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The DO's and DON'Ts of Eating Out

We’ve all been there. You know, that moment when your friends ask you out to dinner at a nonvegan restaurant and your mind goes into panic mode.

Oh my gahhh. What am I going to eat? Will the waiter look at me all weird if I ask about ingredients?

Take a deep breath and listen up, because we’ve got the essential “do’s” and “don’ts” of eating out that’ll get you through this each and every time.

Ready? Here we go:

dos and donts of eating out

DON’T sit at home feeling defeated, thinking you can’t go out to eat ever again. You can! Unless you live in a city with vegan restaurants on every corner, you’ve just gotta suck it up and work with what you’ve got.

DO check out our HappyCow app! If you don’t have any vegan or vegetarian restaurants in your area, this rad app can at least help you find vegan-friendly restaurants in your area.

dont-do-2-fixed

DON’T go into an unfamiliar restaurant unprepared. Let’s be honest—the most stressful part of a new place is scouring an uncharted menu. The good news? It’s totally avoidable!

DO be prepared! Check the menu online to see what your options are, call ahead to check on questionable ingredients, or use our HappyCow app to see if the restaurant is already vegan-friendly!

dont-do-3-fixed

DON’T harass the waiter about miniscule animal ingredients. You may be asking, “Are there any monoglycerides in the hamburger bun?” but what your waiter and your friends are actually hearing is “Being vegan is hard. Oh, and vegans are annoying as hell.”

DO take one for the team. Sure, the possibly animal-derived “xyz” in that hamburger bun may be gross, but you’re sending the message to your friends that being vegan is hard, meaning that you’re actually hurting animals instead of helping them on this one. Remember: Being vegan isn’t about purity—it’s about reducing animal suffering.

dos and donts of eating out

DON’T be that vegan who orders boring, plain food while everyone else eats “normal” food.

DO veganize, veganize, veganize! Most restaurants these days have vegan-friendly pasta dishes, delish salads, and veggie plates on the menu, and lots even have an entire menu section dedicated to vegetarian dishes that are easy enough to veganize (just nix the eggs and dairy products!).

dos and donts of eating out

DON’T be rude if the waiter gets your order wrong and accidentally brings out a cheese-coated disaster. Snapping at the waiter sends the universal message that all vegans are, well, assholes (and we’re not!).

DO BE NICE. Sometimes, waiters make mistakes, but there’s a kind, sassy-free way to handle these types of situations. Remember that often times, you may be the first vegan most people have come into contact with, so if you come across as rude and demanding, folks will assume that we’re all that way—and again, we’re not!

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See? Eating out at nonvegan restaurants doesn’t have to involve a full-scale freak-out. Follow the easy steps above, and you’ll be golden (and you may even convince your friends to go vegan in the meantime—bonus!).

If you’re more of the dining-in type of person, sign up for FREE vegan recipes below, and whip up something delish in the comfort of your own home instead. :)

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  • Profile photo of nora03

    72 days ago

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    I knewer knew that there was any type of animal product in hamburger buns! Can I eat them?

  • Profile photo of hakred

    620 days ago

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    0

    This is cute. <3 it. :)

  • Profile photo of felix2433

    666 days ago

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    3

    I laughed so hard at “Ain’t nobody got time for this”

  • Profile photo of TheVeganDancer

    716 days ago

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    4

    LOOL this totally helped me :) thank you, but what if you go to a party, and the cake.. isnt vegan? and ice cream too? how do u avoid it? someone plz help 😛

    • Profile photo of nora03

      72 days ago

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

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      Usally I bring my own cupcake :) but if you can’t you can always ask nicely for maybe some thing sweet that maybe comes from a vending machine like peanut butter crackers! <3

  • Profile photo of callmecalifornia

    726 days ago

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    1

    Very helpful! And the boy’s face in the last slide- I died laughing!

  • Profile photo of alexblue

    729 days ago

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    And if they make a mistake and you’re supernice about asking them to correct it, sometimes they will give it to you free. That happened to me once when I found melted cheese on my vegan mushroom burger! :)

  • 739 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Love, love, love this…

  • Profile photo of sunshiningimsmiling910

    739 days ago

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    4

    I loved this and it’s such a comfort that I’m not the only vegan who feels like she’s sometimes taking one for the team by not asking about the tiniest details. I sincerely LOVE peta in so many ways.

  • Profile photo of Mulamoney

    740 days ago

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    4

    This was a great article! I loved the line about how veganism isn’t about purity and that it’s about reducing animal suffering <3

  • Profile photo of thrillraceresq

    740 days ago

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    Would you get annoyed if someone working in a restaurant didn’t know what “dairy” meant, or would you just be happy that you don’t have to take a crappy restaurant job and instead leave it to the unqualified?

  • Profile photo of emmy440

    753 days ago

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    1

    I loved this!! Thanks so much!! :3

  • Profile photo of emcleod1993

    760 days ago

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    Loved this! Was very humorous and informative for those vegans who give us all a bad rep 😉