College and rivalry are synonymous. There's no way to get around it, and the Princeton Review just fuels this fire. We know you're familiar with the Review, as we'd like to call it. There's really no other even half-decent way to pick a school. You can pick up a brochure and go to the place that has the happiest looking people, but you really should reference some reviews. And, maybe, visit the darn place.
Thousands of people are polled each year in order to log the best colleges in a wide array of categories. Today, though, we'll be looking at the 10 colleges with the best campus food, per the Princeton Review.
10. Bates College
Bates College, located in Lewiston, Maine, took the tenth spot on the Review's list. We don't know much about what they actually serve in the dining hall, but we associate Maine with lobster.
The Bates dining services website says that they want to be "recognized as one of the finest collegiate level dining services in the nation." Well, Bates, you've done it!
9. Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania's aptly named Bryn Mawr College is beautiful. The dining services team at Bryn Mawr has been ranked in the top 10 on the Princeton Review almost too many times to count.
There are dessert bars, pasta bars, deli bars, themed dinners and special events. They also use local produce and veggies. And for vegan college students, they offer meatless Mondays to help keep things nice and sustainable.
8. Saint Anselm College
New England has another top 10 winner in Manchester, New Hampshire's Saint Anslem College. Marinated chicken breasts, burgers, salad bar, calzones, subs, pizzas, and club sandwiches are usually available at The Coffee Shop. They've also got a phenomenal rotating menu at the main dining hall in Davison Hall.
7. Cornell University
As you'd expect, even Cornell's meal plan is exceptional. They have plenty of food-related events like Bienvenidos BBQ and an annual West Campus Food Show. Year after year, Cornell pops up on the Review's top 10 list.
They source talented chefs, use fresh and eclectic ingredients, and ensure that plenty of the staff is certified as a professional foodservice handler. It's the little things, people.
6. Virginia Tech
Oh, Blacksburg. What a fun town you are. If you stick around long enough to get a degree, you won't be displeased with the food on-campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. Students have a wide array of eating options.
There's even a food court-style area that has Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut, Chick-fil-A, and Carvel ice cream for any late-night cravings. That all goes along with the food they actually make which, apparently, doesn't often miss.
5. James Madison University
Are you feeling the East Coast bias yet, everywhere else? James Madison, also in Virginia, has over 28 campus dining locations. Even if the food wasn't good, that's still great variety.
There are plenty of Starbucks around on top of buffet-style residential restaurants, food courts, and fresh fruit smoothie bars. What are you waiting for, kids? Go to school in Virginia!
4. St. Olaf College
And just like that, we leave the east coast and head to Minnesota. Northfield, Minnesota, to be exact. St. Olaf, known for its choir, appears to also be known for what those choir members are eating. We couldn't find too many details, but we're assuming they have some good ol' Minnesota staples like, erm...
We don't know what people eat in Minnesota, except for Juicy Lucy burgers. Please let us know if you know. We'd love to find out.
3. Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis has plenty of outstanding places to eat. Even its universities are good. Sustainability is a trend on this top 10 list, and Washington University is no exception. Not only is food at WU good, but they practice well-known and sought-after concepts like farm-to-fork.
They also are offering 100 percent fair trade coffee and reusable dishes. Oh, and you won't find anything with antibiotics or added growth hormones. With all that in mind, the food must taste good.
2. Bowdoin College
How are we back in Maine? The pristine image of Maine that we have in our mind can't not be real, as two of the state's top colleges also offer top campus food. Quality scenery and quality food are two key components in choosing a great college after high school and, ironically, Bowdoin in Brunswick, Maine, happens to be number two on this list.
Enough with the wordplay, though. Carefully sourced ingredients, healthy foods, and an in-house meat shop are some of the highlights. There's also a Bowdoin bake shop to check out for brunch, ensuring that even the sweets are made from the best stuff possible.
1. University of Massachusetts-Amherst
We're not shocked to see another New England school at the top seed on the Review's list of best campus food. Since 2013, UMass Amherst has been at the top of the pack on this list. Even Robert Franek, the senior vice president of the Princeton Review, said the college dining hall is "fresh, local and delicious."
An article on the university's website has a quote from Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy. One part sticks out to us, and it's when the Chancellor says "when it comes to college food, UMAss dining can't be beat."
Sustainable ingredients are used by world-class chefs to make healthy world cuisines. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? We suggest you try for yourself.
This article was originally published on Aug 10, 2017.