Food Diaries: Schools That Treat Taste Buds Right

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Making the transition from the meatloaf surprise sold in your old high school cafeteria to the wide variety of food offered in college is a liberating experience. You don’t have to listen to your parents anymore and can eat whatever you want whenever you want it. Although the food in college can be delicious, there are some universities that take it to the next level and serve gourmet cuisine. If you’re a high school senior or transfer student looking to base your college decision solely on your taste buds, consider these schools:

Wheaton College

This fairly small Protestant university makes Wheaton, Illinois look like the food capital of the world. Wheaton College is ranked at the very top of the Princeton Review’s ranking for the colleges with the best campus food.

“Wheaton has incredible food, said Wheaton junior Libby Strachan. “Sometimes, we tend to take it for granted, but we are really lucky to have such great entrees at every meal. Wheaton's cafeteria puts strong focus on using sustainable and locally grown food, and they will always tell you where what you are eating is from.”

According to the students, the cafeteria staff puts a lot of effort into making creative entrees, so you will always see interesting spices or sauces on dishes. “You never have just a quesadilla- you'll get a quesadilla with sweet potatoes, or with poblano pepper,” added Strachan.

University of Massachusetts – Amherst

The largest public university in Massachusetts also has the biggest appetite. In fact, it’s in the Guiness Book of World Records for its food-y accomplishments. Last fall, UMass broke the world record for largest stir-fry weighing in at 2319lb 4oz. Among food offered at UMass are stir-fry, vegetarian meals, and a late night second dinner served every night.

“The food is always good and it isn't set up like a normal dining common,” said UMass junior Jessica Heslin. “It looks like a restaurant. Every year we have lobster night and it's one of the best days of the year. Worcester [dining hall] also has days dedicated to a certain type of food, usually fruit, and they say how nutritious it is for you and incorporate that fruit into every entree and dessert. Just the overall atmosphere of the dining commons is inviting and full of music and good fun. “

University of California – Davis

This university has an “internationally recognized Food Science and Technology Department,” according to its website, that certainly reflects in its cafeterias. UC Davis not only provides excellent, healthy food, it also studies it. Students can enroll in home brewing classes or even earn their Master’s Degree in brewing to create beer right in their home. The university began as an agriculturally rich school, and continues to use its roots to create food programs and eateries with local and sustainable options.

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