Vegan-Friendly Colleges and Universities

Does your college take into account your dietary needs? From gluten to peanut allergies and everything in between, colleges are really starting to provide food that all different students can eat. And one of the most abundant of those student groups are vegans, folks who don’t eat anything that comes from an animal.

Being a vegan isn’t as crazy as it sounds. There are so many vegan options that are super healthy and surprisingly delicious. But, with the non-stop life of a college student, it can be a bit harder to find vegan options on campus while also trying to stay on top of their work, social life, laundry…you know, things add up.

The animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, recently took a survey of thousands of student votes assessing the quality and quantity of vegan dining options available on campus. They separated the larger U.S. colleges from the small ones. And hey, even if you’re not a vegan, why not try eating a vegan meal to see what it’s all about.

Here are the 10 most vegan-friendly large U.S. colleges:

1. University of California – Santa Cruz
UCSC implements a Meatless Monday for its students in the dining halls, providing balanced meals without the meat. The university also has a vibrant student activist community promoting vegan lifestyles.

2. University of Florida
University of Florida took a note from UC – Santa Cruz and also holds a Meatless Mondays for students in the dining halls. There is also the student-run VegFest, a program meant to create an atmosphere for animal-free cuisine and help students learn how to make some of their favorite dishes into vegan ones.

3. University of California – Irvine
UC Irvine emphasizes vegan versions of meat-based dishes, such as vegan sweet-and-sour meatballs, chicken tacos, pad Thai, and chicken marsala on the dining hall menus.

4. Ohio University
OU’s student menu includes vegan ravioli, black-bean stuffed peppers, Tofurky sandwiches, vegan orange chicken and broccoli, and vegan cheesecake.

5. University of California – Los Angeles
California schools are representing! UCLA has made vegan food a top priority for the better part of the past decade, consistently keeping up with student expectations as more and more residents embrace a plant-based diet.

6. Cornell University 
One World Café—Cornell’s on-campus café–is devoted entirely to vegetarian and vegan food.

7. University of Connecticut
UCONN offers vegan highlights on its student menus like Vegan ravioli with veggies, grilled tofu with cranberry-apricot chutney, African peanut stew, and tofu vindaloo.

8. University of Illinois
A clearly labeled “vegan corner” in each dining location helps students stock up on vegan cheese, soy meat, and other tasty treats, while the chefs whip up flavorful recipes like vegan Caprese sandwiches (with soy cheese), pumpkin lasagne, spring rolls, and more vegan versions of meat-based Asian dishes than you can shake a stick at.

9. University of California – Berkeley
Popular items like tofu scramble, vegan chicken nuggets, and vegan pizza are just a few of the literally hundreds of vegan options available at this veggie-powered California school.

10. University of Colorado – Boulder
Clearly labeled vegan options at Boulder’s dining halls, such as tofu rancheros, barbecue tofu with Cuban beans, seitan tacos, and vegan apple pie, are just a few of the many choices possessing a light footprint but big flavor.