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UMass Amherst Has #1 Dining, But Which Dining Hall Is #1?

It has been said time and time again: UMass Amherst Dining is the best. Compared to other universities I have visited, I would 100% agree. Not all dining halls were created equal, and it shows. I surveyed 100+ random students on the UMass Amherst campus and found which dining hall the students thought was #1.

Now, the answer does not surprise me. With 38.4% of the votes, Hampshire Dining Hall was voted the best dining hall. You may be wondering why. Don’t all the dining halls have more or less the same options?

The majority of students say Hampshire is their favorite because it has a wide variety of options, it has the best food options, it has an ideal location and environment, and it is easy to navigate. Furthermore, for those with restricted diets, (vegan, celiac, etc ) Hampshire (tying with Franklin) seemed to give the most restriction friendly foods.

Favorites aside, 88% of students say that they eat at certain dining halls due to convenience, not due to favoritism. This makes sense based on class schedules, where you are living, and so on. Many point out that for those living in Orchard Hill or Sylvan, making the hike to Berk or Hamp just is not ideal to get their three meals a day. Instead, these students go to Franklin or Worcester due to time limitations.

I asked the students to defend why their favorite was the best. Here is what they had to say:

Hamp just feels easier — it’s not chaotic despite being very busy,” and the fact that “Hamp always has more options and better food” with a “healthier selection.” Another reason people picked Hampshire was due to the dining hall layout and ease. These comments support that: “The layout is simple and it makes it a little easier to get food when it is super busy” and “I like that Hamp is a circle because I’m so bad at finding my way around.” A funny comment a student said about Hampshire Dining Hall was, “Hampy wampy has my heart, all food anxiety leaves my body when I walk in there.” Not sure which dining hall can beat that.

The runner up, Franklin, also had a lot of good attributes as well such as “a good environment and location.” Franklin has “food available for all different diets,” such as “a nice gluten free bar.” People found that Frank had the easiest seating and usually was less crowded than other dining halls. People also thought that Franklin had the best deli bar on campus and that “Frank has consistently had good options.” Of course, we cannot forget the staples that Frank is known for: “hard serve ice cream and grilled cheeses” which always win people over. Many believe that Franklin Dining Hall having noodles for their stir-fry makes them “simply superior.”

Grilled Cheese
Christin Urso / Spoon

Other comments made by students defending their own favorite dining halls are:

Berk is nice and always has vegetarian and vegan options! I really like how the inside is set up.”

“Berk has a homey feel, and I always see so many people I know there.”

Berk has a wider variety of entrees and it’s open late, better late night than Woo as well.”

Blue Wall is the best dining hall because they have most reliable and best tasting food options.”

“The wok from Worcester is another level of flavor.”

At the end of the day, all UMass Dining is #1, and everyone favors one dining hall over another for different reasons. Though, when surveying random students, it seemed like Hampshire Dining Hall was the #1 dining hall on the UMass Amherst campus.

So if you are a student needing a reason to walk all the way from Orchard Hill to get Hamp, or just visiting campus and wondering which dining hall to go to, Hampshire Dining is the place to be.

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Chloe Hopkins

U Mass Amherst '23

Chloe is a Junior at UMass Amherst majoring in Mathematics and is getting her minor in Education. Chloe loves working with kids and wants to teach elementary school in the future. She loves animals and has her own black lab named Hero at home. Chloe loves to workout, write poetry, and go on hikes.
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