Eating Vegan at Santa Clara University in California and in Nearby Restaurants

By Nina Lehr, VRG Intern

Before going to college, I was a little nervous about
finding vegan options. I was concerned that maybe the only choices would be
salads or that I would always have to make my own meals. Thus, I was pleasantly
surprised when I started school at Santa Clara University in California and
found a considerable variety of vegan foods! Here are several options for vegan
meals in the dining hall, in addition to several more from restaurants in the
surrounding area!

Dining Hall Choices

The sandwich bar offers several vegan meats, so making your
own sandwich is a great option. You can also add vegetables and non-dairy
spreads, such as the hummus. Another choice is to make yourself a hearty salad
with toppings such as chickpeas, tofu, and beans. There are typically multiple
vegan dressings available, as well. You can also find cut fruits, bananas, and
Odwalla smoothies (only some of which are non-dairy, so don’t forget to read
the labels!) in this general area.

     At the breakfast
station, you can make yourself toast with a variety of spreads. Try the fruit
jam or peanut butter. If you’re craving avocado toast, you can try asking the
sandwich bar for an avocado and spread it on your own bread here!

     Another great
option is the Pasta Bar. You can customize your own bowl with different types
of pasta and sauces; so try out various combinations until you find your go-to
order! Sometimes vegetarian sausage is offered as a protein option, so be sure
to give this a try when it’s available.

     Vegans and
vegetarians often eat dishes from the Pacific Rim station, which offers Asian
fare. Oftentimes, the dishes are tofu-based and come with rice. They sometimes
mark whether or not items are vegetarian or vegan, but you can ask the staff if
items are not clearly labelled. Some items may contain fish sauce, so be sure
to watch out for this and ask staff if an item would traditionally contain it.

     The Sambazon Acai
Bowl Machine is very popular. Acai bowls make a satisfying non-dairy treat,
especially when topped with fruits and granola! Add bananas to make this a more
filling choice.

Surrounding Area
Veggie Dining Options

One of the best places to get vegan options nearby is Crepes
Bistro. This café is about a ten minute walk from campus. It offers a variety
of vegan crepes, in addition to non-dairy smoothies, soups, sandwiches, and
cookies. Try the Garden Crepe, which features vegan pesto, eggplant, tomatoes,
olives, roasted bell peppers, and arugula.

Ike’s Love and Sandwiches has many sandwiches with vegan
meats and spreads featured on the vegetarian section of its extensive menu! The
offerings include 6 sandwiches which can be made fully vegan.

Rocko’s Ice Cream Tacos has several rotating non-dairy ice
cream flavors! If you’re feeling adventurous, try one in a waffle taco shell!

The recently opened Santa Clara location of Happy Hooligans
is a 5 minute drive away from campus. This entirely vegan eatery is known for
its comfort food, with standout menu items including the Buffalo Cauliflower
Bites, Bacon Ranch Cheese Fries, and Double-Decker Burger!

For information about dining options in other colleges and
universities, see: https://www.vrg.org/teen/#college

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