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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A purely unscientific survey of just me examining the menus of some of my favourite restaurants over the past couple of years seems to have revealed the disturbing trend that it's becoming more and more common to see menus that have no vegetarian options at all. When I first became a veggie, 15-odd years ago most places had at least one option. In my heydey of eating out 7-8 years back it seemed that we were "winning" and that most places actually offered not only one option, but a variety, and that they were more imaginative and creative than the usual cookie-cutter recipes you used to see.<br><br>
But now things seem to be sliding back again. One of our local pubs used to be a fantastic place to take the kids as they had a play corner and a mix-and-match approach to children's food that meant even fussy eaters like our eldest could be catered for, and their chef was excellent. They change their menu each month and I watched, exasperated as there was less and less veggie choice available until it became the norm that there wasn't anything at all for the adults. Then the kids menu lost all the veggie options too.<br><br>
It's not an isolated incident either. Several new places opened up nearby that have nothing vegetarian on the menu when we checked them out. Even in cuisines that are traditionally veggie-friendly like Italian it seems to be becoming harder to find places that offer a lot of choice. Chain restaurants also seem to be becoming worse.<br><br>
Is this just me, or have other people noticed it too? And if it is real, what do you think is causing it? Is there a "backlash" against vegetarianism? If so, is it driven by the increasing influence of foodie culture, with its basis in vegetarian-unfriendly French cuisine? Or is this a consequence of the more seasonal approach to menu planning that seems to have become more popular, making certain times of year a bit difficult for offering quality, tasty veggie food?
 

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I haven't really noticed that to be the case. It seems there are so many more vegetarian options at restaurants than ever before. Of course there are hold outs like Applebees and Cracker Barrel which sometimes appear to go out of their way to not offer veggie options, but for the most part there are more options at restaurants then there ever used to be. Restaurants respond to customer demand and unfortunately demand for vegetarian options is usually low.
 

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It seems to be the opposite where I live. You can go to most cafes and restaurants and get a veggie option. A lot of the time, they will even have something vegan. I got a vegan option the other night at a steakhouse of all places. Some of the meat-eaters that I was with looked at my plate when it arrived and said mmm, that looks nice! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mattthr</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2900602"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
One of our local pubs used to be a fantastic place to take the kids as they had a play corner and a mix-and-match approach to children's food that meant even fussy eaters like our eldest could be catered for, and their chef was excellent. They change their menu each month and I watched, exasperated as there was less and less veggie choice available until it became the norm that there wasn't anything at all for the adults. Then the kids menu lost all the veggie options too.<br></div>
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I think when that happens, it usually means not enough people were choosing the vegetarian options so they dumped them. Or a change of management maybe? I'm sure that must be very irritating when it happens though.
 

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There is a 'fancy' restaurant I went to for an office lunch one day. Their lunch menu had a few, but not many, veggie options. I had their ratatouille and it was so good that I looked at their online menu for dinner. Their dinner menu had absolutely NOTHING without meat in it for dinner. I think it depends but most restaurants assume that meat should be the star ingredient in almost every meal. My opinion on this is that if the chef is such a good cook, he should be able to make a meal sing without the assistance of meat. Though I hate to say it meat did taste good when I was omni so if a chef needs meat to make his meal taste good, he's not that good of a chef anyhow. I mostly get salad or pasta dishes because of the lack of veggie options, I couldn't imagine being vegan and trying to eat out somewhere.
 

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It depends. When I go to omni restaurants with friends, usually all they have for me is a green garden salad with nothing on it. It's boring, but I do it for my friends, and then sometimes they come to vegan restaurants. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I've noticed that it has been about the same for the restaurants I go to (with the exception of Applebees, which irritates me every time my mom drags me with her). Haven't noticed any major increase in veggie options, or decrease.<br><br>
Wonder if Applebees will EVER put something veggie in their menu D:
 

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It really depends on the restaurant. And where you are. I live in a really veggie-friendly town, so even our greasy Southern food restaurants have some veggie options.
 

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Being in an area of heavy immigration, I'm delighted with the way things have been going. With the influx of religious vegetarians from Asia, we've got a lot more vegetarian options on the menu here, and increasing all the time. Sorry to hear about how it is over where you are.
 

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It's actually pretty veggie-friendly around here.<br>
There's a few purely-vegan restaurants in the area (few and far between), but if I drive up to the city (I live 50 miles below San Francisco), I can find a vegetarian restaurant by accident.<br>
Around my area, though, even the hole-in-the-wall taquerias have a veggie menu.
 

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it depends on the restaurant....I went out with family last night and there were six options for me and they told me they would and could modify anything upon request and it was all good.<br><br>
peace-ey<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I've actually noticed more options around here. There's a place I like to go where it used to be I only had two options, veggie burgers and a veggie sandwich. Now there's a grilled veggie wrap, and a salad, and they also will swap out a regular burger for a veggie patty.
 

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It must be a location based thing, we have tons of veg*n options at restaurants here, plus a lot of all vegetarian restaurants and vegan stores.
 

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My city is pretty good for veggies. There are at least 2 completely vegetarian restaurants that I know of. And all restaurants I've been to at least have some options, or they're very willing to substitute for me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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must be a geographical thing because most everywhere i've been, there's always a veg*n option. and it seems to be increasing as the years go by and more people are becoming veg*n.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's great to hear.<br><br>
It could be a geographical thing. I'm also wondering if it's down to a change in my dining out habits. Pre-children we went out to a lot of middle-of-the-road Asian and Italian restaurants. Nowadays we mostly go out with the kids to US-style chain places which maybe do 1-2 things, and on the rare occasions we get to go out by ourselves we tend to aim a bit higher than we used to, and vegetarian food in gourmet-style restaurants does seem to be harder to find.
 

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I think that it's the chain stores that are crap for choice. I find the independent places offer more veg*n selection and are often more flexible.
 

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Honestly, when this happens, we have ourselves partly to blame. If nobody ever orders veg options, of course a restaurant is going to take them off the menu. It's often up to us to show mainstream restaurants and grocery stores that yes, there IS demand out there for vegan and vegetarian options. That's one of the reasons you won't ever see me as one of those people who say, "Oh I NEVER eat out at establishments that aren't 100% vegan!"
 

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Depends on the place. Some places are fantastic and have lots of options and/or adaptable opions. Some don't bother at all.<br><br>
If this is somewhere you've been before you could always ask why they made that change. Maybe it just wasn't finacially viable because not enough people ordered the vegetarian options?
 

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I actually feel the opposite. A couple of years ago, I struggled to find things, now (maybe it is b/c I have had more practice) there seems to be a lot of options. I never lack for something splendid to eat out. My husband, who is omni, has been ordering veg meals out for the past 2 months 90% of the time, which says to me that there must be more/better choices out there.
 
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