10 college dining programs with the best food

University of Washington

Food website Delish recently released its ranking of the best campus food in the country. Here’s an inside look at the top 10 schools and what makes them tick. 

Photographs: Shutterstock

10. University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Coming in at No. 10, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has six dining locations as well as c-stores and cafes that serve a wide range of cuisines. Its two Capital City Pizza locations on campus offer extended hours for late-night dining. The dining team is also introducing a reusable to-go container program starting this fall.

9. Virginia Tech University

virginia tech university

As the largest single employer on campus, the dining team at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., employs over 2,200 people and serves 7.5 million meals per year. Students can grab a bite at several different concepts throughout campus, including two food trucks. The dining team works closely with the school’s campus farm, which produced 37,000 pounds of produce for the dining program last year. 

8. Harvard University

Harvard University

Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., offers one dining plan for its students. Its 13 dining halls host events throughout the year, including themed dinners and cooking classes for students. Last year, the dining team rolled out a series of initiatives intended to improve employee engagement and retention. 

7. University of Washington

University of Washington

The University of Washington in Seattle has over 35 dining locations on campus, many of which offer themed menus (Tero, for example, serves plant-forward cuisine). Some dishes have even gained attention outside the university, including the house burger served at Cultivate, University of Washington’s full-service restaurant, which has become a cult favorite for students and the surrounding community. 

6. Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College

This dining program at this small liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine, has been featured in a number of previous college dining rankings. Fresh and local ingredients are a main focus, and the school’s recently added campus greenhouse will provide microgreens, basil and bok choy for the dining program.

5. University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley

Students at the University of California, Berkeley are able to find a wide range of healthy meals on campus. At Cafe 3, the school’s plant-forward concept, students can also eat kosher. Its Clark Kerr dining location includes a garden that provides fresh produce and herbs for the dining program and its student food pantry. 

4. Yale University

Yale University

While Yale is over 300 years old, its dining team keeps up with modern trends. Its two newest dining halls feature live cooking stations, and the team is getting ready to roll out a new dining app that will allow students to rate menu items, list their favorite dishes and more. 

3. University of Connecticut

University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut’s dining concepts include numerous dining halls, two dairy bars, a food truck, an ice cream truck and more. The dining program is constantly evolving and adapting to student needs. For example, it recently created a mini meal plan for students who move to campus before classes begin.

2. University of North Texas

University of North Texas

Known for being one the first universities to introduce an all-vegan dining hall, the Denton, Texas, school serves around 5 million meals annually. 

1. University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

No stranger to college dining rankings, the University of Massachusetts Amherst has consistently been featured at the top of C&U dining lists for the past several years. UMass students are treated to globally influenced cuisine, themed dinners and scratch-made takeout. This summer, Baby Berk, the school’s food truck, served summer meals to kids in the surrounding community. 

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