Vegan Restaurants: How to Find the Best Plant-Based Meals

This guide will enable you to easily find the best vegan restaurant food near you.

No matter where you live or travel, finding vegan restaurant food is usually easy. You probably have some fantastic spots nearby. So let’s explore how to discover your best options.

Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurant Chains

One of the easiest ways to find vegan food in an unfamiliar city is to search for local Loving Hut and Veggie Grill restaurants. Loving Hut has more than 130 restaurants worldwide. Veggie Grill operates more than thirty locations in the United States. Both of these chains are 100 percent vegan.

The Hare Krishna sect likewise operates dozens of vegetarian restaurants worldwide. These spots are usually named, “Govinda’s.” As with Loving Hut restaurants, each Govinda’s is independently owned, so the menus are different at each location. Govinda’s restaurants are usually Indian-style buffets, and the food tends to include a lot of dairy. But in nearly all cases the staff will usually be good about identifying their vegan options.

Independently-Owned Vegan Restaurants

There are thousands of vegan restaurants worldwide, with more opening every month. To find the ones nearest you, try these search methods:.

  • Search Google on your phone for “Vegan restaurants near me.”
  • Use HappyCow.net or VegDining.com
  • When traveling internationally, use TripAdvisor.com to search whichever city you’re visiting for “Vegan.”

Surprisingly, many vegetarian restaurants aren’t all that vegan-friendly. They’ll often smother your food with cheese or other dairy products unless you specify otherwise. So never drop your guard at vegetarian restaurants, because unless you’re vigilant you’re likely to be served a dish that includes dairy or eggs.

Vegan-Friendly Restaurants

Once again, Internet searches are the best way to locate non-vegetarian restaurants that offer excellent vegan food.

If the city I’m visiting lacks vegan restaurants, I’ll usually look for either a Lebanese restaurant or a falafel stand. In my experience, Middle Eastern food, particularly Lebanese and Israeli, offers the most reliably vegan options of any major cuisine. Whether served in wraps or pita bread, falafel and hummus are two of the tastiest and most satisfying meals you can find, and both these dishes are virtually always vegan.

Ethiopian food is also consistently vegan-friendly. The vegetarian stews served by these restaurants are typically vegan. and the injera bread that accompanies these meals is always vegan.

Also, don’t forget about pizza. Although some chains put dairy in their dough, most pizza sold by independent pizzerias is vegan as long as it’s ordered without cheese.

For still more options, visit our vegan-friendly cuisines page.

Vegan Fast Food

Sometimes, fast food will be your easiest choice for dining out. They can also save you a lot of time when it comes to researching vegan options. Because fast food chains have standardized menus, any vegan menu items you encounter can be enjoyed at hundreds or even thousands of locations.

Many of the largest chains, including Taco Bell, Burger King, and Subway, have solid vegan options. There are more than a dozen large chains in the United States that offer excellent menu options for vegans. Discover them all by visiting our vegan fast food guide.

Seek and You Will Find

There are certainly parts of the world, especially in rural areas, where it’s impossible to find vegan restaurant food. In these cases you can invariably meet your needs by shopping at local food markets and grocery stores. Eating well becomes far easier if you have access to a kitchen, since that will enable you to cook staples like beans, rice, and pasta. See our vegan travel guide for additional advice.

Every day, new vegan restaurants are opening. And the parts of the world that can legitimately be considered difficult for vegans are shrinking fast. Generally, just a little time spent searching the Internet will reveal some exciting nearby vegan restaurant options.

For further reading: please see our vegan foods directory, our guide on how to go vegan, and our vegan cooking guide.

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