How To Be a Gracious Vegan Dining Guest

I’m sure that your parents taught you well regarding manners at the dinner table. The vast majority of us are well versed in saying please and thank you, not talking with our mouths full, and keeping our elbows off the table. What Mom and Dad may not have taught you, however, are the things to consider when bringing a dietary restriction to the table (literally :P).


Depending on who you will be dining with this holiday season, your decision to eat vegan (or vegetarian, or gluten-free, etc.) may or may not be an issue. Whatever the case may be, there are a few points I make sure to cover when dining with a group, and especially if I am a guest. These may not all apply to you, but in my experience, I have found them to be helpful in making the meal enjoyable and stress-free for everyone!

Let your host know upon invitation…

It’s always nice to be invited places, and the host has a right to know off the bat that you will not be digging into the massive turkey and stuffing she ever so lovingly prepared. Some people may be extremely receptive and even offer to prepare something special! Either way, there are no secrets.

…and offer to bring a dish to share.

Vegan cooking can be perplexing for someone not well versed in the tricks of the trade (what the heck is a flax egg? Nooch; is that some sort of infection?). Offering to bring a dish is not only an awesome way to show how awesome vegan food can be, but also takes extra strain off the host (who is likely already stressing). Scroll to the end of the post for a list of guaranteed crowd-pleasers!

Don’t get caught up in the ‘questions’.

In some cases, your dietary choices may be questioned, or ahem, scrutinized; I know it’s happened to me! It can be extremely frustrating to feel as though you are being criticized all night, so let me get all Four Agreements on you for a second:

  • “Don’t take anything personally”, and
  • “Be impeccable with your word”

It’s not very likely that you will be able to convince your roast beef-loving Uncle Sam that he should completely forgo beef for beets. If you do find yourself discussing your values among guests, remaining nonjudgemental is the way to go!

Pot Lucky Eat, drink, and be merry!

What are the holidays for if not spending time with the ones you love? Yes, food tends to take the center stages at these events, but it shouldn’t be the crux of the event. If there don’t appear to be a lot of dining options that align with your diet, snack on carrots and crackers (and hummus if you’re lucky!), enjoy a fun festive beverage (or a glass of wine), and try to focus on the most important part of the day: the company!

Delicious Vegan Dish Wish-list

Need some ideas on what to bring to the shin dig? Look no further:


IMG_0876 Pizza Hummus

Pumpkin Seed Cranberry ‘Cheese’ Log by Rawmazing

Vegan Holiday Cheddar Cheese Ball by Vedged Out

Lavash Flatbread (for dipping)

Main Dishes


Easy Vegan Squash Bake with Beans, Sundried Tomatoes, and Almonds

Mini Tempeh Pot Pies by The Healthy Maven

Sage Maple Chickpeas and Creamy Pumpkin Quinoa & Millet by Produce on Parade

Shaved Brussel Sprout Christmas Salad by Green Kitchen Stories (sub Maple Syrup for honey if vegan)

Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan by Oh She Glows


Apple Spice Cake- hello, veggy! Apple Spice Cake

Red Nose Cookies

Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting by This Rawesome Vegan Life

And on that note I say Merry Christmas Eve to you (or a very belated Hannukah, in which case I hope you enjoy your movie and Chinese food tomorrow ;) )

Question of the Day: What are your must-have tips for being a gracious dining guest (vegan or not)?

Thanks so much for reading! Leave me a comment, or follow me on, FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Instagram; I’d love to connect with you!

24. December 2013 by Suzanne
Categories: Food, Round Up, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 comments

Comments (8)

  1. Thanks for the shout out for my pumpkin and sage millet! I love your words of wisdom. I often have to remind myself of this. My best advice is to not get caught up in what I deem as vegan hatred/huffery….

  2. I just laughed out loud at the ‘nooch, is that some kind of infection?’ thing. :-p
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…Merry Christmas Eve!My Profile

  3. Hehe great advice! While it’s been a challenge for me over the years, you gradually do get people on your side, no matter how resistant they were at first! Love all your recommendations- you red nose cookies are adorable and they might just be a last minute addition to my baking plans :)
    Gabby @ the veggie nook recently posted…grinchy smoothie: apple avocado smoothie with VegaMy Profile

  4. I have a dairy allergy. There is one place I go that neither wants me to bring stuff nor can she make food that I can eat. Ugg. It has definitely been a headache! But I’m definitely trying to remember to be gracious and loving and just do what I can. Thanks for keeping it positive! It’s not always easy!

    • That’s tough! Sometimes even if people decline my offer to bring something, I will anyway it’s not an act of defiance, merely a way to share more deliciousness :)

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