10. Bates College; Lewiston, Maine
Bates College has been working throughout COVID-19 to still provide students with healthy, local options through its grab-and-go meal program, Dash Dining. The dining team has also tried to keep up its sustainability initiatives during the pandemic by continuing to compost back-of-house food waste and using a line of single-use servingware made from 100% recycled paperboard.
9. Washington University in St. Louis; St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis offers students a variety of dining options, including Chowbotics’ Sally, the salad-making robot. Most of the school’s dining locations are open for the spring semester, and students can also preorder at any location using Grubhub.
8. James Madison University; Harrisonburg, Va.
James Madison University offers students several campus eateries, including two dining halls. Its D-Hall, which opened in the fall of 2018, provides options such as custom personal pizzas and liquid nitrogen ice cream. Along with masks, reduced capacity and increased cleaning, the dining team has also installed a counter on its website that allows students to see the current occupancy of each dining hall.
7. University of San Diego; San Diego
Students at the University of San Diego can choose from seven different eateries on campus and can use the campus app to order meals and have groceries delivered. The dining team has worked to provide a fun dining experience for students during the pandemic and has offered many themed events this semester, including meals for Lunar New Year and St. Patrick’s Day.
6. John Fisher College; Rochester, N.Y.
The dining team at John Fisher College started a virtual focus group to solicit feedback from students throughout the pandemic. This school year, students have also been enjoying themed food days at the dining hall, and the team has also invited celebrity chefs such as Jet Tila and Aarti Sequeira to host virtual cooking demos for students.
5. California Baptist University; Riverside, Calif.
California Baptist University’s all-you-care-to-eat dining hall offers small-plate dining modeled after tapas. Due to the pandemic, all meals are currently being served in a grab-and-go format. The dining team works to incorporate locally grown produce into meals, including different types of citrus grown near its campus.
4. St. Norbert College; De Pere, Wis.
With a dining hall and three retail spots, St. Norbert College offers students fun weekly themed meals such as Wing Wednesdays. To allow students to dine indoors during the pandemic, the dining team converted conference spaces into additional seating.
3. University of Massachusetts Amherst; Amherst, Mass.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s dining program focuses fresh, housemade meals with locally sourced ingredients. Its latest campus eatery opened last fall and is home to a cafe with expanded grab-and-go fare on the first floor and a food hall concept on the second. The food hall features 12 different stations along with two teaching kitchens.
2. Virginia Tech; Blacksburg, Va.
The dining team at Virginia Tech has been working to keep students engaged throughout the pandemic with both virtual and live events, including themed meals at campus eateries and virtual chef demos. Students have also been able to share their feedback about dining services through virtual surveys.
1. University of California Los Angeles; Los Angeles
Coming in at No. 1, UCLA offers students four all-you-care-to-eat restaurants on campus where students can find a variety of dining options, including kosher and halal meals. During the pandemic, the dining team partnered with a local family clinic to start an emergency food program for patients, and provides around 13,000 meals to them each week.