Being a vegan in university can be challenging due to the limited plant-based options and unlimited unhealthy options. However, at the University of Waterloo, many plant-based alternatives are available all across campus. As a predominantly plant-based eater, I want to share my favourite vegan places on campus.
My favourite is the Ev3rgreen Café in the Environment 3 building. This is a great place to grab a bite and study. It can be loud, but it’s not usually packed, and the seats are pretty comfortable. They have fresh salads, sandwiches, smoothies, bagels, and coffee. My favourite menu items are the vanilla iced coffee with oat milk and a chicken pesto sandwich with soy chicken substitute. They also have many smoothies to choose from and allow you to substitute the milk with a plant-based option. Another reason Ev3rgreen Café tops this list is because of their all-day breakfast. They have bagel wraps that you can get Beyond Sausage crumble, vegan eggs, cheese alternatives, and sauces. All of their sandwich options are vegan or can be made vegan.
Another place with many vegan options is the food court in the Student Life Center (SLC). With the numerous options from Smokehouse, Quesada, and Pita Pit, there are so many vegan eats to choose from. At Pita Pit, I love to get the “Southwest Baja Bowl” without cheese and substitute the ranch dressing with honey mustard. Quesada’s tacos with chipotle tofu, roasted veggies, or Beyond Meat are amazing. Smokehouse is not lying when they say their spicy black bean burger is spicy. I get mine with lettuce, pickles, red onions, and mustard.
The Davis Center (DC) is home to more great vegan finds on campus. DC Bytes has amazing Asian cuisine and many plant-based options. Hakka Wok offers a chana masala chickpea dish with spices served in a tomato-based curry. One of my favourite items from DC Bytes is from Rolltation, a location which gives you more control over your food by allowing you to build your own dish. They have sushi burritos, salad bows, and poke bowls, where you can choose a protein. Their plant-based option is tofu, which can be bolstered with many different toppings and sauces. You’re encouraged to make your own, but their vegan fruity tofu salad bowl (also available as a poke bowl or sushi burrito) is tasty too.
Some honourable mentions are Tim Hortons and Starbucks. The Flock Shop located in the SLC also has different vegan foods if you’re on the go, and it’s open 24/7, for those late-night munchies. For first-year students living on campus, The Market at Claudette Millar Hall is one of the most vegan-friendly dining halls on campus. At The Market, you have a range of foods from building your own burrito with beans and lots of toppings, to a salad bar that is larger than in any other dining hall.