Eating vegan at Chipotle

Choosing to consume a plant-based diet can be inconvenient. The greatest inconvenience might be finding a quick bite wherever you are.

I am vegan and worked at Chipotle last year. It is my duty to help you master ordering food at Chipotle.

First off, if you are anxious, I recommend ordering online. You can pick everything you want and get it when you are ready without having to wait through the line. Just go straight to the register ready to pay (or pay online, too).

When I order online, I write that I have a dairy allergy in the comment section. The Chipotle I worked at and have visited all take allergies seriously. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for vegetarianism and veganism. Do not worry about cross contamination with eggs - there are none at Chipotle.

If you want to go through the line, just be ready. The crew on the line are encouraged to move very quickly. Often they will ask multiple questions at once at a rapid fire pace.

This is especially true during peak times. If you go at around 3:00 PM, crew members may take their time and ask you about your day if you seem interested in talking.

Cross contamination happens fairly often at Chipotle. All the foods are close and being refilled constantly, so spills happen.

The things that get cross contaminated the most:

  1. Sofritas gets chicken This is really hard to see from behind the counter because they look similar, but check when you sit down that there is not chicken. Take the food to the cashier or a manager if you have an issue. Managers usually have baseball caps (instead of the other flat hats). They usually have a slightly different shirt (a polo) too.
  2. Corn gets sour cream This is also kind of hard to see, because the corn is white. I usually ask for my corn on the side (they will put it in a cup for you) so I can inspect it myself before eating it.
  3. Green (medium) salsa gets sour cream This is easier to see, but I still ask for it on the side to see for myself.
  4. Guacamole gets cheese This can be slightly difficult to see, because the cheese can look similar to unsmashed avocado when it gets covered by guacamole.
  5. Lettuce gets cheese On top of that, the crew member at that end of the line uses the same gloves to handle both ingredients. I usually just don’t get lettuce. However, you can ask for lettuce at the beginning of the line where it is no where near the cheese. This lettuce is larger, but less likely to have cheese.
  6. Heated tortillas get cheesy This is because the quesadillas are pressed on the same press. Sometimes the quesadillas leak cheese. You can always ask for plain tortillas.

If you feel the gloves of the crew are too dirty, claim you are gluten intolerant. The crew is supposed to be trained to take this seriously. They are supposed to change their gloves, wash their hands, use new spoons, etc to prevent cross contamination. Do not feel bad about this if you feel uncomfortable, there will be no questions asked.

I also have recommendations. I recommend getting a bowl. It is easy to eat, you can get a tortilla on the side if you want one, and it is easy to take to go.

Get the rice you want. You can always ask for more or for a mix of both, or none.

Get the beans you want. All rules for rice apply to beans.

I recommend sofritas, because they are delicious and usually the crew does not portion them properly (in the customer’s favor).

I recommend asking for vegetables if you are interested. They are available at no extra charge.

Get the salsa you want. You can get as much as you want, just ask for more. The crew tends on the side of giving less instead of too much, so customers are expected to ask for more.

If you want guacamole, get it. It is very good and it is made fresh (sometimes twice per day). Same for the chips.

If you ever get a meal without sofritas, remember you can get guacamole for free.

You can always get a water cup for free. Just ask at the register for a water cup.

I hope you enjoy your visits and that Chipotle becomes one of your favorite places to eat :)

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