Us vegetarians often pull a bit of a short straw when it comes to fast food outlets. Granted many chains do now cater for our plant-eating ways, but sometimes we have to dig a little further to find these hidden gems.

Take In-N-Out Burger for instance. As one of the most prominent fast food chains on the West Coast, Helen and I were determined to try their offerings at least once. And on our final day of the fortnight in San Francisco, we finally managed to.

In-N-Out Burger has a vegetarian menu that has to be seen to be believed...

Unfortunately, the main menu above the till only had the usual ham, cheese and chicken burger options. But I thought I’d try my luck. So, I tentatively asked: do you offer a vegetarian option? And they do! The joy! They said they would rustle me up one straight away, and I bounced over to the pick-up corner ready to devour my burger as soon as it arrived.

In-N-Out Burger’s Secret Vegetarian Option

So, why don’t In-N-Out Burger advertise their incredible vegetarian option? Let me tell you now: their veggie option has to be seen to be believed. It is that amazing.

Because what In-N-Out Burger don’t tell you is that it’s not really a burger you’re getting. It’s actually just a, uh, bap. With lettuce and a few slices of tomato. And their special sauce, of course. Who needs a burger, cheese and all the rest of what you usually associate with a burger when you’ve got In-N-Out’s…glorified salad sandwich? (Note: The In-N-Out Burger menu states that the veggie option comes with ‘two slices of melted American cheese’. I didn’t even get that, sobs.)

In-N-Out Burger have a vegetarian menu, and it is every bit as wonderful as you would expect....

I mean, it looks just magical, doesn’t it? Very appetising…

Yeah OK, it was a bit of a washout

As I chomped away, my In-N-Out Burger salad sandwich was joined by the most depressing ingredient of all: my salty tears of disappointment. I’d got my hopes up. Dared to dream of an In-N-Out Burger vegetarian option to rival all. Still, at least I had my beautiful, beautiful stone cold chips.

In-N-Out Burger have a vegetarian menu, and it is every bit as wonderful as you would expect....But it wasn’t all bad. The young boy behind the counter was handing out free In-N-Out Burger hats to all the little kids, and I managed to nab one for myself. They’re actually pretty comfy to wear. Maybe if this writing career goes down the pan I can bring my own vegetarian creations to In-N-Out…

In-N-Out Burger have a vegetarian menu, and it is every bit as wonderful as you would expect....Why don’t more big chains cater for vegetarians?

OK, so while I couldn’t resist this little joke about In-N-Out Burger, there is one very serious point here: why don’t more places cater properly for vegetarians? Granted only about 5% of the world’s population (if my maths is correct) identify as vegetarian, but that’s still a good few million people in the US.

Alas, I shouldn’t grumble. I was insanely well-fed in America, and there really is so much choice on every corner. I just hope that when I return to the West Coast, In-N-Out Burger have improved their vegetarian selection – and I can finally see what all the fuss is about for myself!

Have you ever been disappointed by vegetarian options when you’ve been travelling?