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Wellness

A Look Into the New Plant-Based Café: CrossRoads

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Being a vegetarian comes with its own set of unique challenges. Add college into the mix and you find yourself needing to be a little more creative and patient. Not only do you have to surrender to whatever the dining halls are serving for the week, but you also have to consider your budget as a college student when eating out. That is why as a five-year vegetarian and a senior at UConn, I was super excited for the opening of an on-campus plant-based café.

CrossRoads Café opened for business this fall and is located on the main floor of the Wilbur Cross building. I was already happy that UConn dedicated a café on campus for plant-based eaters, but the fact that it’s located in one of my favorite study places made it even better. Now let’s get into the three vegan items I tried:

Orange Vegan Chicken Chop Salad

When I tell people I’m a vegetarian they usually picture my diet consisting mostly of salads. For me, this couldn’t be further from the truth. However, this chopped salad might just convert me over to the world of salads. The salad consisted of a kale and carrot mix, chickpeas, vegan chopped chicken, and mandarin orange slices, all topped off with a blood orange shallot dressing. This dish was everything you could want from a vegetarian meal; it’s healthy, filling, and, most importantly – tastes incredible.

Toasted Sesame Noodle Bowl

Before this toasted sesame noodle bowl, I didn’t think I’d like cold noodle dishes. I couldn’t have been more wrong! It was packed with veggies like broccoli and carrots, and the sesame peanut sauce added the perfect punch of flavor. Once again, this dish was filling and delicious. The entire meal was also under $6.00, which is a great value.

Vegan Apple Hand Pie

I decided that before I left the café, I would treat myself to something sweet. As a vegetarian, I don’t have much experience with vegan pastries so I thought I would give it a try. I ordered the apple hand pie, which is one of their seasonal favorites. This pie reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner at home; it had just the right amount of all-spice and cinnamon. The only thing that differed from a traditional pie is that the pastry is a little less flaky and more crispy. Pro tip: bring the pie back to your dorm and heat it in the microwave for the perfect warm treat!

The idea of a new plant-based café at UConn came from a student suggestion, and it has given vegans and vegetarians a seat at the table when it comes to nutrition at this school. It feels great to have a café we can call our own. In addition to making plant-based options more obtainable and affordable within the UConn community, the team at CrossRoads admirably strives to educate and spread awareness on sustainability. 

Although the café is built around a plant-based diet, they definitely have something for everyone. My personal favorite was the orange vegan chicken chop salad, but I am definitely looking forward to trying all the new creations at CrossRoads. To learn more about the café, check out the dining services website or their Instagram page, @UConnCrossRoadsCafe.

Laura is a Senior at the University of Connecticut majoring in Communication and minoring in Entrepreneurship. She has a passion for fashion and photography. Laura is also the current Events Chair for Her Campus UCONN!
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