I've recently turned to veganism due to some food intolerances that prevent me from having a large variety of non-vegan foods. It's slowly becoming an easy, smooth lifestyle. However, I've discovered that vegans generally need to cook their own foods — from baking your own bread to concocting vegan desserts that taste just as they would if they were non-vegan.
It's not easy, and not everyone always has the time to make everything from scratch. Some people can't cook to save their lives and others just cannot be bothered most of the time. So sometimes, you have to resort to ordering take out or dining out at a restaurant.
One thing that's constantly been happening to me - that I believe happens to a lot of vegans when dining with friends or family - is having to sit there and watch people eat while twiddling my thumbs because they chose a non-vegan-friendly restaurant. (No, that odd-looking salad doesn't count.) Which let's face it, gets boring after a while.
A positive aspect of recently becoming vegan is that it is becoming a trend in Saudi Arabia. Meaning more and more eateries are taking vegans into consideration. Finding these eateries can sometimes be a hassle, which is why this list may come in handy.
These eight food bars and restaurants offer affordable, vegan-friendly foods ... other than salads of course.
1. Operation Falafel
Who doesn't love falafel?! If you happen to be one of the few vegans who don't, no need to worry. Operation Falafel can be found in Rubeen Plaza.
Although the name states differently, it offers a large selection of vegan foods, from hummus and salads to manakeesh and foul. This restaurant has elevated street food but made sure to keep things authentic.
Operation Falafel brings you "traditional recipes in a 21st-century atmosphere." Although the restaurant has made these traditional street foods fancier, the owners made sure to keep things affordable.
Yogi is basically a health bar. Everything you could ask for when it comes to fitness can be found there. Not only that, but allergies are also taken into consideration.
The food ranges from regular non-vegan foods to vegan, dairy-free and nut-free foods. Just make sure to read the ingredients if you do have any allergies, and ask for the removal of the item in question. You can opt for salads, sandwiches and even smoothie bowls.
Yogi is located at the end of Uthman Bin Affan Road in what can be dubbed a health fanatic district.
3. Wabi Sabi
Wabi Sabi is a fully vegan eatery located in As Sulimaniyah. The reason it was placed third on the list is only due to the fact that it is slightly more expensive than the other vegan-friendly restaurants.
An entire menu of burgers, pasta, appetizers, drinks and desserts design specifically for vegans. The menu also offers western, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Drool!
4. Under 500 (Calories)
Under 500 (Calories) is also a health and fitness eatery. It does not have a major selection of vegan foods - their menu, in general, is not that huge anyway.
However, they have kept vegans in mind throughout the menu. Their vegan jambalaya is full of taste, that any missing non-vegan aspects go completely unnoticed. They also have a dedicated vegan wrap, superbowl, sides and soups.
Greens caters to both vegans, vegetarians and health buffs, between the breakfast, sandwich, "create your own" salads and desserts, your hunger will be killed.
I know I said salads can be boring. But when you have an extensive, make your own selection of fruits, veggies, nuts and pasta, then a mixer-upper salad is far from boring.
So, if you're craving a salad, you can find Greens in Akaria Mall on Olaya St.
Let's say you're going out to dinner with some friends, and they just so happen to all be craving a burger (yes, this happens) ... you, as a vegan, obviously cannot have a regular meat burger. One of your options is to suggest heading to Blac on Takhassusi St.
This way both you and your friends can enjoy a good juicy burger. You have the option to choose between two vegan burgers and some vegan sides, and your friends can eat burgers to their heart's content.