Sac State’s Great V-8

Sacramento State’s eateries have a surprising number of vegan and vegetarian options.

The food options on Sacramento State’s campus are endless for most, but what is there to eat if you don’t consume meat or animal products? If this question sounds familiar, you may fall into the category of being a “V”: vegan or vegetarian.

Whether you’re a “V” or not, you may be on a tight budgetwanting to eat healthier, or willing to try something new.

Scoping out every eatery on campus, it becomes clear that there are many options available at reasonable prices. It’s a wonder why more people choose to spend $10 down the road for something unequal to the convenient, healthy and cheaper options available within walking distance.

Here are eight vegan and vegetarian options under $8.

  1. Java City / Grumpy Mule / Ecogrounds — The Java City company has started selling vegan wraps at all of their locations. The wrap consists of a spinach tortilla with veggies and hummus inside. Add a Califia Farms salted caramel almond milk coffee from their cold section and you’re set for the rest of your day. One of the best options for a vegan or vegetarian at Java City is the snack bars on display. Java sells protein packed Heart Thrives bars from the Healthy Baking Company as well as vegan cookies from the Alternative Baking Company, a local plant-based bakery.

  2. Starbucks — Starbs now does an $8 meal that includes a choice of sandwich, salad or bistro box, a bag of chips, popcorn or pretzels, snack item, and a bottle of Ethos water. All of these subcategories have a vegan option. If you rather grab a flavored coffee drink, order your fave with the Torani syrup (vegan) instead of the thick pump bottles they carry. If you can’t be bothered with the details, grab a tea. Teas are an impeccable option as they’re flavorful, have numerous flavor options and contain no uncertainty about what is inside.

  3. Baja Fresh — This may be the most optimal option on campus.You can grab a rice and beans plate, add grilled veggies, pico de gallo, and any toppings, (excluding guac), for $2.50. Add a handful of lettuce on top and you’ve just created a veggie burrito bowl for about a third of Chipotle’s price. Plus, Baja serves free chips with every meal. Anyone heard of veggie nachos? Deal.

  4. Mother Indian Express — The make-it-your-own bowls are ideal. You can add any three toppings on top of a bed of rice such as lentils, carrots, and potatoes for $7 and some change. Mother Indian also carries naan bread to dip into your bowl as a side. Vegetarian? Mother Indian has a multitude of toppings, such as a cilantro sauce for dipping. Vegan? Bring your own hummus for a tasty dip or creamy add-in. Yum.

  5. Jamba Juice — Jamba has an array of smoothies and juices to choose from. For their fruit-based smoothies there’s options like the Mega Mango All Fruit Smoothie, Orange Carrot Banana and Peach Perfection All Fruit Smoothie. The most popular fresh squeezed juice is the Tropical Greens, a green smoothie with enough sweetness in it to satisfy your taste buds. Grab the 28-oz, size for $6.39, or keep the money count (and fiber content) down with a single-serve 12-oz. cup for $4.29. A newer edition to the menu, the energy bowls are a hit. It contains a blend of acai or pitaya with granola and coconut on top. This makes for a great breakfast, snack or dessert. If you’re not weary of soy, try adding a scoop of soy protein into the blend to make your bowl a meal replacement.

  6. RF Greens — RF Greens is the best option for a salad bar. Their simple three-step-guide creates an easy and healthy lunch on the go. All their bowls contain cabbage, shaved brussels sprouts, broccoli, red cabbage, cucumbers and shredded carrots. Add lime coconut curry dressing and avocado on top for a mouth-watering lunch that is $7.75

  7. Good Eats — Good Eats has a nice mix of varying cuisines. Try their Asian salad, a salad with cabbage, diced tomatoes, Asian noodles and mandarins layered in a sesame-ginger dressing. The dressing is delicious and completely vegan. It’s $5.75 and the size is big enough keep you full. If you’re not a salad person, they have a couple different side options like veggies and jasmine rice. Oh, and they offer free mini baguettes when you make your own salad. Yes, free bread.

  8. Saigon Bay — Saigon Bay is most known for their Pho, a rice soup with a blend of white and green onions and cilantro.They have a tasty veggie broth to substitute for the beef broth. Both their noodles and broth and tofu soup are under $7, and the portions are enough to keep you full throughout a full day on campus. They also have a decadent Banh Mi Sandwich for $5.07. The special usually contains ham, pork and cheese, but the tofu alternative is just as tasty. Swap out mayonnaise for some sriracha with a dash of soy sauce. Need yours a little spicier? Garnish with a little fresh lime and jalapenos. If you’re looking for something healthier, the fresh spring rolls with tofu are amazingly flavorful and filling. They’re huge, contain a savory peanut dipping sauce and are only $5.

The options are truly endless, whether you’re a meat-eater or not. Next time you’re on campus, try something from this list. You might end up with a new favorite meal.

Carly Quellman