31 Accidentally Vegan Snacks You Can Buy on the Road

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When you’re on the road, it can be tough to find a decent place to eat. Sometimes a convenience store or gas station is the only option, did someone say Buc-ee’s? and those fine dining establishments aren’t known for offering extensive selections of vegan-friendly snacks.

To help with that, we’ve compiled a list of vegan snacks you can buy on the road, when you’ve might of missed them on that last groceries run. Since most of the options aren’t the healthiest, we’ve ordered them by Most Healthy, Not As Healthy, and Definitely Not Healthy.

You’ll want to stick to healthier vegan products, but sometimes it’s fun to indulge (and keep the kids happy) when you’re stuck in traffic and have hours left of highway time ahead of you.

Healthiest Vegan Road Snacks

No one associates a fun road trip with health food, but for what it’s worth, we begin our list with some of the more healthful vegan snack choices you can grab next time you gas up.

1. Fruit and Veggies (if you can find them)

Fruit in a basket at Convenience Store.

They’re not glamorous – no recipe needed, but they’re a vegan staple on the road. Bananas, apples, and sometimes oranges are usually available in a free-standing basket near the food aisles, or you might find veggie sticks or pre-cut fruit in small containers in the refrigerated section. Another great option is dried fruit like banana or apple chips.

2. Sabra Classic Hummus with Pretzels

This goes great with the vegetables you’ll find in the fridge, or with that bag of rice cakes or pretzels you’ve been eyeing.

3. Fruit and Granola Bars

We’ve already curated your options here within our article topic for best protein bars for 2023. Stock up! Always a great solution and comfort to know whether on a family vacation trip or just stuck in traffic or weather conditions, you’ve got a nice supply stored away in the vehicle.

4. Planters Mixed Nuts

Pretty much any mixed nut brand you find will fit the vegan bill, but Planters is a fantastic choice that’s frequently found at truck stops. Stay away from the mixes with too many add-ins like chocolate or candy, as these will contain dairy.

5. Justin’s Nut Butter Squeeze Packs

These aren’t as common in gas stations, but if you hit a high-end road stop you might get lucky. Great on their own or spread on a piece of fruit, these will tide you over to your next meal with the high protein content. For other nut butter ideas you can bring on the road, see our Vegan Peanut Butter list.

Not As Healthy

We ranked these snacks as not quite healthy but not quite terrible for you, either. And after all, what’s life without some fun?

6. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate bars may sound like a “definitely not healthy food,” but the truth is vegan dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids known to decrease inflammation. While convenience store dark chocolate may not have as much nutritious cocoa as other options, most brands are animal product and artificial flavor-free, including swiss chocolate varieties.

7. Ritz Crackers

Simple and unusually delicious, there is just something oddly satisfying about Ritz Crackers. They are far from the healthiest cracker option out there, but they are animal product and artificial flavor-free.

8. Baked Beans

Beans are generally a healthy choice. Baked beans… not quite as healthy as other options but still generally safe for animal flesh non-partakers. Just be sure to choose a vegan flavor such as maple syrup or brown sugar.

9. Veggie Straws

Potato chips are always great, but Veggie Straws contain 30% less fat with slightly less guilt and with all the salty crunchy goodness, c’mon, can we say taste great!!

10. Popcorn & Kettlecorn

Boom Chicka Pop and Earth Balance are great brands to try-Boom Chicka Pop is known for its low calorie count (try the Salted Caramel, Lightly Sweet, and Sea Salt vegan flavors) and Earth Balance makes a mean Vegan White Cheddar flavor that even non vegan passengers will love!

11. Vegan Jerky

Alright, alright, you probably won’t find this in most gas stations (yet!), but if you have advance road trip warning, it might be worth picking up a bag of Stonewall’s Jerquee or other vegan jerkies just to have this classic, salty road trip snack at your side.

12. Chips and Salsa

Santitas is a great vegan brand you’ll find in most gas stations – just don’t try to dip chips while driving. Don’t ask us how we know.

13. SunChips, Fritos, and Pringles

On a scale from “healthy” to “worth it!” these definitely rank somewhere in the middle, but these crunchy salty snacks might make counting highway miles a bit more fun.  Avoid the cheddar flavors, as those contain dairy products.

14. Starbucks Iced Coffee

Bottled Starbucks drinks can be a godsend late at night with no joe available and hours until your next stop, but many have dairy additives. Try the iced teas, the plain cold brews, or the Almond Milk Frappuccinos, available in Mocha and Vanilla flavors.

15. Corn Nuts

Needing crunch to keep you awake? Corn nuts contain only corn, corn oil, and salt. If you’re feeling adventurous, try their Chile Picante con Limon flavor for a fun “crunch meets spice” twist on the classic.

Definitely Not Healthy.

We’re not going to sugar coat it-most snacks you’ll find along the interstate are sugar coated. But if ever there was a time to indulge or distract yourself with fun snacks, it’s gotta be sometime between  “Are we there yet?” and “I can’t feel my legs” and “Mom, he’s on my side again!” Here’s a list that’s still vegan, but definitely not health food. You’ll see the worst ingredient listed next to each option, so you’ll have an idea of what snacks you want to grab and can balance your next meal accordingly.

16. Bourbon Biscuits

A truck stop favorite and, surprisingly, a vegan food, bourbon biscuits make a tasty snack for those times when your sweet tooth gets the better of you.

Worst Ingredient: Sugar

Looking for more delectable cookies that will fit into your plant-based diet? Check out our list of the best vegan cookies.

17. Nutter Butters

This peanut butter-flavored cookie is a mainstay at most gas stations and is completely vegan. These treats do contain some less than desirable ingredients including high fructose corn syrup, palm oil, and, if you’re gluten intolerant, wheat flour. But sometimes you just have to give in to those cravings.

Worst Ingredient: high fructose corn syrup

18. Kipling Apple & Blackcurrant Pies

Road trips and comfort food often go hand in hand. Thank goodness those delicious apple and blackcurrant pies from Mr. Kipling are an animal product-free food.

Worst Ingredient: Sugar

19. Fruit Shortcakes

Half cookie, half pie, all delicious! But did you know fruit shortcakes are also usually vegan food products?

Worst Ingredient: Sugar

20. Party Rings

Like tiny donuts crossed with delicious sugar cookies, I loved these classic vegan biscuits when I was young. Now that I’m older and following a plant-based diet, it’s nice to know I can still indulge in party rings biscuits if the mood strikes.

Worst Ingredient: Sugar

21. Elizabeth Shaw Mint Crisps

Would you believe these deliciously crunchy crisps are certified vegan? We couldn’t be more thrilled about this recent development.

Worst Ingredient: Sugar

22. Tesco Bacon Rashers Snacks

Put this one in the category of ‘most surprising vegan-diet friendly snacks.’ Tesco’s bacon rashers are surprisingly free from pork or any other animal ingredients. 

Fun Fact: Tesco dark chocolate mint thins are also vegan!

Worst Ingredient: sugar

23. Sour Patch Kids

What’s a road trip without candy? Grab a Blueberry or Lime flavor the next time you see these on the road to satisfy that sugar craving you’ve been having-other popular flavors include Raspberry Lemonade Rush.

Worst Ingredient: Sugar

24. Poptarts

Since the frosting contains milk, you’ll need to stay away from the frosted flavors, but Blueberry, Brown Sugar Cinnamon, and Strawberry flavors all have unfrosted versions and are 100% road trip friendly.

Worst Ingredient: High Fructose Corn Syrup

25. Airheads

Blue Raspberry and Watermelon are always safe choices, but try White Mystery to add a sense of mystique to your car ride. The company changes the flavor every batch, or mixes flavors left over from previous batches, so you might keep yourself or the kids busy trying to guess which flavor combination you got.

Worst Ingredient: Corn Syrup

26. Lay’s Potato Chips

Always a classic choice, but always messy. Napkins recommended.

Worst Ingredient: Palm Oil (some are made with sunflower, corn, and/or canola oil, so look at the label)

Tip: Avoid brands like Grandma Utz’s Handcooked Potato Chips, which are cooked in lard (animal fat).

27. Oreos

While technically considered “vegan friendly” because they don’t contain any animal products, those with allergies might want to avoid these addicting treats as the company does warn about cross contamination with dairy products.

Worst Ingredient: High Fructose Corn Syrup

28. Skittles

They’re not #basic, they’re classic! And luckily, they’re available at just about every gas station in America.

Worst Ingredient: Sugar

29. Swedish Fish

Feeling nostalgic? Dying of boredom? Since you can’t stretch your legs, stretch your brain and have a passenger read this Brief History of Swedish Fish-you might learn something, or at the very least, kill 20 minutes.

Worst Ingredient: Sugar

30. Vegan Ice Cream

Dairy-Free Ice Cream

A little messy if you’re alone in the car, but if you’re lucky enough to have an adult co-pilot who can spoon feed you, you might be able to pull this off. See our list of the best dairy-free ice cream brands for inspiration.

Worst Ingredient: Sugar

31. Red Vines and Twizzlers

If you’re looking for entertainment, ask the kids in the back seat how many of these stringy treats they can tie together. For the adult passengers, start a poll about which candy is better-you might spark a hot debate that keeps everyone’s mind off the long hours stuffed in the car!

Worst Ingredient: Corn Syrup

Vegan-Friendly Options on the Road

Who knew America’s truck stops and gas stations were hiding so many healthy vegan snacks free of animal-derived products and safe for the vegan diet.

True, lots of foods on the list above are not ones anyone should partake in too often, but we all need our favorite snacks to fall back on during those long drives. 

Did we include your favorite accidental vegan treat above? Let us know by commenting below.

Feature photo credit: “Truck Stop Love” © Notley Hawkins Photography, used with permission

Sara Seitz