The old myth that college food is gross and tasteless is long gone (well, for most colleges, anyway). It's 2020 and the days of cardboard burgers, soggy fries, and iceberg lettuce salads are a thing of the past. Move aside, three-day-old dinner rolls... There are some weird foods in the world and campus meals sometimes make it on that list, but these colleges are redefining what it means to visit the dining hall.

It might be surprising to know that the colleges with the best food aren't the ones that specialize in culinary arts. By utilizing farm-to-table ingredients, innovative menus, and listening to their students, these five colleges have managed to create meals that are surprisingly delicious. Are they restaurant-worthy? According to the students who have had them, the answer is a resounding, "yes!"


Washinton University

A smaller university would definitely have an easier time finding menus to please the general student population, and it seems like Washington University has figured out the secret to doing just that. The meal plan does run just over $5,000, but according to students, it's well worth the money.

With just over 7,000 students in total, creative and unique menus are a big crowd pleaser and something the university can afford to play with. They get big points for international cuisines, which seem to be the campus favorites.

Bates College

Bates College is really pushing the envelope when it comes to an innovative food system. Not only does this college have gluten-free options, but they also make sure to have fully-loaded options for students who are just looking for simple meals. The gluten-free bread options include croissants, bagels, and rolls, and they even have a vegan bar as well as a brick oven. With more than 30 cereal options to choose from on a busy morning, there's no shortage in catering to any food mood, lifestyle, or diet.

University Of California

California is known for its healthy options so it's not surprising to see its colleges cooking to the same degree. With a fully customizable salad bar, including staff that will toss the salad for you, UCLA is pretty tough to compete with when it comes to having wholesome, good-for-you food. Even the salad dressings are made from scratch and with seasonal ingredients, it's hard to go wrong with the healthier choice.

Related: 10 Of The Prettiest College Campuses In The World

Bowdoin College

Brunswick College has a pretty epic offering when it comes to winning over its student's hearts (and stomachs). Maine is known for its seafood and Bowdoin College is as well, and each year the Fall semester kicks off with a lobster bake.

From fresh lobster to steamed corn on the cob, students can have their fill of all the fresh eats that they can get their hands on, all in honor of a "welcome back" celebration.

Related: 10 Of The Prettiest College Campuses In The Country

Virginia Tech

Known for their football and their stellar education, Virginia Tech is also now known for its tasty cuisine. A cuisine that's so good, in fact, that students actually wrote about it in the Niche. 

The entire state of Virginia is known for having excellent eats. , to begin with, so it's also not surprising that a college in Blacksburg would excel when it comes to dishing out the good stuff. Students have a high opinion of their dining options overall, citing a great experience both in attending the school and eating at its dining hall.

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