The Top 10 College Dining Halls

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#6 Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, Pa.)


Photo credit: Bryn Mawr College Dining Services

Bryn Mawr’s food ranks high for deliciousness nationally, but that doesn’t stop dining services from striving to be even greater. Want to try something new? Just post a “napkin note” (literally a comment written on a napkin), write on their Facebook wall, or send an “emeal”. “Bryn Mawr Dining Services offers a lot of different options for students on a daily basis, and I think that definitely sets it apart,” says senior Sarah Hermalyn.At breakfast you can make your own chocolate chip waffle or omelet, and at dinner you can make stir-fry with fresh produce from the salad bar.” And talk about uniqueness: they just held a “Hogwarts End-of-Term Feast” complete with costumes, pumpkin juice, treacle tart and Bertie’s Every Flavor Beans.

#7 Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vt.)


Photo credit: Middlebury College Dining Services 

How’s this for neat? “The great thing about Middlebury’s dining halls is that anyone can walk in—no swipe necessary,” says junior Bianca Giaever. “You can eat whenever and as many times a day as you like.” Middlebury students flock the panini bar, and the school’s bakery makes goodies from scratch, including the popular fresh-baked apple pie.  Local food is especially important at Middlebury, and the school’s salad bar includes produce from the school’s organic garden. “Constant fresh vegetables are definitely the dining halls’ strength,” Giaever says.

#8 James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.)

Photo credit: JMU Dining Services

I love everything about our food here! Whenever I leave for home, I cannot wait to get back to JMU to get something to eat!” says freshman Christie White. Students can check out the international station with Tandoori ovens, the gluten-free and vegan stations, and the fresh-baked desserts with homemade ice cream. JMU students rave about how kind and friendly the dining services staff is—and they’re hip, too! Students can check out their Facebook and Twitter pages for regular updates on hour changes, events and contests.

#9 Colby College (Waterville, Maine)


Photo credit: Maddie Bergier, Colby ’12

Colby’s dining halls each have a personality of their own. “We have three different dining halls to choose from, and each of them has specific things that I love,” says senior Kate Gragnolati. There’s Dana, with signature burgers and homemade French fries made with locally grown potatoes. Roberts (affectionately called Bobs) features a restaurant-style set-up with make-your-own flatbread pizzas, calzones and donuts on Thursday mornings. Foss is for the more adventurous, with international and vegetarian offerings. Meal plans also include one meal a week at the Spa, Colby’s student center restaurant.

#10 Northeastern University (Boston)


Photo credit: Northeastern University/Chartwells

Northeastern’s dining services have recently reached an entirely new level, says senior Julie Gannon. “Although I've always thought our food was good, the variety of options have really exploded,” she says. “The stations at International Village, our new, three-star certified green dining hall, offer everything from authentic Indian dishes to sushi to vegan and vegetarian entrees to coal-fired pizza!” The Xhibition Kitchen is another serious bling factor. It has overhead cameras that project onto flat screen TVs, which sounds more “Food Network” than “college dining” to us. It’s the students’ chance to get up close with award-winning chefs and cookbook authors.

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About The Author

Alison Goldman is a senior Magazine Journalism major and Theatre minor at Northwestern University. She hails from Pittsburgh, Penn. (Go Steelers!) and spent fall 2009 abroad in Florence, Italy--a good fit considering her love of carbs, coffee, and a great pair of boots. Alison previously worked as an editorial intern at Glamour and The Knot and as a 2010 ASME intern at Family Circle. She also contributes to the campus magazines North by Northwestern and Schmooze. Flowers, dark chocolate, and puns are the way to her heart.

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