Steakhouses and Vegans
As a vegan, the idea of going to a steakhouse seems out of the question. However, people would be surprised that many steakhouses have several plant-based food options. If individuals can even eat at one of the most vegan-unfriendly restaurants (steakhouses) they can probably go vegan anywhere.
But people might wonder, how to eat vegan in a steakhouse? Most steakhouses don’t have complex menu items, meaning anyone can easily create their custom meals most vegetables they offer are either steamed or grilled which makes it healthier and some steakhouses are now even adding tofu in their menus which is a win-win situation for vegans.
Here Are Some Ordering Tips When Vegans Go To A Steakhouse:
Aside from customizing meals and settling for what the restaurant has to offer, here are some additional tips for vegans when they want to eat out at a steakhouse or restaurant.
1. Add heftiness to the dish
When customizing the dish, people have two great options to add some heft to their meals, sweet potatoes and avocado are good healthy options that individuals can add to their meals to fill them up more.
Avocados and potatoes are a common staple amongst vegans, and everyone knows they make amazing salad toppers that add in extra fiber to keep a person full. Vegans may also ask to add some nuts or seeds to their salad to fill them up better, such as sunflower seeds and sliced almonds.
2. Check the salad menu
Vegans do not have to worry about limiting themselves to this dish when visiting a steakhouse, however, salads are a great base for any hearty meal. Scan their salad menu and search for basic house salad staples such as tomatoes, carrots, olives, artichokes, cucumbers, etc.
But if individuals want to create their salad with the fixings they want, they can also ask the restaurant to create one that is tailored just for them.
Tip: Avoid adding croutons on the salad since they are usually made from butter and milk.
3. Hold the sauce
Steakhouses are infamous for slathering their food from steaks to salads in sauces. Vegans should inform their waiter/waitress that their food preference so they can be wary of any vegan-unfriendly sauces that chefs may add in the meal, such as butter and mayo-based sauces.
They can also request to use olive oil or other plant-based oils when cooking their meals since most restaurants use butter.
4. Side dishes and dips
Not all vegans are fond of salads and this may prove to be a problem when dining out, however, they can still eat plant-based meals at a steakhouse, sides are staples in any restaurant, people may order side dishes such as grilled asparagus or regular baked potato.
Most steakhouses can give vegans a meal based on their available ingredients; however, it is encouraged to create and customize meals, do not settle for less, and inspire others to do the same.
5. Extra toppings
To add more fun and flavor to a traditional salad, vegans may opt on adding sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, diced apples, roasted Brussels sprouts, and more on their salads. Most steakhouses offer these toppings making it convenient for everyone.
6. Add in some carbs
Steakhouses usually bring bread at the table before taking orders, so ask if it is vegan-friendly and dig in and if there is steak, there is bound to be some potatoes, and that means fries.
Fries are a good option for any vegan if they want to be filled up, although they are not the healthiest option, everyone can indulge every once a while, can’t they? Baked potatoes are also a good option along with grain options such as rice.
7. Order a fun beverage
Though most steakhouses still have limited vegan options, vegans can always treat themselves with a fun alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink, pair up these drinks with a hefty side dish, individuals are guaranteed to have a blast and not feel left out.
8. Plant-based soups
Aside from baked potatoes and fries, steakhouses also offer plenty of soup options such as plain vegetable soups, black bean soups, and potato-based soups.
Vegan-friendly desserts are still relatively rare at a steakhouse, though vegans can still get their hands on one. If the restaurant offers apple pie they may request for some caramelized apples, and if the steakhouse offers berry desserts, individuals can request a bowl of berries.
But some steakhouses offer soy, non-dairy, or coconut-based ice creams, so always ask the servers on what they have to offer.
10. Speak up
The final tip for vegans is to not be afraid to ask. Servers in restaurants are there to cater to everyone’s needs and provide them with excellent service. Be polite and ask for modifications in the dishes if necessary.
Now that we have established some tips that can help vegans maximize their options and enjoyment in any steakhouse, let us look at some of the renowned fast-food chains and restaurants that are known to be vegan friendly.
Which Restaurant Chains Are Vegan Friendly?
Everyone can finagle their vegan creations in any restaurant, but vegans do not have to worry about thinking what next concoction or creation they must whip up when visiting a restaurant because there are many restaurants now offering vegan-friendly options.
Here are some renowned fast-food chains and restaurants around the world that can cater to all vegans.
1. Olive Garden
A casual dining restaurant that specializes in American-Italian cuisine. Many options in the olive garden are vegan friendly, vegans can order salads that have oil and vinegar instead of “Italian” dressing, breadsticks with a garlic topping made of soy, Bruschetta which is grilled bread slathered with garlic, salt, and olive oil, and more.
2. Burger King
A world-renowned fast-food chain, Burger King has recently released its new vegan menu, offering many options for all meals of the day. Starting from their fries which are made of 100% vegetable oil, has browns, oatmeal which individuals can ask to replace milk with water, and many more.
3. The Cheesecake Factory
Although an American restaurant company, this restaurant is known and loved globally, offering plenty of vegan options such as their Vegan Cobb Salad which is a superfood that is guaranteed to fill up patrons, avocado toast, French fries, and more.
4. Baskin Robbins
Ice cream is still a tricky subject when it comes to vegans, not a lot of restaurants offer this beloved frozen treat that is vegan friendly. However, Baskin Robbins has decided to change that and begin integrating a new plant-based menu, introducing flavors such as Non-Dairy Chocolate Extreme and Non-Dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, they are made of a base blend of almond butter and coconut oil.
5. TGI Fridays
This restaurant is dotted around the world and for good reason, besides their good food and a great theme, they have tons of awesome vegan options to choose from, such as their Black Bean and Avocado Burger, Chips With Salsa and Guacamole, Seasoned or Sweet Potato Fries, and much more.
And that is just some of the best vegan-friendly restaurants that offer some of the best plant-based food options, catering to vegans from all over the world. Nobody must settle for less and restaurants are making sure of that.
Additional Tips Before Visiting A Restaurant As A Vegan
We have established the methods vegans can opt for when dining at steakhouses and listed some of the best vegan-friendly restaurant chains, here are some additional tips to keep in mind before visiting any restaurant chain.
1. Plan ahead
For any vegan, it is always ideal to do intensive research on a restaurant before going to it to avoid conflicts, scope out the restaurant’s menu online and check if they offer any vegan menu items. Some vegetarian menu items can be customized to be completely vegan friendly.
2. Call the restaurant
If individuals do not see any obvious vegan meal options on the restaurant’s menu, it is advised to call the restaurant themselves and ask if they can accommodate a vegan.
3. Eat beforehand
If vegans have no choice but opt for limited options at a restaurant, they may eat a light meal prior to visiting the restaurant to ensure that they do not feel deprived at the restaurant.
4. Check online reviews
Try to look at online reviews regarding the restaurant in mind, vegans can also leave reviews on restaurants they deem to lack vegan-friendly options to help spread awareness to food establishments.
Always remember that asking for vegan options at steakhouses and other restaurant chains is a great way to ensure they offer cruelty-free and animal-friendly fare. Make sure to follow the tips mentioned above before visiting any food establishment and know which restaurant chains are vegan friendly.
Being a vegan can be tough but remember that it is for a good cause and never settle for less and follow our guide on how to eat vegan in a steakhouse, always be prepared and flexible, that way, vegans can tackle any night out.
References used in the article:
Which restaurants chains are vegan friendly?