Panera is a bakery-cafe that has a number of menu items that are already plant-based, and many more with a simple swap or two. Panera was started in the St. Louis area, where it's still known as the St. Louis Bread Company, and has grown to over 1900 locations nationwide. With plenty of vegan options, you shouldn't have a hard time finding something you like.
Here's some high-level suggestions on how to enhance your plant-based experience at Panera:
- Plenty of good options in the salad department.
- We like their "pick two" combo for some variety. Choose two items from their salad, sandwich or soup menu.
- If they're not too busy and you don't mind asking there's a lot of other ways to spice up their modified plant-based choices. For example, if getting a salad or broth bowl, don't be shy about asking for extra veggies, fruit or seeds/nuts.
- Add avocado to any of the salads or bowls for some extra healthy fats.
- Bagels - plain, blueberry, cranberry walnut, poppyseed and sesame
- Bread - black pepper focaccia, sea salt focaccia, country, rye, sesame semolina and sourdough
- Sandwich Bread - French baguette and hoagie roll
- Oatmeal - steel cut oats, strawberries, pecans and cinnamon crunch topping.
- Oatmeal - steel cut oats, apple chips, pecans and cinnamon crunch topping.
- Smoothie - peach & blueberry with almond milk
- Seasonal fruit cup
- Seasonal Greens - arugula, romaine, kale and radicchio blend, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers tossed in reduced-fat balsamic vinaigrette. (Try it with avocado and quinoa)
- Ancient Grain and Arugula (order without chicken) - ancient grain blend, arugula, red grapes and fresh apple and cabbage slaw tossed in sweet white balsamic vinaigrette and topped with roasted and salted pumpkin seeds.
- Fuji Apple (order without chicken and Gorgonzola) - arugula, romaine, kale and radicchio blend, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, toasted pecan pieces, and apple chips tossed in sweet white balsamic vinaigrette.
- Greek (order without feta) - romaine, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, kalamata olives, pepperoncini, salt and pepper tossed in Greek dressing.
- Modern Greek with Quinoa (order without feta) - quinoa tomato sofrito blend, romaine, kale, cucumbers and kalamata olives tossed in Greek dressing and topped with toasted almonds.
- Asian Sesame (order without chicken and wontons) - romaine, cilantro, toasted almonds and sesame seeds tossed in Asian sesame vinaigrette.
- Spicy Thai (order without chicken and wontons) - romaine, fire-roasted edamame, red pepper and carrot blend, fresh cilantro and roasted cashew pieces tossed in low-fat Thai chili vinaigrette and drizzled with peanut sauce.
- Mediterranean Veggie (order without feta and switch to one of the bread choices listed above) - Zesty sweet Peppadew piquant peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, red onions, cilantro-jalapeño hummus, salt and pepper.
- Lentil Quinoa Bowl - organic quinoa and brown rice, lentil blend, tomato sofrito, fresh kale and spinach with a lemon wheel in our umami soy-miso broth.
- Soba Noodle Broth Bowl with Edamame Blend - edamame blend, soba noodles, fresh spinach, napa cabbage blend, roasted mushroom and onion blend, sesame seeds and cilantro in our umami soy-miso broth.
Sides - apple, banana, French baguette, kettle chips or pickle spear
Hand-picked favorites from the BLOK founders:
- The Pick Two combo is a favorite. We usually go with soup and either the Modern Greek or the Fuji Apple Salad.
- Lentil Quinoa bowl is healthy, filling and already completely plant-based.
- If you're in the mood for a sandwich, the Mediterranean Veggie on french bread is good, especially if you add avocado.