishes? 

Vegan Options at On The Border

While not ideal, On The Border actually has a vegetarian menu on their website.

As you know, Tex-Mex cuisine is known for the use of queso (cheese) and milk-based dips, which is why it’s a well-suited restaurant for vegetarians. On the other hand, vegans are limited and have to ensure any of those ingredients are removed beforehand.

In addition, whether you’re vegan or vegetarian, there’s another thing you need to consider when visiting On The Border. Because a lot of the other recipes contain meat or fish products, there’s a possibility some of the veggie food may come in contact with those ingredients.

Here’s a quick notice imprinted on their vegetarian menu:

notice on vegetarian menu

This notice refers to all of their fried items, so keep that in mind when placing your orders.

What Options Are Actually Vegan?

According to their vegetarian menu, the only real vegan options are:

  • Chips & Salsa
  • Live Guacamole & Regular Guacamole
  • Spinach and Mushroom Enchilada (with tomatillo sauce)
  • Black Beans
  • Cilantro Lime Rice (depending on how it’s made)
  • Sautéed Vegetables
  • French Fries
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Tomatillo Sauce

All the other options contain either queso fresco or sour cream.

In which case, you can convert those vegetarian dishes into vegan dishes by removing the animal-based ingredients.

Here’s a list with the names of the vegetarian dishes and the respective animal ingredients colored in red so that you know which ones you should remove:

  • Veggie Quesadilla: Zucchini, squash, red onions, peppers, and Jack cheese. This dish is also served with guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo.
  • Fried Pickled Jalapeños: Pickled jalapenos lightly breaded, flash-fried and served with ranch cream.
  • Street Style Corn: Roasted corn topped with lime crema, queso fresco, lime-cilantro chimichurri, and fresh cilantro. This item is also served with tortilla chips.
  • Mango Salad: Portobello mushroom, lettuce, shredded cabbage, roasted corn, black beans, fresh mango, jícama, pico de gallo, queso fresco and lime vinaigrette.
  • Fajita Salad: Portobello mushroom, lettuce, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, roasted corn, fresh avocado, and queso fresco.
  • House Salad: Romaine, iceberg & cabbage, pico de gallo, black bean & corn salsa, and queso fresco. Can be served with tortilla strips
  • Border Bowl: Portobello mushroom, cilantro-lime rice, black beans, bell peppers, queso fresco, shredded lettuce, pico de Gallo, and sliced avocado.
  • Portobello & Vegetable Fajita: Flour tortilla, sour cream, pico de gallo, cheese and guacamole.
  • Vegetable Burrito: Sautéed vegetables, Jack cheese, ranchero, or tomatillo sauce.
  • Vegetable Chimichanga: Sautéed vegetables, Jack cheese, ranchero, or tomatillo sauce.

You can either remove the ingredients in red, or you can switch them for a different side or sauce they may have available.

Eating Vegan in Non-Vegan Restaurants

Eating in a non-vegan restaurant can be quite dramatic if you’re not willing to compromise (especially if you’re paying the full price minus animal ingredients).

Still, visiting non-vegan restaurants is not the norm, unless it has exceptional vegan options.

But most of the time, you’re more likely to find non-vegan restaurants with little to no options. In which case, you have to improvise with the ingredients they have.

(We’ve actually written a short blog post on eating out as a vegan if you’re interested.)

At the same time, we’d also like to share with you a helpful Youtube video by Liv B, where she shares some of her insights on How to Eat in Non-Vegan Restaurants.

Don’t Forget The Drinks

If for some reason you don’t anything to do with their food, you can stick to some of their drinks.

They have a whole range of classic beverages such as Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Strawberry Lemonade, Iced Tea, and more.

And they also have more exotic drinks like Margaritas and Cocktails. In fact, they’re known for making delicious Margaritas, so feel free to test them out.

However, keep in mind that some Margaritas or Cocktails may contain honey. 

Summary: On The Border Has a Few Vegan Options

On the Border has some vegan options, but you’re still pretty much restricted to standalone ingredients like french fries, black beans and avocado— with the exception of the Spinach and Mushroom Enchilada.

That being said, On The Border has a lot of vegetarian options. This means you can convert some of their dishes into vegan dishes. This usually means removing the animal-based ingredients.

Still, if you’re hungry and happen to be at On the Border, there’s no need to leave with an empty belly. And if that’s the case, make sure to at least try some of their Margaritas. 🙂

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About the Author: Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than three years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!