Whether you are vegan for life or just want to eat more plant-based foods, here are some helpful tips to navigate vegan dining at UMass. To be honest, it’s not always easy and some meals will include more rice and beans than others, but it’s possible to find delicious vegan options on and off-campus!
1. Check out the UMass Dining app if you’re at a dining hall and aren’t sure what to eat. There may be options you didn’t realize were available. Franklin Dining Commons has an exclusively vegan section, offering unique options like vegan pizza or Plant-Based Pasta Supreme, a pasta dish with plant-based meat and vegetables.
2. Yum! Bakery houses a few vegan options including cupcakes, cookies, whoopie pies, and more. It’s a great option for sweet tooth cravings or a treat while studying.
Located in Blue Wall in the Campus Center, the bakery is open on Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
3. Harvest Market luckily has many vegan options! While the menu changes, there have been vegan ‘cheese’ puffs, vegan dark chocolate-covered pretzels, and Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Ice Cream.
Open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Friday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
4. Find coconut milk smoothie options at the Carney Café in Isenberg and at the Courtside Café in the Recreation Center. These smoothies make for perfect vegan options when craving a refreshing, fruity drink!
The Courtside Café is open from Monday through Friday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Carney Café in Isenberg is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
5. Sometimes, non-dairy ice cream makes an appearance at the Worcester or Berkshire Dining Commons! The oat milk-based ice cream is available in chocolate or vanilla and tastes delicious with vegan sprinkles and Oreo crumbles.
6. Can’t find an appealing vegan option at Grab ‘n Go? When this happens, a good alternative is to go to Tamales and order a burrito bowl where they have a variety of vegan fillings to choose from. Unfortunately, the tortillas at Tamales have whey protein in them so, especially if you have a dairy allergy, avoid getting a burrito and opt for another option, like a bowl instead.
Tamales in Blue Wall is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Earthfoods Café, the student-run vegetarian and vegan restaurant, also has many options during lunchtime at UMass. Open on Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Check out their menu on Instagram @earthfoods.
7. If you want to eat off-campus, Pulse Café, Sibie’s Pizza, and Crazy Noodles all have vegan options. Glazed Doughnut Shop in downtown Amherst also has vegan doughnuts in a variety of flavors.
Pulse Café in Hadley is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sibie’s Pizza in Amherst is open Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Crazy Noodles in Amherst is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Glazed Doughnut Shop in Amherst is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
8. You can also get vegan pizza from Domino’s Pizza! When you order, ask for a thin crust with no cheese, and add any vegan toppings that you’d like! It may not be as exciting without cheese, but it’s a great option for a pizza night with friends!
9. Another helpful tip? Always keep food in your backpack in case you find yourself hungry and stuck someplace without a vegan option. This is a standard tip for non-vegans too! As students, we often have our backpacks with us, so squishing a cliff bar or some pretzels in your bag can be helpful until you can find a better meal!
10. The Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos in the purple bag, Oreos, Sour Patch Kids and potato chips are vegan foods often found in vending machines around campus. Of course, those options are not very filling, so I recommend keeping a large stock of snacks in your dorm room. However, if you’re hungry or want a quick treat, you can easily find options at the vending machine too!