Looking to get a higher education whilst maintaining a vegan lifestyle? At most colleges it’s easy to create your own vegan meal from the food provided in the dining halls. However, there are many vegan friendly colleges that make veganism extremely easy and delicious for their students.


University of California, Santa Cruz : UCSC is constantly voted as the top vegan friendly college in the U.S. It offers a wide variety of vegan entrees and vegan specials to enjoy, such as vegan pizzas, and dishes with tofu, tempeh, and grains. It also partakes in Meatless Monday, and is just another school joining in to decrease their carbon footprint.

University of Calfornia, San Diego : UCSD has increased their vegan and vegetarian options drastically, and most impressively, opened up a 100% meat- free restaurant, Roots. This restaurants offers a wide variety of dishes from different cuisines, and almost all of their dishes are vegan.

University of Texas- Austin  : Austin is a very vegan friendly city, and it’s no surprise that its largest college is following suit. There are a variety of vegan entrees and Cypress Bend, one of the school’s cafes, participates in Meatless Mondays.

Stanford University : This prestigious university was voted peta2’s  “Favorite Vegan-Friendly Large College.” It has increasingly become more vegan friendly and always has at least one vegan entree at dining halls, as well as vegan salads, soups, and often desserts.

More information and specific restaurants to eat at Stanford are here!

Not at a super vegan college or planning on attending one that isn’t exactly the most vegan friendly? Here are some tips for vegan eating in dining halls and colleges.

Dining Halls :

Often times, many vegan students are left with the basics to eat. Simplicity can be delicious! Here are some easy vegan dishes that you can create.

Salads : Start with a leafy green and add beans such as black or chickpeas, then top with veggies like carrots, celery, romaine hearts, olives, and bell peppers. Top it off with a vegan balsamic vinaigrette (make sure it is vegan but, many vinaigrettes are vegan).

Hot dishes :

Rice and Beans Burrito Bowl : Start with a bed of white rice, add black / pinto beans, salsa, corn, bell peppers, tofu (if they have any) and top with lettuce.

Pasta : Plate with any kind of plain pasta, add plain marinara sauce, olives (optional, to add some salty flavor) and vegetables such as corn, carrots, or zucchini.

Deluxe Bagel : Take a plain bagel (toasted is best) and add beans and various veggie toppings, top with Sriracha or another favorite sauce. Simple but so delicious!

Veggie Bowl : Start with a bed of rice (any kind), add steamed veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, add carrots, beans, and top with Sriracha or another sauce.

Most drinks are vegan and many colleges have non-dairy milk available (soy, almond, coconut, etc.). Non-dairy milks make great additions to any meal!

Many colleges will not have vegan desserts. You may have to improvise and buy desserts to keep with you if you want to indulge occasionally. Here is a list of accidentally vegan foods that are found at many grocery stores.


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