Cheap Eat of the Week: VLife

By Jewelle Trotman

As a college student in NYC, having a cheap food connoisseur is essential. We all want to save money, but why sacrifice a good meal? I’m here to let you know that you’ve got options! From deals to discounts, I’ve got you covered.

More and more people are trading in their favorite meats for tofu and other animal-free alternatives. Going vegan/vegetarian is now easier than ever — there are lots of resources like phone apps with recipes and product checkers that help with the transition. Common grocery stores like BJs and Trader Joe’s carry meat-less meals, too.

The main reason people hesitate to move away from meat is cost. Vegan/vegetarian food is notoriously expensive so for college students on a budget, this poses a problem. Animal, health, and environmental concerns may call for a switch from meat but wallet woes may hold someone back. Besides that, eating out is perceived as difficult since options tend to be limited. Many vegan/vegetarian-only eateries are far from inexpensive. Why can’t cruelty-free food be cheaper?!

VLife may be able to solve both of those issues. With respect to other vegan restaurants, it is relatively affordable. Students can save more by showing their ID for a discount! Most things on the menu are just under $12, which isn’t too bad. For beverages one can try the fresh juices, bubble teas, smoothies, and bottled drinks. Food items range from wraps, salads, burgers, sandwiches, rice, finger foods, and snacks; desserts too! There are options to “Create Your Own” when it comes to burgers, wraps, and bowls. Dine in or get it delivered, the choice is yours.

It is a cozy place with about 3-4 tables. When I visited, the playlist had songs from people like Bruno Mars which created an enjoyable atmosphere. Green circular designs and inspirational quotes like “You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world; but it requires people to make the dream a reality” make the space inviting. Patrons seemed to enjoy VLife too. I overheard one customer thanking the employee for the great meal and another telling someone their food looked good.  

Since I was in the mood for rice, I decided to get the Tofu Teriyaki Brown Rice Dish. My meal was placed on a decorative plate and the dish had excellent portions: a fair amount of rice and good vegetable-to-protein ratio. It had firm tofu, flavorful teriyaki sauce with an extra zest from the peppers on the plate. I didn’t get that super stuffed feeling after I finished my food — but make no mistake, I was definitely full.

I got Thai Bubble Tea for my beverage. Honestly, it was the best bubble tea I’ve ever had and guess what? No milk whatsoever! The Bubble Tea tasted creamy and wasn’t too sweet. Usually, I hate those stupid bubbles, they infiltrate the straw while enjoying the delicious tea but these bubbles were tolerable.

I rate my Tofu Teriyaki Brown Rice Dish 3.5/5


Check back next week for some more cheap eats!


348 7th Ave, New York, NY 10001

(Near Pret a Manger)