NuVegan Café opened its doors in College Park, Maryland, on February 14. This is the franchise’s second location and offers 100 percent vegan food with raw and organic options. Located underneath The Varsity on Route 1, it gives University of Maryland students another dining option.
“It was nice that this place had plain whole foods,” sophomore biology major Jennifer Lynn Paul said.
After her first semester of college, Paul gained 20 pounds. In order to be healthier she became a vegan after a year of being a vegetarian.
“I originally started for the health benefits after watching a documentary called Forks over Knives,” Paul said.
She now weighs less than when she started college and has seen the benefits in her hair, skin and nails. Paul said she feels more in touch with her body and the environment. She does not plan on ever going back to her old lifestyle and even plans to raise her future children as vegans.
As a picky vegan, Paul does not particularly like fake meat and said she would rather just eat the veggies. She liked that NuVegan had both fake meat options and just the veggies.
Paul checked out the Café on opening day and received a free chicken sandwich. She said that the cornbread was really good and enjoyed her Tropical Twist fresh pressed veggie juice.
Junior environmental science and policy major Lucy Harrelson is not a vegan but goes for a veggie option when she gets bored of meat.
“I love all foods so I don’t mind not eating meat,” Lucy Harrelson, a junior, said. “Some people mind that I don’t get that.”
She said she likes the choice of vegetables NuVegan has to offer. She has only been there once but enjoyed her kale in a red wine vinegar sauce.
“This is nice especially for kale and … if your going to be a vegan, kale should be one of your staples, not bread,” Harrelson said.
She admitted that she does not even know if vegans can have bread— vegan bread actually does exist— and is not very knowledgeable about the scientific risks and benefits. However, Harrleson enjoys the fake meat in moderation.
“The fake meat is fun. It’s always a treat but people have to be careful about eating fake meat because I think something about it is not that good and it’s better to eat just things that you know are kind of healthy,” Harrelson said.
Vegetarian Erika Joab, a junior communications major and member of the women’s soccer team, said that NuVegan was the kind of place this area needed.
“We don’t need another pizza place,” Joab said.
NuVegan is on its second name change. It was previously Woodland’s Vegan Bistro and Everlasting Café. Joab said that she hopes NuVegan lasts citing previous closings in the area.
When Joab is eating on campus she said she only has two options: the Maryland Food Co-op or a salad from the diner. Her first experience at NuVegan was positive and said she will be back to try the desserts.
“It was so good you wouldn’t ever know its vegan and that’s the best thing,” Joab said. “I love that they can manipulate food and make it taste so good.”
Joab dined with teammate and junior family science major Gabby Galanti who tries to follow a healthy and clean diet. For games she will raise her carb intake but for everyday eats a lot of vegetables and lean meats. When she heard that NuVegan was open she was excited to try it out.
“We don’t have any vegan places that have this many options and quality of food,” Galanti said.
Galanti plans to try everything on the menu.