Top 10 Colleges With Best Food In The US By Niche
Top US Universities with Best Foods
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Some folks are put off by the prospect of eating at a college dining hall. However, that may not be essential. Some schools around the country value outstanding cuisine, hosting themed food nights and cooking with fresh, local products.

Jaleena Cozzo, who gained a huge social media following by producing TikTok videos ranking college food while a student at the University of Alabama before graduating in 2022, enjoys seeing a range of ethnic selections at school dining halls. "I think that's really important because students from all over get to be comfortable and see familiar foods," says Cozzo, a TikTok user with over 164,000 followers and nearly 11 million views.

According to Robert Nelson, CEO of the National Association of College & University Food Services, a resource for campus dining experts, students may also emphasize having fresh options, clean settings, and a wide variety of dishes that cater to varied dietary needs and sensitivities.

When it comes to dining hall meals, Cozzo recommends that students "keep an open mind" and avoid making comparisons to a cherished family recipe or award-winning restaurant.

College comparison website Niche combined college self-reported meal plan pricing with student reviews to determine which colleges came out on top in its Best Food rating.

Here are ten colleges in the United States, excluding culinary schools, with excellent on-campus dining.

Learn more: Top 10 Best Colleges With Wonderful Food In The US

Top 10 Colleges With Best Food In The US By Niche

1. Florida International University

Top 10 Colleges With Best Food In The U.S, According to Niche

Campus food: A+

FIU, founded in 1965, is a public research college with its main campus in University Park, Florida.

A review of the highly ranked large institution praises the "various food places" on the college campus.

2.Virginia Tech

Campus food: A+

At Virginia Tech, theyare reinventing how education and technology connect. This strategy affects how we teach and learn, conduct research, and interact with communities all around the world.

Hokies work with various teams and cross traditional boundaries across fields and specialties to solve global-scale problems.

3. University of California - Los Angeles

Campus food: A+

UCLA, founded in 1882, is a highly regarded public land-grant research institution in Los Angeles.

There are various evaluations that praise the dining options, such as "of all the great things UCLA has to offer, my favorite has always been the quality of food" and "it also has the best food on campus from everyone college I visited."

4. Bates College

Top 10 Colleges With Best Food In The U.S, According to Niche

Campus food: A+

Bates is a private liberal arts college located in Lewiston, Maine, and was founded in 1855.

One review on Niche concluded with the statement: "Oh, and as advertised, the food is amazing!"

5. St. Norbert College

Campus food: A+

St. Norbert College features a variety of culinary options on campus, including Phil's Grill and C-Store, a convenience store and restaurant, as well as a coffee shop that serves breakfast and lunch. Ruth's Marketplace, a buffet-style dining hall, offers a variety of cuisine stations, including fusion, allergy-friendly options, soup du jour, salads, deli selections, and desserts. Dale's Sports Lounge serves a variety of appetizers, including boneless chicken wings, tacos, loaded nachos, and sliders. Residential meal plans for the 2023-2024 academic year range from $2,995 to $3,514 per semester, and include a variety of weekly meals as well as additional dining dollars.

6. University of San Diego

Campus food: A+

Students at the University of San Diego have access to a variety of healthful food alternatives, as well as 12 "micro" food establishments serving various cuisines. La Gran Terraza, for example, offers California classics in a bistro setting with a Mediterranean twist. Throughout the year, the California school's dining services conduct special events such as a beach party and strawberry and avocado festivals with complimentary food samples. The cost of a meal plan varies depending on whether the student is a resident. For example, in 2022-2023, first-year students can pick between plans costing $2,225 and $2,970 per semester.

READ MORE: Top 10 Most Famous Fast Foods In The U.S You Should Try

7. University of Massachusetts Amherst

Top 10 Colleges With Best Food In The U.S, According to Niche

Campus food: A+

According to its website, the University of Massachusetts Amherst obtains 30% of its products locally and serves local, regional, and global cuisines through its four residential dining commons, 12 eateries in the campus center, more than 20 cafes, and two food trucks on campus. Every year, UMass Dining invites the campus community to contribute family recipes, which are published in an annual cookbook and served in the dining commons for a specific meal. Depending on the residential meal plan choice (which may include additional dining dollars and guest cards), semester fees for the 2022-2023 academic year range from $3,141.50 to $3,696.

8. James Madison University

Campus food: A+

At James Madison University, there are 28 dining options, including two buffet-style dining halls and popular businesses such as Chick-fil-A, Panda Express and Starbucks. For students who do not want to leave their dorm room or library, a Starship robot may bring food from partnering campus restaurants using an app. "Students want flexibility in where and when they eat, and it's not just breakfast and lunch anymore," says Fedele Bauccio, CEO and co-founder of Bon Appétit Management Company, a food service provider. "They want to have the ability to grab a snack or something all day long and into the late night evenings." Meal plan prices for the 2023-2024 school year range between $2,989 and $3,347 per semester.

READ MORE: 5 Zodiac Signs Who Are the Biggest Foodies by Nature

9. St. John Fisher University

Campus food: A+

St. John Fisher is a private liberal arts college based n Pittsford, New York and founded in 1948.

One 5-star review for St. John Fisher reads: "The food on campus is known throughout the country and provides diversity of flavors and an enjoyable experience during each meal."

10. California Baptist University

Campus food: A+

CBU is a private, self-declared Christian college in Riverside, California, established in 1950.

One alumnus left on the message board about the college: "Great campus and food."


While the college experience is rarely recognized for the caliber of its cuisine, some institutions have been awarded an A+ for their food quality.

Top-ranked colleges offer on-campus dining excellence, allowing students to easily access healthy, high quality food across a selection of cuisines and dietary preferences.

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