Did you know that November is World Vegan Month? Whilst I am vegetarian rather than vegan I do often eat vegan food, especially when eating out as the options are usually the same! I did not use to be a fan of vegan cheese but I have grown to like it more so I am seriously considering having a more vegan diet, even if it is just a few days a week.
A vegan eating out – the choices and struggles
The choices when eating out as a vegan are generally quite limited though I have noticed they are getting better in recent years. If you are also trying to eat out with meat eaters, on a budget and healthily you really do have it all against you sometimes.
When was the last time you saw anyone do salads when it isn’t the summer? Or perhaps something healthy but warm? It is so frustrating especially if you are vegan as so many recipes use dairy products.
Then if you find somewhere perfect it is expensive which is just as frustrating! Anyway, that aside I have recently found some lovely places to eat and a way of bagging a good discount too, read on and I will tell you how!
Vegan options from well-known brands
I get very bored of tomato-based pasta dishes and veggie burgers when eating out so always welcome alternatives. Here are a few I have found and loved lately.
Whilst I like Italian food I have often avoided our local Bella Italia as it is next to the cinema so I thought the car park would be busy but when we recently visited I was surprised it actually wasn’t busy at all. We also took advantage of the Bella Italia offers I mention below so it wasn’t too expensive either.
The variety of vegan foods was minimal but good and I enjoyed a vegan pepperoni pizza. If you are watching your calories too there is a lighter version with half a pizza and half salad which I liked the idea of. The pizza was delicious and it really felt like I had just as nice a meal as the others in the group.
Hutt at Ravenshead – Chef and Brewer
I must start by saying I am not sure if all Chef and Brewer’s are the same but Hutt at Ravenshead (between Mansfield and Nottingham, near Newstead Abbey) had a great vegan choice.
I recently enjoyed the mushroom and ale pie there which was lovely and despite being vegan it looked just as good as Stuart’s meat pie. It didn’t taste vegan and was a lovely wholesome meal.
With 5 vegan main course choices, 2 vegan starters and three vegan desserts it was a perfect place for vegans but there really was something for everyone! We enjoy eating out as a couple but Stuart loves meat and could never be vegetarian or vegan!
Getting the best deals on eating out
The best deals on eating out are always when there are offers. Sometimes it is easier to find offers than others but registering your birthday with each chain is always a good idea. Otherwise, it can be a bit hit-and-miss unless you have some kind of discount card!
Have you heard of tastecard? It is a great way of getting discounts at a variety of places for eating out as well as the cinema, coffee shops and days out. There is a free trial for 30 days and after that, it costs either £39.99 for a year or £5.99 a month and can be cancelled at any time. Membership gives you a good discount at Bella Italia with 2 for 1 at present, and not just off main courses!
The menu I love at Hutt also can be discounted with a tastecard at a 25% discount which I wish I had known before we last visited! It is easy to see how a few trips a year would soon save you more money than you spend on your tastecard. If you are savvy you could just get it for a few months too!
Lots of other places have deals too, up to 40% off at the cinema with a tastecard and even discounts at Alton Towers, Legoland and various other places! Everywhere has different restrictions so be sure to check those but many I saw just excluded weekend evenings, Christmas day etc.