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Dining out should be something to look forward to, whether it's Date Night or a Girls/Boys Night. But as an herbivore it can be a little intimidating if you're not sure what to look for. Restaurants in general are slowly becoming more vegan-friendly, and totally vegetarian restaurants are even cropping up right and left. Even if there isn’t a clearly marked vegan or vegetarian item on the menu, a vegan option can usually be made from their menu choices.
Remember that even if nothing appears to be vegan or vegan-friendly on the menu, don’t hesitate to ask. Remember that the restaurant wants your money and is here to serve you. Chances are, they’ll do whatever you ask to make sure they cash in. Also, be sure to thank an establishment for catering to your special needs. Sometimes they’ll even throw in a discount!
What to Order:
Italian: Pasta, Salad, Minestrone Soup
Watch Out For: Fresh Pasta, Ravioli
Mexican: Beans, Rice, Tortillas, Salsa
Watch Out For: Beans (make sure they are not cooking with meat or lard), rice (make sure it’s not cooked in chicken or beef broths)
Thai: Vegetable Dishes (be sure to specify no fish sauce!)
Indian: Vegetable or Bean/Lentil Dishes (be sure to specify no butter, ghee or cheese)
Ethiopian: Vegetable or Lentil Dishes (be sure to specify no butter)
Pizza: Veggie Pizza without Cheese
Watch out For: Breadsticks
Grills: Pepper Fajitas, Nachos (without cheese, meat or sour cream), Vegetarian Chili (without cheese), Salad
Watch out for: Make sure veggie burgers are actually vegan. Tell them not to butter your buns!
Anywhere: Salad, Baked Potato, Soups, Steamed Mixed Vegetables
If your not sure about something on the menu, ask! The more people ask for vegan versions, the more a restaurant will likely make it a regular menu item.