Whether you're avoiding dairy for health or ethics, you can still enjoy dining out at your favorite restaurant.
Whether you're avoiding dairy for health or ethics, you can still enjoy dining out at your favorite restaurant. Keep these tips in mind so you don't end up accidentally eating dairy while out or if you're new to a dairy-free lifestyle and want to know what options are available to you.
Pancakes, waffles, and french toast are almost always made using milk, buttermilk, or butter, so avoid these items unless the menu specifically says that they're dairy-free. You may have to skip omelets and other egg dishes since they're often made with milk, have added cheese, or are cooked in butter, but ask your server if the chef can whip them up without dairy. If your meal comes with toast, make sure you specify that you'd like it dry. Home fries tend to be safe, but check with your server to ensure they're cooked in oil instead of butter. Fresh fruit with granola is always an option, and these days, many places offer soy milk in place of cow's milk. Call ahead to find out if that's an option, and if not, ask if you can bring a small container of your own dairy-free beverage.
When ordering soup avoid bisques, chowders, and cream-based flavors such as potato leek, opt for broth-based bowls of miso or vegetable (or meat) stock instead. If you enjoy salad before your main course, ask for vinaigrette or bottles of oil and vinegar. If your server places a bread basket on the table accompanied with the usual butter, ask for a small dish of olive oil. Skip the artichoke dip and choose hummus. If an item has a melted cheese topping such as flat bread pizza or potato skins, just as the server to hold it.
Continue reading for tips concerning lunch, dinner, and dessert.