Lion’s Choice announces that a plant-based option will be coming to its restaurant’s menus this fall. For the first time in the chain’s 55-year history, the St. Louis staple has partnered with Hungry Planet, a St. Louis-based company dedicated to creating chef-crafted, plant-based meats, for its new Plant-Based Meatball Sub. Before Lion’s Choice launches the Plant-Based Meatball Sub across all 33 restaurant locations in St. Louis, Kansas City, and parts of Illinois this fall, St. Louis guests can try the new vegetarian item at a two-day tasting event. Customers can enjoy the Plant-Based Meatball Sub made with Hungry Planet’s plant-based Italian sausage meatballs on Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at three Lion’s Choice locations: Ballwin (14919 Manchester Road), Chesterfield (17294 Chesterfield Airport Road), and Hanley (1605 S Hanley Road). The new menu item will be sold at a special promotional price for $5.99 for the sandwich (regularly $6.99) or $8.99 for the meal (regularly $9.99). The new menu items are available for purchase in-store or through the store’s drive-thru as well as through the Lion’s Choice mobile app. 

“It has been a summer of firsts at Lion’s Choice with the release of our first fried, gluten-free chicken menu items in July and now our vegetarian option, the Plant-Based Meatball Sub,” says Michael Kupstas, President & CEO of Lion’s Choice. “These plans have been years in the making, and ultimately stem from our guest’s feedback and requests. There’s a growing portion of the population who are looking for meatless options — whether they be vegetarian or flexitarian. The common factor, however, is that these customers still want the same ridiculously good food and flavor that they have come to expect, something that we’ve delivered on for 55 years.” 

The Plant-Based Meatball Sub features Hungry Planet’s Italian sausage meatballs served on a toasted loaf of Italian bread with rich marinara sauce and topped with Provel cheese. Complete customization remains a top priority at Lion’s Choice extending to the new meatball sub where guests are able to remove the Provel cheese creating a completely vegan option. 

“Hungry Planet is a nationally recognized brand who also calls St. Louis home, and we knew that a meatless Lion’s Choice item had to deliver on the ridiculously good quality that we promise to our guests,” continues Kupstas. “Hungry Planet was vital in not only helping us craft a unique vegetarian option but also ensuring that the taste and flavor were so great that roast beef lovers would want to eat it. We’ve accomplished just that and we can’t wait to hear from the St. Louis community during this taste test.”

Details on the Planet-Based Meatball Sub and where guests can find it during the upcoming two-day sneak peek tasting event are below: 

Plant-Based Meatball Sub (Promotional Price: $5.99 sandwich/$8.99 meal)

  • Description: The Plant-Based Meatball Sub includes Hungry Planet’s plant-based Italian sausage meatballs served with rich marinara sauce and topped with Provel cheese all on a toasted loaf of Italian bread. The meal will be served with Lion’s Choice famously seasoned house-made chips and a choice of beverage.
  • Availability: Friday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Store Locations: Ballwin (14919 Manchester Road), Chesterfield (17294 Chesterfield Airport Road), and Hanley (1605 S Hanley Road)


“We’re proud to bring more options to Lion’s Choice’s iconic menu. Lion’s Choice fans are known for their love of truly delicious food, and that’s what we’ve created in collaboration with their outstanding team,” says Todd Boyman, CEO of Hungry Planet. “Hungry Planet’s new, gluten-free, Italian sausage meatballs are the perfect addition to their meat-lover’s menu… and this sandwich makes room for everyone at the table.” 

Lion’s Choice is an iconic Midwestern brand known for its ridiculously good roast beef sandwiches, gluten-free french fries and frozen custard. The chain offers a variety of different sandwiches, salads, and sides as well as desserts. In July, Lion’s Choice welcomed a new line of menu items with a chicken protein option featuring the Cluckin’ Chicken Tender Sandwich, a Chili Lime Crispy Chicken Salad and the Chicken Tender Cub Meal. Lion’s Choice’s commitment to doing things the right way extends from its signature menu items to seasonal items and the new exploration into alternative proteins. 

Menu Innovations, News, Lion's Choice