Vegetarian options—they can be hit or miss for sure, and Bowdoin's dining is no exception. One of Bowdoin's big claims to fame is the food, but sometimes they drop the ball (no hate, they can’t all be winners). Navigating a preset dining menu can be challenging on its own, but throw in allergies and dietary preferences, and things get even more dicey. 

Let me just say, the purpose of this is not to rant ad nauseam about Dining’s shortcomings. This piece is simply born out of my challenges navigating dining as someone with a few dining obstacles to overcome. I’m a vegetarian, I have a peanut allergy, and unfortunately have the palate of a toddler (so, basically, take these ratings with a grain of salt). Now, you might be asking, ""How do you get enough protein? Vitamins? Some other thing people need?" My answer is: that’s not what this is about either. I’m sorry, I have no advice for people trying to hit all the food groups—most of what I eat is beige. This article is more about getting excited about things that make my tastebuds happy rather than me being your nutritionist. 

That being said, on with the recommendations!

1.) Taco/Burrito Night

burrito, vegetable, pea, corn, beans, cheese
Santina Renzi

This one was an easy pick for first place because of its versatility. Since you get to craft the deliciousness, there’s less risk of disappointment when you see something you like has something you don’t like in it. You can choose between hard and soft shell tortillas, and then fill them with whatever your heart desires and that your picky (or not so picky, if you’re lucky) palate can tolerate. Another reason I love these nights is because you get to choose the ratios of filling, so if you love cheese, you can have cheese a-plenty. Sometimes, they even have a yummy vegetarian alternative to the meat option for your filling! 

2.) Indian Food Night

vegetable, cereal, legume, meat, pea, chickpeas, garbanzo, corn
Christin Urso

Next up we have a Bowdoin fan favorite: Indian Food Night. This night at the dining hall never fails to attract immensely long lines that sometimes even reach the tap counter of Thorne. The rice and the seasoned veggies (usually roasted cauliflower) are a great jumping off point, and then comes the meat of the dish (but not the meat meat, ya know? Because vegetarian). Usually, dining offers chana masala and vegan butter tofu. Don’t let the vegan title scare you — the tofu is delicious; even my meat-loving friends love it. Finally, this night would not be complete without the naan bar. With warm naan, chutneys, sauces, and curry butter galore, your stomach and your heart will end the night full and happy.

3.) Tofu of Many Varieties

dairy product, cheese, milk, candy, tofu
Laura Palladino

Sometimes the non-meat options can be pretty meager. However, when you’re lucky, dining serves up some really good tofu concoctions, untethered to a specifically-themed night. Keep an eye out for the crispy tofu nuggets especially.

Honorable mentions and shoutouts:

1.) The Salads

salad, greek salad, cheese, tomato, pepper, vegetable
Julia Maguire

The salads at Thorne and I are frenemies (much like me and vegetables in general, really). Sometimes, the salads have meat in them. "Don’t they usually have a vegetarian one, too?" you might ask. Not always, but sometimes, when they do, they have nuts on them which means no salad for me (what a travesty!). There is one salad though that I do love, as tenuous as my relationship with vegetables may be. The strawberry, feta, spinach salad is actually quite tasty, especially when you add extra raspberry vinaigrette on top (pro tip: use less spinach and more strawberries for maximum yumminess)

2.) Super Snack

Thais Carrillo

Need I say more? The grilled cheese, the nachos, the hot cheese, the sour cream, and the many other fried things are always a great way to end your days on the weekend.

3.) The Seasonings Counter 

Kelsey Jensen

I want to give a special shoutout to the seasonings counter. The Cholula, Tabasco Sriracha, red pepper flakes, and more always have my back when the veggie options are feeling a little lackluster.