Eating Out- Veganizing Meals

Monday, October 27, 2014

Eating out with dietary restrictions can be tough at times, here are some of the things i usually go for when we're on the go in various places that might not have a lot of vegan options.


Lets get this boring stuff out of the way first because i pretty much only opt for salads if there are no other options. Something about eating out and only getting a salad seems like such a waste to me.

Dressings are the first thing to look out for, i usually just ask for oil and vinegar to avoid any ranch/creamy dressings.

Croutons are best to avoid also since they can contain dairy (either in the form of butter or other milk derivatives in the bread itself).

Cheese is pretty much the only substitute for meat as far as some restaurants are aware so always clarify, "no cheese, please", even if it isn't mentioned on the menu. Surprise-cheese is, sadly,  pretty common.


Most restaurants now do not use any animal fats for cooking but its always best to clarify, but other than that, they're pretty much a safe bet.

Sweet potato fries are my usual go-to because i think they're marginally healthier than regular fries. By themselves or with ketchup or bbq sauce, you could even ask what other dressings they have cause some fruity salad dressings are delicious with sweet potatoes.

Regular fries with ketchup is a pretty safe bet otherwise!


As long as you clarify that the pasta itself is vegan, there are always great pasta options for vegans.

For sauces, marinara is usually an option at most restaurants but if primavera is on the menu i'll usually opt for that since its just grilled veggies tossed with olive oil and spaghetti.

As with the salads, always request no cheese, even if its not on the menu!


Rarely are "veggie" soups in US restaurants vegan but its always worth asking.

The only things to check on are the stock/broth used, if it contains milk/cream, if it comes with cheese on top and if it has croutons in it.


Yep, i've made meals many times out of sides. Just ask for them on one plate so they don't bombard you with 4 tiny ones that you have no room for.

Rice, potatoes and other vegetable variations are the most common sides available but just be sure to ask if anything is cooked with or contains butter.

My favorites and tips

  • If places have mezze/hummus plates on the menu i'll usually opt for that, the pitta and hummus are super filling and the olives and other goodies are super tasty. Just remember to ask for no feta cause some places have that in their mezze plates.

  • Veggie burgers are always great but some are made with cheese so just ask if they mind showing you the ingredients/checking for you. Some restaurants make their own and they'll be able to tell you whats in those too. Be sure to ask for no cheese or mayo/creamy sauces on there.

  • Check their menu online first so you have a good idea of the options before you get there, that way you're prepared to ask for customized meals.

  • You can also call ahead and ask if they mind making up something vegan. A good chef will see it as a challenge and usually come up with something incredible. When we got married we had a private room at Bradley Ogden in Las Vegas (now closed) and he prepared amazing options for the vegans. Always express your appreciation after so the chef knows they did an awesome job!

  • Happy Cow is a great resource for vegans to find vegan restaurants and my sister swears by it.

  • Alternatively you can just search "vegan options in..." and usually find some good options. I do this in Vegas and am always surprised at the gems i find.

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions or customize things, if the carnivores can specify how they want their steak, you can ask for things without cheese!


currently there are 0 comments, would you like to add YOUR THOUGHTS?