One of the main worries I have noticed that people who are considering veganism or transitioning have is when it come to dining out they have no clue how they’ll survive. So here are my tips for successfully dining out and about as a vegan…
- The first and most important piece of advice I can give is to plan ahead! Where possible, check out the restaurant in question online, try their website, review sites, and vegan/vegetarian recommendation sites such as Happy Cow. If you can’t find anything useful online, try giving them a call. Ask if they have anything suitable, and if not, could the chef whip you something up for your meal – this might seem cheeky to some, but a chef offered this option to me in the past, and most will be willing to let loose their creative flair and see what the can cook up!
- Something else that is important to remember is that not everyone knows what ‘vegan’ means, so be prepared to explain your dietary requirements, and prepare for a certain level of not-so-blissful ignorance – such as being asked how you live without (cow’s) milk in your tea, and how they could never live without their [insert animal product here]. As much as it shouldn’t be up to us to deal with people like this, we have to be understanding to a point that most adult humans just don’t know the truth about animal agriculture and practises throughout the world.
Making plans in advance won’t always be possible, and there is lots you can do in surprise or short notice situations to ensure it’s not a total flop…
- This one might sound obvious, but sometimes the most simple points are overlooked – ask to see their vegan options. Some places might have an all-in-one menu, and the waiting staff should be able to point you in the right direction. Other places, such as Carluccios have their own dedicated vegan menu, granted there is only one vegan main option, but it does make life that bit easier – they can be quick to the parmesan though, so be on guard for that!
- If there are no obviously vegan options, ask to see the restaurant’s allergen book. This option isn’t always easy, and it seems like some places go out of their way to make these things nightmare to understand, but it’s better to know what you’re buying, especially if the staff aren’t 100% certain. All restaurants will have one, and they are obliged to present it as allergies are serious matters after all.
- Just as with the pre-planning tip, if you are stuck for what to have, ask to speak to the chef, or query if they could whip you something up. Even if it’s just a jacket potato and baked beans, it’s so much nicer to be sat with friends and family with a plate of food, even if it is a plain old potato.
- It won’t always be easy, but stay positive and even though it can be hard, don’t lose your temper. There will always be testing times, places, and people, but for every negative experience, there will be someone and somewhere out there waiting to give you the best. Let it be an adventure, discover new foods, and speak to new people – you never know, you might just change someone’s life. Although not a tip as such for dining out, this might come in handy for any and all everyday scenarios.
Check out the links on the pictures above in this post, and you might be surprised where we have found some amazing vegan options!
The vegan lifestyle is amazing, and opens your mind to think in ways you might never have before. As a vegan you find a new respect for all life, and waking up in the morning is brighter than it used to be. Don’t let tradition or normalcy hold you back, and as they say, be the change you want to see in the world.
Some people won’t ever get us, they’ll be stubborn and ignorant, but you are the stronger person for ignoring them and focusing on the beauty of the world outside of yourself. Let’s make this world beautiful and eat some amazing vegan food whilst we’re at it. Let me know your favourite places to eat as a vegan, and share your experiences, the good, bad and the ugly!
With love from your BFF Vegan.