Vegan Dining Options for Overbooked Students


Taboule from the Ram Cafe.


Fordham is not known for its vegan dining options, but there are a few gems hidden throughout our various eateries. I decided to focus my attention on the vegan prepared food Dining Services has to offer. The foods I explored are especially helpful to those with very little time in the day for meal preparation. These are three meals you can find through Fordham Lincoln Center dining. Even if you’re reading this as a non-vegan, you may find some foods that sound appetizing and healthy enough for you to add to your daily food routine.

8:15 a.m.: I arrived on campus and was in need of caffeine and calories, so I stopped at Argo Tea. There I purchased a small iced black tea and one of their vegan muffins. I was in the mood for a mellow, less-sweet carbohydrate, so I chose the green tea kind. It was very light and fluffy compared to most vegan baked goods, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Specifically, this muffin was 470 calories, so having just that was enough to get me through my morning. For my tea and muffin, I spent $6.42.

11:15 a.m.: It was almost noon, my next break was in three hours and I was famished. I had 15 minutes until my break was over, so I rushed to the Ram Cafe. One of the beauties of the cafe is the quasi-grocery section to the right of the buffet area. There one can find the vegan refrigerator with several prepared vegan dishes. The Ram Cafe has some new vegan options from Cedar’s. I’m a taboule fiend, so I tried their taboule salad, replete with fresh tomatoes, parsley and onions and dressed in a zesty olive oil and sunflower oil blend. This salad was a small portion, so also I bought a pack of lightly salted almonds.

The taboule was 340 calories and the entire pack of almonds was 410 calories. I gradually ate the pack of almonds over the course of my afternoon (there were a lot of them), so my total calorie intake from both items was about 750 calories for the meal and 1,220 for the day so far. The almonds were $2.09 and the taboule was $4.99, bringing my total for lunch to $7.08.

2:15 p.m.: I decided to enjoy a smoothie during my break. The Ram Cafe now offers fruit smoothies with various mixes of fruits and/or kale. I chose the refreshing and energizing strawberry-kiwi, and I was pleasantly surprised at how large their small smoothies were. These smoothies boast on the sides of their cups that they contain all natural ingredients and no preservatives. My only critique is that the kiwi was from concentrate, but they did indeed use real strawberries. It was 240 calories and cost $4.67.

7:30 p.m.: After a soul-crushing study session in the Quinn Library, I headed over to the last vegan gem of the day: BonMi. I did, however, peek into the Community Dining Hall to see if their vegan option was any good. Sadly, the vegan option was pasta with marinara that evening, which is not worth the meal swipe, in my opinion.

Located on 62nd Street under the Law Building, BonMi is a Vietnamese eatery that accepts Fordham declining balance. Though BonMi offers several meat options for their quinoa-rice bowls and sandwiches, they also serve an amazing chili garlic tofu. Moreover, their toppings are various and phenomenal. Granted, they did charge $1 extra for edamame. I was able to get pickled onion, cucumbers, purple lettuce and carrots in a quinoa and jasmine rice base. Fordham students get a discount at BonMi, so my total came to $10.34. With the quinoa, rice and tofu making up the majority of the calories, my dinner came to around 660 calories.

In sum, I spent $28.51 on Fordham Dining vegan options and consumed around 2,120 calories. While I came up with a working breakfast, lunch and dinner meal plan,  vegan options at Fordham do not go far beyond the foods mentioned above. The salad bars in the Community Dining Hall and Ram Cafe are definitely a refuge for vegans at Fordham, but they lack variety and rarely rotate their toppings. Moreover, Aramark fails to offer meal plans that cover options other than that of the Community Dining Hall, so students who are interested in eating in the Ram Cafe have to pay out of pocket for their meals; whereas, our Rose Hill counterparts enjoy meal swipes that work at multiple dining locations. All in all, Fordham dining needs to step up their veganism.