Dining out, for me, has been the biggest challenge of being vegan. Here are a few different restaurants I’ve tried and what I ordered:
Prior to becoming vegan, I had never had a veggie burger. And let me tell you- I was definitely missing out. Veggie burgers have come such a long way and some might even have you second guessing the fact that you aren’t eating meat. This explains why they are hands down, the most common vegan/vegetarian menu item at restaurants (besides salads).
- Red Robin– I was so impressed with Red Robin’s delicious veggie burger as well as the interactive allergen menu on their website. However, making their veggie burger vegan does require some alterations including: switching the bun to ciabatta, removing mayo/sauce, and also removing cheese. Their fries are also vegan.*
*If you want to get super technical they could be considered non vegan- due to cross contact risk with non-vegan items cooked in the frying oil. This is the case with many restaurants. Cross contact is not a concern of mine personally, so I ordered/enjoyed them.
I could eat pizza every day for the rest of my life (seriously) and lucky for me, that hasn’t changed since my transition to a vegan diet.
- Ian’s Pizza (Milwaukee)- Pictured on the left. Ian’s vegan menu is absolutely incredible. Not only do they offer vegan cheese, but a wide variety of meat substitutes and sauces as well. No need to ask for substitutions or removal of ingredients as they have a specific menu designed for a vegan diet.
- Papa John’s– Pictured on the right. I have always loved their pizza, so I was pretty excited when I learned that their hand tossed crust and tomato sauce were both vegan. The ordering process is fairly simple but can be strange for employees as they don’t make a lot of pizzas without cheese. This is why the first few times I ordered delivery, my pizza arrived to my door with cheese. I quickly learned a trick of adding “No cheese please! :)” in the “special instructions” section of the checkout page. One might be skeptical about how a pizza without cheese would taste but you’d be surprised! When you load it up with all your favorite veggies and include flavorful additions like the Papa John’s garlic dipping sauce (yes- totally vegan), you won’t miss the cheese as much as you’d expect.
My Go-to Starbucks Orders
I don’t think I could fully function a single day without coffee and honestly, I don’t think I’ll try 😉 . When I don’t make a pot myself at home before work, my go-to is almost always Starbucks. At home- my vegan coffee adjustment was simple. I brew my coffee as normal and just replaced my creamer with almond milk. Starbucks, however, took a little bit of research to figure out what I could/could not order. In addition to the obvious (not ordering dairy milk) I needed to pay attention to other additions in their beverages. Luckily, Starbucks’ website is AMAZING at breaking down all the ingredients in their drinks. It made it super easy to see how I could fix up my favorite beverages to not include animal products.
Iced Caramel Macchiato-
I love this classic espresso drink hot or iced. All I had to do to make this delicious drink vegan was ask for no caramel sauce (it contains cream) substitute almond milk in for the dairy.
My love for frappuccino probably started around the same time as everyone else’s- junior high. I don’t think I ever grew out of it though. I still find myself ordering them whenever I get the chance. For the mocha frappuccino specifically (yes the flavor does matter- not all are vegan), all I had to do was ask for no whipped cream and as always, substitute almond milk in for dairy.
Disclaimer: Starbucks does not guarantee that any of their products are free from allergens (dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, wheat, and others) as they use shared equipment to store, prepare, and serve them