We’re huge advocates for adopting a vegan lifestyle here at Little Soap HQ, but we also know that there are often hurdles that face us when we eat out. Honestly, there is no need to resign yourself to home cooked food forever (although there is nothing wrong with eating home cooked food- it’s often the most nutritious option for all!) and absolutely no need to turn down dinner dates either. Here are our top three little tips for eating out vegan.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get
Eating out with a specific dietary requirement can be hard work, but these days there is so much more awareness in general and our first (and probably most important) tip is: ask. Can’t see a vegan option on the menu? Ask if any dishes can be adapted, or if they can come without cheese, or without meat. Most restaurants will be only too happy to oblige. Further still lots of restaurants may have a few vegan options on the menu too- you just need to ask. Thanks so much to the fab Lucy at Hello Beautiful Bear and Sian at Quite Frankly She Said for the tip! And if you;re not sure whether or not you should be ‘bothering’ the staff with your request for a vegan friendly meal, Sian adds, “I have had so many waiting staff tell me that their chef is excited about creating something!”- so just go for it!
If you know you’re going to be eating out, plan ahead as much as you can. Remind your hosts that you are vegan, and if you need to then give them a list of foods that you cannot eat. If your’e eating out at a restaurant then check the menu online if you can, to get an idea of what you can order. It’s always a good idea to call them before you go to check how response they may be to making amendments to the menu- see the above tip and just ask!
Don’t restrict yourself
Just because you’re following a vegan way of eating, don’t assume that eating out is going to be impossible, or that you’re destined to order a salad everywhere you go. There are actually lots of vegan options out there, many of which absolutely do not require you to eat at a specifically vegan restaurant. The following are all very good options for you: Chinese, Indian, Italian, Thai, Spanish, Mexican. All of these cuisines have lots of vegan friendly options on their menus and are easily adapted too. As already advised, it’s a great idea to plan ahead- call the restaurant to double check, and always let them know you’re vegan and would like to order a vegan meal.
While it’s easier than ever to eat vegan while you’re out and about, it’s important to remember that not everyone will understand why you’ve chosen to follow this lifestyle, or indeed what it all entails. It’s simple enough,but you may need to be quite specific when you eat out. Don’t take offence. Politely explain what foods you cannot eat, and offer alternatives (that will almost certainly be available) that you can eat.