A couple months ago I posted about how to enjoy eating out at restaurants when you are gluten free and I thought it was high time I added a dairy-free guide to restaurants. Since I am both gluten and dairy free, I have experienced frustration and confusion in all types of dining settings. In this guide, I want to help you learn from my restaurant experiences and actually ENJOY eating out!
Any egg or hash dish is an easy choice and you only have to ask for no cheese or sour cream. If there is a hollandaise sauce or another creamy topping that you are unfamiliar with, ask to put it on the side or to leave it off entirely.
2. Fried foods
It goes without saying that this needs to be nixed from you diet altogether for overall health benefits. Additionally, milk products can be hiding in the batter that surrounds the fried food.
3. Bread minus the butter
Skip the butter and opt for an oil-based dip or a tapenade that will be just as tasty as, if not tastier than, butter.
4. Research ahead of time
If you know where you are going, look up the menu ahead of time and decide on the item of your choosing and any modifications you will need to make. This prevents any unnecessary stress or pressure to pick something quickly.
Cream-based soups usually have heavy cream in them, leading to a serious upset stomach. Soups like these may be cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, really anything that starts with “cream”, clam chowder, tomato bisque, potato leek, etc. Dairy-free soup options include, but are not limited to, chicken tortilla soup, chicken noodle soup, butternut squash soup, lentil soup, etc.
6. Salad dressings
Instead of creamy salad dressings like ranch or bleu cheese, opt for oil and vinegar or a vinaigrette.
7. Coffee and tea
If you use non-dairy or milk in your coffee or tea at home, feel free to ask the waiter or waitress if they have non-dairy options. You would be surprised at how many restaurants and cafes these days have almond or coconut milk. The key is to ask!
Unless clearly stated, most desserts found on a restaurant’s menu include dairy in some form or fashion. You are better off saving dessert for later, when you can control exactly what you are consuming.