So maybe you’ve decided to go vegan, you’re finding it really easy at home, but you’re worried about eating out, will it be difficult?
Well for the most part, no. But it does depend on where you are eating!
Increasingly there are more and more restaurants introducing vegan meals on their menus. Often you can tell items are vegan because they will most likely be labelled with (Ve) but some also label items as (V+) but do check the menu key if there is one.
There are quite a few chain restaurants which have vegan items on their menu now, my three favourites are:
- Yo! Sushi
- Pizza Express
Both Zizzi and Pizza Express offer pizzas with vegan cheese as well as vegan deserts. Yo! Sushi has recently updated its menu and now has 23 vegan items! Vegan Magherita with Fried Herby Potatoes at Zizzi, Pumpkin Katsu Curry at Yo! Sushi and Carrot Cake at Pizza Express Some other chain restaurants which offer vegan items are:
- ASK Italian
- Frankie & Benny’s
- Gourmet Burger Kitchen
- All Bar One
- The Real Greek
- Pizza Hut
- Las Iguanas
- Toby Carvery
- Bella Italia
- Whetherspoons (beware, they have a tendency to mess up vegan orders!)
- Turtle Bay
Wrap at Turtle Bay & Kare burosu ramen at Wagamama
Okay, so what if you’re not in one of these restaurants, and you can’t see anything labelled vegan on the menu? Well, the obvious answer is to ask if they have anything vegan or if they can create anything vegan. However, I have found that unfortunately a lot of people still don’t really understand what veganism is. So a safer bet is often to ask for the allergy menu, by law all restaurants in the UK must have an allergy menu. You don’t have to claim you are allergic to anything, they should still allow you to look at it. This way you can look at the vegetarian items and see which ones have milk and/or eggs in them.
If all of the vegetarian items have milk and/or eggs in them, don’t forget to check the sides. If there is absolutely nothing (this is unlikely!) then you can see if a salad (for example) could be made vegan by taking away the dairy dressing it’s served with.
You have to try and get creative! It is often easier to plan ahead and make sure there will be something for you to have. So if you know you’re going to a restaurant without any vegan options on the menu, you can phone ahead of time and ask if they can come up with something special for you. Don’t forget to check online as many restaurants have their allergy menu on their website, so you can check there for any options.
So, that’s restaurants. What about if you’re looking for something a bit more casual?
My go-to is Pret-A-Manger, they normally have at least three vegan options at a time, as well as offering plant milk for hot drinks and a lovely coconut hot chocolate! Coconut Hot Chocolate & Wrap at Pret-A-Manger Pretty much every shop now has a vegan option, including:
Most of these sell vegan sandwiches, wraps or salad bowls.
And as for coffee shops, Costa, Starbucks and Café Nero offer vegan lunch items as well as a selection of vegan drinks. You can see the allergy menu’s here of Costa and Starbucks to see if your favourite drink is vegan or can be veganised! You can see Café Nero’s website here, where you can filter the menu to only see vegan items.
Starbucks Vegan Chocolate & Raspberry Cake
Lastly, I want to recommend the website Happy Cow, you can search a location and it will show all the vegan restaurants and restaurants with vegan options in your local area!
The Meaty Burger, Chicken Nuggets, Garlic Bread and Banana Milkshakes at my local vegan Restaurant: Cafe Thrive, Southampton