Let’s face it: It’s tough being a vegetarian in State College. The vegetarian options on campus include salad, fruit, and…that’s about it. Off campus provides a somewhat wider variety of options if you are willing to sift through menus and call restaurants to see what kind of ingredients they use (warning: Most restaurants cook with chicken stock). But a lot of students have begun this new diet for numerous reasons. Whether you’ve jumped on this diet bandwagon for the health benefits, saving the animals, or an excuse to not shower or shave your legs, there’s no doubt that you have run into the dead end that is State College’s vegetarian options. But have no fear! I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 vegetarian-friendly places to chow in State College.
1. Aardvark Kafé – 906 W. College Ave.
This is State College’s best-kept secret. All ingredients are 100% vegan and made in a 100% vegan kitchen. The chef, a vegan himself, has created a menu that is completely different from anything else you might find in State College. Also, bring your meat lovin’ friends because it’s shared with an OIP and Sub Shop style restaurant.
2. Fresh Harvest Kafé – 421 E. Beaver Ave.
Unlike the unwashed tasting lettuce of the dining halls, these salads I’d happily eat every day. Although most come with chicken, the people at Fresh Harvest are happy to take it off for you. Plus, the salads come with bomb pita bread.
3. Irvings – 106 E. College Ave.
Just follow all the barefoot people because they’re probably making their way to Irvings. If you don’t know what Irvings is and you’re a vegetarian you should probably quit now.
4. Yummy Café – 320 E. Calder Way
Asian cuisine is definitely underrated in the meatless world. Yummy Café has some seriously awesome vegetarian items, including a variety of tofu choices. If you can get past its eraser-like appearance, tofu dishes will rock your world.
5. Webster’s Bookstore Café – 133 E. Beaver Ave.
All the hipsters hang out at Webster’s and wherever there are hipsters there are meatless dishes. Most of their items are organic and made from scratch, so this place is especially perfect for the granola-crunching vegetarian type.
Don’t let the daunting meat-filled dishes of the dining hall discourage you from going out of your comfort zone and mixing up your diet. Despite State College’s overwhelming love of meat, it actually does have a variety of options for us vegetarians. So skip the shower, take your shoes off, and get your eating on!