2017 Best College Food in America

The 2017 Best College Food ranking is based on meal plan costs and student reviews. Top-ranked colleges offer outstanding on-campus dining—students can easily access healthy, quality food across a wide range of cuisines and dietary preferences.
See how this ranking was calculated
  • National
  • By State
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    University of California - Los Angeles

    • Los Angeles, CA
    • 4,410 reviews
    Freshman:The first thing that comes to mind is the housing here at UCLA. I was lucky enough to receive one of the better, newer buildings, so my experience here has been great. The study and social lounges are equipped with new, comfortable furniture and lights that turn on and off depending on the amount of activity in the room it reads. The food is great. We have restaurants similar to Panda Express and Chipotle, and they are right below my building so it's not much of a walk at all!
    Additionally, there are resources all around campus that are noticeably accessible to me, such as math tutoring from fraternities/sororities, counseling programs, clubs and activities that offer social circles, essay reviewers, and so on.
    More about University of California - Los Angeles
  2. 2

    Virginia Tech

    • Blacksburg, VA
    • 3,399 reviews
    Junior:When it comes to Virginia Tech, I've got a simple, 3 word phrase that speaks for itself: "This is Home." I never imagine while being away for college I would ever truly feel as if I was at my 'home away from home' but Tech has proved me wrong. Although we have a large student body, everyone seems to find 'their people' which makes this place so personal. The only thing I could think to change is the diversity level; although it seems we are a very diverse campus, when you look at the numbers, it is clear that we are not. Diversity should be incorporated more into our own little culture here at Virginia Tech!
    More about Virginia Tech
  3. 3

    Washington University in St. Louis

    • Saint Louis, MO
    • 1,323 reviews
    Freshman:WUSTL is a fantastic university! I first came here because of the prestigious pre-med program, comfy dorms, yummy food, beautiful campus, and great FA. I found all of those here to be true. My experience truly has been an excellent one. Although the academics are undoubtedly challenging, it is equally rewarding.
    More about Washington University in St. Louis
  4. 4

    The Culinary Institute of America

    • Hyde Park, NY
    • 758 reviews
    College Sophomore:From walking around campus to dorm life food, food and food education are everywhere. I would not trade this school for the world. At the Culinary Institute of America, the students are not just all studying our majors. The students are a diverse community of food enthesiasts and food professionals all living and moving forward towards one common goal. Before coming to this school I felt like something was missing, some part of me was missing and I had not discovered it yet. Going to the CIA was and still feels like coming home. The chefs although very rough are very helpful and want to see us succeed, the professors all wrote the books they teach us from, and the residence life staff plans food events and tasting for the students like 3 times a week for example on October 2nd, 2016 we are having a chili cook off for the entire student population to compete at, and for the public to try too!
    More about The Culinary Institute of America
  5. 5

    Bowdoin College

    • Brunswick, ME
    • 640 reviews
    Freshman:Whether its the Outing Club, the Literary Magazine, the Film Society, or an a Capella group, there is always something for every kind of person to get involved in. Also, people here are incredibly friendly and willing to go out of their way to help you. Bowdoin's size, with 1700 students, really enables this sense of community. If I could change one thing about Bowdoin, I would offer class credit for laboratory time. Also , this is just my wish , but I think Bowdoin should advertise more to the outside world. I grew up overseas, so most of my other friends had not heard of Bowdoin, or Brunswick for that matter. I can understand that I was surprised that not many people in United States knew about this school either. The social scene is great on the weekends, but for the most part exists only on the weekends as people work very hard during the week. As for food, you can guess exactly how delicious it is from just taking a peek at the NYtimes article and the college rankings.
    More about Bowdoin College
  6. 6

    Bates College

    • Lewiston, ME
    • 319 reviews
    Sophomore:The campus and the college itself are great, other than the lack of diversity. However, the location isn't prime, as there's no much to do outside the campus community, unless you have a car and are able to drive to other places. Also, it's Maine so the winters can be very long, cold, and gloomy. But, you already knew that because it's Maine!
    More about Bates College
  7. 7
    Junior:UMass is a great place if you want a big school (and are looking to save money if in-state). I came here to save money which I’m happy about, but am not pleased with the big-school aspect. Sense of community is lacking. Professors can be inaccessible; large lectures feel very impersonal.
    Campus is fine when the weather is nice, but winter is rough. Walking 20 minutes to class when it is 10 degrees out isn’t ideal. There are a lot of ugly buildings on campus, but they're constantly doing construction so hopefully the campus will get prettier in the future. The overwhelming amount of construction is frustrating.
    The different residential areas all have very different cultures so there is a place for almost any "type" of person (quiet/shy, partier, stoner, studious, etc) to feel comfortable living. Dorms could use some renovations but overall are not too terrible.
    Location is great; Amherst is wonderful. The surrounding colleges are fun to mingle with!
    More about University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  8. 8

    California Baptist University

    • Riverside, CA
    • 2,215 reviews
    Sophomore:I love it! I've been impressed with how much the professors genuinely care about the student's lives. Sure, there's always that one teacher or person, but for the most part, it's pretty unlikely.
    The events are great. The International Center celebrates holidays of all sorts from the Middle Eastern Holi festival to Hispanic Heritage month. Always a lot of great food and giveaways too.

    Food on campus is FANTASTIC. There's a Chik-Fil-A as well as our own version of Chipotle, sandwiches, Chinese take-out, burgers, a classy buffet, burritos, and a Subway and Bakers within short walking distance. There's also a grab-and-go shop campus for packaged lunches, snacks, gift baskets, medicine, toothbrushes, etc. as well as a CVS across the street for quick access to groceries and essential items. The campus is a good size, not too big, but not small. Having a bike or skateboard helps I feel very safe on campus, and there are always jobs available as well as plenty of leadership opportunities.
    More about California Baptist University
  9. 9

    James Madison University

    • Harrisonburg, VA
    • 2,602 reviews
    Sophomore:James Madison University is often called "the happiest place on Earth," right next to Disney World, of course! It's nestled in a valley, so you have a gorgeous view of the mountains from campus, and the sunsets are phenomenal. Everyone is so friendly and warm, and the school is ranked nationally for the great food. JMU even has a Starbucks truck that goes around campus! Professors want to see you succeed and there' a Student Success Center that offers tutoring, counseling, and many other services devoted to helping students. JMU is Divison I for most sports, except football, in which the Dukes are Divison II. All home football games are preceded by tailgates. Dukes work hard and play hard, so there is a party scene, but there's plenty to do in Downtown Harrisonburg on the weekends as well. Usually only freshmen live in the dorms on campus, however they are available to all students and there are on-campus apartment options. James Madison is an outstanding and well-rounded school.
    More about James Madison University
  10. 10

    University of Georgia

    • Athens, GA
    • 4,783 reviews
    Freshman:Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at the University of Georgia. As an undergraduate student majoring in Management Information Systems, the Terry College of Business provided multiple avenues and events to get connected to professionals in my field. In addition, the majority of my professors were very approachable and took an active interest in their students, not only in their classroom achievements, but also in their post-graduation success as well. The campus has tons of student organizations to get involved in for whatever your interests may be. There are also ample opportunities to work on campus whether it be in the dining halls, as a resident assistant, serving as a tour guide for UGA, or even as a bus driver. You read that right, students can drive the campus transit buses! For those who are big sports fans, watching the Dawgs play football on Saturday afternoons in Sanford Stadium is hard to beat. Go DAWGS!
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  11. 11

    Hendrix College

    • Conway, AR
    • 426 reviews
    Freshman:I love Hendrix. I am a current freshman here and I have loved every moment. Orientation week makes you feel so welcome in a new environment, there's so much to do on and off campus! You will meet people of all walks of life so you don't have to worry about fitting in because you will surely find your place here. The academics are wonderful. I have not met a teacher that does not love their field of study and what they do. If you ever need help, office hours are held almost daily and most teachers will even give you their phone number in case you need to call them to ask a question. T The cafeteria staff is amazing and ultra-kind. They make an effort to learn your name and ask you about your day. Birthdays are a huge deal at Hendrix. We have a birthday song, the lunch staff comes out with a cake, and your friends throw you into the fountain (no matter the weather). Life at Hendrix is never dull and there's a place for everyone.
    More about Hendrix College
  12. 12

    University of Oregon

    • Eugene, OR
    • 3,030 reviews
    Alum:I graduated from University of Oregon with my degree in Human Physiology and I absolutely loved my program! The university campus is gorgeous and easy to navigate and there are tons of free services for students, including food and tutoring. Since my program focused on health and athletics, our department was well-funded. However, the flip side to going to a school that Nike sponsors is that there is a lot of money being poured into programs that don't necessarily meet the needs of the community. The price of books, supplies, classes, etc. are equivalent to private schools. Even tickets to football games for students range from $300-7,000 per seat. During my time at the university we had two strikes (teachers and graduate students) because they haven't increased wages or changed contracts in 10 years. I value my education and my program but the Univserity focuses on making money more than expanding academic programs.
    More about University of Oregon
  13. 13

    Kendall College

    • Chicago, IL
    • 295 reviews
    Junior:I love being able to get my degree on-line while working full time. I wouldn't change anything. From Financial Aid to the professors, everything is great!
    More about Kendall College
  14. 14

    Wesleyan University

    • Middletown, CT
    • 657 reviews
    College Senior:Academics vary by department, but generally I find myself in small enough classes where I get enough attention. Many are seminar based with lots of reading, which put a great emphasis on conversation. You can study ANY subject under the sun, and picking classes from all the exciting options is really hard! Professors are honestly hit or miss. Some (a slight majority?) are the most brilliant, passionate, helpful educators I've ever had, and are great resources for whatever we are studying. But I've had some professors that are incredibly disorganized and terrible at imparting knowledge onto others. Definitely weigh in upperclassmen opinions of faculty when picking classes (RateMyProfessor is v outdated).
    More about Wesleyan University
  15. 15

    St. Norbert College

    • De Pere, WI
    • 607 reviews
    Freshman:I really love SNC! The campus is beautiful and so clean. The people are all wonderful and unbelievably polite. The academics are great and very diverse, with the teachers being very involved, even if they sometimes forget office hours. I do not go to parties, but I have heard from friends the sober parties are very fun and they have a great time there! I am no athlete, but my friends seem to really enjoy the athletic program here. The teachers are amazing and they really add to the overall experience. I feel very safe here, there have been a few reports of "attacks" on campus, but each time, people are physically injured. The food here is delicious and I have definitely gained my freshman 15, but no worries, the new fitness center is almost complete, so I won't have to worry about gaining any more weight! Overall, I really love the school and everything that involves it!
    More about St. Norbert College
  16. 16

    Middlebury College

    • Middlebury, VT
    • 464 reviews
    Freshman:As a freshman in college who is in his second trimester at Middlebury College, I can say I made the right decision. The school is great and the academics are superb. Be prepared to do lots of work and many late nights, but by the end of the semester, you feel accomplished. The teachers are great and everyone is really friendly. Now, to give the real truth on how it is to be a person of color on campus. As a person of color, you may feel alone. There is very little diversity on campus, the majority being predominately white, and you may feel like you stand out. However, majority of people are accepting of anyone no matter race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc...and I have never felt unsafe on middlebury campus and it really is a great community. If you going to Middlebury, be ready for heavy course load, bad Atwater parties (you will understand) and meeting friends that will last you a life time!
    More about Middlebury College
  17. 17

    Wheaton College - Illinois

    • Wheaton, IL
    • 553 reviews
    Junior:The people at Wheaton College have made my college experience an amazing one. The professors are wholly devoted, not only to teaching their students through challenging and pushing them, but also to developing relationships with them. My professors have been my mentors, sounding boards, advisors, and parents-away-from home. My peers are also the nicest people I have ever met. I have made better and deeper friends during the last three years here than I ever did at previous institutions. I am challenged by my friends, and through my relationship with them and as well as with my professors, I have experienced more growth than ever before. I am learning about myself and learning who I am, which is what college is all about.
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  18. 18

    Skidmore College

    • Saratoga Springs, NY
    • 565 reviews
    Freshman:Skidmore College is a small liberal arts institution in upstate New York. My experience thus far in my collegiate career has been optimistic and promising. The professors I have had so far have been a few of the best I have ever had the opportunity to engage in conversation with. All in different subject matters and all with different teaching approaches, each of these professors have had a mind that goes beyond the typical academic teacher. They inspired me to challenge myself beyond what I thought was capable and they are a large part of why my experience at Skidmore College has been positive. The friends I have made here have easily become some of the most interesting, kind and genuine people I have had the opportunity to meet. The social life at Skidmore is by no means equivalent to a large university, but it is very much so alive and exciting. I have loved my experience at Skidmore College.
    More about Skidmore College
  19. 19

    Liberty University

    • Lynchburg, VA
    • 6,087 reviews
    Junior:Liberty is a great Christian university for those who are religious and non-religious alike. While the rules can feel a little overbearing at times, the main focus of the school is to cultivate well-rounded students with an acceptable education, critical thinking skills, and communication skills. Many activities available to students including a vast array of high level sports teams, concerts, recreation centers, a fitness center with the best equipment, all at a relatively affordable price. All individuals getting ready to earn a degree should seriously consider this university!
    More about Liberty University
  20. 20

    Gustavus Adolphus College

    • Saint Peter, MN
    • 740 reviews
    Senior:The campus is nice. The dorms are good but aren't spectacular. The food is average and we have decent sports teams. The academics are very good and the arts are exceptional. However the Liberal atmosphere can be a little too much. People get stuck in this bubble of Gustavus. Say one wrong thing and its off with your head. Needs more chill in its life. But overall I give it 4 stars because its a great instituition but its not top of the line. Also the price tag is spendy, so you can expect some very rich and kinda 'have my cake and eat it too' type of people. But if you like all that I have described then this place is for you!
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  21. 21

    Grand Canyon University

    • Phoenix, AZ
    • 7,749 reviews
    Freshman:Grand Canyon University is an exceptional school that provides a positive atmosphere and institutional effectiveness which further en chances the students overall college experience! The school offers a wide variety of opritunities for students and allows for exclusive mentorships and networking events that distinguish the school. Overall, Grand Canyon University offers an environment that is exclusive to them. The leadership, dedication, and efficiency is imbedded into every aspect of their institution. Only at this university one is guarenteed to discover their purpose!
    More about Grand Canyon University
  22. 22

    University of New Hampshire

    • Durham, NH
    • 2,414 reviews
    Freshman:UNH is great school for all sorts of people. While the campus is fairly big, it still has a small school feel and a great sense of community. It is located on the New Hampshire seacoast so fun things to do everywhere you go! In addition, all the clubs and events on campus never leave you bored. The University of New Hampshire quickly turns into a home away from home for everyone that comes here.
    More about University of New Hampshire
  23. 23

    Stanford University

    • Stanford, CA
    • 1,088 reviews
    Sophomore:I've really enjoyed Stanford so far.
    Academics are certainly challenging, but rewarding, and students usually aren't excessively stressed about grades.
    Professors are, for the most part, incredibly knowledgeable and care about students, but there are some (particularly those teaching intro classes) who could use some improvement.
    The local area can be a bit expensive and far away (especially without a car).
    Currently, the administration is facing a lot of criticism about the school's handling of sexual assault. It's not the best situation, but a lot of the criticism also comes from Stanford's own professors and students, so I do still feel relatively safe and supported on campus.
    More about Stanford University
  24. 24

    Ashland University

    • Ashland, OH
    • 637 reviews
    Freshman:I love Ashland University for many reasons. Because we are a small private school, the professors know you very well. The professors are also very dedicated to helping their students with their futures. I also love our Center for Academic Support. The Academic Advisors help each student in creating a four year degree plan, which helps each student plan out their major/minor courses as well as their cores. AFter the first year each student is assigned to a faculty advisor; the advisors also "green lights" the student to make sure they are on the right course. Overall, I just love the school because of the faculty and the types of courses offered. Not to mention, the food is fantastic.
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  25. 25

    University of San Diego

    • San Diego, CA
    • 1,704 reviews
    Freshman:As a freshman this year, my experience so far has been great! The professors are incredibly helpful and most have found the balance between challenging students while providing opportunities to succeed in class. The location is in a prime city with access to the beach, city life, and lots of culture. Students come from all over, offering diversity and the chance to meet new people from other states and countries.
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