Eating out as a vegan can be challenging. Depending on the restaurant and the chef, it can be a hit or miss experience. More restaurants are becoming more sensitive to dietary restrictions and allergies, opening up new options on menus. Here are some top tips for eating out as a vegan.
Image – free for commercial use
Plan Ahead And Look Up The Restuarant Menu Online
It’s not always possible to eat somewhere that’s vegan-friendly. Whether you’re going to a family gathering or a friend’s birthday party, you’re likely to need to go to your fair share of non-vegan restaurants. Before going to a new restaurant, check out the menu online to see if there are any obvious vegan options, like a vegan pizza. Look out for vegetarian options on the menu that could be adapted to be vegan. If there are a couple of vegetarian options or dishes that could be modified to be vegan, such as ordering a stir-fry without the chicken, make a note of them before you go.
Call The Restaurant For Options
If there aren’t any obvious meal options on the online menu, call the restaurant ask whether they are able to accommodate a vegan diner. Don’t worry about being annoying. As long as you’re polite, the restaurant will likely appreciate the heads up that you’re coming. Ask about their vegan options. Plenty of restaurants will promise over the phone to be able to accommodate you, only to offer a plate of vegetables when you actually arrive. It’s helpful to be specific about what sort of thing you would like to eat. If there is a that you have in mind, don’t be afraid to ask if they are able to offer it.
Ask If They Have A Vegetarian Menu
Did you know that some restaurants have secret menus? For example, some restaurants have a vegetarian menu but don’t put this out on the table unless you ask for it. It isn’t the norm for restaurants to have separate menus, but it never hurts to ask and let them know that you’d like the option. If you don’t ask, you don’t know.
Get Creative With Sides
Sometimes vegetarian menu items can be adapted into vegan dishes quite easily by just replacing the butter or oil, or just leaving off the cheese. If your options are limited when you get there, always ask if these kinds of swaps can be made. One thing you can do is get a bit creative with sides. Order a few side dishes, ask them to hold the butter, and create a meal that way. A few sides of brown rice, beans, and vegetables will add up to a balanced vegan meal.
If You Think Options Will Be Limited, Eat Beforehand
If you have to go to a particular restaurant, but after you’ve done your research, and suspect your options will be very limited, try to have a light meal beforehand to make sure you don’t feel deprived at the restaurant while the others are eating.