Although many restaurants base a large number of their menu items around non-vegan options, fortunately most restaurants have vegan options. It may seem difficult sometimes to decipher which menu items are vegan, or even vegetarian, but after some time, it will become easier. As you find out what area restaurants have options for you – and options that you like! – finding vegan options at restaurants should become easier to find.
Vegans, who abstain from consuming (and otherwise, using) all animal products, may not make up a big percentage of the world’s population, but that number has been increasing as more and more stories on the news tell of contamination in animal products, the environmental, and otherwise detrimental effects, of using animals as a food source, and food allergies. So, many restaurants in turn, have made sure they have options for people who choose to eat a diet free of animal products.
One thing you can do when first going to a restaurant is ask your waitress or waiter if they have any vegan menu items, or if they are unsure about what classifies as vegan or not, the waitress or waiter can ask the chef and/or manager. Although many people are still not familiar with the specifics of a vegan lifestyle, many times restaurant managers and chefs are faced with this question and have done research to make sure they know what the vegan options on their restaurant are.
By reading the description and ingredients of the menu items, you can have a good idea of what is vegan or not. However, you want to make sure that there are no obviously not vegan ingredients used in the cooking process, such as milk-based butter, or even lard (pig fat). You also want to make sure the ingredients of other questionable products are dairy and egg-free, such as pasta sauce, pasta, bread, and breading. Often times, a safe bet a restaurant will be getting a salad, and thankfully, many restaurants are willing to customize your entrée based on your dietary preferences. So, if you are resorting to a salad, ask for additional vegetables, fruit, nuts, or legumes to make your salad more flavorful and filling.
After a while you will begin to get a grasp of the vegan options at your favorite options so you won’t have to worry about compromising your beliefs or diet to dine out with family or friends. Becoming vegan is a step towards a healthier, more humane lifestyle, and the more the word gets spread – even by simply mentioning the desire for more vegan options at restaurants – the more likely the number of vegans will grow.
You can read more of my vegan-friendly articles here!