The primary rule of etiquette applies: do not point out breaches of etiquette in anyone else. That is, do not call attention to the fact that your guest might not have anything to eat or that the host hasn’t prepared anything you can eat.
The rule of thumb for cooks and servers is to keep the vegetarian dishes and ingredients separate from the non-vegetarian items. For example, if you are cooking pot roast, don’t put the vegetables in the same pot with the roast and expect the vegetarian to pick the vegetables out of the meat gravy. Roast the vegetables in the oven instead and serve the gravy with them in a separate gravy boat.
The rule of thumb for vegetarians is to go as far as you are comfortable going. If that means sticking with a vegan diet no matter what, then do so. And be prepared to happily have an unbuttered yeast roll for dinner. On the other hand, if someone spent three hours preparing a spinach quiche just for you—not understanding the difference between “vegetarian” and “vegan”—then decide whether you want to tell the cook you can’t eat it or whether you want to “cheat.” It is completely your call. Whichever choice you make, be gracious.
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Each month we will bring you breakfast, dinner and special occasion menus starring the foods you are already cooking, and featuring tantalizing new vegetarian dishes to appeal to everyone.