Eating Vegan at UofR

It’s not always easy to eat vegan while living on a college campus, where many students do not have access to their own kitchen. However, if you know what to look for, you can find some great options at the dining facilities here at the U of R! As a sophomore who has been eating vegan on this campus for nearly 2 years now, here are some of my tips for finding vegan options at each dining facility here.


Douglass is my favorite of the two traditional dining halls here at Rochester. The Kosher station always has at least a vegetarian option and most of the time it is also vegan because it tends to be some sort of tofu or vegetables. I also always check the allergen-free station, because since it is egg and dairy free, it is guaranteed to be vegan if you skip the meat. If all else fails, I love getting pasta with marinara sauce and veggies, which is available every day. Check out these additional tips for eating sustainably in the dining halls.


Danforth is great because it has a vegan station, which I love because I can get a vegan dessert, which is not available in Douglass. The gluten-free station, which changes weekly, also usually rotates between Indian and Asian cuisines, among other things, which usually have some vegan friendly options.

The Pit:

There are great vegan options available at every station in the pit. At the Grill, I usually get either a veggie burger or the vegetarian chicken tenders. At Wok on Up, the General Tso’s tofu is a great choice. It is also easy to get a vegan burrito or burrito bowl since you can customize your own.


Connections is my favorite spot on campus for breakfast. I usually get a bagel with either the vegan coconut cashew cream cheese, peanut butter, or Smart Balance, which is a vegan margarine. Connections also has delicious vegan cookies and most days has a vegan soup option.


There are so many great vegan options at Hillside, but I’m going to focus on things that can be bought as a meal. My favorites are the Indian food microwavable meals as well as many of the Amy’s brand frozen foods. Additionally, here is a link to a blog post on eating zero waste at Hillside.

(Tip: On the wall by the exit there is a list of all foods that are vegan friendly, gluten-free, etc.)


Starbucks oatmeal is made with water so it’s great for a quick breakfast. They also offer a variety of plant-based milks so most of their drinks can easily be made vegan!


Optikale is a great option since there are so many combinations for different healthy, vegan meals if you don’t add meat or dressing with dairy!


Some great vegan options at Peet’s include vegan hummus and veggie wraps. You can also get any of their locally-sourced coffee with plant-based milk!

To anyone that is reading this who isn’t currently vegan and wants to try to reduce the amount of animal products they eat: being vegan and trying to eat sustainably isn’t about being perfect. It can be a challenge to eat vegan on a college campus but it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing and any meal that is vegan helps. I hope that you can use some of these tips and ideas and try one of these delicious vegan options that our school offers!


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Guest Post Written by Nicole Franki, Class of 2020, Dining Team Green Sustainability Intern