America's Top Universities for Food Lovers

Ranking the nation's top colleges by their dining options
Dartmouth College's dining services.

It’s that time of year — anxious high school seniors around the country are hovering by their mailboxes praying for big, thick envelopes from the colleges of their dreams. Deciding which school to attend is one of the most important — if not the most important — decisions a teen will make. It’s complicated. It’s nerve-racking. And it’s about to get a lot easier.

Click here for the America's Top Universities for Food Lovers Slideshow.

To help with the decision-making process, The Daily Meal re-ranked the nation’s top 20 colleges and universities (according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 list) based solely on their food options. You’re welcome.

College food, often compared to prison fare, is now becoming increasingly sophisticated and healthy. Gone are the days of mediocre pizza and limp salad, as universities are stepping up their game when it comes to dining services, even providing vegan meals. Universities today boast nutrition analysis, sustainable food initiatives, and even podcasts of the week’s menu. Yes, podcasts.

To even the playing field, we compared 10 elements. Are nutrition facts available online? Score. Is it impossible to keep kosher? Move down a notch. Simple, right? This survey of university food services looked at the following: variety of cuisine; presence of chefs on staff; sustainability efforts; the availability of nutrition facts and ingredients information; options for those requiring kosher, halal, gluten-free, and vegan meals; food-related events; and the ability to order food online.

After careful study, here is a ranked list of the top-notch dining accommodations at the nation’s most prestigious institutions. So grab a notebook, sharpen a pencil, and check out America's Top Universities for Food Lovers.

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