One of my biggest excuses for not going vegan was that I frequently go out to eat and I was scared I wouldn’t have any options. After over a month of being vegan I can confidently tell you it’s a lot easier than it seems. It’s definitely uncomfortable at first to ask your server about vegan options but the more you do it the more comfortable you’ll be. I wanted to share a list of my tips for dining out incase anyone else is thinking about going vegan but is nervous about dining out! Because even though there are many more vegan options than there used to be, it can be tricky when you’re first starting off.
Look on the restaurants website to see if they have an allergen/nutritional menu.
A lot of bigger or chain restaurants will provide a detailed menu on their website that includes all types of information that can be helpful for a vegan. This makes it easier to see if foods you aren’t sure about contain dairy.
Don’t be embarrassed/don’t apologize for your choice of diet.
This is something I REALLY struggle with. I am super introverted so trying to explain what I can and cant eat to a server makes me super uncomfortable. I just try to remind myself that this isn’t something bad and I am proud to be a vegan. I found myself apologizing a lot for being “difficult” but at the end of the day this is my choice and I rather be difficult than eat animals.
Look at the vegetarian options, but make it vegan.
Almost every restaurant you go to will have AT LEAST one vegetarian option. Some even have a whole vegetarian menu. This is super helpful because most of the time you can just tell them to hold the cheese(or other dairy) on the dish. A lot of veggie burgers are vegan but to be certain have ask your server or have them ask the chef if they aren’t sure.
Use the app Happy Cow/Search for an all vegan restaurant!
I discovered this app when I first went vegan over a month ago and I use it all the time! This app shows you a list of variations of restaurants in your area. you can filter it to be vegetarian, vegan only or veg options. You can also set it to what type of food you want! This is great for when your traveling or when you just don’t what restaurant to pick! In the description of the restaurant it will tell you a few items they have and some other things about it. My favorite feature is the reviews, I love reading what other people have to say about their experience there and what they did and didn’t. All vegan restaurants have been popping up a lot recently, using the Happy Cow app will help you find one in your area!
Sides are your best friend.
If you cant find a full meal, my go to is side items. Whether it be fries, vegetables, potatoes, whatever, I can usually find enough sides to satisfy my hunger.
When in doubt, salad.
Typically, restaurants will have many salad options that can be easily customized to be made vegan. I know a salad isn’t always the most satisfying food. So if I know I’m going somewhere where thats all I can eat I try to have a little snack before.
I hope this helps you guys with dining out as vegan! If you ever have any questions about going vegan or anything else feel free to ask!