Updated 2020! White Castle was America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, and they now have locations dotted all over the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. I bet you thought it was McDonald’s, but White Castle beat them by 27 years. They opened their first restaurant location in Wichita, Kansas, in 1921. Now they’re beating the gold arches to yet another hamburger chain first: dairy-free cheese on the menu.
On March 1, 2020, White Castle will launch dairy-free cheddar at its New Jersey and New York City restaurants. It’s a test market for now, but with enough demand, it could hit their permanent menu. Jamie Richardson, the vice president of White Castle, says they are bringing this new vegan cheese alternative to select locations, “with the hope of taking it to other markets in the future.”
Even if your local White Castle doesn’t offer the dairy-free cheese alternative, you can still enjoy many of their burgers without cheese, and with one of their many dairy-free sauces. They provide full ingredients and allergen disclaimers for each component on their menu. (See our full Dairy-Free Menu Guide below!) This allows you to “build your own” from their simple menu. And yes, they now have two vegan patty options, including the Impossible Slider (hold the dairy cheese).
No Dairy (Milk-Based) Ingredients (see disclaimer below)
- Breakfast – Hash Brown Nibblers*
- Sliders – Veggie (plain or with dairy-free honey mustard), Impossible (no cheese), The Original*, Double Original*, Panko Fish (no cheese)*
- Sides – Motts Applesauce, French Fries*, Onion Rings (except at NJ / NY locations)*
Components to Help Customize Your Order
- Burger & Sandwich Components – Traditional Bun, Beef Patty, Sloppy Joe with BBQ Sauce, Bacon Strip, Bacon Topping, Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Patty, Dairy-Free Cheddar (select locations), Hamburger Onions, Fire-Roasted Onions, Pickle Slices
- Condiments – Ketchup, Fat Free Honey Mustard, Smokey BBQ Sauce, Zesty Zing Sauce, Marinara Sauce, Mayonnaise, Everything Sauce, Düsseldorf Mustard, Horseradish Mustard, Yellow Mustard, Tartar Sauce, Seafood Cocktail Sauce, Hot Sauce, Lemon Juice, Grape Jelly, Strawberry Jam, Mrs. Butterworth’s Syrup
- Breakfast – Eggs, Bologna, Wheat Toast
*These have no dairy ingredients, but the restaurant specifically notes cross-contamination potential
Other Allergen Notes
- Their traditional bun contains wheat, but not egg. So the veggie patty (contains soy) and newer Impossible slider (no cheese) might offer a good option for vegan diners on the go.
- They do cook their meats and meat alternatives with buttery flavored oil, but they do not call out any milk ingredients in it. It is a soy-based oil.
Vegan Menu Items at White Castle
The Impossible Patty and Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Patty are vegan, but both contain soy. Their Traditional Buns appear to be made without any animal ingredients, but you will need to verify the sources, if concerned. For sauces, the Smokey BBQ Sauce, Everything Sauce, Cocktail Sauce, Mustards, Ketchup, Marinara, Hot Sauce, Jams, and Syrup appear to be made without dairy, eggs, and honey.
More Details from White Castle
Allergen Disclaimer from White Castle: We encourage customers to check these statements regularly as ingredients in menu items may change. Ingredient information is based on standard product formulations. Variations may occur due to differences in suppliers, ingredient substitutions, recipe revisions, product assembly at the restaurant level, and/or season of the year. Some limited time offers, test and regional items may not be included. Some menu items may not be available at all restaurants.
Restaurant Website: www.whitecastle.com
Last Updated: January 2, 2020