Every vegan has gone through one struggle or another while trying to eat out. I still find restaurant experiences frustrating sometimes. The good news is that many restaurants are becoming more aware of people’s preferences when it comes to eating out. They take note of allergies/dietary restrictions and are beginning to include new options on menus for those who are vegans, vegetarians or lactose intolerant. I am very optimistic that one day vegan options will become popular and not just options in many restaurants. I have put together some tips that might help you when eating out.
Use the Happy Cow website
Making use of the happy cow website is simply the best option when searching for a vegan-friendly/vegan restaurant in your area or when you are on a trip. All you need do, is type in your location and a lot of vegan-friendly/vegan restaurants will pop up. Surprisingly, there are ratings and reviews on the website, these enables you to read what other people at saying about the restaurants they have visited. These gives you an edge on which of the restaurants to visit.
Check restaurant menus online
Checking for restaurant menus online can save you a whole lot of stress, especially when you are planning to visit a new restaurant. This helps you to know if there are any vegan options or vegetarian options that can be veganized for you. Such as removing chicken in a spaghetti stir fry, and replacing it with spiced tofu.
After doing your research and you still feel your options at the restaurant will be limited, then you should eat something light at home beforehand, like a vegan snack, so you do not feel deprived at the restaurant.
Asking questions at a restaurant prevents you from embarrassing yourself. It will surprise you to know that some restaurants have secret menus. Most non-vegan restaurants are in the habit of not putting the vegan menu on the table, unless you ask for it. Let them know you will love to have a vegan option or if there is any dish you have in mind ( a vegan pizza, tofu-stir-fry), don’t be afraid to ask, and if they do not have one, they can simply veganize a vegetarian dish for you. It is that simple!
Be creative with side dishes
Side dishes are yummy and can easily make up for a balanced meal. Like salads, veggies, beans and brown rice. Always order side dishes, especially if your options on what to eat at the restaurant are limited.
Try a fun non-alcoholic drink
Our hopes of drinking something yummy at a non-vegan restaurant may be dashed. Not to worry! There is always a fun non-alcoholic drink you can always order, that way you do not feel left out.
Do not overthink it
These days I have zero worries when eating out at a non-vegan restaurant, that way I do not feel disappointed when they do not meet my expectations.