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Vegan-Friendly Restaurants and Grocers

Use these resources to find restaurants and grocers in your state—or country—that will help you eat without cruelty

Since I'm no longer active, the outdated list of restaurants that I visited on the vegan lecture tour has been removed. Please check out Happy Cow for the most extensive, and current, list of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants worldwide.

Shopping for vegan items has never been easier with grocers like Acme, Albertson's, Aldi, Giant, Harris Teeter, Kroger, Meijer, Publix, Ralph's, Target, Trader Joe's, Walmart, Whole Foods and many others carrying an impressive variety of delicious, cruelty-free items. Great selections can also be found at independent health food stores, and Asian markets.

When dining out, don't forget about all the ethnic foods like Indian, Middle Eastern, Ethiopian, Mexican and Italian. They have tons of veggie options. There's Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese foods, too. Ask them to cook it WITHOUT fish/oyster sauce and just substitute tofu for the meat.

You'd be surprised at how many "mainstream" restaurants have vegan items on their menus; click any of the links below to find a restaurant near you. Johnny Rockets, Red Robin, White Castle and Denny's all have vegan burgers! Just order them without cheese, mayo or butter on the bun (if sauces are offered, check the ingredients because only one sauce at White Castle is vegan). Moe's Southwest Grill and Chipotle have tofu and lard-free beans for their Mexican dishes. Loving Hut has a chain of more than 40 vegan restaurants in more than a dozen states. Yard House and bd’s Mongolian Grill—with more than 60 restaurants in nearly a dozen states—have GARDEIN products on the menu, too (the sauces and breading at Yard House are NOT vegan). Avoid the vegetarian burgers at Burger King, Fuddrucker's, Ruby Tuesday's, National Coney Island, Chili's and Subway; they contain eggs or dairy.

And P.F. Chang's Chinese restaurants have about 10 vegan selections on the menu. In fact, their tofu is the best tofu I've ever eaten anywhere. And you MUST order the tofu lettuce wraps as an appetizer to get the evening started.

Plus, cheese-less pizzas (or pizzas with vegan cheese) are awesome! Just make sure the crust and sauce are made without dairy products and dairy by-products like whey or casein. The original pizza crust, regular pizza sauce, garlic dipping sauce and breadsticks at Papa John's are vegan. The pizza marinara, vegetarian black beans or spicy marinara sauces with any crust at California Pizza Kitchen are vegan. The crust and red pizza sauce at CiCi's are vegan. The red and brown BBQ sauces, red pizza sauce and thin crust at Domino's are vegan. The crust, crazy sauce and crazy bread at Little Caesar's are vegan. The thin & crispy crust, pizza mia crust, hand-tossed crust, XL full house dough, 4ForAll dough, regular pizza sauce and sweet pizza sauce at Pizza Hut are vegan. Finally, the thin or flatbread crust and pizza sauce at Uno Chicago Grill are vegan.

If you need fast food, you can veganize the bean burrito and Mexican pizza at Taco Bell. Just order them without meat and cheese. You can order the veggie sub at Subway on Italian bread without cheese, or at Quizno's on white or wheat bread with guacamole but minus the cheese and vinaigrette dressing. A little trick I do when traveling is stopping at a grocery store and buying a package of vegan deli meat, and putting it on the sub when I get back to the hotel.

Vegan Dining in Israel

The Israeli animal liberation movement is growing by leaps and bounds, which means the veg restaurant scene is expanding. The following three sites will help you locate the best places for Israeli vegan food: GARY-TV, Vegan-Friendly, and Vegan-Friendly's Facebook page.

V-Cards...When You're Not Near a Veg-Friendly Restaurant

Mike Weinberg, former professor at Grossmont College near San Diego, California, has come up with an ingenious idea: V-Cards, helping to ensure that you get a cruelty-free meal while educating restaurants for the next vegan who walks through the door! Says Mike, “Vegan restaurants are fantastic, but eating vegan at other restaurants can be challenging, especially in foreign countries. Call beforehand to see what options are available. Many chefs relish the challenge of preparing a special vegan meal just for you. At the restaurant, hand a V-Card to your waiter to ensure your meal is completely free of animal products.” V-Cards are available in over 100 languages as of April 2018, and prove very resourceful when you're traveling in other countries. Get V-Cards here.