Growing up in the dairy state of Wisconsin, transitioning to a vegan diet was in no way easy. However, I navigated my way around my hometown and found the best of the best vegan meals. After deciding I was going to go out of state for college, I was stressed about where I was gonna find indulgent vegan meals in Bloomington, Indiana. To my surprise, finding vegan food in Bloomington, and at college was way easier than I initially anticipated. It's safe to say I've eaten my way through Bloomington's vegan options, so here are my top five choices. 

1. The Owlery 

The Owlery is practically Bloomington's version of vegan heaven. It is an all vegetarian restaurant, where nearly every dish can be modified to be made completely vegan, making navigating the menu a breeze. They offer lunch and dinner filled with both healthy options including the Grilled Vegetable Salad, while also catering to vegan junk food cravings, serving up delicious "Fish" Tacos and Tempeh Ruebens (my personal favorite). Make sure to stop in on a Sunday to experience their brunch menu, AKA the best cure to the Sunday Scaries. The Owlery makes all of their desserts in-house, making the perfect finale to the full-on vegan feast that normally occurs when I eat there. 

2. Rainbow Bakery

Did you know there is an ALL VEGAN bakery in Bloomington? If not, consider your life changed forever, Rainbow Bakery is my go-to spot to study while enjoying a cup of coffee and a vegan treat. Make sure your weekend is super sweet by stopping in on a Sunday to get your hands on their incredible cinnamon rolls that they only sell once a week (they sell out fast!). They have the classic cinnamon swirl or caramel pecan!

3. Bloomingfoods

Bloomingfoods, a Co-Op, is essentially Bloomington's version of Whole Foods. "Cooperatives are member-owned, member-governed businesses that operate for the benefit of their owner-members according to common principles agreed upon by the international cooperative community." Co-Ops value the community and strive to produce high quality food to the public. Bloomingfoods has two locations, with a rotating salad bar, hot bar, and make your own sandwich/wrap station and various vegan options. They have plenty of pre-packaged vegan food making eating vegan on- the-go extremely easy. 

4. Rockits Pizza

When it's 1 am and all of your friends are ordering cheesy bread, being the vegan in the group can leave you feeling a bit hangry. You want to join the crowd and dig in put you just can't. No need to worry though, their logo is "Eat what makes you happy," is totally true. Rockits Pizza offers vegan cheese and vegan pepperoni, helping to satisfy those late night pizza cravings that are inevitable as a college student. 

5. Upland Brewery

Upland Brewery is a great place to bring non-vegan friends as they have options for everyone. Besides the burgers and beer that many love, Upland has their own vegan (and gluten-free) menu upon request, making ordering a breeze. The Thai Tofu salad is my personal favorite. Don't forget to leave room for dessert, as they serve vegan ice cream flavors from The Chocolate Mouse

These are just a few of the many places to get vegan food in Bloomington. Bloomington has an incredible vegan community! BloomingVeg has a full dining guide on their website and posts updates on new vegan options around town on their Instagram page. So, if you're debating going vegan in college, know that it's not impossible and there are far more options than just a typical salad.