We take food very seriously at The Daily Meal. As a result, we believe that in choosing your higher education, food is an important factor to consider. Every year since 2012, we’ve ranked the top colleges for food in America. (In case you missed it, here are our lists from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.) This year is no different, and schools are always looking to upgrade their dining options, so we’ve administered yet another survey in order to bring you the top 75 colleges for food in 2018.
As in years past, we considered more than 2,000 American colleges and narrowed the list down to 75 finalists based on the following criteria:
Accessibility and service
The college accommodates all dietary preferences, from vegan and vegetarian options to religious restrictions and any allergy accommodations. Students have a variety of options to choose from, and dining options are conveniently located near students’ dorms. Dining includes on-campus eateries that are open late at night, and meal plans let students purchase off-campus food.
Nutrition and sustainability
The college makes consistent efforts to ensure that its food is nutritionally balanced as well as tasty, and is healthy not just for the students but for the environment as well.
Education and events
The college offers nutrition and culinary education to every student on campus and holds food-centered events to foster community and break the monotony of the dining experience.
Students have access to exciting and plentiful food options in the area surrounding the college and can access it easily. We compiled information from Yelp to grade colleges on the quality and accessibility of all the food around each campus within a 5-mile radius.
The ‘X’ factor
These are the little extras that made our jaws drop and proved that these colleges really go above and beyond to get genuinely good food to their students.
We won’t spoil the results, but it’s worth pointing out that schools of all types, all sizes, and in all corners of the country comprise the 75 finalists. And if you graduated more than a decade ago, we should probably warn you: These dining facilities are unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. A greater attention to feedback, advances in technology, an emphasis on healthy options, and environmental awareness have all taken a front-row seat at campuses across the country, so prospective college students and their parents have a lot to be excited for in the coming years.
Here’s what’s on the menu at the 75 Best Colleges for Food in America for 2018.