Eating out can be a real challenge for some when you are vegan, but it doesn’t have to be. You can eat vegan almost anywhere. So here are some simple tips to really maximize your experience.
1. Download the HappyCow app. You can find it on your smartphone or online at www.happycow.net
This little app can help you find vegan, vegetarian, or vegan friendly restaurants. I think it is super helpful especially for those times when eating with family members who aren’t vegan because it will tell you if a restaurant has SAD fare as well.
2. Be Polite!!!
Yep. I know, you should always be polite. But accept that you might be eating at a place where they are not used to serving someone with your needs. Don’t be surprised if your meal comes out with cheese on it. It will happen. But I have found that if you politely tell them that you need no cheese, they fix it. If you go off in a rage, then problems arise (and that is when people spit in food)
3. Get comfortable asking questions.
I also have found that you have to be comfortable asking questions. Does the sauce have cheese in it? Can you find out?
4. Order off menu
I do this all the time. Rarely is it a problem. I usually just employ rule #2. “I have some really strange eating restrictions. I was hoping to order something a little strange, and I was wondering if you could help me put it together?” I have yet to have someone tell me no. Look at the menu and pick things: I want the pasta with all the vegetables you have but no cheese or meat or butter. I’ll have the club sandwich with no mayo or cheese or meat but can I have avocado and artichokes?
5. Google is your friend
People have eaten there before and they have probably put their experience on google. Try it out. You will find some good tips.
In case you don’t know. Pre-gaming is when you drink before a party. But in this case, you should eat before you go if you really aren’t sure. Don’t go hungry. OR always keep bars in your car or bag. Emergency food can really help.
7. Don’t be weird
If you are eating with people who aren’t vegan, try not to be dramatic and weird. Ok, why am I saying this. Because I have seen this happen a million times and then no one invites you out to eat anymore. We center our occasions around food for some reason. Just have fun. It may not be perfect, but have fun.
8. Always know the one place
Find a few places that you know have something you like that are great in a pinch. Have a fast food restaurant (for me it is Taco Bell or Subway), have a restaurant pick in a couple different venues. I have a burger place and a Chinese food place. So when the inevitable “where should we eat?” happens, you can say, “how about Bob’s? I hear they have a great burger.” You saved the day.