Your Vegan & Vegetarian Eats on Campus
Plant-based diets are rapidly gaining popularity[i] for a variety of reasons including health benefits, ethical and moral reasons, or to add in more fruits and vegetables daily. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian (lacto-ovo, ovo, lacto, or strict), pescatarian, or flexitarian, there’s a surefire way to eat a plant-based meal on campus without compromising your nutrition. Some options are grab-n-go while others require modifying a meal, but regardless, I’m here to walk you through each restaurant so you can become a pro at ordering.
With the new semester in full throttle, you’ve probably settled in and found your favorite places to eat on campus. But, DYK there are plenty of plant-based options at all our locations? We have fourteen in total and can confidently say that the options are easy to find, and you’ll never go hungry!
Your favorite campus dietitian [that's me 💁 ] has created a guide just for you plant lovers, and you can access it HERE. But let me give you a little insight into where my favorite plant-based meals and snacks are on campus.
The Osprey Café
The cafe is located within the Osprey Commons, Building 16, on the first floor and is the BEST restaurant on campus when it comes to vegan and vegetarian eats.
You can enjoy a vegan scramble for breakfast, portobello mushroom melt with grilled tomatoes for lunch, and a savory veggie paella for dinner. And a special shout out to our amazing baker, Ms. Cheri, who makes the best vegan brownies! Don’t forget about our garden burger or black bean burgers by the grill, our daily vegan pizza, and a healthy dairy-free smoothie by the salad bar. If you need milk for your cereals or coffee, we have both almond and soy milk located in the Pantry.
You can easily find all these options online or just look for the ‘Vegan’ and ‘Vegetarian’ call-out identification labels to help you choose your next plant-based meal.
On occasion, we'll partner up with the Zen Butcher company for special dishes and will make sure to let you know! Lastly, if we’re cooking up a dish by the action stations and you would like to make your dish more plant-based-friendly, just ask! We can certainly modify your dish to fit your needs.
Located within the Student Wellness Complex is Jamba, where you can have a complete meal by adding in veggies, plant-based proteins, and oats to your fruit smoothie. Our dairy alternatives include soymilk, coconut milk, and almond milk. We also have soy protein powder, almond butter, and peanut butter for an additional plant-based protein punch. There are even plant-based options for breakfast such as warm oatmeal made with soy milk, flatbreads, baked goods, and smoothie bowls.
At the Student Union:
Einstein's Bros Bagels has a handful of dairy-free bagels including the plain, sesame seed, everything, chocolate chip, and cinnamon raisin bagels. You can then add avocado spread, peanut butter, or hummus as your spread. If you prefer dairy, there are a handful of schmears or egg and cheese options to choose from! EBB has more than just egg sandwiches: try one of our salads, fruit cups, fruit parfaits, juices, or smoothies next time you stop in. Best of all, EBB allows any sandwich to be modified. An example would be our Hummus Veg Out sandwich- just be sure to ask for “no cream cheese and extra hummus” if you wish for the sandwich to become dairy-free.
At Slice, the options are not as abundant as the rest of the campus BUT make sure to look out for occasional offers (or limited time offers) as we will be featuring different kinds of pasta that are made without meat. If you’re craving pizza, you can head over to the Osprey Café where we feature a vegan pizza daily!
Panda Express has multiple side dishes to choose from that do not contain any animal-based foods, such as chow mein, brown steamed rice, white steamed rice, vegetable medley, veggie spring rolls, and fried rice, so you can still get your Asian food fix no matter what your dietary preferences are.
Located on the second story of the Student Union (next to the bookstore), you can create and build your own vegan or vegetarian burrito bowl! Ask for the grilled tempeh with yellow rice, black beans, Pico, lettuce, jalapenos, and add guacamole. You can modify any of the salads by requesting no dairy or animal protein and even ask to toss your tempeh in buffalo for some extra spice. A MUST try is our Beyond Burger on a potato roll. DE-LISH.
(Student Union + Alumni Square)
A plethora of plant-based options can be found in both Outtakes locations, such as our grab-n-go brands Jack & Olive or Albert’s Organics, Sabra hummus snack packs, fruit cups, whole fruit, and various other snacks located throughout the store.
At Alumni Square:
Chick-fil-A has a side salad and a grilled market salad that can be easily modified for a vegan or vegetarian diet: just ask for no cheese or chicken. Instead, you could add a fruit cup, mouth-watering fries, or yogurt parfait (has dairy).
Chop’d and Wrap’d
IMO, this is the second-best spot for plant-based lovers, after the Osprey Cafe. The options are endless, as you can choose between a salad or wrap and fill it with various plant-based proteins and veggies. FYI, all wraps are vegan-friendly. And don’t forget about our must-have veggie sushi!
Starbucks (Library Atrium)
If you’re currently not consuming dairy, but are obsessed with frappes or lattes, make sure to ask for a dairy-free selection of either coconut milk, almond milk, or soymilk! If you want a bite to eat with your caffeine, know that all of the bagels are dairy-free, and you can enjoy select snacks like avocado spread or Hippeas puffs.
Pita Pit (Clubhouse)
If you live on campus, then you’re likely near the Clubhouse, which is where Pita Pit resides along with an attached convenience store. You can create your own pita and fill it with black bean, hummus, falafel and lots of veggies for a savory and satisfying plant-based meal. The convenience store is similar to Outtakes and offers some grab-n-go selections and energy-filled snacks.
Upperclassmen can enjoy made-to-order vegetarian or vegan grilled items, plus an array of grab-n-go snack options for your dorm rooms. If you need more assistance guiding your way around campus, then download my guide today!
Remember, if you aren’t sure if there's an option for you at any of our UNF Dining Services locations, simply ask an associate and they’ll be happy to provide you with more information. So, whether you already consume a plant-based diet, or are looking to reduce your intake of animal-based products, there are endless options to satisfy your cravings at the University of North Florida!
Stay Healthy Ospreys,
[i] Vegetarian diet: How to get the best nutrition