Vegetarian food on route?

How hard is it going to be to stay vegetarian for the whole week? This is my first RAGBRAI so not sure what to expect.

15 Replies

Sunflower, May 3, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Its possible, though your choices will be very limited.

Ames and Iowa City will be easy.


Peter Scallister, May 3, 2018 at 3:23 pm

It’s definitely tough to find good options other than cheese pizza and grilled cheese etc. Definitely agree with Sunflower that you will have more to choose from in the college towns of Ames and Iowa City.


Iceman !, May 3, 2018 at 3:38 pm

Easy to be vegetarian on Ragbrai. Is pork a fruit or a vegetable?


Sunflower, May 3, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Your best bet is to spend some time looking up the restaurants along the way and getting in touch with them to see what they have. There are a few vendors traveling all week that have veggie fare.


Doug Kraus, May 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I figured it would be somewhat of a challenge. Every town has a grocery store full of veggies if nothing else.

I thought pork is the other white meat. Now it is possibly a fruit? So those were fruit fritters they served in the ISU towers 4 nights a week? Who knew?


KenH, May 3, 2018 at 5:57 pm

During this last Lenten season it came out for some reason that various Catholic authorities have declared alligator, muskrat, and capybara all to be fish. By those standards I am quite sure that pork would be a vegetable!


Jay Ironside, May 4, 2018 at 7:04 am

Vendors such as Carbo Hut have very good vegetarian choices. There will be plenty of non meat choices everywhere you go if you look and are committed to doing that. I am primarily a plant eater and last year I found breakfast was easy, smoothies along the way, Carbo Hut bowls and plenty of choices in the larger towns. Having grown up in small town Iowa I usually revert to my small farm town roots and just don’t fret about it for the week. That being said, you can do it if you choose without that much trouble. There will always be pie!


Doug Kraus, May 4, 2018 at 7:12 am

Thanks Jay. I’ll definitely check out Carbo Hut Bowls. I’ve heard tale of Amish pies on the route but fully suspect there is lard involved in those bad boys. I may have to turn a blind eye to some of my own self imposed rules for the week.


Sandaltan ., May 4, 2018 at 2:28 pm

Iceman, good to see you back on the forum. Yes, pork can sub for either a fruit or vegetable with the proper dispensations from any RAGBRAI rider wearing a costume.



BarryTantlinger, May 4, 2018 at 10:19 pm

CarboHut, lot’s of eggs and pancakes for breakfast, many vendors selling veggie wraps or burritos, Porkbelly usually has a veggie option for dinner, most church dinners will accommodate you. It isn’t hard at at all if you are lacto-ovo.

And beer is vegetarian, too.


T. Gap Woo, May 5, 2018 at 6:20 am

You can always stock up on nonperishables at Hy-Vee for consumption the next day. On the route, you can stop at Casey’s. They are as ubiquitous as Iowa cornfields. I guarantee that you won’t starve — I haven’t yet!

See you along the I-O-Way in July.


Linda Wiard-Bauer, May 15, 2018 at 11:57 am

I did it last year. You get many comments on this forum that you should just eat meat. But there are vendors with vegetarian options, grocery stores to buy good food, and I always bring emergency food with me, as well. I got a great spaghetti dinner at a church. It may be harder to be vegan, but if you eat cheese, you are good to go. Good luck!


Doug Kraus, May 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Thanks Linda. Yeah, just eat meat is not the answer. Thanks for the tip. I’ve done stretchs of veganism while traveling and it is nearly impossible. Bring on the cheese and maybe a few eggs on this trip!


Derby, May 15, 2018 at 1:41 pm

I mainly just eat RAW fruits and Veg and I have never had an issue on Ragbrai. I check out where all the Grocery Stores are before Ragbrai starts.


jwsknk, May 15, 2018 at 3:25 pm

not sure a couple of these in Campustown (Heywood addresses) are still open.


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