Vegan Eats in Auburn
Eating a plant-based diet has grown in popularity over the past couple of years, but it still feels like a punishment to go out to eat sometimes.
It can be a struggle to find vegan options on campus and around Auburn. Even when you think you’ve found something you can eat, there can be sneaky animal byproducts hidden in the ingredients. That’s why we’ve done some digging to find menu items at your favorite spots that are actually vegan.
Smoothie bowls can be risky, because you never really know exactly what’s in them. But at Frutta Bowls, you can pick from three bases (acai, pitaya, and kale), each made with fruits, veggies, and almond milk — so they get the plant-based stamp of approval. One thing to keep in mind: none of Frutta Bowls’ signature smoothie bowls are vegan, so you’ll need to build your own. Be sure to order the gluten-free granola if you want some added crunch, because the other kinds are not vegan. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, the Power Bowl with oatmeal is completely vegan.
This takes some prior planning, but Saladworks has an online tool for those of us with restricted diets. If you go to their Allergens page, you can denote that you’re looking to order something vegan. The site will then generate a list of ingredients that are okay to eat if you want to build your own salad. As a general rule, vinaigrettes don’t contain animal byproducts.
If you’re in a rush and don’t feel like picking out your ingredients one by one, order the Greek Salad without feta. Another quick option is the Avocado BLT. Just ask for it without the kale pesto and the bacon and you’ll be good to go!
Zoës Kitchen is a solid option for those who want to keep up the plant-based diet. The Classic and Harissa Red Pepper Hummus flavors are both vegan. The Mediterranean Lentil Soup is also completely vegan with no modifications, and most salads can be made vegan by ordering without the cheese.
At this point, most people know that there are alternatives to regular milk if you’re vegan or lactose-intolerant. What you might not know about your Starbucks order is that replacing the milk doesn’t always make it dairy-free.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you will have to part ways with your beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte. Even without the whipped cream or dairy milk, the pumpkin spice syrup itself contains milk. Another Starbucks flavor to avoid is caramel — this syrup also contains dairy products.
It’s pretty hard to find a vegan dessert without a weird flavor or funky aftertaste, but Freeze is definitely my go-to when I want something sweet. Every time I’ve been, there have been two vegan options to choose from — and the vegan chocolate is so good you’ll forget that it’s made without milk.
Chipotle doesn't hide any animal products in their veggies or rice, so this is a pretty safe option. If you’re not a huge fan of the veggie medley as a replacement for meat, try the sofritas. You’re pretty much good to go, as long as you avoid the obvious things like sour cream, queso, and cheese. Pro tip: Chipotle also has a handy online nutrition calculator for those who like to plan ahead.
When your friends are in the mood for burgers, don’t fret — just suggest BurgerFi! They have an option called the Beyond Burger that is completely plant-based as long as you hold the cheese.
Luckily, going out to eat when you’re sticking to a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be as stressful as you think. There are actually some great options in Auburn if you’re on a restricted diet! It takes some finessing at times, but do your research and, when in doubt, just ask!
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Grace H.