What plant-based professionals order when they eat out, plus WFPB friendly restaurants

Eating Plant-Based Whole Foods (WFPB) is easy when you have a well-stocked refrigerator and pantry, and finding vegan-friendly restaurants is easier than ever thanks to apps like HappyCow, which lists more than 2,000 vegan-only restaurants across the States. United. But sometimes you’ll find yourself dining at restaurants that don’t cater to vegans. What is a WFPB eater to do? We asked veterans of plant-based cuisine for their advice on getting a healthy restaurant meal, even on a menu with limited vegan options. Read on for their recommendations, as well as their favorite WFPB-friendly restaurants.

Lateral survival

I skip to the sides section of the menu and order three to six sides depending on whether I’m with my wife. We’ll get all things plant-based and healthy — carrots, potatoes, broccoli — and look out for hidden sides on the menu, too. For example, we recently went to a restaurant and noticed mushrooms accompanied the steak appetizer, so we asked the waiter to bring us a side of mushrooms. They were delicious! Shivam Joshi, MD, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Board Certified Internal Medicine Physician and Clinical Assistant Practitioner at NYU Grossman School of Medicine

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Ask the chef

I have found that the chefs welcome the chance to be creative in the kitchen to accommodate my palate and dietary preferences. I simply ask the chef to come up with something that contains whole plant foods, skips the added oil, or incorporates it sparingly and has no added salt. In any kitchen, you can create an absolutely delicious dish with whole grains, gorgeous greens, meaty beans or hearty legumes, herbs, and spices. I am rarely disappointed. Michael Greger, MD, author of How not to die AND How not to die cookbook

Call ahead

Calling ahead makes an evening more enjoyable. You won’t have to worry about trying to explain your preferences to the waiter and holding things up for others you’re dining with. When options are limited, I order a salad with as many toppings as possible: avocado, nuts, seeds, quinoa, chickpeas, sweet potatoes. I aim to add a starch and protein to make the salad a complete meal. If I know the add-ons will be very limited, I bring my own nuts and seeds to sprinkle. Brenda Davis, registered dietitian and nutritionist, speaker and co-author of Vegetable proteins

Go global

Try dining at restaurants with global flavors. Mexican, Thai, Indian, and Chinese restaurants tend to have plant-based menus with lots of interesting flavors. Before you go, it’s always helpful to look at the menu to give you an idea of ​​what’s available so you can feel comfortable asking for special requests, like asking for steamed vegetables with water instead of oil and brown rice instead of white. You don’t want to be in panic mode when the server takes orders! Chef Katie Simmons, personal plant-based chef and creator of Plants-Rule

Personalize items and BYO

I look at the menu and see if I can find something to satisfy my hunger, then ask to customize it. For example, I’ll order a side of corn tortillas to dip in salsa instead of fries, or a burrito to contain chicken, cheese, and sour cream, and instead I’ll make it with black beans, rice, pico de gallo, steamed cabbage, guacamole , and caramelized onion. Sometimes I bring what I want, like a side of diced kale and homemade 3-2-1 salad dressing (3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar + 2 tablespoons dijon mustard + 1 tablespoon maple syrup) . Rip Esselstyn, host of PLANTSTRONG podcast and author of The engine diet 2 AND Strong plant

Know your favorites in every kitchen

If I go to an Asian restaurant, steamed vegetables and brown rice with a little soy or spicy sauce are enough for a savory meal, and you can often find steamed tofu, edamame, vegetable sushi, or fresh vegetable rolls wrapped in rice paper. New York-style delis usually have vegan soups like lentil or bean paste. Steakhouses always have baked potatoes, steamed vegetables and salads, ordering the dressing on the side. Many Wendys also carry baked potatoes and steamed broccoli. Chef Darshana Thacker Wendel, author of Forks over knives: taste! and principal contributor to recipes al New York Times best seller The plan of the forks on the knives

Keep it simple

My favorite order is salad, sweet potato fries or rice and beans. Torre Washington, all-natural vegan bodybuilder and coach

Professionals share their favorite WFPB restaurants

Check out these vegan restaurants and dishes that have won the hearts of even WFPB’s most discerning palates.

Handlebar in Chicago

Dumbbell in Chicago blew my mind when I first went vegan. I love their Black Bean Tostadas, Green Meanie Sandwich and Black Bean Maduro is out of this world. Plus, when you’re craving a vegan cake or oatmeal cookie, their desserts are the perfect treat. It’s still one of the places I’ll take my non-vegan friends for an amazing meal. Chef Katie Simmons, personal plant-based chef and creator of Plants-Rule

Love.life in Los Angeles

Whole Plant Based Oil Free Beetroot Tartare by Love.life

Love.life is a new Culver City restaurant with tons of delicious oil-free vegan dishes, including some salt-free, refined sugar-free, and gluten-free options. It’s a must stop for all WFPB eaters in the greater Los Angeles area. Courtney Davison, managing editor of Forks Over Knives

Star of Siam in Los Angeles

Star of Siam in Los Angeles. They make vegan pho and we ask not to put fried onions in it so it’s oil free. Chef Darshana Thacker Wendel, author of Forks over knives: taste! and principal contributor to recipes al New York Times best seller The plan of the forks on the knives

Luannes Wild Ginger in New York City

One of my favorite places to go after work in Manhattan is Luanne’s Wild Ginger on Broome Street in Little Italy. My favorite dish is Malaysian curry. It’s filling, delicious and healthy! Shivam Joshi, MD, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Board Certified Internal Medicine Physician and Clinical Assistant Practitioner at NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Casa de Luz in Austin

My favorite place to dine out is Casa De Luz, a local macrobiotic community in Austin. I’ve been going there since 1991. It has the cleanest SOS-free (sugar, oil, salt) plant-based food in the country, it’s affordable, and the atmosphere is second to none. Each meal begins with the soup of the day, followed by a plate of salad and the main course, a combination of grains, beans and greens, with fermented vegetables and a spectacular array of sauces.

Rip Esselstyn, host of PLANTSTRONG podcast and author of The engine diet 2 AND Strong plant

Arayas Place in Seattle

My all-time favorite is Arayas Place in Seattle with its all-you-can-eat Thai buffet that’s are you ready? all plant based! What do I eat there? Anything. A favorite is the steamed broccoli rich tom yum soup. Michael Greger, MD, author of How not to die AND How not to die cookbook

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