Listening to Your Gut: Best College Campus Food in the US

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Listening to Your Gut: Best College Campus Food in the US

Rachel Ruggera, Staff Editor

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As seniors make their decisions on where they will spend the next four years, the burning question likely on everyone’s mind after “Which residence hall has the biggest rooms?” and “Which college sweatshirt should I buy?” is, of course, “How’s the food?”

While most may not consider food a determining factor in deciding on a school, gourmet, restaurant-quality food every day on campus might just tip the scales while making your decision. Which college has the best campus food in the U.S.? According to The Princeton Review, the number one university in the United States in terms of food is the University of Massachusetts Amherst followed in a close second by Bowdoin College then Virginia Tech. This is UMass Amherst’s third consecutive year receiving the “Best Campus Food” ranking, and current students seem to agree: Niche, the anonymous student review site, lists this school as fourth Best College Food in America (after Virginia Tech, UCLA, and Bates College). A combination of Amherst’s organic food vendors and support of local produce with seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs could be the recipe for success for this five-star cafeteria.

This cafeteria is no Sodexo: on-campus dining offers a variety of options varying from mushroom chicken tikka sliders to the traditional Thai snack of ginger shrimp, peanuts, and coconut wrapped in spinach leaves with a spicy sauce. Sushi rolls are freshly prepared with the help of student staff each day. In addition to the popular choices for college students such as ramen and burgers, the UMass Amherst kitchen creates an ever-changing menu featuring a new region of the world each week. Meal times are transformed into an interactive dining program with guest chef lecturers and free cooking demos.

If rich, decadent dishes aren’t your cup of tea, you might prefer lunch at the University of Hawaii, Manoa whose chefs have balanced taste with environmentally conscious and plant-based foods. The faculty and chefs, after surveying students’ opinion of the cafeteria food, made major changes throughout the year adding more vegetarian and vegan options as well as a new Starbucks. For the icing on the cake, this school has drastically reduced lunch lines by creating an app for students to pre-order meals or take their food to-go. In their most recent poll, the Manoa campus improved their food rating to 94% student satisfaction, which is a feat considering the finicky nature of the average student when it comes to food.

Although not the most pressing issue when it comes to college decisions, food is a big part of a college community as it’s where the entire student body gathers almost every day to discuss current events, socialize with friends, and share multicultural foods. Yet as your tour guide leads you through the college’s food court during a campus visit, don’t be swayed by the lingering aromas as you walk by each food counter. Remember what you’re looking for in a college and resist the temptation to make a hasty decision over lunch. This may be the one time it’s better not to listen to your gut.

 

Sources:

https://www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings?rankings=best-campus-food

https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-college-food/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherelliott/2019/01/30/how-this-campus-got-the-best-college-food/#4ff627e61540