It’s day two of the What We Ate In A Day series in celebration of Veganuary (click here to read day one).
Whether it’s something on the menu that keeps you coming back, the variety of options, the smells and flavors, or the convenience – most people have their go-to restaurants and lunch spots. After we starting eating plant-based, it took us a little bit of time to find restaurants with great options. We had to re-learn what to look for on a menu and how to order items we enjoy.
A lot of restaurants will label vegan or vegetarian items with a symbol or a letter “v”. Most times, if it’s something vegetarian, you can substitute egg or cheese for something else or ask to omit it. After a couple years of doing this, I actually find myself completely glazing over and skipping items that contain animal products when I read menus. We learned that there are a few places that won’t have many options, such as steakhouses or pizzerias (unless they have vegan cheese), so we avoid going to places like that in the first place.
Here’s what we ate today:
For breakfast, we had leftover tofu scramble and potatoes from yesterday. The photo I took this morning was terrible – it was dark and I was sleepy! But here’s the recipe if you’d like to read about it.
For lunch, Matt stopped at Vital Root – a vegetarian restaurant – and ordered the Grilled Beet & Arugula Salad. It has beet pesto, oranges, fennel and walnuts. He’s a smartypants and substitutes the jack cheese for quinoa at no extra cost.
I went to Etai’s Bakery Cafe, a local Denver chain, and ordered an avocado toast with arugula with a side of black bean soup.
For dinner, we ordered from our favorite Indian restaurant, Himalaya House. We ordered their vegetable korma which is made with coconut cream. We also had a side of vegan roti and basmati rice. We love this restaurant. Another one of our favorites to order from Indian restaurants is Chana Masala, chickpeas in a spicy tomato-based sauce. SO GOOD!
Living in Denver, we are lucky to have a growing selection of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the city. If you’re interested in reading about the vegan foodie scene, we wrote a whole entire Denver Vegan Restaurant Guide which we try our best to keep updated.
Even with the growing vegan scene, we still have to sometimes eat at other restaurants for various reasons. We both don’t work nearby most of the restaurants, with the exception of that vegetarian restaurant, Vital Root, which is close to Matt’s job. I find myself often at Chipotle ordering sofritas or veggie tacos with avocado. Sometimes I’ll get a salad at Modern Market, or a falafel pita at Garbanzo’s.
One of Matt’s favorite spots is Scratch Burrito because you can substitute tofu for any of their sandwiches. A lot of places have tofu where you can make that substitution. You really have to know what to look for and you can learn as you go. There are always going to be places where your only option will be fries, or hummus, but take note to just not eat there too often.
Never be afraid to ask the waiter if something is vegan since eggs or butter are sometimes hidden and not noted on the menu. Also, never be intimidated to ask for vegan options and substitutions. Last tip: don’t make it a big deal. Order what you can and if the place really sucks, don’t go there again, or email the restaurant and request more options – sometimes they are really cool about it. Anyway, you’ll get the hang of it! Please feel free to write us at [email protected] or leave a comment if you have any questions – we’re happy to help <3