#2 Columbia University, New York City from 80 Best Colleges for Food in America for 2016 (Slideshow)

80 Best Colleges for Food in America for 2016 (Slideshow)

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#2 Columbia University, New York City

New York is the city of dreams, and Columbia is making dreams come true by consistently proving to their students that the 600 menu items served on campus daily are just as good, if not better, than anything New York City has to offer. But if you really must eat somewhere else, Columbia’s dining plans let you use Flex Dollars at a slew of local restaurants and grocery stores including ChipotleDinosaur Bar-B-QueFive Guys Burgers, and Whole Foods. If that isn’t enough to impress, Columbia dining services have completely eliminated the use of trans fats in their cooking and make a large percentage of their food from scratch, including marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella. Columbia also consistently donates both food and money to City Harvest, and around 52 percent of all of the food purchased comes from vendors within 250 miles of campus. The registered dietitian on campus is available both online and in person for one-on-one consultations with students. And what about events, you may ask? Well some of the most notable and exciting ones include Ice Cream and Sundaes, Sabor Latino Food Day, National Nutrition Month, Peanut Butter and Jelly Bar, and the Food Expo. In the past year alone, culinary innovations include upgrading to hormone- and antibiotic-free pork and chicken; adding visits from chefs, including Jacques Torres and Robert Irvine, to the calendar; a chef’s table featuring cooking demos from guest chefs in the dining hall; cooking classes by executive chef Michael DeMartino; and menu additions like cold brew iced coffee and fresh-made sushi. In the last year alone, Columbia added 20 new special event/theme nights, a new “Chef’s Station,” new dishes (part of a 30 percent overhaul of the menus), a Snapchat account, a permanent vegan food station, the option to opt for a kosher or halal meal plan at no additional charge, and they took over concessions at Baker Field. The Green Restaurant Association also certified all dining halls as Level 1 Certified Green Restaurants in 2016.

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