I sometimes forget what a privilege it is to live in Portland where the plant-based options are freely flowing. You can find an abundance of options for every meal, at every price point and in every neighborhood. Unfortunately when it comes to traveling finding food options, especially breakfast options, is often a huge challenge.
Breakfast is often a meal that is centered around meats, eggs and a whole lot of dairy. So finding options that don’t include any of these things can be a struggle. On our recent trip to Seattle and Bellingham I struggled to find good plant-based breakfast options for us however there are a few things that helped us work around the obstacle.
Stock Hotel or Airbnb with breakfast options. Depending on your accommodations you may be able to out fit yourself with a complete breakfast but even if you aren’t there are a number of great options that don’t require anything more than hot water. Stock up on things like instant oats, fruit that doesn’t need refrigerating such as apples and bananas, and nut butter – put these all together you have a filling and delicious loaded oatmeal. Bonus: if you have a hotel with a breakfast take advantage of things such as fruit, toast, bagels and dry cereals.
Seek Out Coffee Shops. Many coffee shops these days have come to also serve food such as avocado and nut butter toasts. Some even sell vegan baked goods or bagels. Bonus: good coffee, shorter wait time and often less expensive.
Order Sides. One of my favorite ways to put together a plant-based breakfast at a restaurant is by piecing together a selection of sides. You will often find fruit, toasts, greens, beans and potatoes offered as side dishes and you can easily put together a satisfying breakfast. Tip 1: remember to as for dry toast and either carry a bit of vegan butter with your or as for jam and/or nut butter. Tip 2: It’s often a good idea to inquire about how they prepare their potatoes because some places use butter.
Visit Co-ops, Natural Food Stores and Farmers Markets. These are all great spots to find plant-based options. Co-ops and Natural Food Stores often will have a prepared food section or even a small cafe that have plant-based options. Farmers Markets are filled with food options from breads, to fruits to vendors selling their amazing foods.
Honestly, these tips work whether you are plant-based or not. My favorite is to hit up coffee shops or food markets because I always want coffee in the morning anyways and I am obsessed with food shopping. However if we have an Airbnb I will prepare as many meals as I can at it because I am always looking for ways to reduce our spending while traveling.
What are you tips for eating plant-based in not-so-plant-based-friendly places?
This past Saturday we finally made it to Angelica Kitchen, a restaurant that has been on my “To Try” list for years. We met up with my girlfriend Cate for lunch at noon which was perfect timing because the place filled up quickly and within 20 minutes there was a long waiting list. It took a while or us to make a decision as to what we wanted to get because there are so many really yummy sounding dishes on the menu.
To start the Hubz and I ordered the Angelica Cornbread, a wheat free cornbread that I have heard raving reviews about on a number of blogs. Now this is not your traditionally fluffy cornbread, it is dense and filled with whole grains. It is really delicious and worth the raving about. We also ordered a side of the miso tahini spread to go with it; it was good but the cornbread would have been fine on it’s own.
For my main dish I decided to go with the special of the day which was tofu with a chickpea miso sauce, veggies, quinoa pilaf and an Asian guacamole. I thought that the dish was really good and I loved the Asian guacamole; then again I love anything with avocado. Although the dish was really tasty and made with high quality ingredients I have to say at $16 the dish was a little pricey for what I got but oh well it was still delicious and (almost) worth it.
The Hubz went with the Thai Me Up entree which is An All Raw Entree – delicate strands of daikon radish, butternut squash & carrot, on a bed of garlic-lemon marinated kale, dressed with Thai tahini sauce. This dish was absolutely incredible and I am so jealous that I didn’t get it. We both really loved the noodles and the sauce but the star was the garlic-lemon marinated kale; it was incredible. This is a dish that I would recommend you order whether as the entree or the smaller appetizer version.
Cate ordered the Warm Roasted Vegetable Salad A seasonal selection of roasted vegetables tossed with arugula
in a balsamic vinaigrette and garnished with garlic crostini spread with creamy hummus. I only tried a small bite of one of the veggies which was really tasty so I can’t really tell you overall how the dish was but lets just say there wasn’t anything left when Cate was done. Cate also got a soy chai tea which she raved about and went back for seconds.
Overall this has easily become one of my favorite restaurants in NYC; I think that the price can be a little high for everyday eating but it is a great spot to visit when you are in the city. I am ready to head back and try everything else on the menu.
Wednesday morning we jumped on an early flight to Orlando and after dropping our bags off at our resort we headed straight to Animal Kingdom for my Dad’s birthday. It was lunch time when we arrived and all of us were starving so we decided to go to Tusker House for dinner. Tusker House is a buffet that features Indian and Asian influenced dishes and has a ton of vegan dishes. We let the waitress know that we had dietary restrictions and the chef came out and walked us around the buffet showing us the numerous vegan dishes. Some of our favorite dishes were: greenbean and onion salad, mango chutney, tabouli, pita, hummus, couscous with veggies and roasted potatoes. Also featured were a few other salads, rice dishes and tandoori tofu; the tandoori tofu was kind of bland. We had fruit for dessert and took a few oranges and bananas in our bag to snack on the rest of the day.
Yummy Tabouli and Hummus at Tusker House
The tabouli was my favorite ever! Many times I find that a traditional tabouli is just too much parsley and doesn’t have enough acid in it but this was the most perfect balance of oil and acid.
Eating Yummy Food at Tusker House
Dad "blowing" out his Birthday Candles
Also available at Animal Kingdom are various counter service locations that have salads, vegetable wraps and veggie burgers. We stayed at the park late because it was an Extra Magic Hours night so we ate at the park. We went to Restorantosaurus for dinner- when we walked in we let the employee taking our order that we had dietary restrictions and he let the cook know. The cook came out and let us know that she could substitute a tapioca roll for the bun (there is dairy in the bun) and she reassured us that the fries were cooked in separate oil that is vegan. There was a condiment bar which had onions, tomato, lettuce, relish, ect. I filled mine up with tons of lettuce and tomato and made myself a salad burger. Our first day at Disney went great and was yummy!
Hey Everyone! So my husband, both our parents and I are on our way to Disney World for the Holidays. This is exciting as I have been to Disney a number of times, we actually just went last year for our honeymoon, but I have never been during the holidays.
Disney Honeymoon 2008
Over the last few years I have picked up a number of tips on how to eat vegan at Disney World; where to go, what to ask for, and most recently what to do ahead of time. Since I know Disney is a popular destination for many people I thought you might like to hear my eating vegan at Disney tips. I will update you with my most recent experiences upon our return.
My Vegan Disney Survival Tips:
1. E-mail WDW.Special.Diets@disney.com and request a special dietary needs worksheet. All you have to do once you make your table service dining reservations is fill the worksheet out detailing any dietary needs you have and where you are dining , what time and your reservation number. Once you have done this fax or e-mail it back. Disney will then make a note on your dining reservation and everything will be set for your arrival. *Note this is only for table service dining that you have a reservation for. If you don’t have a reservation don’t worry…keep reading.
2. There are some great places that we have dined that were great and easily accommodate a vegan diet. Many are able to get tofu, non-dairy products and other vegan items with advanced notice. My first recommendation is to inform your server that you are vegan and they can easily suggest vegan options and many times will bring the chef out to discuss what options you have. Some great restaurants we have experienced are:
The Wave at The Contemporary Resort has a great Tofu Sandwich at lunch that without the mayo is vegan. They also have a Vegetable Stew which is delicious and served at both lunch and dinner. For dessert you can indulge in some of the amazing house made sorbets
The Wave at The Contemporary
Boma this is a vegan’s paradise at Disney; located at The Animal Kingdom Lodge this buffet style dining has tons to offer. We informed our server of our dietary needs and he quickly went to get the chef who then led us around the buffet letting us know what vegan options there were and also asked if we wanted anything else that she could make up special. There were so many great options that we didn’t feel like we would need any other options and we certainly didn’t . We basically gorged ourselves on kalamatua olive hummus with lavash. At the end of our meal our waiter surprised us with house made coconut and raspberry sorbet which was great because there aren’t any vegan dessert options except fruit at the buffet.
Rose Crown Dining Room at the United Kingdom in Epcot- there was a vegetarian curry that was veganizable however rumor is that there is a vegetarian shepherd’s pie on the menu now which is not vegan.
Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has great food and this delicious Coconut-Crusted Tofu Noodle Bowl
Tofutti at Magic Kingdom
3. Counter Service is slightly more difficult as there is no chef to talk to however there are some easy tips:
All fries are vegan EXCEPT those served at McDonald’s Locations
All veggie burgers are vegan Garden Burgers however the bun is not vegan- you can request a vegan bun
Divvies vegan cookies, brownies and caramel corn are served at many locations around Disney
There is Tofutti and Rice Dream served around Disney and at the Magic Kingdom Ice Cream Parlor
All around Disney you can find veggie wraps/sandwiches and veggie burgers- boring but know you’ll never starve
Soy milk is available throughout Disney and at most of the resorts
4. The most vegan friendly counter service spots are:
Sunshine Seasons at Epcot- there are tons of vegan options such as the Asian vegetarian entree
Tangierine Cafe at Morocco in Epcot- this is a great location that has a vegetarian platter with couscous salad, hummus, tabbouleh, olives and lentil salad. The lentil salad is not vegan but you can sub extra hummus, couscous salad or tabbouleh.
Wolfgang Puck Express at Disney’s West Side and Market Place – there are many options such as pizza without cheese, salads, sandwiches and pasta
Backlot Express- there is a great veggie sandwich here
5. For breakfast I recommend bringing oatmeal, cereal, or cereal/energy bars- many of the Moderate, Deluxe and Disney Vacation Club Resorts have microwaves and mini fridges in the room which makes it great for stocking up your room (and saving some money).
I will report back after we our trip but here are some plans we have for our 2009 Christmas Trip:
We have planned to visit The Whispering Canyon located at The Wilderness Lodge- now this is one of the least vegan friendly places but we are compromising as it is my dad’s birthday and his choice however this will be the true test to see if the special dietary request form actually works.
Next we plan to visit ‘Ohana at the Polynesian which I hear is an amazing restaurant and Chef TJ apparently makes amazing vegan food. I am so excited and can’t wait to report back.
We are going to Chef Mickey’s at The Contemporary for Christmas Day breakfast and from my research I have heard that the chef can make tofu scramble and vegan mickey mouse waffles (which can also be made at many other restaurants) there is also tons of fruit and cereal with soy milk.
We will also be visiting The Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa which has a vegan menu and we will also be visiting Boma again as it is a must. If you want to spend a bit more money Jiko is a great restaurant for vegans and also has a vegan menu.
Lastly, we are gong to be visiting The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom which is said to be one of the top places for vegetarians to eat at Disney.
Dinner at The Brown Derby @ Disney's Hollywood Studios
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