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5 Colleges with the Best Dining Halls

Mon, Nov 11, 2019 @ 10:00 AM

ivywiseThe Best Schools for Foodies and Culinary Experts

While meal choices shouldn't be the biggest factor when it comes to enrollment decisions, top tier dining options are always an asset. Many universities have revamped their menu offerings to provide students with diverse and high-quality food choices.

Whether you’re a die-hard carnivore or a passionate vegan, the best campus dining halls are dedicated to serving students with a variety of dietary preferences and lifestyles. Keep reading to learn more about the colleges with the best dining hall options.

Stanford University
In addition to being one of the most prestigious and selective schools in the country, Stanford University is also a top destination for foodies. The University houses over 30 different dining options conveniently located throughout campus, each with their own distinct ambiance and unique menu offerings. Students who are craving Mexican food may choose to stop by Stern Dining, while those looking for comforting classics can opt for a sandwich at Jimmy V’s. There are vegan, vegetarian, kosher, halal and peanut-free offerings as well.

Vanderbilt University
Students at Vanderbilt have the opportunity to indulge in a variety of dining events, and consequently enjoy a rotating list of special and specialties. Dining hall themes range from “Back to Childhood” to Thanksgiving feasts. Vanderbilt’s dining halls are also committed to sustainability and prioritize waste-reduction, eliminating plastic, and providing students with healthy, plant-based meals.

New York University
In a city known for being “on” at all hours, it’s important to provide students with top quality dining options around the clock. New York University does not disappoint and includes a variety of dining options scattered throughout the city. Brunch buffets on Sundays are a campus-wide favorite and include a diverse array of breakfast options as well as a chocolate fountain. NYU also hosts a monthly restaurant night where students can reserve a spot for a sit-down, three-course dinner specially prepared by the University’s executive chef.

Washington University in St. Louis
Students at this top tier research institution do not need to worry about going hungry, as Washington University in St. Louis provides a multitude of unique and enticing options. Students craving Italian food can choose to visit the on-campus Trattoria Verde, while those looking for Asian choices can stop by the school’s stir fry destination. In addition to a huge array of different dining hall choices, students can also build their own culinary skills by participating in cooking classes on campus.

Cornell University
This Ivy League institution also earns top marks for its dining hall offerings. The school has over 20 different choices, which range from a bagel shop to a dairy bar to a marketplace. The University also hosts a harvest dinner celebrating the local foods grown within Cornell’s own backyard in upstate New York. In addition to a diverse array of daily selections, Cornell University provides a variety of different special events with unique menu offerings and specialties. Some recent examples include a Diwali Festival in Jansen’s Dining Room with a traditional Indian menu, and a Harry Potter-themed night at Risley Dining Room, which included dishes inspired by the books themselves.

There are many factors that go into every student’s decision about where to enroll in college. While menu options may not be top of mind, a highly regarded dining hall is always a significant plus for incoming college students. If you are in the midst of your own college search process and need additional guidance, our team of college admissions experts can provide personalized advice and recommendations.

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