The best veg-friendly options in New Haven

Gary ScaramellaCopy Editor

Maintaining a vegan or vegetarian diet as a college student is not always easy; limited on-
campus dining options as well as tight schedules for both commuters and residents can make it
difficult to follow a plant-based diet. Luckily, SCSU’s location in New Haven provides students
with a variety of close-by and affordable dining locations that offer a multitude of veg-friendly

Edge of the Woods, located on Whalley Street in New Haven (about a five minute drive
from SCSU’s campus), is something of a plant-based promised land. This entirely vegetarian
grocery store offers a multitude of affordable and healthy foods for residential students to bring
back to their dorms. The location also offers both a hot bar and a sandwich bar where customers
can order delectable sandwiches and smoothies. In addition, the store has a bakery which bakes
both vegetarian and vegan breads, cakes, cookies and other treats.

Claire’s Corner Copia, another New Haven vegetarian staple located on Chapel Street,
has been dishing out animal-friendly dishes since 1975. MSNBC called the restaurant “One of
the 10 best heart-healthy restaurants in America” and they were not lying. There is a reason
Claire’s Corner Copia has been around for so long; they offer kosher, organic, healthy and
delicious plant-based dishes. One of my favorites is the vegan quesadilla with refried beans,
guacamole and buffalo chik’n (a chicken substitute).

For those who have always wanted to try New Haven’s famous pizza but either cannot or
will not eat cheese, look no further than De Legna on State Street. This quaint little pizzeria does
serve cheese pizzas, but they also offer a separate and entirely vegan menu. You do not have to
settle for a plain pizza with vegan cheese either; De Legna will dress your wood-fired, brick
oven pizza with vegan sausages, tofu and a whole garden’s worth of vegetables.

Looking to get some drinks with friends as well as enjoy some delicious cruelty-free bar
food? Swift Half, located on Washington Avenue in North Haven, has it all. You can enjoy a
bevy of local craft beers while chowing down on pickled fries, buffalo cauliflower bites, a jerk
jackfruit wrap or a vegan po’boy. The bar, in addition to their extensive veg-friendly options,
also serves non-vegetarian options in case you are looking for somewhere to go with a picky
meat-eating friend. Do not worry about cross-contamination, however; Swift Half uses separate
fryers for their plant-based dishes.

According to Baum + Whiteman, a New York-based restaurant consultancy group, plant-
based diets are expected to be the hottest food trend of 2018 (Baum + Whitman). It is a trend that
could not have happened sooner; plant-based diets are better for your health and have a
significantly smaller impact on the environment and on climate change when compared to
omnivorous diets (Oxford University). The brightest side of switching to a plant-based diet is
that no animals have to suffer for it. So try eating vegan at some of the area’s best vegan-friendly
restaurants this semester; your body, the planet and the animals will thank you for it.

Photo Credit: Gary Scaramella


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