Being a first-time vegan can be daunting. Follow these tips to alleviate some of the worrying, and guide the way to exciting and delicious plant-based food. Here are 6 Tips for Eating Out as a Vegan.
1. Get Appy
Dining out as a vegan has become easier thanks to technology.
There are several great mobile apps now that are designed to alleviate the struggle of finding vegan-friendly restaurants.
It’s a great idea to try some out and find one that is easiest to use in your area. Many of these apps rely on the users themselves to rate and review the restaurants, so be sure to help your fellow vegan foodies out and share your own experiences!
2. Ask Around
It may seem old-fashioned, but nothing beats having a casual conversation with someone about food.
Reach out to other vegans in your social circle and ask them where their favourite places are to dine.
If you’re travelling or new to a neighbourhood, try connecting with local vegan communities on social media.
With mock fish ‘n’ chips and wings popping up on menus, it’s no doubt that vegan food joints are becoming increasingly creative in putting their spin on all-American favourites. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to order a trendy plate every time you go out.
Many ethnic cuisines have inherently vegan dishes to offer and usually, at a fraction of the cost.
East and South Asian cuisines are an excellent place to start–Middle Eastern and Ethiopian as well.
4. Plan Ahead
Admittedly, it’s not always possible to fuel up at a vegan-friendly restaurant. Despite our best efforts, we’re more likely to find ourselves in non-vegan restaurants.
Whether it’s for a social celebration or business lunch, be sure to scan the menu of these places online ahead of time and check out potential meal options.
While they may not be as obvious, looking at the types of ingredients that the restaurant has on hand is a great way to get informed, and then brainstorm ideas on how to modify your order. Most restaurants are open to simple substitutions such as replacing butter with oil and tofu or beans in place of meat.
5. Go For Sides
If a restaurant doesn’t have any tasty vegan dishes or substitutes to offer, build your own from their side menu. When pulled together, sides such as rice, baked beans, salads and roasted vegetables can make for a somewhat balanced and nutritious meal.
6. Leave A Suggestion
Whether you were satisfied with your vegan dining experience or not, let the staff know.
Comment cards and suggestion boxes are there for a reason, and business owners always appreciate the feedback.
The more demand for vegan options that are voiced, the more likely you are to find some changes on the menu the next time you swing by.
How do you navigate the food scene as a vegan? Leave a comment below sharing your ideas!