It’s a day of abstinence during Lent, but you’re on the road and need something quick and meatless. What do you choose?

We’ve compiled some of the CNA staff’s top meatless picks from some common fast food joints to let you know what tasty options are out there!

McDonald’s and the fish fillet: 

McDonald's Fish Fillet. Credit Ernesto Andrade via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

McDonald’s Fish Fillet. Credit Ernesto Andrade via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Mary: McDonald’s fish fillet is a classic. Plus they usually have buy-one get-one deals, their fries are delicious, and they serve Coke, unlike some fast-food chains which shall remain nameless (Burger King).

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Carl: McDonald’s fish sandwiches are awful.

Kate: Ok. Yes, McDonald’s fish fillet sammies are not the greatest. But they are acceptable. Especially for lunch on those Lenten Fridays when I forget that it is both Lent and a Friday.

Honorable mentions for the classic fish sandwich: 

Carl: I think Arby’s and Wendy’s fish sandwiches are pretty good. Burger King’s fish sandwich is not awful.

Mary: Arby’s has curly fries.

Kate: Now that I think about it…I remember eating at Long John Silvers fairly frequently during my childhood Lents. They’re probably on the same footing as McDonald’s when it comes to fish fillets.

Taco Bell:

Credit Mike Mozart via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Credit Mike Mozart via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Carl: Taco Bell will make anything meatless for you, if you ask.

Kate: No, ew. What meatless options would Taco Bell even have? A bean burrito, I guess. But that is in no way satisfying. Totes unacceptable Lenten lunch fare.

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Mary: I could do a bean and cheese burrito from Taco Bell in a pinch.

Wahoo’s and Chipotle: 

Wahoo's fish tacos are the best fish tacos to ever fish taco. Credit Sean Loyless via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Wahoo’s fish tacos are the best fish tacos to ever fish taco. Credit Sean Loyless via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Mary: Wahoo’s fish tacos are the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. And I’ve had a lot of fish tacos.

Kate: Wahoo’s fish tacos, duh.

Hillary: Burrito bowl from Chipotle with fajita veggies instead of meat! Or fish tacos from Wahoo’s. I feel like both of those are cheating because they’re so delicious 😉

Carl: I’m not crazy about Wahoo’s, but it’s not bad.

Maggie: At Chipotle, you can get burritos or burrito bowls without meat (and they even have “Sofrita” which is just tofu).

Panera:

 

Panera has drive-thrus in some locations. Credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Panera has drive-thrus in some locations. Credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Mary: I highly recommend the full-size Greek salad. Pair it with a smoothie of your choice and you will be full. The French Onion soup is made with beef broth, so it’s probably best to steer clear of that one.

Carl: Panera has a decent selection of meatless things, including some kinda tomato-y sandwich, and broccoli cheese soup.

Kate: Grilled cheese and tomato soup at Panera. Just steer clear of Chipotle.

Good Times Burgers and Custard:

 

This is not the Tuscan Black Bean burger from Good Times.

This is not the Tuscan Black Bean burger from Good Times.

Carl: Seriously, the Tuscan black bean burger at Good Times is soo good.

Mary: Has anyone eaten at Good Times other than Carl?

Kate: I have. But they specialize in burgers…do they have meatless options? It is sort of like Culvers though – and Culvers has pretty delish fish.

Others: 

Maggie: Not sure if Pei Wei’s are everywhere, but they are fast-ish food and have a good sweet and sour shrimp!

Kate: Not sure if this counts as fast food but….I’ve always really liked the mango tilapia entree at Cheddars.

Carl: Captain D’s is a little known chain. They don’t have fish sandwiches, they have actual fish.

Chik-fil-a: 

Carl: Consider this a petition to start a petition to ask Chik-Fil-A to start making meatless “chicken” nuggets on Fridays of Lent.

Important Update: Boston Market

After we published this list of our favorite fast and fast casual meatless meals for Fridays during Lent, Boston Market sent us an e-mail and tipped us off to their special Lent offering:

Taylor from Boston Market: For a limited time only during Lent, we’re bringing back our Wild Caught Pacific Baked Cod, topped with Parmesan garlic crumbs and served with lemon garlic sauce. The dish includes two classic sides, along with a piece of our freshly baked cornbread.

We decided to try it today for lunch and tell you our thoughts!

While we all got the cod and the cornbread, Carl opted for spinach and mashed potatoes on the side, while Kate chose the mac’n’cheese and mashed potatoes, and Mary chose the mac’n’cheese and the sweet potato casserole.

Carl's Boston Market wild-caught Pacific cod meal, with mashed potatoes and gravy and the lemon spinach sides.

Carl’s Boston Market wild-caught Pacific cod meal, with mashed potatoes and gravy and the lemon spinach sides.

Carl: I thought the fish was fine, and the wide variety of sides made it.

Kate: The fish was pretty bland. But maybe cod is bland. I don’t eat much cod. The bread crumb coating was good though. The sides were good, nice variety. I got the mac and cheese and the mashed potatoes and I liked them both. I’d never been to a Boston Market before so the atmosphere was not what I expected. Honestly, the meal wasn’t anything to write home about. I’d rather get fish tacos at Wahoo’s. But, it is nice that they have this special during Lent.

Carl: Cod does tend to be bland.

Mary: The cod is bland, but maybe they chose it for that reason. A lot of people don’t like fish-y fish. The breading was good, and they provide either tartar sauce or lemon juice to go with it, which is nice. I agree that the wide variety of sides makes it. Thirteen to choose from, not including the cornbread. Like Kate said, nothing super phenomenal here, but it’s nice that they have this special just for Lent. Also, when we went, they had a buy-one get-one deal for Saturday. It’s a safe choice for a meatless meal with enough side choices to please a crowd.

All done! We each agree that the variety of sides is what makes this a good choice.

All done! We each agree that the variety of sides is what makes this a good choice.

Questions about what is and is not allowed during days of fasting and/or abstinence in Lent? Click here for the USCCB’s guide to all your Lenten FAQ’s.

Where do you like to eat when you’re on the go during Lent? Tell us in the comments!