Eat Vegan at Non-Vegan Restaurants

 

How to eat vegan at any restaurant

By: Felicia


Sit down & get comfortable because I want to be straight with you here.

Accept that not all restaurants will accommodate you properly.
There will not always be a vegan substitute for your favourite dish and some places will have the wild idea that having a side salad is enough to appease any stray vegan that wanders into their doors. 
It's unfortunate but the sooner you accept this, the less frustrated you'll be... now let's move on.

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LET YOUR SERVER KNOW

I know people ridicule vegans for oversharing that we're vegan but sometimes you just have to. There have been times where I've mentioned it and the server will let me know which items on the menu to watch out for.
Don't guess, just ask them. It's part of their job to know the menu so don't be afraid to use them as a resource.

 

CALL IN AND/OR CHECK ONLINE

This is your greatest weapon in the fight against non-vegan food.
You should probably do this before going to the restaurant. Most restaurants will have a nutrition/allergen guide on their website or will have a little "V" beside their vegan options.
But somehow in 2018 some restaurants don't have a website available so for those still living in the stone age just make a quick call and simply hang up the phone if they tell you that they have amazing salads.


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TIP:

One of my favourite casual non-vegan restaurants to eat at is hero burger.
They're a fairly popular chain so they're easily accessible
AND they have their vegan soul burger combo
AND you can order a gluten free bun if that's also a concern for you.


MIX AND MATCH

If you want to get a meal but one of the sauces or something that comes on your sandwich isn't vegan then?? just?? replace it??
Most restaurants won't make a fuss about it. Just order it without the offending item and ask to replace it with something else!

 

DOWNGRADE TO AN APP OR SIDE

I personally hate having to eat 1/4 of a meal while watching my friends stuff their faces full of heaping plates of food but sometimes you just don't have a choice.
While everyone is ordering the Big Mac and chicken nuggets I just have to sit in the corner and humbly eat my fries.
Unfortunately, sometimes you need to be okay with that.

 

ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS

  1. Is there milk or cream in this sauce?

  2. Do you know if you use eggs to make this?

If you're gluten free you might also ask

  1. Is there soy sauce in this?

  2. Is the sauce thickened with flour?

  3. Are your fries coated in flour?

If your gut tells you to trust your server then go with your gut. But when I find that my server is having difficulty guiding me through their vegan options and they seem a bit unsure about what they're saying, you need to be able to figure things out.
Don't be rude about it, just be specific. It will help them help you!