Do you find ordering in cafes more difficult as a vegan?

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Dec 1, 2017
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  1. Vegan newbie
Hi, I'm new at veganism although an experienced vegetarian. I used to love getting a hot chocolate in the morning on my way to school, but I find that lots of places aren't able to make vegan hot chocolates for me even with soya milk as there is usually cow's milk in the powder. I know that I could make them at home with animal-friendly powder but that sort of defeats the point of having it 'on-the-go'. I was wondering if there are any (UK) chains or brands that make lots of vegan drinks or snacks that I could try out when I'm far away from home? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :)
Unless you're bringing your own cup, going to a cafe every day for something you could easily make at home is bad for the environment and therefore also for the animals. It's also much more expensive. If I were you, I would see this problem as an opportunity. Buy a thermos and bring your hot chocolate with you. Then, at the beginning of every month, take the extra money you would have spent that month buying hot chocolate at cafes, and put it in a mutual fund. Most people don't realize how much they spend on small things like this, and how much money they could have after just a few years if they systematically invested it. (It's good to have the occasional treat, or you'll get resentful. It's when something is bought daily, weekly, or monthly, that it makes sense to think about how much of an inconvenience it would be to cut it.)

Also, try some chocolate soymilk. It's delicious cold or warm, and all you have to do to prepare it is open the carton!
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Yeah I'm going to have to agree with poivron. I'm finishing my degree in Environmental Science and your "to go" cups should be a Nalgene or stainless steel or aluminum refillable water bottle, a Mason jar, a thermos, and/or a "car coffee" cup with the lid.

Even if you go to cafes you should try to request they use your Mason jar or refillable coffee cup. So much easier, then, to make vegan hot chocolate in the morning at home then take it with you.

I'm sorry I don't live in the UK and can't tell you which cafes to go to. Most of the ones I have gone to in California have at the very least soy milk, some even have a variety of 3 or 4 vegan milks. If the place you go uses a powder, you can't do anything about that. Like how I don't drink mochas anymore because mochas usually come from a dairy powder. If you don't like coffee you could try drinking hot chai tea, they can be sweet or spicy, which might appeal to you if you like hot chocolate.
To answer the question directly, Starbucks and Caffe Nero and Coffee #1 serve plant milks in the UK. I'd encourage you to ask for this in your favourite local cafes - if they know there's a demand for it then they'll probably start to provide!

I have to agree with the other posters, though, that taking a cup is a necessity, and making it yourself is even better! I'm not a chocolate drinker but I'm sure with some cocoa and plant milk you could make yourself something delicious. Putting the time into making things like this always feels like an extra treat to me (certainly more so than giving my hard-earned to Starbucks!)

I carry oatcakes, dates and nuts with me in a little tub if I'm going to be away from home for the day, just to stop me getting hungry if I can't find anything suitable/healthy to eat. Most towns in the UK have a Holland & Barrett, or a whole foods store, where you could pick up a snack too.

Not a cafe, but Stables and the Lounges chain both have lovely vegan menus if you're looking for a stress-free meal out :)
Fruit and veg make great snacks. Get some kind of thermos and experiment with different hot drinks

Pret A Manger have lots of vegan options if you pass one.
I habitually give Cafe Nero my custom out and about, as they sell excellent vegan falafels and a pasta pot I adore, plus a variety of rich drinks that can be made completely dairy free if you ask the barista. Checked out their site recently and they provide a good, comprehensive list of their vegan drink options. My only real issue here is that these mainstream coffee haunts get quickly pricey, so sometimes 'on the go' for me will simply mean an apple and a thermos flask!
I am not living in UK so I don't know any chains or brands... But, what you could do is that you ask your favorite local coffe shop on the go to have a Vegan option on their menu...

I found this e-mail letter specially for the UK on the internet to be useful if you want to send the email to them.

"Dear (name of coffee shop) customer services team,

I'm getting in touch to say how fantastic it would be if you produced more vegan-friendly on-the-go lunch options.

Veganism is one of the fastest growing movements, with over half a million vegans in the UK. This is on the rise, with no signs of stopping.

In a recent poll, 91% of vegans said they struggled to find vegan food when out and about. This can be quite frustrating when you're looking to buy something for lunch and the vegetarian option has a tiny amount of milk or egg in.

And it's not just vegans who buy vegan food - it is also popular amongst vegetarians, meat reducers, people conscious of their health, people of certain religious faiths, and people trying to improve their environmental impact.

That means there's a lot to be gained by improving your range - and nothing to lose!

Best wishes,
Your Name @orlaellen "

Feel free to use this email template! <3
And I encourage everyone to use it who needs more vegan options in their city.