Happy New Year!
Last January I wrote a 7 part series on fasting and the Daniel Fast. I wrote from my personal experience, biblical truths, and included links to a ton of delicious Daniel Fast friendly recipes from food bloggers.
This year, I decided to share some restaurants with you that work for me and my family while we are on the fast. Remembering that the point of the fast is to grow closer to God, sometimes that growing closer means less time available for cooking. And just because you are focused on growing closer to God does not mean the world stops during your fast. There will likely be business meetings, birthday celebrations, and possibly guests to entertain. This is especially true if you are fasting for an extended period of time, such as three weeks.
In general, (assuming you are able to choose the restaurant) there are some types of restaurants that will be more helpful to the fast than others. Cuisines to look out for that will be helpful on the fast include: Mediterranean (Hello! This was basically Daniel’s diet anyway,) Asian, and Latin.
- Mediterranean restaurants will likely offer hummus, fresh vegetables, lemon-based sauces (as opposed to sugary or mayonnaise based sauces) and in general are vegan-friendly.
- Asian restaurants typically offer edamame, brown rice, steamed vegetables, and tofu – just beware of sugary sauces and anything “tempura” or fried.
- Latin restaurants will typically have an offering of fresh salsas, corn tortillas, beans, vegetables, and guacamole – just beware of beans and/or vegetables cooked with meat or chicken stock.
Though knowledge of general cuisines will be helpful to your fast, specifics are helpful, too. This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a list of restaurants that I have visited while Daniel Fasting over the years. I chose to list only those restaurants that you could have a full meal at. There are many restaurants from which several sides could be ordered to make a meal (think corn on the cob, steamed broccoli, side salad, etc.) A great “side meal” alternative is a plain baked potato with olive oil, salt, pepper, & salsa (hey, I get creative!) Many salads can be ordered without meat, cheese, & croutons but be aware that most dried fruits and dressings will contain sugar. When in doubt, ordering oil & vinegar as a dressing is a safe bet – or you can always make your own salad dressing and bring a small container along when you plan to be dining out. Also, since I live in Central Florida, I’ve also included Central Florida specific restaurants, but even if you live elsewhere, it may help you think of restaurants in your area that will work for your fast.
Here is my favorite list of fast-friendly restaurants in the US along with what is available to order according to Daniel Fast guidelines. Click the links to see if there is a restaurant listed near you.
- BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse – Garden Vegetable Potato (without cheese or Alfredo sauce)
- Chipotle – Corn Tortilla Tacos, Burrito Bowl, or Salad (without dressing) with any combination of brown rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, salsas, lettuce, and guacamole (I actually never order the salad dressing because guacamole comes free with a veggie order!) Some locations now offer tofu as well.
- Loving Hut – This vegan restaurant offers great quinoa dishes and salads in addition to many asian inspired dishes. Though everything is vegan, be aware of fried foods, yeast, refined white flour, and added sugar.
- Nature’s Table – Avocado Cucumber sandwich on a whole wheat wrap (without mayonnaise), Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich on a whole wheat wrap (without feta cheese)
- Ruby Tuesday – Salad Bar
- Starbucks - Oatmeal made with water + fresh fruit and/or nuts
- Sushi Restaurants – Raw vegetable rolls made with brown rice (without sauce or mayonnaise)
- Sweet Tomatoes/Soup Plantation – Salad Bar, plain baked potato, fresh fruit
- Whole Foods Market – Whole Foods may be a place you are visiting during the fast anyway to stock up on fresh, organic produce. They also offer a juice bar, sushi bar, and hot food bar with many vegan offerings. They list every ingredient on all their food items so you can easily see if they are fast-approved.
Central Florida specific
- Cafe 118 – This is a raw restaurant so everything is living and almost everything is fast-approved. The menu is seasonal so I cannot make specific recommendations. This cafe also has a juice bar.
- Dandelion Communitea Cafe – A restaurant offering organic, fair trade food much of which is vegan and gluten-free – just be sure to ask about things like yeast, refined white flour, and added sugar.
- Ethos Vegan Kitchen – This is one of our favorite restaurants in Orlando whether we are fasting or not! The entire restaurant is vegan so almost everything is permitted for the fast but be conscious of things like yeast, refined white flour, and added sugar.
What restaurants do you visit while on the fast?