Golden Corral is definitely not a vegan-friendly place, however they do have quite a few vegan options to choose from if you find yourself at one.
While personally I’d never recommend going here, as in my opinion it’d be a disappointment and not worth the money or potential frustration if they don’t have many of the vegan items on the buffet that day, it is technically doable to eat at Golden Corral as a vegan.
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Should You Eat at Golden Corral as a Vegan?
Before we get into what Golden Corral has that may be vegan, I consider important to point out that Golden Corral has a history of inconsistent preparation of their menu items, as well as a history of serving unsafe and spoiled “foods.”
As a result, other than them not being a vegan-friendly place, I’d recommend avoiding eating here at all costs. Pretty much anywhere else is more vegan-friendly, simply because you at least know the few items they have (such as a baked potato) will in fact be vegan.
The below are what Golden Corral CLAIMS is vegan, I’d check with the restaurant and say you specifically have a dairy allergy if you eat there in an attempt to confirm the below items are vegan at your location, as if you simply claim you’re vegan or don’t eat them there have been many cases of Managers lying about the vegan-status of many of their “foods,” including to me personally.
Vegan Breads at Golden Corral:
- Flour Tortillas
All other breads contain dairy and/or eggs, or in the case of their Cinnamon rolls they contain Gelatin and thus aren’t vegan.
The Yeast Rolls and all those “good” things that people generally think of bread at places like Golden Corral aren’t vegan.
Allegedly Vegan Vegetables at Golden Corral:
- Tempura Battered Zucchini (Rarely on Buffet)
- Tempura Battered Squash (Rarely on Buffet)
- Vegetable Trio
- Turnip Greens (Fresh or Steamed)
- Spinach (Fresh or Sauteed)
- Fried Pickles
- Fried Mushrooms
- Corn on the cob (Confirm No butter)
- Seasoned Collard Greens
I’d be suspicious of the non-fried vegetables to be honest, as the above are the only listed vegan ones that are available at a decent amount of Golden Corrals. The others not listed above contain dairy according to Golden Corrals allergen statement as they’re cooked into butter or have it added to them after cooking. To put it into perspective even their steamed carrots contain milk.
Vegan “Substances” at Golden Corral:
- Seasoned Pinto Beans
- Seasoned Northern Beans
- Machaca Beans
- Corn on the Cob (Confirm No Butter)
- White Rice
- Plain Spaghetti Noodles
- Baked Potatoes (Often has Butter on it already, but worth checking if eating there)
- Many so-so quality fruits
You can count on about two or three of the above items being there. All other types of beans, or cooking styles (it must be seasoned) contain either Pig-parts, lard, or dairy. Put them in a tortilla and put some Salsa on them and you can “eat.”
Other Vegan Things:
- Non-Battered french fries
- Pico De Gallo
- Whole Raw Salad Options (see below)
- Hard (Corn) Taco Shells
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- French Dressing
- Ginger Dressing
The guacamole contains dairy, as do sauteed bell peppers, and pretty much everything you’d want off the salad-area. If it’s not a whole vegetable do not touch it if it’s not above. They manage to ruin even innocent foods with dairy in most cases.