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Saturday, June 10, 2023


UH’s on-campus vegan food, drink offerings

Cougar Grounds, the student-run campus cafe, carries almond, oat and coconut milk and offers vegan snack bars. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

Cougar Grounds, the student-run campus cafe, carries almond, oat and coconut milk and offers vegan snack bars. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

There are a variety of vegan food and beverage options available to students at the cafes on campus. The animal product-free offerings include plant-based milk alternatives and snacks without meat, eggs and dairy. 

The on-campus cafe options include The Nook, Cougar Grounds, Shasta’s and Starbucks. Chartwells also offers food and beverages with the option for vegan customization. While some vegan products are available at multiple locations, others are unique to specific establishments. 

The Nook

This coffee shop offers an array of vegan milk alternatives, including almond, coconut and oat milk, said assistant manager Leyna Saultz. 

In addition to these beverage options, the Nook also offers several types of baked goods free of milk and eggs. 

“From Hugs & Donuts, we have the blueberry vegan doughnut and the lemon-lime vegan doughnut,” Saultz said. “We also offer Sinfull Bakery, the Coconut Dream bar and the Everything bar, as well as a variety of muffins.”

The cafe is open-minded to expanding their range of vegan products in the future.

“We are always open to suggestions and other small businesses bringing us samples to try,” Saultz said. “We have been trying to find more gluten-free options and of course, more vegan options because even people who aren’t vegan enjoy them.” 

Cougar Grounds

Similar to the Nook, this student-run cafe carries almond, oat and coconut milk, said Cougar Grounds supervisor and hotel and restaurant management senior Thien Nguyen. 

“Oat [milk] is our newest, and it’s pretty popular,” Nguyen said. 

The coffee shop currently carries Sinfull snack bars, but does not offer other vegan food items. 

There is the possibility for the expansion of the variety of vegan snacks offered in the future, but the decision would be dependent on the manager, Nguyen said. 


The ice cream parlor also features a coffee menu that students can customize with plant-based milk options. Customers can add soy, almond or oat milk to their beverages for an additional charge. 

“I’m trying to push to get coconut [milk] and other alternatives,” said Shasta’s manager and media production senior Jaime Trujillo.  

The store currently does not offer any vegan ice cream flavors. 

“I’m trying to push it, but I’m not sure if it’s going to get to a point where there’s enough need for [vegan options],” Trujillo said. 


The nationwide chain offers soy, almond and coconut milk as optional inclusions for their beverages, according to their website

In addition to dairy alternatives, the coffee shop carries an array of vegan food options, but not all items will be available at all locations. 


Moody and Cougar Woods Dining Commons both offer multiple dairy-free milk alternatives. 

Both locations stock soy milk, and Moody Towers Dining Commons also offers rice milk, said Chartwells District Marketing Manager Alexcis Mendoza. 

The dining halls also serve a vegan option at each meal. 

“For breakfast in the dining commons, there is always a tofu scramble, breakfast potatoes and/or beans,” Mendoza said. “For lunch, every dining commons station offers a vegan/vegetarian option. A vegan dessert is offered daily at both dining commons.” 

Chartwells is also planning to expand its vegan offerings in the future. 

“UH Dining is continuously looking into new vegan products and recipes and is committed to further enhancing vegan offerings on campus,” Mendoza said. 

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