After analyzing 1,384 colleges and universities, review site Niche.com has released its 2017 ranking of schools with the best food. Here’s an overview of the top 10, which were determined using a combination of student surveys and meal plan costs.
9. James Madison University; Harrisonburg, Va.
James Madison University’s 28 on-campus dining options include all-you-can-eat dining halls, food courts, a food truck, coffee and smoothie bars, and national vendors such as Auntie Anne’s. The dining program has launched numerous sustainability initiatives including trayless dining, a reusable container program and Meatless Mondays.
8. California Baptist University, Riverside
The main dining hall on campus offers all-you-can-eat small plates inspired by Spanish tapas, as well as a make-your-own waffle station and soft-serve ice cream bar. Playing off of brunch’s popularity, students and faculty can enjoy all-you-can-eat brunch every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
7. University of Massachusetts Amherst
UMass Amherst has the second-largest campus dining program in the country, serving more than 40,000 meals daily. Students have a plethora of dining options, including a dining commons, 18 retail cafes, two food trucks, a bake shop, concessions and on-campus restaurant the University Club. A testament to its offerings, the university’s dining program came under fire earlier this year for taking business from area restaurants.
6. Bates College; Lewiston, Maine
Over half of the solid waste at Bates College’s dining hall gets recycled through the college’s sustainability initiatives. To solicit student feedback, the dining services team has implemented a napkin board at the entrance of the dining hall, where students can write comments and food requests on napkins.
5. Bowdoin College; Brunswick, Maine
Bowdoin College makes all of its menu items from scratch using locally sourced ingredients such as beef from area farmers and produce from its on-campus organic garden. Students with dietary restrictions are also able to get gluten-free and vegan dishes at every meal.
4. Culinary Institute of America; Hyde Park, NY
The Culinary Institute of America’s campus offers multiple dining facilities where students can both cook and eat. The Egg, the largest dining facility on campus, offers indoor and outdoor seating that accommodates over 500 students and includes a student-run brewery.
1. University of California at Los Angeles
Coming in at No. 1, UCLA serves vegetarian and vegan menu items at every dining facility on campus, and its four residential restaurants offer as many as ten entree choices per meal. The university has also made strides in sustainability by offering trayless dining and compostable to-go packaging.