With more and more people following a plant-based diet, most restaurants now offer a good choice of vegetarian and vegan options on their menu. However, we get that eating out is one of the things new vegans feel anxious about.
You don’t want to cause a scene, hold the table up or feel like you’re making the chef go out of their way. But rest assured that most restaurants are happy to accommodate some changes to your menu choice to ensure they are vegetarian or vegan – or in some cases prepare you something different from scratch. And the more you get used to asking about certain menu items, the easier it will get. So take a breath, cast a smile and don’t be afraid to ask.
You don’t always have to eat a vegan or vegetarian restaurant. Many cuisines are vegan-friendly, including Indian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese and Italian. Find a list of vegan and veg-friendly restaurants around South Africa here.
If you’re unsure as to what to expect, look at the menu online or call or email ahead to put your mind at ease. Putting in a request or simply letting them know you are planning on eating there will help the restaurant prepare if need be.
Not entirely sure if the dish you want is vegan? Maybe it contains dairy, eggs or fish sauce. Customers make dietary requests more often than you think for various reasons including for allergies, religious and more. At the end of the day, you’re a paying customer. A simple request for a dish to be altered could mean that you get to enjoy that meal you were craving!
If you’re travelling and there could be a language barrier, you can download the Vegan Passport– a book that will ensure that you have zero issue explaining what you do and don’t eat, no matter where you are in the world.