10 affordable vegetarian options on campus

Eating on campus can be pretty expensive, especially for students with special dietary needs. Often, vegetarians can struggle to find an affordable food option on campus. To resolve this issue, here is a list of 10 affordable food options available on campus for meat-free students to enjoy.

Tempura Avocado Taco – Poly Trolley

The Poly Trolley offers tempura avocado tacos for just $2.50 each. The tacos include avocado cooked tempura-style, sesame ginger slaw, green onions and chipotle aioli. The tacos are both beautiful and delicious, with a great texture and the flavors balancing just right. 

“(The tempura avocado tacos) are (one of) my favorites because even though they have no meat, they are still really filling and satisfying,” said Sarah McNees, a fourth-year computer information systems student. 

Veggie Delite – Subway 

Normally $4.69, Subway had a promotion available for a 6-inch Veggie Delite sub for only $2.99(now expired). The sandwich can be customized with any veggies, and like many Subway options, it manages to be a filling meal. 

7-Layer Burrito – Taco Bell

Taco Bell isn’t every vegetarian’s first choice, but for $3.69, students can get the 7-Layer Burrito. The burrito contains beans, rice, guacamole, sour cream, three-cheese blend, lettuce and tomatoes. It’s good for when you’re late to class and need to discreetly eat your food in the back of the classroom. 

PB Banana Toast – Jamba Juice 

Jamba Juice offers a PB Banana Toast for an affordable $3.99. The toast contains seeded multigrain bread, blueberries, honey, peanut butter and chia seeds. 

“(The most affordable and popular food item on the menu), I would say, (is) the PB Banana Toast. It’s only $3.99 and filling,” said Sofia King, a third-year childhood studies student and Jamba Juice employee. 

Jamba Juice offers more than one affordable food option; its oatmeal is also $3.99.
(Zuvanny Macias | The Poly Post)

Egg White Ranchero Melt – The Den

The Den offers the Egg White Ranchero Melt for $4.49. It contains scrambled egg whites, pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo and chipotle sauce on a griddled brioche bun. It has a rather soggy texture and a surprisingly sweet kick to it once you bite it. The sandwich is an affordable breakfast option for any Bronco in need of a quick bite. 

Trilogy – Saddles Café

Saddles Café offers a variety of paninis, and the Trilogy is one of them. With a price of $5.29, it’s one of the cafe’s most inexpensive paninis available. The sandwich is made with cheddar, pepper jack and mozzarella cheese, marble bread, scallion cream, tomato jam and caramelized onion. This cheesy panini manages to provide a balance between sweet and savory with all of the ingredients blending together beautifully.

Butternut Squash and Curry Soup – Fresh Escape

While Fresh Escape is mostly known for its various salads, the food establishment also offers a vegetarian soup option every day. The large size comes in at $5.59 and with the amount you get for 24 ounces, it seems like a fair price.

“We have two soups every single day. One of them is vegetarian, and one of them is not. Some of our vegetarian options are amazing; by far, the butternut squash is absolutely fantastic,” said Daniel DeSilva, a third-year history student and Fresh Escape employee. 

Cheese Pizza – Round Table

Who doesn’t love a good slice of cheesy pizza? Round Table offers a $5.99, personal sized one-topping or plain cheese pizza. While some may complain that the four slices of pizza aren’t enough, it can satisfy your pizza craving. Be sure to have plenty of time before going though; sometimes it may take a while to get your food.

Beyond Famous Star Cheeseburger – Carl’s Jr.

The Beyond Famous Star cheeseburger comes with a sesame bun, topped with cheese, mayo, ketchup, pickles, tomatoes and lettuce. The “meat” has a solid texture. It won’t fall apart in your hands like normal vegetarian patties tend to do. At $6.35 on its own, it can satisfy a student’s urge for a quick burger.

“I don’t think the food is as affordable per se. It’s about the same price as everything else .… Carl’s Jr. has the Beyond Famous Star which is delicious, however it’s a lot more costly on campus compared to going off campus,” said Charmaine Santana, a second-year transfer psychology student. 

The Beyond Famous Star cheeseburger satisfies a student’s craving for a burger.
(Zuvanny Macias | The Poly Post)

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl – Qdoba 

Qdoba’s Vegetarian Burrito Bowl is the most expensive item on this list, coming out to $7.80. However, the fajita mix combined with your choice of rice and/or black beans, as well as six different salsa options and five topping options, does seem to make the price worth it. One downside of this bowl is the lack of variety when it comes to toppings. For a nice and filling option, this is the way to go.

No matter what option you go with, there are plenty of vegetarian food choices available on campus. Whether you’re craving a pizza, a sandwich or even tacos, you can find a veggie option somewhere. Some establishments offer substitutions for meat-based meals, so never be afraid to ask. 

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