It’s not too difficult to eat out as a vegan, though finding healthy whole foods may be more difficult.
Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Malaysian and Burmese cuisines
These are the easiest, because apart from the Indian subcontinent, the cuisines of Asian countries do not traditionally use milk. When you ask for vegetarian you will likely avoid dairy. But do check if the noodles or batter contain egg!
Most Indian vegetarian cuisine is vegan as long as you avoid ghee, butter, paneer and curd (yogurt). South Indian food has many vegan options (like dosa, idli, vada, rice dishes, sambhar, coconut chutney) but with North Indian food it’s more difficult. Naan contains egg unless you are eating in a vegetarian restaurant and many dishes contain dairy, so ask before ordering. Most Indian desserts are made with dairy and sugar.
Sweets and chaats
The following street foods are vegan: Paani Puri, Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Ragda Pattice (if not fried in ghee), Samosa Chole, Chole Bature, Vada Pav, Samosa Pav, Misal Pav, Dhoklas (ask if curd has been added to the batter). Some Indian vegan sweets include: Soan Papdi, Jalebis (check if yogurt was added to the batter and/or it was fried in ghee), Kaju Katli, the Khajoor Burfi and the Anjeer Burfi at Kanti Sweets.
Italian restaurants often cook in olive oil so they too may be able to offer you something vegan by dropping the cheese. Salads are often a healthy vegan option. Breads sometimes contain milk.
Coffee shops and fast food
If you’re joining friends at Café Coffee Day, try one of their vegan drinks like the Vegan Shake, Irish Coffee, Lemon Demon, strawberry-flavoured iced tea, or Arctic Blast. At Barista try the flavoured Iced Tea or Sparkle Soda. The Slimmers Veg Sandwich, sugar doughnuts and blueberry tarts are also vegan. McDonald’s has a Vegan Burger on its menu and vegan options are also available at Subway. Bear in mind that to be a healthy vegan, you should avoid fast food and only indulge occasionally!
And dont forget to visit the first completely vegan restaurant in India, Carrots, if you are in Bangalore.
Restaurants in your city
Have a look at our city directories to find vegan-friendly dining options in your city: