The Most Mouthwatering Kosher Fast Food Items

Kosher fast food is having a moment, and we are here for it. In the past, people who adhered to a kosher diet were often left out of fast food cheat days and late-night burger runs simply because there wasn't much in the way of inclusive options. Nowadays, numerous fast food restaurants have taken the once-niche kosher concept and grown it into a creative and sought-after culinary experience. In case you need a quick rundown, kosher-approved foods must fit the following basic requirements. They cannot contain pork or shellfish. Eating meat and dairy together is prohibited by fundamental kosher law, as is consuming animal blood.

Kosher-approved foods are not the same as kosher-certified. In order for any food item to receive a federally recognized kosher certification, a rabbi is required to approve all of its ingredients and inspect the kitchen it is prepared in. Fast food chains like Dunkin' and Carvel prioritize these religious guidelines and seek out official kosher certifications for specific locations. On the other hand, vegan or vegetarian fast food eateries that may not be kosher-certified are still met with approval from some kosher eaters because none of the menu items will contain pork or shellfish, or combine meat and dairy. Where kosher eaters feel comfortable ordering food depends on their interpretation of kosher rules (Kashrut). If you'd like some tips on where to find the most mouthwatering kosher fast food items, we suggest you give this list a read.

The Beyond Sausage and Cheese Croissant at Dunkin'

With over 13,000 locations in more than forty countries, it's impossible to leave Dunkin' out of a fast food conversation. In some regions of the U.S. with large Jewish populations — take Brooklyn, New York, Chicago, Illinois, and Miami Beach, Florida, for example — you can find a fully kosher Dunkin', and yes, Sausage Egg and Cheese Croissants are still on the menu there.

Not to state the obvious here, but if you walk into a kosher Dunkin' and order a Sausage Egg and Cheese Croissant, you'll get the vegetarian version. Every kosher Dunkin' pork sausage patties are switched out for Beyond Sausage, a fully plant-based version of the classic breakfast meat. Dunkin's collaboration with the meatless empire Beyond Meat proved successful enough when it debuted in 2019 that the Beyond Sausage Sandwich was also sold in non-kosher Dunkin' locations. Before that, kosher Dunkins used meat substitutes from Morning Star Farms. Many non-kosher Dunkins have since taken the Beyond Sausage Sandwich off the menu, but you can still order it in most kosher Dunkin' facilities. The Beyond Sausage Sandwich is traditionally prepared with a fried egg and American cheese served inside a sliced English Muffin, but why not go all out and order it on a certified kosher croissant instead? Unfortunately, kosher Dunkin' locations aren't as widespread as non-kosher ones. There are currently kosher Dunkin' locations in Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Carvel's Salted Caramel Cold Brew Ice Cream

If you love cold brew and ice cream and haven't been to Carvel recently, it's time to go back. Carvel was the first ice cream retailer in the United States when it opened shop in 1936, just two years after the company laid claim to inventing "The Original Soft Serve"— though the folks at Dairy Queen have a slightly different version of soft serve's birth. What we do give Carvel full credit for is being one of the rare ice cream shops to sell both soft serve and regular churned versions of the same ice cream flavor so that customers with differing preferences can enjoy the same flavors. One flavor worth trying in either texture is Salted Caramel Cold Brew. Oh yeah, and it's kosher.

Intense coffee meets the complex sweetness of salted caramel in one delectable ice cream flavor available seasonally at most Carvel locations nationwide. If you go with the non-soft serve, you'll be treated to an added crunch in the form of vanilla cookie crumbles — which also happen to be gluten-free! The Carvel family has roots in New York City, home to one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities in the world, and this fast food chain has shown a consistent willingness to maintain kosher certifications in many of its locations. In addition to the handful of Kof-K-certified Carvels in New York, facilities in New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, and California are also kosher-certified.

Chickies' Cap'N Munch Sandwich

Burgers and sweets are mouthwatering fast food favorites, but we could never underestimate the demand for chicken in the quick-service arena. Chains like Popeyes, KFC, and Chick-Fil-A rule the school when it comes to fast food chicken, but you won't find kosher-friendly items on those menus. That's why Chickies' presence on the fast food scene is appreciated. There are plenty of beef options at Chickies too, but the eatery's poultry items make this kosher fast-food spot live up to its name. Chickies is exclusive to New York and New Jersey, but it is known far and wide for offering a ton of chicken varieties, including sandwiches that are big enough to share.

Take one look at the sandwich section of the Chickies' menu, and you may be at a loss of which one to choose, but seeing as the Cap'N Munch Sandwich is one of the most popular items on the whole menu, it seems like a good place to start. One of the main things that stands out about the chicken on the Cap'N Munch Sandwich is that it's breaded in pretzels and cereal — a creative prospect that only gets better when you get to choose your own vegetables and eat it up on a freshly baked roll or wrap. Chickies was established in 2007, and with four brick-and-mortar establishments plus a food truck, it remains on the cutting edge of kosher fast-food chicken.

Playa Bowls' Açai Bowl

Açai bowls have been a tasty food trend for a while now, but the one from Playa Bowls is spoonfuls of kosher goodness. The Jersey Shore staple has stood out for being particularly kosher-centric from the start. Between its scrumptious and versatile Açai Bowl and many certified kosher locations in New Jersey and New York, there's no question that Playa Bowls is a great snack spot for kosher eaters.

While a good amount of Playa Bowl shops are kosher, the restaurant has more than 170 locations, so the one near you might not carry that kind of label. Don't worry; Playa Bowls' website notes the kosher products carried in its non-kosher-certified facilities. This list includes "blueberry flax granola, cacao nibs, chia seeds, brown sugar, blue agave, maple syrup, peanut butter, matcha, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, almond butter, flax oil, wheatgrass, coconut flakes, frozen pineapple, frozen banana, frozen mango, frozen strawberries, pitaya, playa acai, playa coconut." One of the big draws toward açai bowls isn't just the sweet taste; they are also known for being a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, with the dark purple tropical fruit often cited as a superfood. While açai and the other fruits stirred into Playa bowls provide nutritional value, choosing toppings like granola, Nutella, (or both!) to make your açai bowl even more delicious will add a lot of sugar.

The Hibiscus Lemonade Slurpee from 7-Eleven

Hibiscus Lemonade Slurpee? Has 7-Eleven, king of the late-night convenience stores, gone high-brow with a bougie botanical blend? Not exactly, but it did up its Slurpee game, and you won't hear us complaining about that. We love the twinge of anticipation over not knowing exactly what flavors will be available on the Slurpee machine at any given time. Hibiscus Lemonade is one of the newest Slurpees to hit 7-Eleven, and we're happy to have it stay for the summer season. The carbonated slushie drink has been a cornerstone of 7-Eleven since the 1960s and is enjoyed by people worldwide. Slurpee's self-serve format, plastic dome lid, and unique scoop-bottomed straw are recognizable and often seen as nostalgic, but rather than fade into the footnotes of pop culture history, 7-Eleven rebranded its Slurpee brand in June of 2023. A brand new logo and neo-psychedelic, highlighter-colored cups are part of Slurpee's uber-inclusive "Anything Goes" campaign, and kosher eaters can be part of the fun.

Hibiscus Lemonade is one of the latest Slurpee options, but this bastion of brain freeze has kept it kosher for years. Most Slurpee syrups are made by Coca-Cola or its sister brands Fanta and Sprite, and many of them are certified by the Orthodox Union (OU) out of New York City or the Houston Kashruth Association (HKA), including the tart and floral flavor bomb that is the limited-edition Hibiscus Lemonade Slurpee.

Dairy Queen's Choco-Dipped Strawberry Blizzard

Carvel and 7-Eleven aren't the only fast food chains offering decadent, kosher-friendly seasonal flavors. Dairy Queen, the Grand Dame of soft serve confections, makes a point to launch limited-release Blizzard flavors multiple times each year — and take them away — then bring them back again. We're spotlighting the Choco-Dipped Strawberry Blizzard, which harmoniously combines the natural sweetness of strawberries with delectable chunks of chocolate and DQ's signature light-as-a-feather soft serve. Blizzards containing crushed candy have stood the test of time for a reason — they are delicious — but there's something about chocolate-covered fruit in an ice cream treat that seems a tad more elevated.

Depending on where you typically get your Dairy Queen fix, the soft serve may have a kosher certification. Dairy Queens in New Jersey and Connecticut have been known to operate under kashrut supervision so that kosher-abiding customers can indulge in Blizzards and other goodies from the historic fast food chain. One of the biggest factors in determining why some foods seem kosher but aren't is the risk of cross-contamination. At a fast food franchise like Dairy Queen, which serves non-kosher foods like cheeseburgers and bacon in most locations, there is no guarantee that utensils or other kitchen items are not coming into contact with food that would otherwise be kosher. For strict followers of a kosher diet, this cross-contamination risk is a deal breaker.

Veggie Grill's VG Classic

Since Veggie Grill opened in 2006, the California-based fast-casual, vegan eatery amassed more than a dozen locations on its home turf, as well as outputs in Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington state. An all-vegan, quick-service concept in 2006 was not the mainstream culinary staple it has become today. Veggie Grill's dedication to putting a healthier, more environmentally sustainable twist on fast food classics helped the business not just survive but thrive.

Enter the VG Classic. There aren't a whole lot of bells and whistles accompanying the VG Classic's Beyond hamburger patty, just vegan American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, and the house's special sauce sandwiched between a pillowy brioche bun. Veggie Grill's menu contains some pretty intriguing items like Katsu Sliders served on steamed bao buns or a triple-decker Grilled Chick'n Sandwich. In this case, the minimal VG Classic remains one of the fast food chain's bestsellers. As we mentioned before, vegan restaurants are viewed as acceptable places for followers of a kosher lifestyle to grab a meal despite many of them, Veggie Grill included, lacking that official kosher certificate. The risk of cross-contamination is far more unlikely in a vegan fast food restaurant where all menu items are completely meat-free. For kosher eaters who like the occasional fast food experience and feel at home at a vegan place, consider trying the VG Classic at Veggie Grill.

The Shouk Burger at Shouk

You don't need to be under specific dietary restrictions to enjoy The Shouk Burger at Shouk; non-kosher carnivores love it too! Shouk's unique, critically acclaimed brand of fast food is vegan, halal, and kosher — that means every item at every location (there are three Washington D.C. locations and a fourth one in Rockville, Maryland) is permissible. The Middle Eastern-inspired fast food items Shouk serves are free of processed ingredients, spiced to the nines, and celebrate vegetables in a way few fast-casual eateries can or do. The Shouk Burger patty is packed with a cornucopia of chickpeas, black beans, mushrooms, cauliflower, scallions, and beets, then tucked inside a warm, oven-baked pita with arugula, pickled turnip, tomato jam, charred onions, and tahina (that's tahini made with hulled a.k.a unshelled sesame seeds).

There is much to be tempted by on Shouk's street food-inspired menu, like Shawarma made with savory oyster mushrooms or the herbaceous, crispy falafel, but first-timers should not overlook The Shouk Burger. This burger may seem unassuming, but it's been praised by the likes of Food Network and The Washington Post. But perhaps the best thing about Shouk is its welcoming, considerate nature. Customers whose religious or ethical beliefs don't allow them to eat at any fast food place they come across can feel at ease ordering any of the food at Shouk, a place where the focus is on the betterment of people, animals, and planet Earth.

Doughnut Plant's Original Crème Brûlée Doughnut

Heralded in a 2008 New York Times review as the "Doughnuts of the Gods," Doughnut Plant began with one little shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and is now up to five, with posts dispersed throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Doughnut Plant was created by Mark Isreal, who also brought the shop's iconic Crème Brulee Doughnut to life — the very doughnut behind New York Times' bold declaration.

Doughnut Plant is as gourmet as fast-service food gets. All of the doughnuts and their creams, jellies, glazes, and toppings are made from scratch and preservative-free. Fresh, seasonal fruit and high-quality, often organic ingredients are at the heart of Doughnut Plants' innovative recipes, including the Crème Brûlée Doughnut, which Isreal says is the first of its kind in the world. Doughnut Plant has operated since 1994, but it didn't become kosher-certified until late 2018. Most agree it was worth the wait. The Crème Brûlée Doughnut is filled with Isreal's own vanilla bean custard recipe coated on the outside with sugar, then blowtorched to achieve the dessert's trademark crunchy shell. This a doughnut at its most luxurious and has the $5 price tag to prove it. Sweet-toothed kosher followers in the New York area finally can (and should) partake in the indulgence of Doughnut Plant's Crème Brûlée occasionally.

Tahitian Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt at 16 Handles

On-the-go treats can take many forms, but frozen yogurt is arguably one of the greatest. At 16 Handles, you get all the self-serve satisfaction of pulling the handles of your choice and building a saccharine tower of fro-yo drenched in all the fruit and candy of your toppings bar dreams — all while sticking to your kosher diet.

16 Handles sets itself apart from Menchies, Yogurtland, and others by being the first self-serve frozen yogurt shop in all of New York City when it started in 2008. Now, there are 33 locations up and down the east coast, nine of which are in New York City. Although 16 Handles is a franchise, the majority of these establishments have obtained kosher certifications. If you haven't had the pleasure of eating the frozen yogurt from 16 Handles yet, we recommend starting with Tahitian Vanilla. 

This timeless, all-natural flavor is part of 16 Handles' longstanding artisan collection that debuted in 2013 and still churns out some of the most beloved customer picks — in fact, Tahitian Vanilla ranks as 16 Handles' most popular flavor. Tahitian Vanilla isn't just kosher; it's also among the 85 gluten-free frozen yogurts in the 16 Handles repertoire. There are upwards of 50 toppings choices at any given 16 Handles facility ranging from Cocoa Puffs and Froot Loops cereal to fruit snacks, almonds, fruit, cheesecake bites, mochi, various sauces, and a ton of cookies and candy bars.

Philly Cheesesteak from HipCityVeg

We've gotta hand it to HipCityVeg, a vegan restaurant founded in Philadelphia, PA, that doesn't just serve the community yummy vegan food but also listens to its need. When founder and CEO Nicole Marquis set out to open her first HipCityVeg restaurant in 2012, the goal was to bring plant-based comfort food to the neighborhood at a price people could afford. HipCityVeg fulfilled those endeavors and has expanded remarkably, with several more locations cropping up in the Philadelphia metro area and Washington D.C. So much of what people love about fast food is that comforting element it provides, and this is where HipCityVeg really shines. In the City of Brotherly Love, nothing says comforting, fast food better than a Philly Cheesesteak, and HipCityVeg has it.

Of course, the Philly Cheesesteak you get at HipCity Veg isn't actually steak; it's made from a mixture of ancient grains, carrot, soy, and pea protein. And no, there's not a single jar of Cheese Whiz on the premises that gets swapped for vegan mozzarella. We saved the best part for last. Marquis means it when she says that she wants everyone to embrace HipCityVeg's plant-based (and nut-free) food, which is why every location has been kosher-certified by the International Kosher Council. Thanks to an admirable effort from Marquis and the HipCity Veg team, the Philly Cheesesteak (and fries, and maybe a shake) can be appreciated by people from all walks of life.