Dining with dietary restrictions: A closer look on Marshall Street

By Maddie Rhodes

With finals around the corner, it can be difficult to find time to make your own food. However, our friends with dietary restrictions are not so lucky when it comes to options near campus. While everyone raves about Varsity Pizza and Five Guys, let’s give some attention to our vegetarian, lactose-intolerant, gluten-free, and vegan options on Marshall. 


Chipotle is safe for dietary restrictions, as long as your restrictions allow for other food to be close to your food. Vegans, vegetarians, and the lactose-intolerant opt for meatless, cheeseless, and plant-based options by choosing an alternative: plant-based chorizo (which tastes a lot like meat) or veggie (free guac comes with the veggie option). For gluten-free eaters, you are in the clear as well, just do not get the burrito. 

Pita Pit

Pita Pit has options for everyone! They have the “Mediterranean,” which has the option for falafel instead of meat. While Pita Pit serves Beyond Meat for a pita, the location on Marshall Street does not have it. For lactose-intolerant eaters, pitas taste just as good without cheese, I promise. For gluten-free eaters, they have gluten-free wraps by request. 

Hungry Chuck’s

This new restaurant is unique inside. While you wait for your food, you can draw on the walls (they provide markers). They offer veggie burgers and vegan platters. There are not many gluten-free options, but they always have salads or burgers without a bun.

Mediterranean Combo

This restaurant is very safe for non-meat eaters. While they have veggie meals, most of their options already come without meat, such as their hummus and falafel dishes. Dairy is only an issue in regards to sauces. While the pita is not gluten-free, almost all of their combo bowls and platters are gluten-free. 

Insomnia Cookies

While their original cookies are not allergy friendly, they have cookies for those who are vegan, lactose-intolerant, and gluten-free. Unfortunately, they only have regular ice-cream, so if you don’t eat dairy, don’t get your hopes up about the chipwiches. 

Taste of Asia Syracuse

While this is more of a sit down restaurant, it is a great place to go for people requiring different dietary restrictions. They have plenty of meals where vegetables or tofu can replace meat. A lot of their soups are made with coconut milk rather than regular. Most meals come with rice, but you will need to check that there are no traces of gluten in the sauces.

Sushi from Bleu Monkey. Photo by Nina Rodriguez.

Bleu Monkey Cafe

Again, there are a lot of options for vegetarians, pescatarians, and vegans here. There is a tofu replacement for main plates, and there are sushi rolls with only veggies in them. Sushi is great for lactose-intolerant and gluten free people because most meals automatically come without dairy or gluten. Watch out for soy sauce, as some brands have gluten. 

Royal Indian Grill

Royal Indian Grill is another sit down restaurant, but the coolest part about it is the buffet. You can still order off the menu, but either way they will have options for you. Both the buffet and regular menu come with vegetarian and gluten-free options. Vegans and lactose-intolerant people should not have a problem either, but make sure to check the sauces.

Jimmy John’s

They do not have a lot of options for dietary restrictions, but it can work in a pinch. You can order a sandwich with just vegetables if you do not eat meat. For people who do not eat gluten, they provide sandwiches with a lettuce bun. 

Varsity Pizza

While it is not quite on Marshall Street, it is still worth the stop. Believe it or not, Varsity does have a variety of options. For the non-meat eaters, they have a few options: Of course, there is always pizza. They also have rice bowls, like the Greek-Lemon Rice Bowl or a build your own bowl, for vegans. They always have a garden burger (although it usually comes from the freezer). If you are lactose-intolerant, there are many options beyond pizza. You can get anything on the grill (like wraps or wings), just make sure to ask for it without cheese. Gluten-free? No problem, they have gluten free pizza and wraps!

Five Guys

Sorry vegetarians and vegans, this joint may be difficult for you. They have a veggie burger (which is not actually a burger, it is vegetables on a bun). Their fries are vegan and gluten-free, and the milkshakes are vegetarian. Lactose-intolerant people, you know that milkshakes are off-limits, but you can eat everything else if you ask for it without cheese. For gluten-free eaters, there are no alternative buns – the burger is just as filling without the bun, trust us. 

Purple Banana

Almost every smoothie/bowl option here is vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, and gluten-free! For alternative milk options, they offer coconut and almond milk.

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