Going out to eat is probably the one thing that new vegans fear most. But the reality is typically very different, thanks to our vegan eating out tips!
The Veganuary team has dined out all over the world, so whether it’s a sophisticated restaurant, a local cafe, or just grabbing a pizza, we’ve got the inside info to make your dining experiences easy and hassle-free.
Keep it vegan!
There are vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in just about every city around the world. With so many to choose from – from fast food to whole food to fine dining – you’ll need some help to work out where to begin. Visit HappyCow to find out what options are available near you!
Some of the most vegan-friendly international cuisines are available on every high street and are typically the most popular with everyone. Chinese, Italian, Indian, Thai, Japanese and Mexican cuisines are all fantastic for vegans, though you may need to tweak your order to avoid ghee, fish sauce and egg noodles.
Chain, chain, chain
Just about every chain restaurant now has vegan options or a full vegan menu so wherever you find yourself, you’ll also find a vegan meal. Plus, you can keep everyone happy, even if you are the only vegan in the group.
You wanna pizza me?
These days, it is difficult to find a pizza restaurant that doesn’t offer fantastic vegan ceese! Not just chain restaurants but independents everywhere are getting in on the action. But here’s a secret: pizza without cheese is pretty amazing! Load with toppings and douse with chili oil and you may never go back!
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 feel more confident about attending if you know there will something for you to eat!
What if there’s nothing vegan on the menu?
Well, don’t assume that you can’t make requests at a restaurant and that, in being vegan, you’re being a bore or a burden. Customers make requests all the time, for all sorts of reasons. One of our top vegan eating out tips is to go ahead and ask them to adapt a dish or create something just for you – though it’s best to call ahead to let them know you are coming.
What if the staff have no idea what I’m taking about? Although veganism is widely recognised, it’s still possible you’ll find serving staff who don’t understand what a vegan is. Politely explain what you do and don’t eat, take the time to answer their questions, and don’t be afraid to use the ‘V word’. You might say something like “I’m vegan, so I don’t eat eggs, milk or cheese. Does your pizza dough have any milk or eggs in it, and can I get the Vegetariana without cheese?”
What if you’re the only vegan in the group? If you’re out with a group and feeling a little self-conscious about querying menu items at the table, simply excuse yourself before ordering and have a quiet word with your server.
If you’re travelling overseas and want to feel confident about ordering then why not get yourself a Vegan Passport? It can take a lot of the strain out of ordering if your language skills are a little rusty.
Now you know how easy it is to eat out as a vegan, go and have fun exploring plant-powered dishes!
PAGE UPDATED NOVEMBER 2020