If you’re like many vegetarians with children, finding a family friendly vegetarian restaurant can be challenging. Children often have picky eating habits and will turn up their little noses at foods with which they are not familiar. Additionally, some vegetarian restaurants cater to a very specific clientele, often one which is at odds with a boisterous family.
Unfortunately, this means that many vegetarian parents are relegated to ordering the same salad or side dish over and over at a traditional restaurant. But by taking just a few minutes to do some quick research on your local vegetarian restaurants, you can find dining options that both you and your children will enjoy.
Review the Menu for Family Friendly Clues
The first step in determining whether your local vegetarian restaurant promotes family dining is to check out the menu. Many vegetarian restaurants post their menu online for you to peruse, so you can scout out the options before you leave the house. If the menu has a kids’ section, you can bet that the restaurant promotes an environment that is family friendly.
Once you’ve found the kids’ menu, pay close attention to the options. Some vegetarian restaurants simply offer smaller portions of adult entrees for children. While this is a good start, every parent knows that kids like a little fun with their meal. Kids’ entrees should be typical of what most children enjoy, and if the menu even has some choices with silly names, you’ve hit the jackpot.
High priced restaurants are not geared toward kids
Next, look at the menu prices for adult entrees. If a typical entree runs $35 or more, the restaurant probably doesn’t cater to families. These establishments often have stricter behavioral expectations, making your child feel uncomfortable. Additionally, if your child should misbehave, you may be asked to leave the restaurant, spoiling the meal for everyone.
A family friendly restaurant has a casual, inviting atmosphere
Once you find a vegetarian restaurant menu that holds all these family friendly clues, the next step should be a quick visit to the restaurant itself, preferably during the dinner hour. As soon as you walk in the door, look around. Even if there are no children in the dining room, other features will offer clues. Casual dress, cheerful colors, and a warm, inviting atmosphere typically characterize a family friendly establishment. If the majority of the patrons are wearing formal or evening dress, or if the atmosphere is excessively professional, your kids may be happier dining somewhere else.
If the restaurant is not too busy, you may even ask the host/hostess or a member of the waitstaff whether the restaurant serves many families. A vegetarian restaurant that is popular with other families may very well be a hit with your family, too.
Finding a great, family friendly vegetarian restaurant is a win-win for your family. You get to enjoy fantastic dishes prepared specifically to appeal to your vegetarian tastes. Your kids get to enjoy the fun, eclectic environment that many vegetarian restaurants offer. By taking these few quick steps, you can ensure a great vegetarian dining experience for the whole family.