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A UMass Student’s Take on How Each Dining Hall Upholds the #1 Dining Status

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

In case you haven’t heard, UMass Amherst still holds its ranking of #1 Best Campus Food in the country, something that we as students all love to brag about. 

After living in the dorms on campus for two years, I finally moved into the North Apartments, which provides the experience of living “off-campus” while still remaining within walking distance from classes and campus activities. Now that I have my own kitchen, I decided not to get the unlimited dining swipes meal plan that I previously had, which often makes me miss all of my favorite food items from the dining hall. 

UMass Amherst
Original photo by Anumeha Rajvanshi

Each of UMass’s five dining commons are unique in their own ways. I definitely find myself craving specific food items at a particular dining hall every now and then. If you’re new to campus or want to know more about some of the delicious things that the dining halls provide, and how each factors into the #1 Dining status, then here are my rankings of each building and my favorite food there!

#5: Worcester 

This might be a hot take, but I think that this newly renovated dining hall is hit or miss — you either love it or you don’t. Personally, I find the setup overwhelming, and depending on what time you go, it could be quite a challenge to find an open table. It is definitely aesthetically pleasing, and I’ve heard good things about grab-n-go meals (which are kind of like takeout, included with the unlimited meal plans), but it just isn’t for me. I do really enjoy the Italian foods there, though, like the baked ziti and the pizza. 

#4: Berkshire

Berkshire, or ‘Berk’ as we call it, was my home base for sophomore year while I lived in the Washington residence hall since it was practically right outside my front door. It does not open until 11 a.m., but it has delicious lunch options. Specifically, the avocado toast they would have for brunch was always delicious as well as the avocado pasta dish was a perfect side with a warm sandwich for a light lunch option. And every once in a while, they’d surprise us with a DIY pasta dish bar for dinner!

#3: Hampshire

Breakfast was always great at Hamp, with lots of berries, pastries, and juice options. Not to mention having probably the most AMAZING omelets on campus. Plus, there is a Starbucks right downstairs, which is where all of my dining dollars were spent while living in the Southwest residential area. 

Esselon Cafe omelette
Greer Long

#2: Franklin

My roommate and I like to describe Frank as being like Grandma’s house, always having a comforting vibe even though it might seem a little outdated. Constant flowing waffle batter allows you to have a delicious belgian waffle at almost any time of day, and paired with the hard scoop ice cream which is only found at this dining hall makes a beautiful match. Another benefit of going to Frank is the grab-n-go chicken tenders and fries every Friday, which can often be hard to come by with UMass dining. 

#1: Blue Wall

Blue Wall is the reason I got my off-campus meal plan with the most dining dollars. Here you can find takeout or dine-in style meals of the most delicious foods. At Green Fields you can get an amazing salad, The Grill fulfills your burger or chicken tender cravings, and Tamales has a Chipotle-like (if not better) burrito bowl experience, Yum! Bakery satisfies your sweet tooth, and there is even more than that. My go-to is always a cobb salad at Green Fields, paired with a s’mores cookie bar for dessert from Yum! Bakery. Although lunchtime here comes with long lines and sometimes a struggle to find a table, the huge food portions make it worthwhile. 

As you can see, UMass has lots of delicious food items to offer. Being someone with food allergies, they are also very accommodating and always post all of the ingredients used, so you can always find the right thing for you and your dietary needs. If you’re now as hungry as I am, make sure to check out some of these meals! Which dining hall is your favorite?

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Jessica Mangels

U Mass Amherst '25

Jess is a junior Environmental Science major at UMass Amherst with a minor in Education. She is from Long Island, New York, and loves being able to catch a good sunset at the beach. She enjoys sharing her passions about sustainability, saving the planet, her favorite TV shows, and music with others.