If you don't follow a vegan diet yourself, then some of the dishes at a vegan restaurant may seem a little unfamiliar or intimidating. However, vegan food can be delicious. It's all about easing yourself into the cuisine and picking dishes you're comfortable with at first. If you are a non-vegan dining at a vegan restaurant, here are some key dishes that you'll likely find delicious and approachable.
Vegan burgers have come a long way in the past few years. There are now plant-based burgers made with heme, which gives them a more meat-like flavor and texture. If nobody told you it wasn't meat, you might not even realize it! There are tons of burger toppings that happen to be vegan: mushrooms, onions, tomato, lettuce, and barbecue sauce are just a few of them. Many commercially made buns are already vegan, so your vegan burger will likely be served on a "normal" bun. Order a burger at a vegan restaurant, and you won't miss the meat one bit.
Asian Noodle Dishes
Many Asian noodle dishes are vegan by default, just by the nature of the ingredients the recipe calls for. And those that are not are still easy to make vegan. So, if you see a vegan pad Thai or vegan ramen on the menu, you can bet it will be tasty. Noodle dishes are also a good choice when you want a really filling meal. Even without meat, they tend to be made with a lot of protein-rich foods like mushrooms and tofu. Between these protein sources and the carbs from the noodles, you'll feel energized for quite a while. And your taste buds will leave the vegan restaurant very happy!
If you picture a taco, what ingredients are included? Chances are, most of the ingredients you name, other than the meat, are already vegan. Cabbage or lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, beans, lime juice — these are classic taco fillings that are vegan. If you see a vegan taco on a menu, the meat filling has likely been replaced with a plant-based meat substitute, and vegan cheese is probably used in place of regular cheese. But other than that, the normal taco ingredients are likely used, so the taco will taste quite similar to a non-vegan one. This makes tacos a great choice for anyone new to vegan cuisine.
If you're a non-vegan at a vegan restaurant, don't worry. Most restaurants have at least one of the above options, which are approachable and delicious even when made without meat.