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Planning ahead – veggie options?

Hi all, I’m excited to be doing my first RAGBRAI (full week). But I do not eat meat, and I hear a lot about meat on sticks / state fair-type foods. Is there much by way of veggie food options? And if not, what are your go-to food carry-along hacks? Thanks in advance!

9 Replies

KenH, June 16, 2021 at 10:33 am

It’s not my thing but you will get advice from like-minded people soon. I will just mention that in the past people have reported having sufficient veggie options so I think you will be covered. Also, Kathy Murphy from the Just Go Bike podcast mentioned last week in the pre-ride reports that she and Andrea Parrot did that she is a vegetarian. This week they are starting a series called RAGBRAI 101 and they are taking questions. So send her or Andrea Parrot your question about veggie options and I think they will give you the scoop.


KenH, June 16, 2021 at 9:05 pm

Veggie options will be a topic on Just Go Bike/RAGBRAI 101 next week. Bon appetit!


Rob Fuller, June 16, 2021 at 10:06 pm

Carrots ride well in the back pockets, although you’ll need to replenish each day without a cooler. And of course lots of “sweet corn” cobbs on a stick, dipped in butter along the way.


Chris, June 17, 2021 at 8:33 am

Like Ken, I’m a “if it’s not nailed to the floor, I’m eating it” kind of eater. But….
Breakfast: Pancakes are everywhere. Waffles, too. Biscuits are easy to come by. Breakfast cereal isn’t as common.

Lunch: Carbo Hut is always on the route somewhere, and they have a vegan option. PB&Jam was around last year again (might have been under a new name, though). Grilled cheese is usually pretty easy to find, too. As already mentioned, there’s corn a-plenty, usually watermelon, too.

Dinner: Easy. Almost every church is serving up some kind of pasta dish. A lot have meat sauce, but if you don’t mind waiting a few minutes for the next batch of pasta to come out of the water, they’re usually happy to put a non-sauced pile on your plate. Loaded baked potatoes aren’t uncommon, either. The restaurants in the larger towns usually have a limited menu, but there will be something on there that’s vegetarian friendly.
If there’s a HyVee in town, their salad bar is amazing. No, really, like straight-up amazing. You’d roll yourself out of there.

You might be a little limited on which places you can pick from, and you may end up on a little bit longer of a line because of that, but you’ll find some good food to nom. While RAGBRAI doesn’t pride itself on being vegetarian friendly, it, relatively, is. At least from where I stand. I’m curious to hear what some vegetarian veterans have to say about it.

See you in July.


Jonathan Jones, June 17, 2021 at 11:36 am

Carbo Hut’s Facebook page says no RAGBRAI this year.

This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Jonathan Jones.


Rob Fuller, June 17, 2021 at 5:06 pm

Ride carefully. Watch for signs. Really, you’ll find a few miles out from the overnight towns that local groups will have posted signs touting their menus often including very healthy home cookin’. Selecting just one can be a hard choice.


Chris, June 20, 2021 at 4:33 pm

Johathan: Oh man, bummer. I just looked them up, hoping they had changed their minds. Looks like they are, indeed, not going to be there with us this year. Ah….damnit. It’s not unreasonable that some of our “usuals” won’t be there this year. They’ll taste that much better in 2022.

See you in July,


NYC Highwheeler, June 21, 2021 at 5:12 pm

When I first did the ride in 2003, there were very few vegetarian options. The church suppers would have a pasta sauce without meat, but generally it felt like a second tier option. When I returned in 2014 and 2016, things were much better! Several of the churches actually had a vegetable sauce with peppers, onions, zucchini, etc. There were decent veg options at most food vendors. I have also had great luck at most Mexican food places.

Due to the heat, I usually eat light, and try to eat small amounts often. Avocados, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, bananas, are very common, easy to eat, and cheap! There are also all the usual energy bars, PB&J, trail mix, easy to find.

If you are vegan, or have very strict dietary needs, you might have to plan and pack, but for vegetarians, RAGBRAI has you covered!


jschettler, June 27, 2021 at 4:14 pm

My experience is that veg options have pretty slim pickings for lunch and dinner, esp healthy ones. I will often head to a local Chinese restaurant To get some veg and support a local business. Hope you have a fun and healthy ride!


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