Dining in restaurants can be challenging for new vegans because they might only find minimal options. Most diners want to enjoy an experience where a restaurant offers a menu with ample vegan or vegetarian options. Depending on where you live, you might have access to such places, and their population is rapidly increasing. But eating vegan entails asking questions about the preparation methods and ingredients.
It also entails having the courage to ask for modifications while still thinking about the server’s energy and time, the chef’s vision, and the kitchen’s limits. You can’t avoid going to a restaurant that doesn’t offer these options, but don’t fret. One important aspect of dining out on a vegan diet is being flexible with the menu provided.
For example, the waiter recommends pasta dishes or veggie sides. You can ask them not to hold off the cheese. Being creative with a meal will ensure you enjoy your dining experience. Below is a list of popular cuisines you can opt for if you’re on a vegan diet.
Most Greek diners or restaurants offer various selections, including plant-based items. It can include baba ganoush, grilled vegetables, or hummus, making it one of the healthiest cuisines you can opt for if you’re on a plant-based diet. You can start with hummus paired with vegetable dolmades, olives, and pita bread. You’ll also get a variety of dips. One of which is baba ganoush, composed of tahini, a sesame seed spread, and eggplants. Olive spread and hummus will provide you with lots of protein.
If you’re already full after eating these starts, you can order a Greek salad without the feta cheese. Most traditional Greek salads are full of cucumber, peppers, olives, onions, and tomatoes, so you’ll be more satisfied with this. You can order grilled vegetables with rice, roasted eggplants, or a grilled veggie wrap for the main course.
Thai food is another cuisine you can opt for if you’re on a plant-based diet. Most Thai restaurants offer vegan options, including curry with tofu and chickpeas. Or, the kitchen can quickly whip up a plant-based recipe. Most veggie dishes are plant-based, but make sure to ask the establishment if their preparation methods use animal fat for frying or chicken stock for cooking. Most people on a vegan diet picked vegetable pad thai, vegetable curry, and vegetable spring roll as their favorites.
You’ll also have to check that your dish doesn’t have dairy or egg hidden in the sauce or dip, so ask the server to hold these.
Dining out in Japanese restaurants is another way to find plant-based options. You can choose from a wide selection of plant-based appetizers, including avocado salad, seaweed salad, miso soup, or edamame. Most Japanese restaurants also offer veggie sushi options like mixed veggie rolls, sweet potato rolls, avocado rolls, cucumber rolls, and asparagus rolls. Others also add peanuts to give their rolls more flavor and crunch.
Don’t hesitate to ask about the plant-based options available. Usually, you can find a lot of them on the menu. For example, you’re ordering your favorite veggie tempura. You’ll have to ask the server if they’re using vegetable oil for cooking.
Chinese food is another cuisine that offers a variety of plant-based options. It’s centered on vegetables, especially if you want your favorite meal with tofu. If your stomach isn’t in the mood for a heavy meal, you can order veggie dumplings or rolls with brown rice, which is a better alternative than the starchy variety. Ordering fried rice is challenging because it might include eggs. But you can order that without the egg.
Most restaurants will also accommodate your needs if you inform them about your diet and ask them to point out the plant-based meals. You can order tofu with rice, eggplant, or steamed or mixed vegetables for the main course.
Ordering a salad is the best way to start your Italian dining experience. It’ll fill you up more than expected. Don’t forget to pair that with a dressing, vinegar, or oil that isn’t non-vegan and dairy-based. Then, you can go for the calamari. Hold the cheese, shrimp, and octopus while keeping the vegetables and pizza. Eating a pizza with tomato sauce, peppers, mushrooms, and veggies can be a new experience.
You can also opt for the whole-wheat pasta dish with the puttanesca olive sauce, which can satisfy your cravings for parmesan or red sauce. Be firm in informing the waiter that you want to hold the dairy. It makes everyone back off, quelling peer pressure.
Dining out doesn’t have to be hard for people on a plant-based diet. You don’t have to limit your options to vegan-only establishments to get a delicious but healthy meal.