The production of collective meals in institutional restaurants demands a great use of natural resources. The search for strategies to reduce negative environmental impacts in this sector is essential to offer meals that are not only healthy but also sustainable. In this study the evaluation of water footprint (WF) of menus offered in a public university restaurant located in the northeast of Brazil and the verification of the origin of foodstuff purchased to compose the menus in 2 months were carried out. The study is transversal, descriptive, and exploratory and the data were collected between March and April 2018. Water footprint of 112 traditional and vegetarian menus was calculated and the results showed that the WF of traditional menus was higher (p < 0.0001) than the vegetarian menus. Weekly average per capita of WF was 2752.0 L for traditional menus and 1113.9 L for the vegetarian option, with animal protein intake in the traditional version being the main factor for this difference. It was identified that 49.47% of the foods used in the studied period originated from the same state where the restaurant is located, with fresh vegetables being the food group with the highest contribution. Thus, we conclude that although the restaurant purchases local food products, the environmental impact of the choice of foods that is included in the menus must be taken into account. The utilization of local foodstuff and the decrease of animal protein in the menus can be a good strategy to encourage sustainable actions in food services meal production.