College dining options for vegans

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Out of curiosity today, I did a quick search of my alma mater’s dining services page to see how accommodating they are to vegetarians and vegans.  I wasn’t even a vegetarian when I was in college, so I have no recollection how it was back in the day, but I was happy to see that today, there are at least some good choices for vegans:

The Grill
offering All-American standards like hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, or even grilled cheese and fries. Vegetarian or Vegan? Grab a veggie burger or soy chicken patty instead!

Top Hits
If you are looking for something made-to-order, this is the place for you. Top Hits provides you with a rotating schedule of our most popular made-to-order items, including omelets, crepes (made the vegan way), salads, and more!

The crepes, in particular, took me by surprise.  In addition, “The Bistro” has a “Vegan/Gluten Free Station.”  I can guarantee you, that wasn’t there ten years ago.

The catering arm of dining services also offers an impressive vegetarian selection and the college itself mentions the vegetarian and vegan options in their prospective students FAQ.

How does your alma mater/current/future school stack up?

(Edited to add: Just noticed that Gary has a couple of posts on the topic over at his blog. Read ’em.)

7 Responses to “College dining options for vegans”

  1. Simon

    I’m a graduate student at Stanford. I don’t eat at the dining halls, but I’ve heard they are reasonably vegan-friendly. (I read an article that said that every station has at least one vegetarian/vegan dish.) Some of the vendors on campus have vegan food, but the selection is pretty limited, so I rarely eat campus-bought food. Fortunately, Palo Alto is a vegan-friendly place, so there are quite a few restaurants with good vegan offerings, and there’s a really nice organic food store within walking distance from my apartment on campus.

    I’m less enthusiastic about the vegan offerings at my undergrad (UC Santa Barbara), but I wasn’t a vegan then. (I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian my senior year and an omnivore before that.) The dining halls had some vegetarian/vegan dishes, but they were sometimes not labeled or mislabeled, and they were not at all concerned about cleaning the surfaces after making meat dishes, at least from what I could see.

  2. marygrace

    the vegan offerings at my school, the college of new jersey, are pretty slim. there is a pasta bar, but the noodles are always mushy and greasy. the greens at the salad bar are usually wilted. there are usually one or two way overcooked vegetable offerings also. then there are bagels, but they aren’t very healthy, and some underripe fruit. they claim to have vegan chicken salad at the sandwich station, but whenever i’ve asked for it, the response has never been positive. oh, and they have some raw tofu cubes at the salad bar as well, as some sort of token gesture i guess. i’m not sure what that is about.

    the food, vegan or omnivorous, is notoriously bad at my school. i find it especially frustrating that they go out of their way to make it seem like they have a lot of vegan options, when in reality, no vegan would feel satisfied or could thrive for very long from the food that is provided. i tend to buy whatever groceries that can be microwaved (frozen vegetables, potatoes, soups, noodle bowls, oatmeal) or some other things that don’t need to be cooked like fresh fruit and nuts. a diet like this also isn’t the best or most satisfying, but its better than what the college can offer me.

  3. Ryan

    Marygrace — That sounds like awful, stereotypical campus food. (Trenton State/TCNJ was my second choice, incidentally.)

  4. bazu

    I’m not sure about my current school’s veg. offerings, because I’m a grad. student, and so not on the meal plan. But I know that for catered events, and other events where meals are provided they have a vegetarian and a vegan option. One of their cafes is the first place I discovered The Alternative Baking Company vegan cookies! The school where I teach right now sometimes has wonderful vegan entrees (ravioli, lasagna, soups, sandwiches, etc.) plus a salad bar and a refrigerator selection that has plenty of options. I blogged about a vegan lunch at the cafeteria in this post: http://wherestherevolution.blogspot.com/2007/09/quick-meals-and-vegan-wish-fulfillment.html

    Oh and my undergrad alma mater is where I first discovered the wonders of vegan chili. Mmmmmm.

  5. Madelyn

    Rading this sparked some curiosity… I went to Northwestern University in Evanston and back then, I would have never imagined I was going to become a vegetarian. I would have probably laughed…

    I do remember that in Norris Center, we used to get stir-frys, and they had tofu as an alternative. I searched the current Northwestern website to see what they have…

    I was surprised that with over 10 dining/eating options, only one of them mentions they have vegetarian burgers and an organic convinience store section…

    “Come watch the game on Foster-Walker’s big screen TV while enjoying your delicious meal. Foster-Walker’s West Dining Room offers a variety of made-to-order specialties like freshly tossed salads, grilled sandwiches, pastas, burritos, and stir-fry. The West Dining Room also provides soup, cereal and desserts. Vegetarian burger options are available. Halal items are also available upon request.

    They also have a new section in the Foster Walker C-Store called nuGreen Market, which features organic and or natural products. ”

    I hope that, even in Chicago, the home of the sausage pizza, they start accomodating more the vegetarian student body.

    read all bout it in http://www.karmafreecooking.wordpress.com

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  7. Amanda

    Hey, I’m a student at the University of Sydney (Australia), and I don’t live on campus, but when I forget to pack my lunch, the pickings here are VERY slim. As in, I can have a “custom-made salad” (read: limp, wilted vegetables), or vegetable sushi. The dining halls on campus have a couple of vegetarian options, but, from what I’ve heard, no vegan options.

    That being said, vegan foods in general seem to be much harder to obtain in Australia than in the U.S., and it’s almost impossible if you live outside of the major cities (though it is slowly getting better).

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