OU’s Special Dietary Options

Vegetarian, vegan, halal, gluten-free – you’ve heard the terms and maybe identify with one of these diets. However, these terms are sometimes used incorrectly. Have you ever been confused when one of your friends says he or she practices one of these diets? Maybe you’re on the other side of the spectrum and are tired of your friends and family confusing your lacto-vegetarian diet with veganism.

Let’s clarify what each of these terms means and where you can find all of these options on campus!


A vegetarian is someone who lives on a diet of grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits. Some vegetarians eat dairy products and eggs while others do not. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry or fish.

There are different types of vegetarian diets. The following list includes the most commonly recognized types:


Eats both dairy products and eggs (This is the most common type of vegetarian diet.)

NoMeat Dairy Eggs


Eats dairy products but not eggs

NoMeat NoEggs Dairy


Eats eggs but not dairy products

NoMeat NoDairy Eggs


Does not eat dairy products, eggs or any other animal product

NoMeat NoDairy NoEggs

*Notice that veganism is a form of vegetarianism


Roscoe'sIf you need a solution to that afternoon sweet tooth, try a vegan cookie or a chai soy latte at Roscoe’s in Cate Restaurants! View Roscoe’s full menu here.



If a nutritious lunch is more of what you are looking for, look to the Laughing Tomato’s menu. The Laughing TomatoLaughingTomato.Black offers fresh, hearty and flavorful selections. Its menu incorporates soups, wraps, salads and an ample selection of other snacks and sides. Many of these items are vegan and vegetarian-friendly.


VeganWhen you see this symbol next to a menu item it means the item is vegan-friendly. Click here to view a full list of vegan dining options on campus. 


VegetarianWhen you see this symbol next to a menu item it means the item is vegetarian-friendly.




According to the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, the Arabic term “halal” means permitted or lawful. The opposite of the term is “haram,” meaning harmful or prohibited.

The Islamic faith accepts all food to be halal, except the following:

  • Swine/pork and its by-products
  • Animals not properly processed according to Islamic teachings
  • Foods contaminated with any materials from above categories

Those who practice Islam cannot eat meals with meat that have not been processed according to Islamic teachings.


Athens CafeIf you are looking for halal options while dining at The Caf, add Athens Cafe to your list. All of Athens Cafe’s menu items are made with halal approved meat.



O’Henry’s inside Cate Restaurants is another great option for a healthy halal sandwich. At O’Henry’s, you can build your own sandwich with a variety of halal items, including turkey slices, Swiss, mozzarella and smoked provolone cheeses.




If you are looking for a convenient place to have halal breakfast, lunch or dinner at any time, Crossroads is your place. All of its chicken-based meals can be made halal.

Click here to view a full list halal dining options on campus.


The proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale are called “gluten.” Gluten helps food maintain its shape by acting as a glue that holds food together.

For some people, such as those with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy, it is essential to exclude wheat and gluten from their daily diet.


Couch Restaurants

The Caf has some of the most diverse eating options for a gluten-friendly diet here at OU. Several gluten-friendly items are located on the salad bar closest to Dot’s Deli. From La Roma to Shanghai Stir fry, you’ll find a variety of gluten-friendly foods at Couch Restaurants.



When you see this symbol next to a menu item it means the item is gluten friendly. Click here to view a full list of gluten-friendly dining options on campus.


Now you know how OU restaurants can accommodate vegetarian, halal and gluten-friendly diets!

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