veganspot

Making vegetarian and vegan choices is all fine when you're at home - you can cook up delicious dishes from your awesome recipe books - but when it comes to going to a restaurant, it's a different matter.

When choosing a restaurant to cater for both meat eaters and veggies alike, most people feel as though one half of the party has to sacrifice to feed the other.

The truth is, however, there are many places that have menus to feed everyone at the table with no fuss.

Here's our guide to knowing the cuisines with the best chance of veggie and vegan options, along with the least awkward way to order.

(There are a few surprising and well-known restaurants that most vegans would never have thought to go, that might become their new lunch staple!)

Mary-Ellen McTague: asparagus with blue cheese dressing and hot sauce

Middle Eastern cuisine is usually our failsafe choice when eating out.

The nature of Greek, Turkish and Lebanese mezze means that you can easily pick the green choices and discard the meat options.

As well as this, you'll normally find a wealth of delicious plant and legumes based choices in most Middle Eastern restaurants.

Japanese and Korean cuisine is also a good choice, with a higher use of tofu as a base for many dishes.

indian

While India has one of the biggest vegetarian population on the globe, most Indian meals in the UK are a risky choices for vegetarians and an almost impossible choice for vegans.

Vegans will find that the use of ghee butter, yoghurt and cream in mishes, including the side vegetables and naan, means that they are left with not much but a boiled rice and a Coke left to indulge in.

Vegetarians on the other hand, can go for the vegetable dishes, but should still proceed with caution.

The wide use of spice bases between many dishes in Indian cookery means that you can never be 100% that your saag aloo or vegetable biryani wasn't made using non-vegetarian stick somewhere down the line.

Thai food on the other are a complete minefield for veggies as most, if not all bases, are usually made using a fish or oyster sauce base.

Not impossible choices, but certainly very tricky ones!

vegout

You might think that only the healthiest, hippiest restaurants will be a safe bet for a green meal, but you would be very wrong.

One of our favourite restaurants for easy vegan options is Nandos. Yup, you heard us right, chicken-loving Nandos!

(If you feel like you would rather avoid the place altogether because of the focus on eating a LOT of poultry, then please do scroll down)

Surprisingly, Nando's pick-and-choose style menu, along with the restaurants openness to adapting orders to suit the customer, makes ordering a big vegan meal pretty simple!

We like to go and get the huge Mediterranean salad (with no feta, for a vegan option) and add half an avocado and almonds to replace the chicken.

Super hungry? Then you can choose any of the olives, hummus, red pepper dip, flatbread, sweet potato wedges, ratatouille or pinto beans on the side, with a big mango juice, ice lolly or sorbet to finish.

Other restaurants that are shockingly vegan friendly include Las Iguanas, who have separate vegetarian and vegan menus available, The Real Greek and trusty old Wagamamas.

If you know what to look for, you'll always be able to find a restaurant that serves both you and your carnivore crew

vegin

While a fine choice for vegetarians, Pizza Hut is a very difficult choice for vegans, due to a large amount of cheese, eggs and dairy in all its vegetarian choices.

Yes, there is a salad bar, however you'll quickly discover that the amount mayonnaise based choices narrows down vegan choice pretty harshly.

On the other end of the scale, it may seem an obvious point to say that the Meat Liquor chain of restaurants are not the best choice for veggies.

It's worth knowing however, that it's a big no for a choice with friends as even the side dishes are pretty meat based (most of the chips available will be covered in beef or cheese)

Surprisingly, you'll find a much better range of veggie side options at most steak restaurants than you will in many trendy burger joints, no chickpea burgers available!

woman-looking-at-menu

If you feel awkward or nervous about having to order vegetarian, when our with a group of meat eaters, the best plan of action is to do your research before hand.

Most restaurants will have a menu online that you can scour in your own time, and many have their full nutritional dietary information online also.

If you can't find anything on their site, it's OK to ring up and enquire with a waiter or host. Remember they'd much rather you do this than choose somewhere else to eat.

Once you're at the table and ordering, don't feel too awkward about asking questions if you're unsure. Just remember to be polite and understanding with the kitchen if there's something that can't be made vegetarian.

We promise, it will only feel awkward for the first couple of times!