Bon Appétit Cafés Top the List of Best Universities for Food Lovers

From foodies to vegans and the gluten-intolerant, today’s students are increasingly scrutinizing the food at their prospective colleges — and citing its quality and choice as major factors in their decision making. But comparing dining programs can be tough, without tasting food at each school and chatting with the dining services staff.

The Daily Meal sought to make the process easier by pulling together a list of the nation’s top 20 colleges and universities, ranked by their food options. Four Bon Appétit accounts made the top 10!

  • Washington University in St. Louis, #1
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, #2
  • University of Pennsylvania, #5
  • Duke University, #8

The Daily Meal judged the schools on the variety of cuisine; presence of chefs on staff; sustainability efforts; the availability of nutrition facts and ingredients information; options for those requiring kosher, halal, gluten-free, and vegan meals; food-related events; and the ability to order food online. They compiled the results into a slideshow, with extensive information on the offerings at each school.

Here’s what The Daily Meal had to say about Washington University in St. Louis:

From moonlight breakfast to barbecues to “Dine with a Dietician” classes, this university goes the extra mile to provide students with the best of the best, hosting five to 10 events per week. Want to learn how to roll sushi? Check out Studio 40, an open kitchen where students can take cooking classes, meet with chefs, and watch demonstrations.

Run by food management giant Bon Appétit, WU’s dining features dishes like blueberry crepes, vegetarian chorizo and potatoes, and orange pork stir-fry, with vegan, kosher, and halal options available. Two years ago, the university opened the new Bear’s Den, a facility with authentic food concepts, including two tandoori ovens tended to by trained chefs from Pakistan and India.

Jill Duncan, director of marketing and communications for Bon Appétit Management at Washington University, thinks the school’s sustainability measures set it apart from the pack — specifically regarding its conversion of waste oil to biofuel, the composting of food scraps, and the commitment to local food.

Attention to student feedback is another source of pride. “We have a very open communication environment and our managerial team is extremely visible and interactive with all of the students,” explains Duncan.”

Kudos to our teams at Wash U, MIT, Penn, and Duke!