I prefer eating at vegan restaurants with the ease of knowing that anything I order will be 100% vegan. While I love eating at vegan restaurants and supporting them as much as I can, it’s not always an option for me. For the most part, I prepare my own food at home. However, there are times when I find myself in unfamiliar places in which I have to rely on google maps to find vegan-friendly restaurants near me. Also, when people invite me to lunch or dinner, I don’t always have the opportunity of choosing the restaurant.

Although some may disagree with me, I believe eating at non-vegan restaurants may actually be a good thing. There’s an increasing number of people who are converting into a more plant-based lifestyle. By requesting vegan food at non-vegan restaurants, we are creating a demand and many restaurants are starting to include vegan-friendly items on their menus to fulfill those needs. Even though this may seem like a long process, it assures that you will be better prepared when eating out.

  1. Research and be prepared. Find their website, or look at reviews from Yelp or Happy Cow. This will give you a better idea of the type of food they offer. You can also call before you go to determine if the restaurant suits your needs.
  2. Look at the menu. Some menus have “vegetarian/vegan” labels next to certain dishes. If it is not labeled, make sure to ask about the ingredients. Many items such as pasta or bread may seem vegan, but always double check to make sure. Also, you can try customizing or creating your own dish whenever possible.
  3. Talk to your server. When ordering, make sure to mention your dietary restrictions. I find that doing this will allow them to better assist you. For example, they may confirm with the chef whether they can prepare a dish for you or not.
  4. Inspect your food. Sometimes, there may be misunderstandings between you and the server, or the server and the chef. It happens, so always make sure you get what you ordered. There’s been a few times in which my dish had to be remade. No big deal, just kindly mention it to your server.
  5. Give feedback. Make sure to comment on their service or leave an online review about your experience. This will help other people who are on a similar diet.