It's a struggle we all know too well: the task of finding a restaurant that caters to the range of allergies, intolerances and other dietary requirements within one friendship group. We all have at least one friend who has cut gluten at some point, and now more and more of us are opting to give vegan life a go. I am not a vegan, but with a number of friends of mine taking part in #Veganuary, searching for somewhere with enough vegan options on the menu has become a regular occurrence.

Having done a considerable amount of research, I can now suggest some go-to restaurants that make sharing food with friends a breeze.

There are, of course, many vegetarian and vegan speciality restaurants, but taking fussy meat eaters to a vegetarian eatery doesn't always go down well. Many regular restaurants are often willing to adapt menu options to suit your nutritional needs, but anyone with dietary requirements will know that not having to make a fuss when you order is such a relief.

There are quite a few 'healthier' chains where you'd expect to find something vegan on the menu, like Leon, or Pret a Manger, for example. I was, however, surprised to find out about some popular chain restaurants that have an unexpectedly great range of vegan options.

1. Zizzi

As far as I'm concerned, missing out on real, cheesy pizza would be the biggest challenge of being vegan. Zizzi not only have an extensive vegan menu, but have won awards for their vegan pizza! Note that they don't just remove the cheese from regular vegetarian options (the easy way out when catering for vegans), but go the extra mile and use a vegan cheese alternative made from coconut!

2. Le Pain Quotidien

Having lived in France, I can confirm that the French are less than accommodating when it comes to most dietary requirements, especially vegetarianism, so let's not even start on how they feel about vegans (No cheese? Sacré bleu!). Surprisingly, it turns out that the chain are all about encouraging more people to make meat free choices, and believe that 'not only is eating less meat better for us, it’s good for the planet' - and their menu proves it. There are many choices marked with a cute little carrot, signifying '100% botanical/vegan'.

3. Las Iguanas

Latin American food can often be fairly meat-heavy. Las Iguanas, however, have a surprisingly extensive vegetarian menu, which includes plenty of vegan options. And we're talking more than just veggie chilli and some veggie fajitas, check out the moqueca de palmitos, a fresh yet spicy latin curry proving that vegan food is anything but boring.

4. J.D.Wetherspoon

That's right, Spoon's does vegan. As well as a couple of other options, their sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry is vegan, as are their samosas, bhajis and naan - meaning Thursday Night Curry Club isn't off the cards just because you've gone green.

5. Yo Sushi

Asian food tends to be low in dairy, which lends itself well to a vegan diet. I couldn't believe that Wagamama, however, only actually had one fully vegan main on their menu. When it comes to Asian chains here in the UK, Yo Sushi is streets ahead. The many vegan options on their menu mean that the herbivores amongst us can tuck in to some tasty tempura or any one of the range of plant-based plates from the tempting conveyor belt of Japanese delights.

6. The Handmade Burger Co.

Veggie burgers often get a bad rep for being bland and dry, but burger joints everywhere are seriously upping their game. Even so, it's not uncommon to find only one or two vegetarian options on a burger menu, both of which normally involve cheese. Handmade Burger Co., however, have six different veggie burgers on their menu, including FOUR vegan options, making them a top choice for burgers without the beef.

So, next time you make plans to eat out with a vegan, don't think that means you HAVE to head to a purely vegan establishment and, in the words of my father, endure a meal made from 'tofu and mung beans'. There are often vegan options to be found where you least expect it.