If you're anything like me, one week into college you were already tired of your meal choices. It's not like the dinning hall here at UTD is bad, especially compared to high-school cafeteria food. But with my refined (i.e. picky) pallet, I was sick and tired of the boring salad bar, the unhealthy pasta, and the odd flavoring that made every vegetable taste the exact same. So, I began a hunt for vegetarian meals that are not only near campus, but also loaded with flavor. Here's what I found: 

1. Falafel Sandwich from Afrah Mediterranean Restaurant

beer, pizza
Dan Ho

Falafel is a Middle Eastern delicacy consisting of chickpeas that are mashed up, flavored with spices, and fried into perfect golden-brown fritters. They are crispy on the outside, yet warm and soft on the inside. Afrah pairs their falafels with parsley, pickles (not your average Joe cucumber pickles either), tomatoes, turnips, and a rich tahini sauce, all served in a warm, house-made pita bread. The creaminess from the sauce, tanginess from the pickles and tomatoes, and the freshness from the turnips and parsley create a unique combination that enriches the falafel "meat". You can even ask for hot sauce on the side if you love spice!

#SpoonTip: Get free gelato ice cream with your meal through the Comet Discount Program (CDP). Just show your Comet Card!

Location: 318 E Main St, Richardson, TX 75081

2. Grilled Avocado from Snappy Salad

Dan Ho

Imagine your favorite Tex-Mex cuisine. Now, imagine it as a salad. I hope the second sentence did not put you off, because despite being a salad, the Grilled Avocado will leave you wondering how something so good could even be associated with the term "salad." Loaded with black beans, corn, poblanos, queso fresco, Chipotle-Lime Vinaigrette, and avocado, it's no wonder that despite not having any meat, this is the best selling salad on the menu. 

Location: 320 W Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080

3.  Yoshi Shabu Shaba

broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, carrot, salad, vegetable
Dan Ho

Yoshi Sahbu Shabu is a hotpot restaurant with delicious Japanese cuisine. First, you cook your veggies in a kombu (seaweed) broth, then the vegetables are combined with a soy base and noodles to create your meal. Everyone who walks into Yoshi Shobu Shobu gets a vegetable sampler, and on the second go-around, you can customize your vegetables however you like! Doesn't this one sound especially great for the coming winter days?

Location: 1801 N Greenville Ave #400, Richardson, TX 75080

4. #6 Vegetarian from Jimmy John's

pizza, hamburger, coffee, beer
Dan Ho

This sandwich is basic: provolone cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. What makes it stand out? The delicious bread. You take one bite. Then another, and another, and another. Next thing you know, you find yourself craving Jimmy John's bread on the daily.

#SpoonTip: You can get 50 cents off one sandwich thanks to the CDP. Just show your Comet Card at the register!

Location: 285 W Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080

5. Grilled Veggie Taco from Fuzzy's

chicken, tacos, parsley, tomato, cheese, salad, lettuce, vegetable
Dan Ho

Despite being simple, I always find myself craving Fuzzy's Tacos. With an unique array of vegetables like zucchini, squash, and carrots, along with cheese and, of course, the best herb on the planet, cilantro, your brain will be confused as to how so many veggies can combine into an explosion of flavor. 

Location:  561 W Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080

The next time you have a craving for something quick and satisfying, you won't have to go far. Richardson has a great array of vegetarian options near the UTD campus, from fast food to nice, sit-down restaurants. Take my word for it and try one of these places out!

Student Government's newly updated Comet Discount Program has even more discounts on all kinds of dining locations, as well as other services (i.e. child care, health & beauty, and even housing). Happy exploring!