Have you been with a group of friends that want to grab a bite to eat at a restaurant without any vegan options? Or in a new town without any vegan or vegetarian restaurants? Instead of simply accepting defeat and not eating, I want to provide you with some tips and tricks to help you find vegan options at any restaurants.
I mentioned HappyCow in a previous post, but it is a great resource. It is my go-to app when I am in a new area and looking for a place to eat. If you have no idea where you want to eat, HappyCow will show you all of the restaurants in your area that are vegan or vegetarian.
Call Restaurant Beforehand
In order to save time, call a restaurant you are interested in visiting and ask them about their options and flexibility. Most restaurant I have called have been more than helpful. They will let you know if certain dishes have ingredients that can substituted or removed. This will save you time and also help you find new creations that you didn’t know were possible!
Give a Heads Up
After you have called a restaurant and discovered their options, let them know you are coming in at a certain time and date. This will allow the chefs to be prepared for your arrival and ready to help you out. This may seem unnecessary, but you will find that the special meal you ordered will be much better because the restaurant had time to prepare and prepare the fresh ingredients they need.
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Feast on Sides and Appetizers
Who says you have to order an entree? If you cant find anything you like on the entree menu, check out the sides and appetizers. A number of restaurants offer foods such as french fries, mashed potatoes, fried foods, and more as sides or appetizers. They might not be the healthiest options, but will help you find something good to eat! I have also saved a few bucks just ordering two or three sides compared to an actual entree, so you might save some money as well.
Reach Out on Social Media
Most restaurants have a social media presence. If you don’t want to make a call, you can reach out to them on social media and get a response. More importantly, you can reach out to restaurants and request more vegan options. This will probably take time to actually implement and may never happen. However, if you really like a restaurant but their options are limited, let them know and try to make a difference. You never know, you could be the reason a restaurant adds a vegan menu or includes more diversified options!
These are just a few quick tips that will help broaden your options when it comes to finding places to eat. If you would like specific dishes from various restaurants that you can order, PETA has a extremely helpful list that you can find here. Do you have any other tips for eating out? Let me know below!