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I was never really concerned about going into UMass as a vegetarian because I knew that with the #1 dining in the country there were bound to be some options for me. I’ve been vegetarian for 3 and a half years so I know how to make the most of my options. 

For any seniors going into their freshman year at UMass, I will say one thing, I hope you like tofu. Tofu is one of the staples here at UMass dining. You’ll almost always find some form of tofu dish at the international stations within the dining commons. If you find yourself on the stir fry line, they may ask if you want tofu as a protein. There is also a vegetarian section at Berkshire Dining Commons where you may find some form of tofu or meatless chik’n. I’m sure there are other vegetarian sections at other dining halls, but I live, like, one minute away from the Berk, so that’s where I mainly go.

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You will always find a wide variety of vegetable dishes at the dining commons, and there is always some sort of salad you could pick up if you would like. I would recommend having the zucchini if you like zucchini because the dining staff cooks it so well. They also serve a lot of mushrooms and potatoes cooked in different ways. 

There will be no options for you at the BBQ station other than fries unless they are serving black bean burgers at the vegetarian section. There are also certain options that rotate out of the dining hall based on what specialties the commons are highlighting at dinner. For example, last week they had a hot chocolate and fried dough bar. 

My biggest advice is to download the UMass Dining app. There you will find menus for every day of the upcoming week. 

[bf_image id="67gmkh4bqwjp74ws98wctq"] Let me run you through a typical Monday dinner menu and list what is available for vegetarians:

  • Rice Pilaf

  • Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges

  • Roasted Spice Zucchini

  • Spicy Spanish Mushrooms and Peppers

  • Sweet Potato Fries

  • Regular Fries

  • Stir-Fried Vegetables

  • Sweet Chili Tofu

  • Vegetable Spring Rolls

  • Brocolli and White Bean Gratin

  • Caprese Pasta Salad

  • Cucumber, Feta, and Herb Salad

  • Sauteed Mushrooms and Kale

  • Summer Squash, Tomato, and Basil

  • Baked Ziti

  • Pasta Shells and Sauce

  • Salad Bar

  • Chocolate Cake with Coffee Icing

  • Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  • Honey Wheat Brioche Roll

  • Ramen Bar

  • Pizzas

  • Sushi

  • Stir Fry Bar

As you can see, there are a lot of things vegetarians can eat at UMass, no matter what your appetite and mood may be. I hope this guide helps you guys out! We, vegetarians, are doing a lot of good for the planet, so I want to make this diet as easy as possible for everyone reading this!

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Kate Katz

U Mass Amherst '24

Kate is a freshman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a New Yorker at heart. She is a journalism major and hopes to work in the broadcast field. Kate also writes for the Amherst WIRE on their entertainment team. She is so grateful to be able to share her work with such a wide audience of readers.
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