Eat the rich—rich in fiber.
As a diligent vegetarian, I am aggressively underwhelmed by what Columbia Dining has to offer. While I don’t go to the dining hall every day, out of respect for myself, the days I do choose to be knocked around by various CU athletic backpacks while waiting in nauseatingly long lines are bleak. Warm, waterlogged vegetables, salad bars that could suffice maybe a rabbit, one kind of soup (these are actually decent), the list does not go on. Needless to say, I’m lacking in vitamin everything. Fortunately, I’ve come to learn the real good vegan spots on campus, so here’s where to eat for you plant-based baddies on a meal plan.
This is hands down the best vegan option campus has to offer. Lush, green, and freshly watered each day, this vegetation will never run out, unlike the food at John Jay and Ferris. And the line? Nonexistent. Abundant blades of soft green grass wait for you—not the other way around.
Pro tip: Go early for crisp morning dew or later in the day for hints of sprinkler.
Atop its Milbank throne, the Barnard Greenhouse is a sanctuary for the herbivorous. Snack on succulents, inhale the newly produced oxygen, and bask in the glory of human-manipulated nature. This spot is a bit nicer than most, so they probably require dining dollars, but the view alone is money well spent.
Pro tip: Go in colder weather for a warm, humid escape, or bring a date to make it extra steamy.
While the above two options are open to all Columbia affiliates, the ramps in Lerner are only viable food options for vegans. The glass panels provide the perfect conditions for you to activate photosynthesis mode via your veganism. Hydrate well before, and circulate the carbon dioxide kept in range by your face covering. This place really saves on time.
Pro tip: Take a shot of Low fountain water beforehand to incorporate immunity-boosting elements.
Dodge Fitness Center
Is there anywhere more fitting for your daily dose of protein? Rumor has it that gym bros leave a trail of protein powder, so they can find their way back to the locker room after the gains get to their head. Unfortunately for you, it’s probably animal protein, so your best bet is to stick a straw in the pool and hydrate before you diedrate.
Pro tip: Go when the kayaking club meets for dinner and a show.
The library is probably the most realistic place for vegans to eat on campus. Why’s that? Because you can’t eat in the library, and if you’re vegan, you might as well not eat at Columbia at all.
Pro tip: Be a rebel and eat the books. They’re made of trees, you know.
While the dining halls are not ideal for finding a fully balanced and delicious vegan meal, this is not to say that they don’t supply valuable ingredients for creating your own recipes. Rice, veggies, soy sauce, tofu, and a little store-bought seasoning can go a long way. But when all else fails, you can always eat the lawn grass. You probably shouldn’t, but you can.
Vegans Assert Dominance via Sustainable Columbia