Eating at non vegan restaurants and other peoples house probably sounds pretty daunting if you’re a new vegan but its doesn’t have to be.
I didn’t worry about this at all and found it very easy and the more you do it the easier it becomes. I know not everyone is like me though and this probably causes some major anxiety for some.
I’ve eaten out a lot though and have the inside track so let me be your guide.
You Don’t Have To Pick A Vegan Place.
Everywhere has so many great options now. The big chains like Pizza Express, Ask, Frankie & Benny’s all have amazing vegan menus now and make ordering there a breeze.
Chinese, Italian, Indian and Mexican restaurants are all really good for vegans. Dishes can be adapted easily with things like cheese excluded or dishes fried in oil not butter etc. With a little extra help, you should feel pretty confident to order at most restaurants.
Check Out The Menu Beforehand
Call ahead or better yet look at their website (if they have one). Most establishments have their menu to view online for people with allergies and special dietary needs.
Some places have a vegan section in the menu or items are clearly marked vegan which makes deciding what you want or if it’s suitable so much easier.
Typically you’ll find those without anything vegan are happy to accommodate you and will make something especially for you. Just make sure to call and give them notice to prepare something.
Use An App
Apps like Happy Cow are really useful to find great places to eat if you’re vegan. Check out my list of must have apps.
Explain. Be Clear
Although veganism is more widely recognised now than ever before, don’t just assume that all staff know what it is. I’ve often heard people talk about gluten-free when I mention veganism.
Politely explain what you do and don’t eat and politely answer their questions. Try and help them understand, help them help you. You might say something like “I’m vegan, so I don’t eat meat, eggs, milk or cheese” or “Can I order this without cheese?”
You may be the first vegan they’ve ever met – so be clear yet still polite.
When You’re The Only Vegan
Doing research beforehand definitely helps speed up the process and take eyes off you. If you’re worried about that excuse yourself and speak to the staff about your requirements. See if they can help you by making some small adjustments to dishes or will answer your questions about how things are prepared (if they use butter or oil to fry etc).
If you’re travelling abroad then why not get yourself a Vegan Passport. View Passport. That way you won’t have to worry about not being able to read the menu or the staff not understanding you, it’s the perfect travel companion.
Relax. Enjoy Yourself
Like I said earlier going out to eat can feel a little daunting at first but just like anything in life, the more you do it the easier it becomes. You’ll be a pro at eating out and being a vegan in no time. It honestly just becomes second nature after a while.
And remember: Don’t think you’ll have to pick the venue or that it has to be vegan, every time you want to go out with friends or family.