With more than 12 years of vegetarianism under my belt, I’ve learned how to navigate a restaurant menu. I still love eating out, and while some restaurants leave me wishing I had eaten beforehand, I can almost always find a way to get a good meal. Here are a few of my suggestions for mastering the typical restaurant menu:
- Ask for Suggestions. Regardless of the restaurant, you probably aren’t the first veg who’s ever walked in. Ask your server for recommendations—sometimes they will point out something you may have overlooked on the menu. Chefs can usually tweak a menu item to your liking, and sometimes they even offer special “secret” meals you can’t find on the menu.
- Don’t Forget the Sides. Whenever I find myself at a very meat-centric restaurant, I always look to the side dishes. If the entrées don’t meet your standards, consider ordering a few side dishes to create a full meal. Corn on the cob, mixed vegetables and mac and cheese? A perfect veg meal.
- Try Something New. With a restricted diet, sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to find a suitable meal. Don’t think you like mushrooms? Try a portobello sandwich and you might be pleasantly surprised. Never tried risotto? You get the idea.