Apartment Living BlogOff-campus Living › Top 6 Colleges with the Best Food

Even if you live off-campus, you may want to take advantage of the on-campus dining options and meal plans. Not only is it a life saver if you’re pulling an all-nighter in the library, but when you’re living on a student budget, finding a classy place to dine or grab-and-go is difficult.

According to surveys conducted by Princeton University itself as well as Niche.com, these colleges are the best when it comes to good eats.

Virginia Tech

Situated in Blacksburg, VA, students find their way into Virginia Tech’s prestigious brick-laid, fortress-like walls for a wide range of majors, most prominently Mechanical Engineering, Biology, and Finance —but could you be picking it for the food? According to Niche and Princeton, yes. They have a wide arrange of restaurants right on campus, from Leaf & Ladle, to Wrap Worlds, to the Fighting Gobbler Sports Lounge, and more just at West End Market. Check out the other markets, and whether or not you have a sweet tooth, a hankering for meat, or want something vegan, they have it —at a student’s price.

Bowdoin College

Brunswick, Maine, is home to this private liberal arts college that’s been teaching willing minds since the late 1700s. But that doesn’t mean dining is still an old-fashioned affair; Bowdoin College’s meal plans offer sensitivity to special diets and accommodate every new eating trend. They’re home to a meat shop that delivers grass-fed beef, they grow their own healthy and organic vegetables and fruits in the Bowdoin Organic Garden, and anything they lack, they sources from family-owned shops in the surrounding area. What makes them truly unique is their recipe inspiration, taken from leading restaurants around the world as well as from students themselves, ensuring fancy French dining coincides with mama’s good home cookin’.

Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University, a private research university, is located rather unexpectedly in the heart of Missouri rather than on the west or east coasts. Known as St. Louis’ pride, they bring the culture of the city’s best dishes to their kitchens —with a little something extra. They believe in sustainable practices in their meal preparations, from sourcing to waste removal, but especially in their tree-planting events made possible with other local good eats restaurants. They source all their ingredients from local shops around the city and support other sustainable dining locales, so students can get the best price while ensuring they’re helping their city and environment.

University of Massachusetts

Ranked as having the best dining of all universities by Princeton, The University of Massachusetts excels in quality food just as they advance education in the modern age. They were the first and only public research system in Massachusetts and are a part of a five-campus public university system. When it comes to their kitchens, they’ve earned the Food Management Best Concept Award, and their chefs have won first place in several nation-scale culinary challenges. According to their students, “From egg white omelets, to an elaborate salad bar, to whole wheat pasta and fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables, eating healthy has never been so easy or tasted so good.”

James Madison University

Originally known as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg in 1908, the University was later renamed after the U.S. president and became a first-choice for men and women around the nation seeking degrees as high as doctoral. But when its students aren’t striving for higher education, they’re found in one of dozens of eateries spotted around the 28 campus locations. From well-known chain brands such as Quiznos to their own kitchens, the campus offers a range of food options for every kind of diet. Want something quick? Want a fancy dinner? James Madison University has options, with festivals and events designed to bring people together, curb their cravings, and make new friends.

Cornell University

As such a prestigious IVY League university, it’s no wonder they put as much care into their food as they do their classes. Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University gets in the spirit of the seasons with Grand Harvest dinners and holiday bashes, allowing students to meet new friends while also enjoying locally-grown and entirely organic food. Their Graduate Student Meal Plan also helps students on a budget, allowing them to access local stores, vending machines, and the university kitchen itself at a reduced cost —without having to use their own debit card.

When you’re not enjoying the fantastic meals these renowned colleges offer, sometimes a nice meal in the comfort of your off-campus apartment is nice. With pumpkin spices, colored leaves, and wooly-warm clothing weather coming along in Fall, get into the spirit with this Pumpkin White Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe. Careful — with a decent supply of this stuff, you may never want to leave your apartment.

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Amber is the Social Media & Content Manager for For Rent Media Solutions™ and has been with the company since April 2007. In her role, Amber helps execute and optimize a social media strategic plan across multiple channels, as well as manages the company's social media product. This includes blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time building relationships with consumers, social media influencers, and bloggers to generate awareness of For Rent Media Solutions brand. In her free time, Amber loves running, #hashtags, and DIY projects.

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