By Brianna Williams—Assistant News Editor
Late Night & Cheap: With its new vegetarian menu, Taco Bell is an awesome, late-night, and super cheap restaurant for both vegetarians and vegans. Vegetarians have it pretty easy considering the menu is laid out for them, but with a few slight changes, vegans can enjoy the inauthentic but delicious Mexican food as well. If you are like me and hate making more than one substitution in person for fear of being annoying, I recommend ordering on the Taco Bell app for delivery or pick-up. On the app, you can customize your order as you like it. Three bean burritos for four bucks is a pretty awesome deal, and the fact that its open at midnight while you’re studying is the cherry on top. Bonus: Taco Bell’s cinnamon twists are vegan and super yummy, too.
On-Campus: While vegans and vegetarians can find some random foods on campus at different locations, in my opinion, the best choice is Moe’s. For vegetarians, everything except for the meat is fair game, so get yourself a quesadilla or a burrito with extra queso. For vegans, my go-to is a burrito or veggie bowl with the grilled vegetables and extra guacamole. If they’re about to close or in the middle of a huge rush, I don’t recommend waiting in the line, because nine times out of 10 they’re out of veggies. If you’re on the lookout for decent food in the middle of your classes, however, Moe’s is the way to go.
Strictly Vegan: Luckily, Chattanooga is a pretty cool city with a couple of strictly vegan options for our hardcore vegans out there. My two favorites are Cashew and Sluggo’s North. At Cashew, you can expect a diverse vegan menu with items ranging from an impossible burger (which is amazing) to nachos loaded with cashew cheese and vegan chili. They also have some seriously delicious vegan desserts for after your meal, like their donuts (which are also gluten-free) and black bean avocado brownies. At Sluggo’s, you’ll find a slightly smaller variety, but more comfort-food style items, such as their pecan-dusted seitan covered in mushroom gravy. Plus, there’s great patio seating for the nice spring days ahead of us. You can find Cashew on River St. directly underneath Clumpies, and Sluggo’s on Cherokee Blvd. right next to Pizza Bros.
Casual: If you’re looking for a casual place to find some great vegetarian/vegan food, but aren’t necessarily wanting fast food, my favorite options are Home Slice Pizza and Good Dog. Home Slice has a full vegan pizza menu, complete with vegan appetizers like their cauliflower wings. They have a ton of vegan options available to customers, but you can also make your own featuring their vegan cheese and meat substitutes. Home Slice also offers student discounts and delivers free to UTC students, so be sure to check them out! While Good Dog doesn’t have a ton of vegetarian/vegan options, their “Veggie Sausage” and “Truly Vegan” dogs are pretty spectacular when you’re in the mood for something like that or if just do not want to force your friends to try another vegetarian/vegan restaurant. You can find Home Slice on E 23rd St., and Good Dog is right on Frazier Ave.
Nice/Sit-Down: As a vegetarian/vegan, it can sometimes be difficult to find a nicer sit-down place with good options. Fortunately, Totto Sushi & Grill and Tony’s Pasta Shop are two excellent restaurants for just that. Totto offers some pretty standard but delicious sushi options, like their vegetable, avocado, and sweet potato rolls. Tony’s takes a bit more work on the vegan end, but it is absolutely worth it—just make sure to ask for no cheese grating on top of your dish, and if you want to eat their bread with olive oil, make sure they don’t add cheese in the oil either. Besides that, you can make your own pasta dish from a variety of noodle choices and some great marinara sauces (and alfredo ones for vegetarians). Totto is located on Frazier Ave., and Tony’s is in the Bluff View Art District—so stop by the Hunter Museum afterwords, and look at some great artwork while your food digests!
Dessert: Obviously, there have to be some good vegan desserts out there. While dessert options for vegetarians are easy and numerous, for vegans it can be a little harder. If you’re in the mood for ice cream, both Clumpies and Ice Cream Show offer some options. Clumpies consistently offers their vegan chocolate ice cream, and sometimes they have other choices as well. As for Ice Cream Show, ask for their soy ice cream and feel free to mix in any vegan toppings—I’m a big Oreo fan. Clumpies is on Frazier Ave., and Ice Cream Show is right across from the new Edwin Hotel downtown.