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Vegan Valentine’s Day Dining Out Tips

Vegan Valentine’s Day Dining Out Tips: Plan Ahead

Dining out is one of life’s pleasures. Someone else shops, cooks, and cleans up while you relax and enjoy a dish you may never make for yourself at home. If you’re thinking of taking someone special out for Valentine’s Day and you follow a vegan lifestyle, (and you don’t live in a place where there are lots of vegan options), you might be discouraged – or cautious. Dining out begs lots of questions about how the food was prepared.

Dining out for Valentine's dayMaybe you’ve eaten at a restaurant where they tell you that yes, there are vegan – or vegetarian – options and then you find out that the vegetable soup is made with chicken stock or that the refried beans are made with lard? Hate when that happens. It’s disappointing and can be awkward on a special occasion like Valentine’s Day. Set yourself up for success by calling ahead, rather than waiting till you’re seated, menu in hand, with great expectations that the dishes you think you can eat, are not animal-free. Here are some questions to ask when you’re planning on dining in a non-vegan restaurant:

  • Is the soup made with meat, chicken or vegetable stock?
  • Are the beans cooked with pork or another kind of meat, or lard?
  • What kind of bread do you use? Does it contain dairy or eggs?
  • Is the pasta made here? Does it contain egg?
  • Is there a sauce? What kind of sauce? Is there butter in it? (Many tomato sauces contain butter.)
  • What’s in the salad dressing? (raw egg, anchovies, etc.)
  • What brand of veggie burgers do you use? Do they contain egg or dairy?

Be polite, be clear and be appreciative for taking your needs seriously. You may find that the owner or chef will reflect the needs of vegan customers in their future menu planning.

Dining out as a vegan does present some challenges, but they are getting easier to overcome thanks to good resources, new restaurants, consumer demand and a little thinking ahead on our part.

In just in case you live in the Hudson Valley or New York City, check out our Compassionate Cuisine Champions when choosing a restaurant!



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