Veganism requires discipline, research, and lots of effort. Sadly, most restaurants don’t even try to cater to vegan guest. They see it as frivolous to appeal to such a small portion of the population. As a result many vegans with meat eating friends are forced to salads with nothing but lettuce and tomatoes with only certain kinds of dressings.
Why not just cook at home? While I am a huge home cooking enthusiast, going to restaurants makes you feel satisfied without any work. Sometimes vegans are bad cooks or they must travel a lot.
I myself am a pescetarian but I feel great when I order vegan things. Here are some of the best and worst restaurants for vegans, as well as the hidden animal products a vegan needs to avoid.
As far as fast food goes, there are few options for vegans. Restaurants like McDonalds use meat to flavor their fries so you may want to avoid fries you are uncertain about. Most fast food restaurants revolve around meat products and breads that utilize dairy. If you are on the road it may be better to eat at a gas station and pick up some vegan snacks.
However if you want a real meal, Backyard Burgers, or Burger King is the way to go. They both offer great veggie burgers. As far as veggie burgers, Backyard Burgers has one of the best ones anywhere. These two restaurants have taken a step toward being vegetarian friendly. As a vegan you will need to order the patty without the bun to make it a little more appetizing you may want to get a salad to crumble the patty on top of.
Pizza hut has a salad bar available all day making it also worth a stop, though Ruby Tuesday’s has a much better selection. Subway and Quizno’s offer vegetable sandwiches that taste delicious and are prepared how you want them. Arby’s has a baked potato. Papa John’s has vegan dough and sauce just leave off the cheese and load it with veggies
Vegans often turn to ethnic food’s like Thai, Japanese, and Chinese food because they offer a wide variety of vegetable and rice blends that pack as much flavor as the juicy meats the restaurants also offer. Asian countries have cooking styles that revolve around rice which is a staple in vegan dieting. Every Asian restaurant you find will have at least one dish suitable for no-meat diets.
Mexican food is also great for vegans if you know where to go. Most Mexican restaurants have refried beans which are completely vegan and are great with tortilla chips. Some of the fancier Mexican restaurants make vegetable dishes with a great spicy Latin flair.
Popular Restaurant Chains:
P.F. Changs – Almost everything on their menu can be turned vegan
Panera Bread: their bread may not be vegan but their black bean soup is both veg and heavenly
Chili’s: At Chili’s they offer a black bean patty. Tell them to leave off the ranch and Parmesan Cheese. They have wonderful salad’s and side items. Chips and salsa and Vegetable Fajita’s with a few omissions make Chili’s one of the better veg friendly restaurants.
Cracker Barrel: This may not seem to great at first glance but their plate full of their vegetable side items will change your mind
Ruby Tuesday’s: Amazing Salad Bar and great Veggie Burger
Macaroni Grill: Probably the best Italian restaurant for vegans. Wonderful salads and several dishes that can be turned veg.
As a vegan or even a vegetarian you won’t find any special dishes at Friday’s. Opt. Out when you get invited to Friday’s or you will be at a huge loss . They have salads that are constructed around the meaty flavors that vegans must leave off. You will leave with a bored palate.
There are plenty of other great restaurants for vegans the best way to find them is to ask their staff. I would recommend taking menus from most of the restaurants in town and keeping a notepad with their vegan dishes written on it for quick reference. With a little effort you can make eating out as a vegan just as fun as it would be to a meat eater.