I enjoy trying new restaurants with friends or family. It’s a fun way to sample new cuisine and spend time catching up with your loved ones. If you’re thinking about becoming vegetarian or vegan and you enjoy eating out like I do, you might be nervous about finding things to eat when you’re out. Here are some tips I’ve put together for Meat-Free Week:
1. Plan Ahead If you have a say in where you’ll get to eat, check out http://www.happycow.net/, a great site that lists local veg*n restaurants to your neighborhood. If you aren’t able to eat at restaurant on the Happy Cow list, no worries! Check out the menu of the place you’ll be eating at to learn about the options that fit your dietary needs.
2. Ask Questions Maybe there’s a soup you’d like to try but aren’t sure if it’s made with chicken broth. Don’t be afraid to ask your server if he or she knows more about the ingredients in dishes you’re interested in.
3. Be Flexible Perhaps you don’t see many veg*n options on the menu. You might see a pasta dish with shrimp–ask your server if it’d be possible for you to have that dish made without the shrimp. I’ve asked for many dishes without the meat and usually the restaurant has been very accommodating to my needs. Often times they’ll even offer a substitute for me; extra guacamole, for example, instead of chicken.
4. Eat Something Beforehand If your friends are celebrating a birthday at a steakhouse, it may be difficult to find a filling meal option. In cases where I know I’m unlikely to find something I can eat, I try to eat a healthy meal before joining the festivities. That way, I still get to enjoy great company, and perhaps dessert, without feeling left out.
Eating out with people you love is always fun. With a little planning, being a vegetarian or vegan shouldn’t hold you back from trying out new foods and spending time with friends and family. Do you have any tips for making sure you’ll have something to eat when you’re exploring a new restaurant?