Can you eat out when you follow a plant-based diet?
Amongst other 'common' reactions, I often get told that it must be hard for me to eat out because I follow a vegan diet.
I'm not sure about how it was before I went vegan, but over the last 5 years I haven't had a problem finding something delicious to eat when I've gone out.
The let down of eating out as a vegan
I recall going to one place where I only had one choice, but other than that, I am usually faced with a variety of choices which are interesting, tasty and a pleasure to eat.
Do vegans need to take precautions when they want to eat out?
Some people like to call up in advance and check that the restaurant can cater for them. Others see it as a way to give the Chef some time to think about what options they can offer. I usually turn up and ask what I can eat there and 99% of the time I've been able to enjoy a great meal.
Vegan options in any restaurant
Some the staff have offered to adapt vegetarian dishes to make them vegan, to allow for a wide range of choices. In some cases, there have been vegan dishes on the menu but they weren't labelled as such. Others have offered to created something that's off the menu, which I find exciting! :) Then there are others who include a range of options from the onset and their menu is marked with a 'V' for vegan or a 'VO' for vegan option.
Do what works for you
Well...for a start, don't be put off. Do whatever works for you - ring in advance or simply pop in. Just be prepared to explain what you will/won't/can/can't eat clearly in case they aren't familiar with terms like vegetarian and vegan.
You may find this tool useful.
"Veganism is not about giving anything up or losing anything; it is about gaining the peace within yourself that comes from embracing non-violence and refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable"
- Gary L Francione