Plant-Based Restaurant Finds (Making It Work)

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon Category: Advice

I'm always getting questions about plant-based options at restaurants. In fact, I have an entire section dedicated to dining out in my new book, The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living. (It's also available in Audible format!)

I've blogged plenty of times about my plant-based dining adventures (if you're looking for a specific city, use the search bar at the top of the page), so this time I asked Herbies on Facebook to share their experiences while dining out.

Sure, eating at a lot of these places may not be ideal, but it's nice to know there are options -- and lots of them!

Applebee's: "This is their Strawberry & Avocado salad over a bed of arugula and romaine with zesty chili lime vinaigrette, which is normally served with chicken. I asked to substitute it with blueberries and pecans instead and they did without charging me!"

Image via Desiree N

Bonefish Grill: "After talking with the waitress, I found the couscous is cooked in water (not broth), so I ordered a side of couscous, a side of broccoli, and asked for some of their mango salsa. The salsa was great over the broccoli."

California Pizza Kitchen: "They always sub avocado for chicken in any salad free of charge."

Carrabba's: "There are several pasta dishes they can make that don't include cheese. Just tell your server and they will take care of you."

Cheesecake Factory: "You can order the new kale and quinoa salad without parm (sub in "Skinnylicious Mustard Vinaigrette" dressing). It is both vegan and oil free."

Image via Kelly D

Chili's: "They have a menu online to identify non-dairy items before you get there so you can "be ready." I ordered a salad without the chicken and no substitute, and they charged me for just a side salad! It was so delicious!"

Cracker Barrel: "This restaurant is clearly VERY Southern, which would seem impossible to eat plant-strong. But they have a vegetable platter that you can choose options from. I had a plain baked sweet potato with a fruit cup, steamed broccoli and a tossed salad. You do have to vigilant about asking for the items prepared plain though."

Culver's: "I had the Strawberry Fields salad and was surprised when they actually took money off when i asked for no meat and cheese."

Jimmy John's: "This is the #6 on wheat. No cheese, no mayo. Add mustard, extra tomato, extra cucumbers, extra hot peppers, extra lettuce, extra sprouts. Add onion and oregano. Sounds complicated but it's very easy to order on-line and they always have gotten my orders right."

Image Via Jen H

In-N-Out: "You can order a veggie burger, no sauce, add ketchup, mustard, and pickle. You can also add tomatoes, lettuce and onions."

Outback Steakhouse: "I had a plate of sides with a dinner salad with no cheese, grilled asparagus, steamed mixed veggies, and a plain sweet potato."

Panera: "They will sub avocado for chicken for no extra charge!"

Texas Roadhouse: "I get their veggie plate and order a veganized salad, baked potato, mushrooms and steamed veggies." [**Editorial Note: It has come to our attention that Texas Roadhouse soaks their potatoes and sweet potatoes in bacon grease.**]

Waffle House: "You can order the hash browns at Waffle House with NO OIL OR BUTTER and pile on extra servings of veggies (mushrooms, tomatoes, jalapeños)."

Wendy's: "They took $1.20 off of their full size Apple Pecan salad for removing the chicken and it comes cheese-free! Win!"

The Yardhouse: "I just went through the menu and asked the chef to grill up all the veggies he had. He did."

Image via David G

What are some plant-based meals or substitutes you've made when dining out?

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