The Real Reason Vegetarians Should Avoid Buffalo Wild Wings

With a name like Buffalo Wild Wings, few people are expecting this popular sports bar and wing joint to be a haven for vegetarians. On the contrary, they are famous for their boneless and traditional chicken wings and an extensive variety of side sauces. Other popular menu items, like the buffalo ranch chicken sandwich, fried brisket, and cheese curd bacon burger, are hardly any more vegetarian-friendly.

However, many chains often offer at least a few vegetarian alternatives, for those who avoid eating meat but might want to come along for the camaraderie, atmosphere, and big-screen TVs. At first glance, it appears that Buffalo Wild Wings does have a small selection of seemingly vegetarian-friendly options on the menu. They offer dishes like spinach artichoke dip, mozzarella sticks, and roasted garlic mushrooms, none of which traditionally contain meat ingredients.

However, strict vegetarians should be warned that many of their non-meat offerings are still not technically vegetarian. According to Buffalo Wild Wings' Allergen and Preparation Guide, many so-called veggie alternatives are actually prepared by frying them in beef shortening.

Most of the items on the Buffalo Wild Wings menu are fried in beef shortening

This meat additive is in a surprising number of dishes, including onion rings, cheddar cheese curds, and even chips and salsa. Not even the dessert is safe from the beef shortening treatment. The cheesecake bites, dessert nachos, and Loaded Ice Cream are all fried in the animal product before being served.

Just about the only truly vegetarian meals are the Southwestern black bean burger, mac and cheese, and the pretzel unless you only want to eat rabbit food. The garden side salad with lemon vinaigrette, the veggie boat, and the carrot and celery sticks that are served alongside the wings as a garnish are also vegetarian, although they are unlikely to make a filling meal on their own. And if you happen to be vegan, the options are not only limited; they are pretty much nonexistent. The Southwestern black bean burger contains both eggs and milk, the mac-and-cheese speaks for itself, and even the pretzel comes with queso. So for anyone who omits all meat products from their diet, it's probably best to simply avoid Buffalo Wild Wings unless you're just looking for drinks.