I assure you that you will have more to choose from than just a salad at almost all the restaurants you go to! Most places don’t have strictly vegan items on their menus and so it is important to know how to craft your own special vegan-ized meal! But no worries, soon you’ll be a pro.
Don’t give up on being vegan because of a few bad experiences eating out!
Here are a few tips for eating out as a vegan:
Check their website and call ahead.
When I first transitioned to a plant-based diet, I had trouble finding options when eating out. I found myself eating LOTS of salads with vegan dressing, which can get boring after awhile. I soon learned that there were way more options at the places I was going, I just didn’t know how and what to order. Now, before I go out to eat I find the menu on the restaurant’s website. If it is not clear as to what contains meat and dairy on their website, call ahead to ensure your meal won’t contain animal products without your knowledge. Your health, the animals, and the planet is worth the extra effort!
Use the resources available.
Sometimes life happens and you end up having to resort fast food. Although I don’t eat fast food that often, it is comforting knowing there are options available. This is also important when traveling! My favorite resource to look for vegan options is Happy Cow. You simply type in your location and it provides you with a list of places that have vegan options on their menu. How cool is that??
Look for the symbols on the menu.
Sometimes the menu will provide you with a little symbol, like a “v” or a small leaf, to indicate that the item is vegan or vegetarian. Places like PF Changs and Zoe’s Kitchen use this system which is super convenient.
Substitute, substitute, and substitute some more!
Its easy for most restaurants to make their vegetarian options vegan. A lot of times I order a vegetarian item and have them leave out the cheese, dairy-based dressing, or whatever might be an animal-based food. You can substitute the dairy-based foods with one of their vegan options. For example, at a Mexican restaurant you might get a vegetarian meal and replace the cheese with guacamole.
Below are a few examples of vegan friendly places!
You can get a vegan sandwich or salad at subway, which is super convenient when you’re traveling! I get a sandwich on whole wheat bread loaded with veggies, guacamole, and spicy mustard. So yummy!
Although this isn’t the healthiest option, you can get a fresco-style bean burrito at Taco Bell.
Chipotle and Qdoba have so many vegan healthy options!! I love going to places like this because you know exactly what you’re getting because they make it in front of you. You can get a burrito or bowl and know for a fact that its completely vegan! I usually get a burrito with rice, beans, guacamole, salsa, and lots of veggies.
L O C A L
Lastly, OKLAHOMA PEEPS… you have to try The Loaded Bowl. And if you’re traveling through OKC you should make a quick stop for lunch! Their cashew mac & cheese is to die for.. (I’m slightly addicted) Everything on their menu is 100% vegan and SO DELICIOUS.
1211 SW 2nd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73108
I hope these tips were helpful! I wish you guys the best of luck finding vegan options while eating out!