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How To Eat Out As A Vegan

How To Eat Out As A Vegan

Though eating out as a vegan in major metropolitan cities is a no-brainer (hello, thousands of gourmet vegan restaurants,) some people find it harder to transition to healthy, plant-based eating when living in less than urban environments. 

Although we swear by using the HappyCow website and app (every vegan or veg-friendly restaurant in the world – just punch in your zip code!) what do you do when you are stuck at a steak house on a business dinner? Or at a diner in the Midwest?

Here, Stephanie Dreyer gives us her top tips:

Eating out proved to be very challenging when I first transitioned to a vegan lifestyle five years ago.  Between finding something to eat (besides a side salad) and making my dining companions feel comfortable, (If I had a dime for every time someone asked, “Is there anything for you to eat?”…), it’s a lot to navigate, especially if you are new to plant-based foods.

In my new ebook, VeegMama’s Guide To Going Vegan, I share tips and provide information on how to transition easily and joyfully to a vegan lifestyle. Below are a few tools to making eating out easy and delicious.

 How To Eat Out As A Vegan

How To Eat Vegan In Restaurants

  1. Check out the menu ahead of time.

Whenever I plan to visit a new restaurant, I browse the menu online beforehand to see if there are any vegan items or dishes that can easily be veganized (by omitting cheese, for example.)

  1. Call ahead.

I do this especially for fancier establishments. I let them know I am vegan and ask if they will be able to accommodate me. Most restaurants are happy to come up with some options for me (if they don’t have them already.) {EDITORS NOTE: We generally find that Chef’s are excited by the challenge! Some of our best vegan meals have been at high-end restaurants where Chef’s bored of cooking chicken have to be creative with vegetables!)

  1. Make a meal of vegetables and side dishes.

I love doing this at restaurants, even when they have one or two vegan options. An assortment of vegetables makes for a beautiful dinner. Ask your server how they are prepared, substituting olive oil for butter, for example, and eliminating any cheese.

See Also

  1. Opt for ethnic cuisine.

I can pretty much always find something to eat wherever I dine (everyone offers a side salad!), but Asian, Indian, and Greek/Mediterranean restaurants are guaranteed to offer vegan options because of the plant-based staples in those diets. Italian and Mexican restaurants also offer lots of vegan options – just hold the cheese!

  1. Enjoy an appetizer.

When nothing on the menu is calling my name, I look to the appetizers for sustenance. Flatbread and hummus with a side salad, for example, can be a very filling meal, as can a steamed artichoke with a side salad.

  1. Scout the accompaniments on the menu.

I commonly find that side dishes for the meat entrees are vegan friendly – rice pilaf, baked potato, couscous medley, etc. They may be called side dishes on the menu, but you can usually ask to order them as a meal (especially if the menu doesn’t have much else to offer you). Just check that grain options are prepared vegetarian – without chicken broth and butter, for example.

Want more tips?  Order her ebook on Amazon Kindle:

Stephanie Dreyer is a writer, mama of 3, and the founder of VeegMama, a lifestyle brand sharing new approaches to healthy living and eating.  
Excerpted from new ebook, VeegMama’s Guide To Going Vegan