How to Eat Out Vegan (Without Feeling Weird About It)

Do you ever just get a water because you’re afraid to ask for substitutes and don’t want to “pull out your vegan card” in the middle of a restaurant?

Well, first of all, stop that! You’re worth a few questions.

Restaurants, like any business, are successful because of their customers! They are there to serve you. So don’t be a jerk, obvs, but don’t be afraid to take up a little space and use your voice a bit- especially if it’s to ask questions about delicious options you might not otherwise know about!

Next, take the awkward away by deciding what you’re comfortable with.

If you don’t like raised eyebrows and feel weird saying you’re vegan (I feel you, where I live, meat and potatoes are like the ONLY food groups to a lot of people! There’s a lot of judgment sometimes and it can be scary to face that at first. No shame.), start looking for vegetarian options on the menu, and then just ask if there are dairy free options. A lot of the time you can just say no cheese.

So many people are lactose-intolerant or avoid dairy for health reasons that there’s not really a lot of judgment around removing dairy from your dish or drink.

Finally, research ahead of time and keep an eye on vegan-friendly places in your area!

If I’m going somewhere new with a group of people, sometimes I’ll check out the menu beforehand. Most places keep their menus available online now because so many people want to know the nutrition facts of foods they eat out. If you can’t find a menu online, look up vegan options at _______ and see what comes up! The internet is full of answers. :)

You can always call ahead as well.

Bonus tip- pay attention to easy accidentally vegan options!

You’ll have a running list of them in your brain in no time. Pasta is almost always an option! A lot of the times pesto dishes have cheese in the pesto, but if you go for regular tomato sauce you’re usually good. Salads are obviously a good option, and there are so many now that it’s not going to feel limiting. Try ordering a salad with nuts and berries and a vinaigrette- so good!

The truth:

Ultimately, when you make a decision that goes against the grain of societal norms, you’re gonna have to get a little uncomfortable sometimes. I hope you find it in yourself to celebrate the decision you’re making and remember the lives you’re protecting with your decision. You’re part of an important healing movement in the world and that’s not something to feel ashamed of. What others think about it is their own problem, not yours. You’re fantastic, so don’t be afraid to ask for a cruelty free meal or drink and enjoy every second of it. Who knows, you might even make some vegan friends!

Happy eating!