Check out students' favorite college dining programs in the country

The Princeton Review has published its latest college dining ranking, which is based on student surveys.
Princeton Review's 2024 college dining rankings are based on student surveys. | Photo: Shutterstock

The Princeton Review is back with its latest ranking of the best college food. The 2024 ranking is based on surveys of 165,000 students at schools across the U.S. 

Here’s a look at the dining programs that made it into the top 10. 

10. St. Olaf College; Northfield, Minn. 

St. Olaf’s dining hall offers students all-you-can-eat options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Halal menu items are available at every meal, and the eatery includes also menus a variety of plant-based dishes. 

Students looking for late-night eats can visit The Lion’s Pause, a student-run eatery that is open until midnight each day and serves pizza, hoagies and more. 

9. Kansas State University; Manhattan, Kan.

Students at Kansas State can grab a bite to eat at two dining halls on campus. Menus at both eateries center around scratch-made meals, and Derby Dining Hall includes an on-site bakery. 

The dining program also places a large focus on sustainability. Along with reusable grab-and-go containers and donating food to a local charity, the dining team also makes an effort to compost or recycle a majority of its waste. 

8. Virginia Tech; Blacksburg, Va. 

The dining program at Virginia Tech has several dining options on campus, including two food trucks. It also provides a wide range of events to keep students engaged, such as chef takeovers and themed dinners. 

7. University of Dayton; Dayton, Ohio 

Technology is found throughout the dining program at the University of Dayton. Students on the go can visit The Emporium, a c-store that allows customers to simply pick up what they need and walk out without physically having to check out. There are also three smart vending machines on campus, including Just Baked, which serves a variety of desserts, sandwiches and pizza. 

6. Vanderbilt University; Nashville 

Vanderbilt has four residential dining halls as well as a partnership with local restaurants that allows students to purchase food at select off-campus concepts as part of their meal plan. 

This fall, the dining team is launching a new reusable container initiative that will replace its old Fill it Forward program. Named ReusePass, the new program integrates an app and QR code that students use to receive their containers. 

5. Washington University in St. Louis; St. Louis

This fall, the dining team at WashU will welcome five local restaurants to campus. The restaurants are all minority- or women-owned and offer a wide range of cuisines, including barbecue, Chinese and more.  

Students can also opt to dine at several other eateries on campus and can purchase grab-and-go meals at Etta’s Micro-Mart, a self-service market with a selection of smart vending machines.

4. Pitzer College; Claremont, Calif.

Students at Pitzer College will find a variety of cuisines at McConnell Dining Hall, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner during the week, and brunch and dinner on the weekends. 

There are three other eateries on campus, including a late-night concept named Shakedown Cafe and The Grove House, a student-run restaurant. 

3. Bowdoin College; Brunswick, Maine

Bowdoin College makes the most of its location and sources a wide variety of ingredients from nearby farmers and its own organic farm.

The dining team also emphasizes sustainability and has committed to using biodegradable silverware for large catered events, increasing plant-based options on menus and more. 

2. Cornell University; Ithaca, N.Y. 

Students at Cornell enjoy a variety of dining events throughout the year, including dinners themed after national food holidays. The dining team also uses a mystery shopper program where students visit eateries on campus and give their feedback. 

1. University of Massachusetts; Amherst, Mass.

The dining program at UMass tops the Princeton Review ranking for the seventh year in a row. It offers students four dining halls that feature grab-and-go options, global cuisines and more.  

Considered a leader in plant-based dining on college campuses, the dining team recently partnered with Nestle Foodservice and plant-based soup supplier Wholesome Crave to launch a program designed to help other higher-ed schools increase their plant-based offerings. 



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