Are switching to a vegan diet and you are unsure of where you’ll be able to dine? Are you worried that your only option will be a salad or steamed vegetables?
Here is a Vegan Guide to Eating Out from my own experience as a vegan that will hopefully help your dining experience.
1. Check online – If you know where you’ll be eating, check their website or call first for vegan menu items. Most restaurants have at least one vegan option. Happy Cow is a good resource for vegan friendly restaurants.
2. Apps – Happy Cow, Vegan Steven, Where to Eat, Vegan Express, and Vegmen are all apps that list either chain restaurants, local restaurants, or both, that are vegan friendly. Some also list grocery stores, bakeries, and other vegan essentials.
3. Try different cuisines – Mexican, Thai, Indian, Ethiopian, Japanese, Chinese, and Malaysian cuisines all have vegan options. I read a post on Instagram recently where the writer said that he eats more types of cuisines now that he is vegan. Maybe now is the time to try something new!
4. Build a meal with sides – Order sides like beans, rice, guacamole, hash browns, salsa, and vegetables. You can eat them alone or build your own meal.
5. Order a glass of wine or beer – I find that at places where I feel deprived because I don’t have substantial protein options, I always feel better getting a glass of wine with my meal. At least I get a little treat to accompany that plate of greens.
6. Sneak it in – Sneak in a single serving packet of peanut butter or hummus to eat on fruit and veggies. Sneak in nuts, chia seeds or hemp seeds to sprinkle on a salad. Why not? If they don’t have protein options and you need to be satiated, go for it.
7. Eat a snack beforehand – This is one of my last resorts, but sometimes it is necessary. If you know there won’t be many options, this may be the route you need to take. If the restaurant only has veggies, a salad, or French fries – which many do – this may be the only way you will be able to have a good time. It is no fun watching others fill up when you aren’t.
8.Local restaurants – If a restaurant is locally owned they are much more willing to make up a special dish for you. Chain restaurants cannot do this because they have to stick with a preset menu. If the restaurant is local there is a good chance that they can come up with something for you to eat. I ate at a resort recently where the chef was more than happy to create a new dish for me.
9. Carry snacks with you – I have learned from traveling to always have some protein with me. I carry single serving peanut butter packets in my purse. They come in many flavors. I also carry protein bars in my purse. You never know when you might be stuck somewhere where there are little or no options for you to eat. This has been a huge benefit to me. I left a dinner party once where I was hungry by the time we left the host’s house! If you aren’t going home right after going to a restaurant or a dinner party, carrying snacks around with you in your car or purse is a must.