- Posted August 25, 2013 by
Show you're a Vegetarian in a Fast Food Restaurant
The phrase "fast food" tends to conjure up images of hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, or fried chicken. Going out to places like Burger King, McDonald's, or Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) with family or friends may seem like a big challenge if you're a vegetarian. However, if you know what to look for, you may well be surprised that there are lots of options of what you can eat.
Note: This article is based on being a vegetarian in the United States. It can be harder or easier in different countries to find vegetarian fast food options, depending on factors such as strength of the vegetarian movement or willingness to cater to vegetarians. And while this article has some tips for vegans, it will be harder for a vegan to find fast food options due to the greater food restrictions.
Be prepared to help the servers. If you're aware beforehand of what can be done to turn a normally non-vegetarian food into a vegetarian option, don't be afraid to speak up and describe how this is possible. The server or waiter may take a little convincing but explain clearly, stay polite, and make it easier with your suggestions. One excellent option is to ask for a vegetarian appetizer accompanied by side portions like steamed vegetables or wedges. Asking for a special appetizer doesn't seem like such a huge ask compared to an entree (main meal) size.
Keep your fast food options broad. Fast food isn't only located in the major franchises like McDonald's and Burger King. Diners, take-out places, and fried food outlets are also fast food possibilities, ranging from Chinese to Mexican options. And if it's your local joint and they get to know you well, they'll often be happy to go out of their way to cook up something special whenever you turn up, so make good friends with the owners!
Choose from the side menu. You don't necessarily need an entire combo meal to satisfy your trip. Find an array of menu items such as corn, mashed potatoes, biscuits, or fruit packages. If you're creative enough, you can probably combine several things together to make a complete vegetarian meal.
Dig into the kid's menu. A standard kid's menu will often contain several vegetarian-friendly options, such as macaroni and cheese, tomato sauce pasta, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Even the combo meals for kids offers either vegetable or fruit packages (sliced apples) and choice of drinks (apple juice, milk, or water).