@ – Within walking distance from campusErbert and Gerbert’s / Jimmy John’s $
218 E College / 345 W College @
Two cheap and yummy sub shops with different locations but practically the same menu. Erb ‘n’ Gerb’s has wheat bread and cartoon characters that profess the virtues of friendship and teamwork; Jimmy John’s has better chips. You make the choice.
Veg-friendly?: Both offer a veggie sub, but as a vegan sub it gets pretty sparse. Erb ‘n’ Gerb’s have vegetarian soups as well.
Gyros Kabob $
118 Soldiers Square @
This hidden gem is little more than a hole in the wall in Soldiers Square but serves up fabulous gyros and kabobs. The meat is cut fresh when you order and the sandwiches are finished off with a dash of lemon and cilantro. Try the baklava for dessert.
Veg-friendly?: Surprisingly, yes. Try the veggie pita, and nix the tzaziki and feta for an equally tasty vegan version.
Hunan 1 $
220 E College @
Cheap Chinese takeout right next to campus, which is the only reason you’ll go there and not somewhere better. Still, it does in a pinch. Admire the lovely slate on the exterior.
Veg-friendly?: Ew. Respect yourself.
207 N. Appleton @
Greek classics like saganaki, moussaka, dolmades and spanakopita are all here and accompanied by a number of lamb, seafood and beef dishes. The portions are smaller than in most Wisconsin restaurants, but the food is rich enough that it doesn’t matter.
Veg-friendly? You can get away with being lacto-ovo here pretty well, but vegans won’t find much.
Good Company $$
110 N. Richmond @
People seem to really love this place, which offers traditional American pub favorites with a few Italian offerings and Mexican dishes. Quirky decoration ranges from a rustic bar that features trophy animals and Packers memorabilia, a main dining room that vaguely recollects the French Quarter, and an upstairs library dining room that showcases the owner’s book collection. They also feature a Friday fish fry.
Veg-friendly?: Trophy animals? Ew. In addition, there are about three vegetarian options, which are bland and lifeless and taste like they came from the freezer section at Woodman’s. Vegan? Run.
Katsu-Ya of Japan $$
531 W College @
Katsu-Ya offers both hibachi food that is cooked in front of you and a grill-your-own Yakiniku barbeque, in addition to sushi and sashimi. Anime plays in the sushi room on flat-screen TVs and live musicians play the bar on weekends. Sushi is 30% off in the bar from 5-7 during the week.
Veg-friendly?: Yes, but make sure you double-check dishes with the servers. Vegetarian hibachi is a joke, so go for the sushi side and do the vegetable Yakiniku, vegetable tempura and vegetarian sushi. Beware of the tricky, tricky miso soup.
201 W. Northland
Delicious Korean food consistently voted best in the valley. Classics like Bul-go-gi, Bi-bim-bahb rice bowls (go for the rock bowl), tempura, sushi and sashimi are all here and fabulous. The atmosphere is stylish and wait staff are great as well.
Veg-friendly?: Bi-bim-bahb, Bul-go-gi and noodle dishes can be made with tofu, and there are a number of veg salads, appetizers and sushi rolls. As another plus, they have a cute vegan waiter.
Sai Ram Indian Cuisine $$
253 W. Northland
A recipient of the Fox Cities’ Golden Fork Award for best Indian food for years, Sai Ram is well worth the car-borrowing you’ll need to do to get there. A large menu of vegetarian, chicken, egg, beef, seafood and lamb entrees, biryani and tandoori dishes and appetizers offer something for everyone, unless of course you just hate Indian food. They also have a large lunch buffet.
Veg-friendly?: Half the entrees at Sai Ram are strictly vegetarian and are able to be upgraded to the fully vegetarian thali sampler-style dinner. Sai Ram also offers a number of vegetarian sides and breads. Staff is helpful about veganizing dishes.
Se¤or Tequila’s Mexican Grill and Bar $$
531 W College @
Senor Tequila’s has an inexpensive selection of large combination entrees like fajitas, enchiladas, chimichangas, tacos and burritos. A fun atmosphere, music and free salsa lessons on the weekends make it a destination after dark.
Veg-friendly?: Do you eat cheese? If you do, Senor Tequila’s is great. If not, skip it. If you have to, try a vegetarian fajita or burrito without the cheesy trimmings.
Taste of Thai $$
321 E College @
With a location right next to campus and dine-in or takeout options, Taste of Thai loves Lawrence. With a large selection of curried and sauted entrees, seafood specialties and pasta dishes, and a cheap lunch buffet, you’re almost guaranteed to see another Lawrentian while you’re there.
Veg-friendly?: A separate vegetarian menu offers lots of veg entrees and curries, as well as soups, appetizers, and desserts. Many dishes are vegan, just ask.
Victoria’s Italian Cuisine $$
503 W. College @
If you love cheese and large portions, Victoria’s is your place. A white and red castle-like exterior belies a large, dimly lit and pretty comfortable interior. Portions are inexplicably massive and will feed you for days.
Veg-friendly?: Again, if you love cheese you’re golden. If you’re vegan, I suggest a nice Mediterranean salad.
CasaBlanca Fine Latin Cuisine $$$
531 W. College @
Pricey but atmospheric, with lavish food from around the Latin world and a stunning wine selection. CasaBlanca has an especially large selection of seafood entrees but doesn’t disappoint with their array of appetizers, soups, salads and desserts. Come here if you’d like to impress a carnivorous date.
Veg-friendly?: Skip this one; about four of the dishes are vegetarian and none of them are entrees. Vegans should run far, far away.
Erbert and Gerbert’s and Jimmy John’s both deliver until 2 am. Muncheez Pizza will deliver until 3 am, which is fortunate because it’s the only time their pizza will ever taste good.