Best Vegan Restaurants Near Me
Moving to a plant based diet was one of the best things I decided to do. I made the transition over a year ago now and do not regret it at all. However, the one thing that is a little bit of a frustration – especially when travelling – is trying to find good vegan restaurants near me. Finding a good vegan restaurant near me has been the only major challenge, however, once you do your research you’ll likely find that there are more options than you thought originally.
Find Vegan Restaurants Near Me – Use The Map
One of the best ways to find a good vegan restaurant near me is by using the attached Google Map. It will display all of the local vegan restaurants in your area and help connect you with the best one for you. You’ll be able to get hours of operation, phone number, and even their website so that you can check out their menu before going.
Vegan vs. Vegetarian Restaurants Near Me
If you are a vegan then you do not eat eggs and dairy. Make sure you double check the restaurants around you that claim to be vegan to make sure they aren’t simply vegetarian.
Vegetarian restaurants near me will use ingredients that include eggs and dairy, however, they usually have some non-egg and dairy-free cheese and milk options available so they can make for a good restaurant if you’re vegan.
Different Styles and Types of Vegan Restaurants
From my experience I have noticed three distinct types of vegan restaurants which include the following:
1. Meat-alternative Vegan restaurant
This is a vegan restaurant that tries to mirror that of a typical meat-based restaurant. In one of these you will find dishes that are familiar to a meat eater in terms of name and taste. They use ingredients to create dishes that resemble those of the typical restaurant dish.
An example of this type of restaurant would be EnVie Halifax, but there are many others in other cities.
One thing to note about this type of vegan restaurant is that it is a great spot to bring your meat-eating friends as they will enjoy knowing what they are ordering off of the menu.
2. The vegetarian and vegan restaurant
While I won’t comment on atmosphere in these restaurants, what I’ve noticed is that these are typically much less “fancy” and formal than the pure vegan-only restaurants.
These shops will have a wide selection of both egg and dairy and non-egg and non-dairy options. Typically most dishes will have both options available, usually with a tofu replacement.
3. The vegan-friendly option restaurant
While not a pure vegan restaurant, these establishments understand that movement towards a plant-based diet and cater their menu slightly to accommodate. While it might not be as convenient as being able to order anything on the menu, it is nice that there are more and more restaurants allowing for more options than a single salad (hold the cheese).
How to choose your favourite Vegan Restaurant?
If you’re only visiting a city and you want to choose a vegan restaurant for an evening or two it can be a bit more challenging without the time to really try them all. However, using Yelp to read reviews of the variety of Vegan restaurants in your area will likely be the best starting point.
Personally, I also make sure I read through all of the menus of the possible locations I’m thinking about going – you don’t want to get there only to realize that half the dishes have cheese or eggs in them.
How to ask for Vegan alternatives at typical restaurants
This is a skill that you will get better at as time goes on. However, don’t be afraid to ask your server if there are any vegan alternatives or if you are able to make slight alterations to your dish. While this may be considered rude in some restaurants, it is the world we live in that more and more people are adopting a plant-based diet and therefore our establishments need to be able to cater to that growing population.
Couple things to note is to always ask about stock and broth. Did they cook their food in vegetable stock or in chicken or beef stock? This is the big one that always catches most servers – they think the dish is vegan until they realize what it was cooked in.
Cream-based sauces are another thing to look out for. Some purees and other soups while may be advertised as vegetarian, might have been cooked with creams and therefore not vegan.
Enjoy a great Vegan restaurant near me
Hopefully you were able to find some great vegan restaurants near me and were able to spend some time getting out to experience them.