Anyone who is dairy-deprived, whether because they are allergic or lactose intolerant, can agree that it really sucks. For those of you who are dairy-free Badgers, it's even worse.

bread, waffle, cheese
Alex Frank

It seems like cheese is incorporated into every restaurant menu item somehow, and the ice cream here is second-to-none...or so I've heard. But don't worry, there are some things to fill the empty void that dairy would fill, and they're right at your fingertips.    

How to battle pizza cravings

pepperoni, tomato, crust, meat, mozzarella, sauce, dough, cheese, pizza
Amy Yi

The gooey, greasy goodness is a staple for so many college students because of how accessible it is. But what about us dairy-free Badgers? What are we supposed to do when all we want is just a slice of pizza after a night out?

Lucky for us, Lotsa on State has us covered (and they close at 3 AM Thursdays through Saturdays). The build-your-own pizza place makes it as easy as saying "no cheese, please" - no matter how painful that may be.

You can still load your pie up with toppings, and you can enjoy taking that first bite of food after hours of having only mixed drinks.

Some of us are a little more difficult and need their pizza to be as authentic as possible, and I totally get it. Not everyone can do just bread and tomato sauce. Ian's Pizza can help with the option of making your own pizza and picking from two different kinds of Daiya cheeses.

Even better, they also have a vegan pesto and homemade dairy-free ranch or creme sauce if you like to add something extra to your pie. Make sure you're hungry, though -- these options aren't available by the slice.

When your sweet tooth is throbbing

The most notable dairy sensitive dessert shop is Bloom Bake Shop, located on Monroe Street. Bloom is a ten minute walk from Camp Randall Stadium, which is definitely a stretch from the central part of campus -- but in my opinion, it's 100% worth the walk.

Bloom has vegan options every day, including cupcakes, brownies, and hand pies. From experience, I can confirm that you can't even distinguish the difference between the desserts that are made with or without milk.

Another more under-the-radar way to get your sweet-tooth satisfied is sadly only available once a week. Every Sunday, Basset Brunch Club incorporates a vegan flavor of their insane and noteworthy donuts. Absolutely zero judgement if you decide to have one at brunch and take two for the road to savor for the week. 

How do us college students keep up with the lectures, discussions, and constant midterms?

One word: Coffee

So there's no question why there is a coffee shop located almost every 100 feet around campus. Unfortunately, milk and coffee go hand in hand. But in this day and age, 9/10 coffee shops offer dairy-free options.

We all know Starbucks offers almond, soy, and coconut milk, but what about the trendy, less mainstream places in Madison?

Collectivo Coffee and Caribou Coffee, both located on State, offer at least 2 non-dairy milk options. Fair Trade Coffee house on State Street not only offers these milks, but also sells homemade vegan pastries every day.

If you're looking for a sugar pick-me-up or just craving something on the sweeter side, the Peet's Coffee & Tea at the Memorial Union has put their own spin on non-dairy options.

In addition to their soy and almond milk options, Peet's Coffee is changing the game with their Coconut Whipped Cream. So next time you'd rather not say "no thank you" to whip, head over to the Union and pay a little extra for a lot of YES.

Ultimately, having to avoid dairy in college - let alone in Wisconsin - has been and still is difficult. But I can honestly admit that by utilizing these tips and tricks for the past year, I haven't had to stress much about being able to enjoy what I want, even here in the "dairy capital of the country."