So, you’ve been invited to a dinner party, but you’re a vegan and the people having the dinner party aren’t, what should you do? And what if you’re the one having a dinner party and inviting meat-eaters to your shindig?
Attending or hosting a dinner party can be stressful if not everyone you’re inviting is vegan. Here are some tips to make that dinner party a success.
Let’s start with what to do if you’re vegan and you’ve been invited to a non-vegan dinner party…
Tip #1: Tell the Host That You’re Vegan Before Accepting the Invite
Ideally, you would have read this article before being invited to that non-vegan dinner party. That way, you know to tell the host immediately that you’re vegan and see if you can find enough to eat at the party to feel full and comfortable. No one wants to go to a dinner party and not be able to eat anything.
Before accepting an invitation, you can tell your host something like, “Thank you for inviting me. I’d love to come to your dinner party, but I need to let you know that I’m vegan. I don’t eat any animal products. Do you know if any vegan options will be served at your party? I can also bring a vegan dish for everyone to try.”
If this is someone you don’t know very well and they seem really lost about what you can eat, just offer to bring a vegan dish and make sure you eat a bit before going to the dinner party so that the dish that you brought will be enough to sustain you during the party. If they make an effort to try to make something vegan for you, great, but make sure they offer it, and don’t assume they will.
If you know the host well, then they should be more accommodating, but wait for them to offer to accommodate you, otherwise, just take a vegan dish to the party and eat a little beforehand.
You can also ask if they know what food they plan on serving at the party so you can figure out what you can eat. Make sure to tell them that you don’t want to trouble them and hope that they like you enough to insist on preparing something vegan for you.
Tip #2: Bring Something Delicious to Show How Awesome Vegan Food Is!
If you’re a good cook, this is your time to shine! You can make vegan enchiladas, tacos, stuffed pumpkin, stuffed yams, and sushi…there are so many amazing things you can make. If you want some inspiration and really want to bring something decadent, then you can use a recipe from Gaz Oakley’s channel.
If you can’t cook, then it’s best to buy something. I highly recommend putting together a vegan cheese board because it looks beautiful and gives people lots of options. It also gives you more options if the only thing you can eat at the party is what you bring. Sweet Simple Vegan has a great tutorial on how to make EPIC cheese and charcuterie boards! You can also win over omnis by bringing samosas, masala dosa, dolma, a hummus plate, or dumplings.
Tip #3: Politely Decline if You’re Offered Non-Vegan Food
Once you’re at the party, you might be offered food that’s not vegan. Just politely decline by saying something like, “Thanks but I’m vegan.”
You can also direct them to the dish you brought and ask if they’ve tried it yet. Try to avoid serious discussions about animal rights at the party because it can lead to an argument and people feeling uncomfortable. If someone is being hostile about you being vegan, definitely defend yourself, but if people have questions you can just say, “I’m vegan for animal rights reasons. I prefer not to talk in-depth about that right now since it’s such a serious topic that I feel really passionate about. I can send you some articles or videos later if you’re interested in learning more about veganism.” There’s a time and place for serious discussions about animal rights and a dinner party is usually not the right time since people just want to eat, catch up, get drunk and laugh.
Tip #4: Thank Your Hosts!
Always thank the hosts before you leave for being accommodating to your vegan needs. You want them to know that you appreciate their effort and that you realize that having a different dietary need than the other guests can be a challenge for the host.
I think most dinner party hosts want their guests to eat well and have fun at their party, so I’m sure your host will be happy to hear that you had a good time and will invite you to a future party since you weren’t a pain in the ass.
If you’re a vegan and hosting a dinner party, here are some tips that can help:
Tip #5: Only Serve Vegan Food at Your Dinner Party!
You don’t need to serve animal products at your dinner party to please your omni guests. People can go for one meal without eating meat and animal cheese. If they can’t, then do you really want them at your party?
Tip #6: Find Out What Your Omni Guests Like and Don’t Like to Eat
When inviting omnis to your party, tell them that the entire menu will be vegan but you want to make sure that they will enjoy the food. Ask them if they are ok with cilantro, garlic, and spicy food, and ask if there is a particular veggie or spice that they really don’t like. You can also ask what kinds of food they like eating so you have a better idea of what to feed them.
Of course, for all guests, you also need to ask if they have food allergies or any dietary restrictions since you want to respect that while still serving vegan food.
You can look at Tip # 2 for suggestions on what delicious food to serve at your party that will please meat eaters. Avoid serving vegan hamburgers, pizza, lasagna, steak, and any Western dishes that are heavy on animal products.
It’s better to serve dishes that your guests have never tried before so they won’t compare it to the animal product version and then make a face because it doesn’t taste exactly like it. Try serving vegan food from India, Thailand, Mexico, Ethiopia, the Mediterranean, Indonesia, China, or Japan so that your food is packed with flavor and will help your guests discover new and exciting food.
Tip #6 Thank Your Guests and Ask Them for Feedback
Show appreciation to your omni guests for being adventurous and trying new food. Ask them if they enjoyed the food and what food they really liked and didn’t like. If a dish was a big hit, you can make a mental note of that and serve it again at your next party. If something was a flop, you know to avoid making or buying that next time.
You can easily tell what went over well and what didn’t because there won’t be anything left over if people really liked it, but it’s still good to get feedback from your omni guests to help them feel more welcome and to show that you are making an effort to make things that they like since they are making an effort to try more vegan food.
Dinner parties should be fun and everyone should enjoy the food and be able to have a good time. Whether you’re a guest or a host, show appreciation when omnis make an effort to make vegan food for you or try your vegan food.
In my experience, omnis have always been very accommodating when inviting me to dinner parties or bringing food to share at work. They even get excited once they realize how easy it is to make certain dishes vegan for me and when a dish is accidentally vegan.
People love to eat and really connect over food, so your next dinner party can be a nice bonding moment with friends, loved ones, and family where you can teach them that vegan food is delicious and amazing.