The Best College for Food in America

Virginia TechVirginia TechThe Daily Meal went big, setting out to determine the best in campus dining across the nation - from small liberal arts colleges to Big Ten mega-universities. In an epic study, we examined the dining programs at every four-year college in America - more than 2,000 of them. What we found was both frightening and impressive.

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From blind taste tests to ensure the highest-quality products and locally sourced tofu to a schedule of rotating pan-Asian cuisine, when it comes to food at least, colleges are providing students with plenty to write home about. Many are even giving local restaurants a run for their money.

Our methodology? To come up with The Best College for Food in America, we looked to several sources - college dining services awards, respected college lists like the Princeton Review, news stories, and our own interviews. Our focus was not only on the actual food, but schools' dining programs as a whole.

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Our choice for Best College for Food in America is:

Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.)

This Blacksburg, Va., campus boasts an award-winning dining plan. No stranger to the National Association of College & University Food Service awards - the Academy Award of collegiate dining - this university features dishes like whole-wheat penne pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, sautéed chicken breast, prosciutto, and gorgonzola.

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Want to discuss existentialism while you break bread with your philosophy professor? There's a way to do just that: VT's "Dine with Faculty" program allows students to take a faculty member out to eat on the university's dime once per month.

Passionate about sustainability, VT is home to the Farms & Fields Project, a venue that is completely local, sustainable, and organic. On the menu: apple chutney and Cheddar panini - organic Granny Smith apples with onion, red-wine vinegar, brown sugar, orange peels, fresh ginger, and local cheese served on locally made organic bread. In addition, VT dining partnered with the Virginia Tech Meat Science Center and serves meats produced and processed on campus. Um, wow.

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For those with a green thumb, The Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm is a great place engage in the community while growing the fruits and veggies that fuel Hokies. If you are more of a carnivore, VT has several outdoor grills for student use on campus. Undergrads can buy food and charcoal for a fun, backyard barbecue with their Flex Dollars.

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This university topped our list for its incredible food, student engagement,and commitment to all things local and sustainable. It truly exceeded our wildest expectations for college dining.

Click here to see other top colleges for food in America

-Nina Fomufod, The Daily Meal