Sunday, January 12, 2014

What is "vegan friendly"?

I hear the term "vegan friendly" in regards to a restaurant often and am always curious about it. Some times I think it means that there are several vegan items to choose from. Other times I think that the restaurant is not vegan or veg yet has vegan options, or that the folks who run the restaurant are friendly to vegans.

For me personally, vegan friendly means that the owner/manager and staff are welcoming to vegans and make vegans feel like they are home.

It means that a server knows what vegan means and what on their menu is vegan.

It means that the server smiles when we say we are vegan, rather than frown.

It means that the server doesn't say "we don't really have anything that is vegan".

The food doesn't have to to be the best vegan food we have ever eaten. They have to have tried of course, but for me it is more in the attitude and hospitality of those running the restaurant that matters, because if they rock in those areas that means that good vegan food will happen even if they are not there yet.

An example is this new Pho restaurant in Lakewood. Yes, Lakewood! Mike and I are so excited. The vegan options just keep coming in our own city!

We decided last minute to check this place out while we were out running errands. Being new, we hadn't heard of this place nor did we know if they would have vegan options.

I will definitely be doing a restaurant review on this place later, but what I want to say now is about how well we were treated. The server knew what vegan meant and understood everything from fish oil to broth. When the Pho came out I took a photo of it (being a good blogger!). The owner saw this and asked if I would post it on Facebook and I thought to myself "buddy, you have no idea" as I told him I was a blogger, that I was vegan, and that I was so excited. His face literally lit up! He told us about everything on the menu that was vegan, and was super excited that we were there.

He made us feel right at home.

That, my friends, is vegan friendly.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Thanks so much for this thoughtful post! I must say that I quite agree with you--"vegan friendly" means so much more than an option or two on the menu. So often I've gone to restaurants that claim to be "vegan friendly" only to have the servers have no clue what I'm talking about or offer any assistance in guiding or modifying the menu. I am so glad to hear that you had such a lovely experience at a new place in town!

  2. That's true. I see the term thrown around often enough, but I typically use the definition you're describing when using the term.

    It's nice to hear you had such a great experience at this spot - especially since it wasn't a pre-planned destination!