The Most Vegan-Friendly Universities in the UK
Students in the UK are going vegan in huge numbers, and many universities are joining the plant-powered revolution. Find out which ones made it onto our list and what you can do to improve your institution’s vegan options.
These are the most vegan-friendly universities in the UK:
- Cardiff University
Cardiff University is leading the way with its plant-based options. In the main restaurant on campus, over half the menu is vegan, with tantalising dishes like smoked tofu tortillas and avocado macaroni cheese. Its cafés have vegan sandwiches, sushi, soups, sweet and savoury pastries, cakes, and milks. Look out for the popular vegan takeover nights at The Taf pub in the students’ union.
Goldsmiths, University of London
Goldsmiths’ decision to remove all cow flesh from sale as part of its efforts to help save the planet inspired other universities across the country to cut the amount of meat they offer and up their vegan game. The fully veggie Professor Stuart Hall Building Café serves tasty options like vegan sausage rolls, healthy salads, and jacket potatoes.
Imperial College London
A recent survey showed that 85% of students at Imperial College London have considered the impact of their food on the environment. That’s why the college catering services are now providing a wide variety of vegan food. Its innovative vegan café, Plantworks, serves the Moving Mountains burger with vegan cheese, coronation tofu salad, and a tomato and chickpea pasta bake with three “cheese” crust, among other dishes created by vegan chef Christopher Herbert.
At the Atrium food court in the Chancellor’s Building, you’ll find delicious vegan street food options, such as Moving Mountains burgers, noodles, and mezze platters. And The Refectory is fully vegan on Wednesdays.
King’s College London
Roots Café in Bush House is fully vegan and has Fairtrade coffee. There’s a hot lunch counter as well as a salad bar, snacks, cakes, and grab-and-go options. The café serves Italian, Thai, Japanese, Indian, and Vietnamese cuisine, and the menu changes daily. Highlights are vegan sushi, miso-glazed aubergine on a bed of noodles, and the blueberry croissant. As part of the university’s meat-reduction strategies, all hospitality lunch sandwiches are now vegetarian or vegan by default.
London School of Economics and Political Science
LSE recently voted to ban beef in the students union on environmental and ethical grounds, thanks to the hard work of PETA campus rep Phoebe Woodruff. Cafés and restaurants across its central London campus offer an impressive variety of vegan options. At The Shaw Café, start your day with ethically sourced coffee made with oat, almond, coconut, or soya milk. Later, go for a vegan soup, sandwich, cake, or shake. The Fawcett Café and the Weston Café are also fully meat-free.
Nottingham Trent University
Students at Nottingham Trent University will find plenty of vegan options at all campus eateries. Indulge in a full English breakfast with sausages, hash browns, herby potatoes, beans, tomatoes, and toast. Vegan mains include all your comfort food favourites, like pies, spaghetti bolognaise, burgers, and bangers and mash. The uni participates in Meat Free Monday and has Oumph! sandwiches to go, and there are regular vegan street food pop-ups on campus.
Royal College of Art
Responding to demand from students, the Royal College of Art opened a vegan café at its Kensington campus in 2018. The café serves dishes like toasties, coconut and apricot protein balls, and homemade hot falafels with beetroot hummus.
At the students’ union shop Root, you’ll find many delicious vegan dishes at the hot lunch counter and salad bar, including soups, chillies, and curries, as well as sweet treats such as cakes. Zero-waste shop Root Zero has vegan essentials like pasta, loose-leaf tea, shampoo, and laundry detergent. And at JCs and Tafarn Tawe, you can grab a hot drink with dairy-free milk at no extra cost. This year, the students’ union is running its first-ever “Veganuary” campaign, with a line-up of activities including a talk by PETA.
University College London
The university has a veggie café and a veggie hospitality menu with many delicious vegan options. No meat is served at any senior management events. UCL has regular vegan street food pop-ups, a dedicated vegan hot food counter, and special World Vegan Month menus. Plus, at least a quarter of the university’s daily hot food options are entirely vegan.
University of Aberdeen
As well as an impressive selection of vegan snacks and dishes – including delicious stir-fries and crispy tacos – at cafés around campus, the University of Aberdeen can be proud of its vegan and vegetarian café, Roots. Whether it’s vegan meatballs with penne, vegetable pasanda, samosas, or freshly made soups, there’s always something new to look forward to, as Roots’ menu changes daily.
University of the Arts London
The brand-new vegan café at the London College of Communication serves an exciting range of homemade vegan salads, sandwiches, pots, cakes, and bakes, among other treats. Who can resist the temptation to grab a rich chocolate brownie or a vegan croissant paired with a beetroot or banana latte before lectures?
University of Bath
Students in Bath never need to go hungry, thanks to the many vegan options at vegetarian deli The Patch. If you’re lucky enough to study there, you can choose from a variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads, smoothies, hot and soft drinks, and snacks. The Patch uses locally sourced ingredients including organic vegetables from a nearby farm.
- Arts University of Bournemouth
Arts University of Bournemouth
Arts University of Bournemouth has a new vegan food counter called Plantlicious, which offers heavenly plant-based dishes like sweet potato mac ‘n’ cheese, BBQ pulled-oat wraps, Cornish pasties, pizza, Malaysian curry, and jacket potatoes with non-dairy cheese. The university also has vegan grab-and-go options at other outlets, observes Meat Free Monday, and is reducing the amount of meat on its menus.
University of Brighton
Students can enjoy a variety of vegan options at the University of Brighton’s es: vegan croissants or irresistible fry-ups for breakfast and soups and sandwiches for lunch. For dinner, there’s always at least one vegan option and an additional choice of jacket potatoes, salads, soup, and more. Its cafés offer non-dairy milks and vegan baked goods including heavenly homemade cakes.
University of Bristol
Bristol is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the UK, and the University of Bristol was the first in the country to declare a climate emergency. Now, to meet the demand for eco-friendly food, it’s opened a new vegetarian café called SourceV Café in Senate House. There, you can feast on a wide variety of delicious vegan goodies, from Oumph! sandwiches, wraps, and salads to vegan pies, pasties, and sausage rolls. In another win for animals, the café is plastic-free.
University of Cambridge
The catering service of the University of Cambridge swapped beef and lamb with plant-based foods at all of its 14 outlets and 1,500 annual events. This has not only spared the lives of many cows and lambs but also helped the university cut its food-related carbon emissions by one-third.
University of Essex
At the University of Essex, students can take their taste buds on a Mediterranean tour at The Vegan Greek. Each day, they can grab a warm Greek pitta, a crisp mixed salad, and a choice of falafel, stuffed tomato dolmades, or fried courgette as well as a variety of Greek dips. Satisfaction guaranteed.
University of Greenwich
Students and staff at the University of Greenwich can enjoy vegan options every day. Order your coffee with plant-based milk and vegan cake, and choose soup, jacket potato with non-dairy cheese, or a fresh salad from the all-vegetarian salad bar.
- University of Huddersfield
University of Huddersfield
The University of Huddersfield’s Veggie Hut opened its doors as a vegetarian café in 2019, quickly became a favourite on campus, and has now gone fully vegan. Its menu includes delights like blueberry croissants, vegan cheese toasties, and “fish” and chips made with banana blossom. Most of the eateries on campus have gone beef-free, and all have expanded their vegan offerings.
University of Kent
Students at the University of Kent can enjoy a variety of vegan treats on campus, and many non-vegan dishes can be adapted for vegans, too. Our top picks include the vegan BBQ chick’n nachos from Origins in Canterbury, and the vegan caramel milkshake from Mungo’s, also in Canterbury.
University of Leicester
All-vegan café Indigo is a dream for plant-powered students at the University of Leicester. It’s a result of on-campus activism: students campaigned for more vegan options, and the university listened. Indigo’s selection of tasty hot and cold food, snacks, and drinks is a real treat for vegans and non-vegans alike.
University of Manchester
Not only are students at the University of Manchester lucky to study in the music capital of the UK and enjoy the best nights out in the country, they also have just the place to fuel their busy lives with some plant-based goodness. The Greenhouse Cafe offers daily vegan specials and great coffee – just what hungry Mancunian students (and those from elsewhere) need!
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is working hard to expand its plant-based options: the menus at most of its cafés are 50% meat-free, and nearly 70% of hospitality food options are vegan or vegetarian. The halls of residence have good vegan options, too. The students’ union runs an annual “Veggie Pledge” and has voted for a university-wide ban on beef and lamb in order to reduce Oxford’s greenhouse-gas emissions.
University of Plymouth
A heaven of tranquillity with impressive vegan options, the Reservoir Vegetarian Bistro is definitely a top spot for Plymouth students. Delicious salads, a jacket potato bar, daily hot pots – it serves everything to fuel students with vegan power.
- University of Portsmouth
University of Portsmouth
The University of Portsmouth encourages its staff and students to eat less meat by making all vegan dishes cheaper than meat-based ones. On Vegan Wednesday, all mains and hot dishes across the entire campus are plant-based. And graduation has gone vegan, too! This year, all canapés and champagne served at graduation ceremonies will be vegan, catering for a whopping 27,000 people. The university has even launched a loyalty scheme rewarding students with free meals if they choose plant-based dishes.
University of Reading
Dol.cHe Vita is a vegetarian café with vegan sandwiches, salads, smoothie bowls, snacks, and drinks, all served in compostable or reusable containers. You can also find delicious vegan eats elsewhere on campus. Mojo’s Bar in the Students’ Union has a great range of vegan options, such as burgers, chilli, pasta, and pizza.
University of Sheffield
You won’t find animal flesh on The View Deli’s menu. Instead, it serves freshly made vegan treats and healthy and filling lunches to enjoy along with a perfect view over Sheffield. It’s the place to go to relax and recharge your mind between classes.
University of Stirling
Another sterling example of students making a difference on campus: after they asked for more vegan options, V-Go! deli opened its doors to meet the ever-growing demand. Its hearty sandwiches, including the Reuben with maple-glazed tofu and vegan mozzarella and the popular BLT with vegan bacon, have conquered the hearts and stomachs of Stirling students.
University of Sussex
Students at the University of Sussex demanded more vegan options and made a difference for animals and the planet. Dine Central eco-restaurant has expanded its plant-based offering with its vegan food bar, On the Pulse. Students can now build their own meal deals and choose from premium salad options including chargrilled cauliflower, Mediterranean quinoa, and pomegranate seeds. They can also opt for rice or buckwheat noodles with veg and tofu from the Wok Bar. Those who crave something “dirty” are catered to by the Chick ‘n’ Pea van, which serves tempting vegan burgers and loaded fries with vegan cheese.
- University of Winchester
University of Winchester
In a first for a UK university, World Vegan Day on 1 November was marked with all-vegan food offerings across campus! There’s always a variety of vegan options available across all six food outlets at the University of Winchester, including the Moving Mountains burger and delicious vegan pizza.
- University of York
University of York
The University of York is increasing the number of vegan options on its menus to help the planet, and it opened its first vegetarian café in 2019. Vedge, which is located at Wentworth College, has options such as avocado toast, Vedge bowls, soups, and curries. Vegan food is also available elsewhere across campus – at the Hub Café, you’ll find BBQ jackfruit pizza, sausage butties, Moving Mountains burgers, burritos, and quesadillas.
Want Your University to Serve More Vegan Options?
As more young people are going vegan than ever before, PETA has launched the “Vegan-Friendly Campus Catering” guide – an essential downloadable resource filled with advice, a sample menu, and a letter template to equip students with the tools they need to petition their institutions for better on-campus vegan dining options. Get a free copy now:
Want to Be a Vegan Activist on Campus?
The PETA UK Campus Rep Programme is designed to help student activists hold fun and effective animal rights outreach events and campaigns on campus. Campus reps will receive lots of free materials to put on eye-catching, exciting events that get other students interested in animal rights issues. They’ll also be paid for their work during the semester and get a certificate of completion to enhance their CVs.
Note: Please always be sure to double-check the ingredients before purchasing anything on this list, as manufacturers are at liberty to change them at any time.