Recently the folks at Noodles and Company, a fast casual chain restaurant, contacted me about their vegan options.
Started in Denver, Colorado, they now have hundreds of locations scattered across the U.S. I’d never visited one of their restaurants before, but I’d read positive things about them online.
I took Noodles & Company up on a couple of free meals, and David and I headed to one of their locations earlier this week for dinner.
Before dinner, I visited their website, where you can easily plug in your specific dietary requirements.
The current (2020) Noodles and Company vegan options are:
- Japanese pan noodles (my personal favorite)
- Spicy peanut sauté
- Penne rosa without cream and cheese
- Spicy Korean beef noodles without the beef & replacing ramen with udon noodles
Cauliflower rigatoni fresca without parmesan or shrimp
- Spaghetti & meatballs without cheese and meatballs
- Grilled orange chicken lo mein without chicken
Organic tofu can be added to any dish.
Zucchini noodles can be used in any dish (instead of other noodles) for an additional charge.
When we arrived, I realized I hadn’t printed out the Noodles and Company vegan options as I’d planned, but it was no worry.
I asked at the counter for their nutrition information. They handed me a laminated sheet with the same information that they have online – detailing which items work for various needs.
The atmosphere is clean, airy, and informal. The general tone is similar to other fast casual chains like Panera, Sharky’s, or Baja Fresh.
By the drink area, they have bottles of Sriracha, and a stack of paper takeout containers.
It didn’t take too long before the food arrived at the table.
I ordered the regular size peanut sauté with tofu. But I could have easily done the small instead. The portions are very large.
The peanut sauté is filled with broccoli, carrots, snap peas, cabbage, and rice noodles in a peanut sauce. It’s finished with cilantro.
I was impressed that the sauce was actually spicy. Often in chain restaurants, the dishes are made on the blander side to suit a variety of tastes. The flavor was nutty with a noted stickiness, and the tofu was crisp.
I wouldn’t say that I was blown away by the dish, but it was pretty good.
(If you’re a fan of peanut noodles, check out this cold peanut noodle salad recipe to make at home.)
On a subsequent visit, I ordered the Japanese pan noodles.
It’s my favorite thing to get at Noodles and Company. It comes with broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, and udon noodles in a sticky sweet soy sauce. It’s finished with sesame seeds.
In summation, I liked that the employees were warm and helpful. I also liked that they’ve made it easy on their website and nutritional information to know your options.
I could see it being a place that would be easy to take kids, because of the laid back atmosphere that’s not at all stuffy.
I don’t think Noodles & Company is a place that I’ll be visiting regularly. But it’s a welcome option for a quick lunch when guests of varying tastes come into town.
For more on-the-go plant-based meals, check out these vegan fast food options.
Disclaimer: I received two free meals from Noodles & Company, but the thoughts and opinions are completely my own.