Dining Out as a Vegan – You’ve Got Lots of Options Besides Just a Salad
Whether you’re dining out for work or fun, it should be a tasty experience. Here are a few tips for dining out as a vegan from my book It’s Easy to Start Eating Vegan.
What do you do when you’re traveling or having a meal-based business meeting and you can’t choose the venue? Be assured, you can still follow a vegan diet and have an enjoyable experience at a non-vegan restaurant.
While it’s true that dining out following a plant-based diet can require a bit more planning, creating a good meal is still absolutely doable. You’re not limited to just a salad… unless of course that’s what you are craving!
Try these three tips for an enjoyable and satisfying restaurant experience when you don’t get to choose the venue:
1) Check the menu in advance to see if it is friendly towards a plant-based diet. There may be a vegetarian dish that is easy to make without the cheese. And these days even good steakhouses have options that can easily work with a plant-based diet.
2) If you check the menu and it doesn’t look like there is anything you can eat, call ahead and let them know about your dietary restrictions and that you’d like a vegetarian meal with no egg or dairy. Most chefs enjoy the challenge of making something different and will be glad to make you something special if there aren’t any vegan friendly items on the menu.
3) If points 1 and 2 haven’t yielded any tantalizing results, try to make a meal with the side dishes. We’ve made dinners from multiple side dishes such as asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli and rice. Usually there are enough veggie side dishes that you can combine to make an interesting vegan dinner. (Note: make sure to ask them not to put butter on your side dish… they usually do add butter if you don’t specifically ask them not to do it).