Bon Appétit-Served Schools Are Making the Grade on Best College Food Lists

Healthy grain bowls are popular at Washington University in St. Louis

More than 100,000 student surveys from around the country have revealed the 20 top-ranked colleges for Princeton Review’s Best Campus Food list —one of the most respected college-ranking institutions — and three of them are operated by Bon Appétit Management Company! Washington University in St. Louis came in at No. 3, St. Olaf College at No. 4, and Pitzer College at lucky No. 13.

The Bon Appétiters who helped make it all happen shed some light on what goes into making award-winning food:

“It really comes down to the team as a whole. We have a solid program, we have a great partnership in our university that provides us the equipment and resources we need, and we have fantastic people,” said Patrick McElroy, executive chef at Wash U. (Read more in our Q&A with Patrick.)

St. Olaf student Christopher Prokosch with some best-campus chili

“Even though lunch is just 35, 40 minutes out of [the students’] day, we want them to come into this environment and have it feel special. We dork out on it,” explained Matthew Fogarty, executive chef at St. Olaf. (Read more in our Q&A with Matthew.)

And adds Cindy Bennington, general manager at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA: “One theme I hear students say a lot is just how accommodating Pitzer can be to them, and also just the choice that we offer. My team and I have discovered that students like to be part of the decision making in terms of their food, so we make a lot of our stations interactive.”

The Daily Meal

Not to be outdone, the Daily Meal, a popular food & drink website, released its own 6th annual 75 Best Colleges for Food. The Daily Meal’s selection criteria are a bit more opaque, but they ask food service operators to submit answers to an exhaustive set of questions covering accessibility and service, nutrition and sustainability, education and events, local restaurant scene, and the above-and-beyond “X factor.” Bon Appétit has always made numerous appearances on the Daily Meal list, and this year was no exception. Congratulations to

  • Johns Hopkins University (#6)
  • Brown University (#18)
  • Emory University (#19)
  • St. Olaf College (#25)
  • Pitzer College (#26)
  • University of Pennsylvania (#29)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (#33)
  • Wesleyan University (#40)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (#42)
  • Roger Williams University (#53)
  • Wheaton College (#64)
  • Colby College (#68)
  • Denison University (#72)
  • Carleton College (#73)

Forward magazine

Forward, a magazine that has written for more than a century about the issues, ideas and institutions that matter to American Jews, also came out with its picks for the top 10 Best Colleges for Jewish students, ranking 171 colleges and university all over the country. Considering more than 50 different variables in their evaluation, their methodology centers on four main categories: Jewish life, academics, Israel, and cost. Each school has the potential to receive a total score of 100 points. The Jewish life category — which includes the availability of kosher food — is a major determinant, as it’s worth 40 points.

Mazel tov to the four Bon Appétit clients among the top 10 colleges listed: Emory University (#1), University of Pennsylvania (#2), Washington University in St. Louis (#3), and Brown University (#8).