Yes – vegans can still eat out (it’s not as hard as you think)
I love eating out, whether its date nights with my man or a brunch with the girls, I love vising new places, trying new menus and foods with a nice cocktail. Who doesn’t?
Some of questions I get asked a lot (I am sure other vegans will relate here) are things like – ‘can you even eat here?’ or ‘is there anything for you on the menu?’.
When I was first transitioning from vegetarian to a plant based diet, admittedly I did find it kinda hard to begin with but it’s not an issue for me now at all. Here are some tips I’ve picked up and wanted to share with you guys.
1. Check the menu first
Pretty obvious I know, but I always have a quick glance online or request a copy of a menu to get an idea of my options are going to be.
2. Salads are always a safe bet
Ditch the meat/dairy and ask for extra veg like avocado. If the salad is served with a creamy dressing, just ask to swap it for a dairy free option if they have one or oil. Ask for a lemon/lime and squeeze some of the juice on it.
3. Call the restaurant before hand
Most menus will say at the bottom something along the lines of ‘if you have any dietary requirements, please inform us’. I have called a few places before and just asked if its possible they could make something suitable for me – no dramas
4. Sides & starters are your best friends
No vegan friendly mains? I find a lot of places usually have veggie starters and side dishes and I have ordered a few small dishes before.
5. Just have pizza (yay)
Go for pizza with a tomato base sauce and no cheese. Not only is it still really tasty, it’s healthier and much lower in fat too, win – win. Check out my post about cheeseless pizza from pizzahut.
6. Put some thought into the restaurant theme
Think about it – for vegan food I always find that Chinese, Thai and Mexican have good options. Wok friend veggie and tofu dishes are available at most Asian restaurants (just watch out for the fish sauce) and Mexican food is full of sizzling veg and bean dishes.
7. Don’t feel bad for asking about vegan options!
Admittedly I did used to feel a little awkward. Asking questions about ingredients or ‘can you swap this for this’ and ‘can I have extra this’. But here’s the thing – you, like everyone else at the table, are essentially paying a company/business for a service and a meal. You have absolutely every right as a customer to ask questions about the menu and ask for changes to dishes – your paying for it remember! Never once have I been made to feel like I was being a fussy or difficult customer. Actually on some occasions chefs have even gone the extra mile for me. You don’t ask you don’t get – simple.
Do you guys have any other tips for eating out? Let me know! Have a good Monday! Jess xx