Top Tips for Eating Out

A common fear for new vegans is eating out.

The idea of walking into a restaurant is enough to bring you out in a cold sweat! But don’t worry, we’ve been there, done that and worn all the vegan t-shirts 😉

A Drink With Dinner, by Daniel Lee. Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence.
A Drink With Dinner, by Daniel Lee. Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Here are our top tips for turning your dining scenario nightmare into an absolute dream…

Unsure if a restaurant has vegan options?

  • Calling or emailing ahead is a great idea if you know the name of the place you’ll be eating. Typically you’ll find that those without anything specifically vegan are happy to accommodate, and will often make something especially for you. If the restaurant has an online menu, have a read over it before getting in touch – it’s likely you’ll see a few dishes that can be easily made vegan, and this will make you feel more confident before picking up the phone. Alternatively, you can check our chain restaurant eating out guide too!

The only vegan in the group?

  • If you’re out with a group and feel a little self-conscious about querying menu items at the table, simply excuse yourself before ordering and have a quiet word with your waiter/waitress. It is much easier to ask a few questions when you’ve not got (what feels like) a hundred pairs of eyes on you!

Don’t assume

  • Although veganism is more widely recognised now than ever before, don’t just assume that all restaurant staff know what it is. Politely explain what you do and don’t eat, and take the time to answer their questions. Remember, you may be the first vegan they’ve ever met – you just might make an impression for life!

Work parties and get-togethers

  • Work events are often arranged by colleagues, so let them know that you’re happy to talk to the venue directly if it makes things easier. (You’ll also feel more confident about attending if you know that there’ll be something there for you to eat!)

And most importantly…

  • Have fun! Initially going out to eat can feel a little daunting. But, just like anything in life, you’ll find that talking about being vegan soon becomes second nature. You’ll probably find that you have some great conversations because of it. And, more importantly, you’ll eat some really good food!

Ready to take the Veganuary pledge?

Veganuary is the world's largest vegan movement, inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year.