As a vegetarian, I know how hard the struggle is to find a place that really – and I mean really – caters to your needs. And, if you’re really like me and you’re currently trying to make the transition from vegetarian to vegan, then you also know it is even more difficult to find a great vegan restaurant.

Having to travel to places far from College Park is not only time consuming, but an unnecessary stress, especially when you’re always on the go.

But, what most people fail to realize is that there are plenty of places in College Park and the surrounding metropolitan area that cater specifically to vegans and vegetarians. So if you’re a foodie like me, and you want some new places to try, this list is surely your guide to some of the best vegan/ vegetarian eateries around.

   NuVegan Café

A new addition to the restaurants that have been popping up all over College Park, NuVegan Café is the number one place I will recommend to anyone searching for a new spot to please their taste buds. If the title isn’t clue enough, this place is strictly vegan from their cheese down to their vegan eggs and pancakes.

Yes, vegan pancakes. Even better – they have amazing meals for reasonable prices!

For those of you familiar with The View and The Varsity, NuVegan is located among the strip of restaurants, at the bottom of the varsity, with the name written across the building in large, bold, bright green letters. The décor of NuVegan gives off a homey feel, and the employees there are very friendly and are open to discussion about their food and veganism.

They also have a flat screen TV, that way, if you’re not taking your meal to go, you are entertained while waiting for a server to bring your food to you.

What I like about NuVegan most is that they have every vegan recipe you could think of. From vegan orange chicken, to their vegan cornbread with vegan butter to match, they leave no food groups out.

Let’s not forget their fresh pressed veggie juices. They really do give you a boost when you’re feeling low on energy!

If you are trying this place for the first time, I highly recommend their chicken quesadilla and their tropical twist veggie juice.

The fake meat protein is so tasty, it’s almost easy to forget it isn’t real. Newcomers should enroll in their rewards program. After a certain number of visits, you get $8 off your total! If that doesn’t make you want to go, then surely their tasty menu will! They’re open  Monday-Thursday from 11a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  Woodland’s Vegan Bistro

The mother to NuVegan, Woodland’s Vegan Bistro is located on Georgia Ave in D.C., only  few train stops away on the Green Line. This comfy spot is popular among both Howard University students and Washingtonians alike.

It is not as big as NuVegan so it is easy to miss, but once you find it, you will be blown away by the relaxed atmosphere.

Like NuVegan, Woodland’s employees are extremely welcoming, having no problem talking you through their menu options. They love when they attract new customers, and they are all for convincing people to try new things. Also like NuVegan, Woodland’s is strictly vegan.

Woodland’s pretty much has the same menu as NuVegan, with a few variations on the prices. However, I would suggest giving their black bean burger a try. Made of black beans and brown rice, you can pick which ingredients you want on it. I personally always get the full nine: lettuce, vegan mayo, ketchup, avocados and tomatoes. Trust me, it’s a lot! It also comes with the most delicious fries I have ever had.

The best part is, if you’re looking to throw a small get together, or hosting a party, Woodland’s offers catering services. The only downside is that they limit their catering services to the D.C. area only. They have a food truck that services the D.C. area as well, so the next time you venture out into the city look out for their truck!

You can find their hours and location at the top of the left-hand corner of their home page.

Krazi Kebob

This ethnic spot, located right next to Kevin’s Nails in College Park (along the strip with College Park Hookah), is truly underrated. With their innovative blend of Pakistani, Indian and Mexican food, they offer a menu that is bursting with flavors.

They’ve recently changed their décor, adding an area where customers can build their own sandwiches, wraps and salads. They allow customers to build their own burritos, wraps, nachos, and burrito bowls using ingredients ranging from curried chickpeas and falafel, to their masala sauce. Their naan bread is delicious as well!

Krazi Kebob is definitely a great place to go for those who looking to get adventurous. Every time I visit I tend to get the same thing: Krazi Bowl with basmati rice, falafel, curried chickpeas, peppers and onions, tikka masala sauce, pico de gallo, corn-mango salsa, tamarind chutney, tzatziki, cheese, lettuce, fresh cilantro and fresh jalapenos.

And I can’t forget the naan bread on the side! Make sure to sign up for Belly Reward Program. It just so happens that Krazi Kebob is one of its associated chains.  

The Co-Op

Located in the basement of the Stamp Student Union, The Co-Op is a student run eatery. It has no managers or supervisors, just students who either work or volunteer their services. Their mission: to provide ethically sourced food that respects our community, animals and planets!

Though The Co-Op is not strictly vegan / vegetarian, their menu includes food options for those who are. Their specialty is sandwiches made with large slices of your choice of bread and ingredients, though the menu does tell you what each sandwich consists of.

I always opt for the mediterranean sandwich, complete with hummus, roasted red peppers, red onion, olive, chèvre, spinach and goddess dressing. For a drink I tend to get their bottled fruit juices that come from organic food companies. So the next time you visit Stamp, be sure to stop by The Co-Op. If you go through the bookstore, The Co-Op is straight ahead and to your right.

You definitely can’t miss the hustle and bustle of the employees as they all hastily move about, taking orders and restocking fresh food. If that doesn’t capture your attention, their music definitely will.

Featured Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Flickr user Suzette.

WritersBloc_Headshots_25Octavia Hutson is a senior English major and may be reached at octaviahutson@gmail.com

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