The Top Ten College Dining Halls

StOlafCollegeCollege food will probably never be up there with the five-star restaurants owned by Top Chef alumni, but some colleges are workng to bring students all the food groups in much healthier, better and yummier ways.

Now you can say “goodbye” to bland burgers, soggy french fries, and that inexplicable soupy thing you swear has been stewing at the end of the cafeteria line since you moved into your dorm room–at least at these colleges. Here is part of’s list of the top ten college dining halls:

#1 University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles)

UCLA’s campus features three all-you-care-to-eat residential restaurants, as well as four quick-service, café-style ones. “Each restaurant or dining hall has a theme, so you can pretty much get any type of cuisine you’d like on campus,” says senior Ellie Cerovski Darriau. “There’s a lot of variety within each place, as well.” Café 1919 serves up paninis, gourmet pizzas and gelato, while the My Pizza online ordering service offers pizza and wings pick-up until midnight—perfect for a study sesh snack or preparation for a night out. And if you’re vegan, you’re in luck: UCLA won in “large U.S. school” category for Most Vegan-Friendly College 2010.

#2 St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minn.)

Locavores and organic lovers have a field day—literally—at St. Olaf. As with other schools on the list, St. Olaf’s student-run organic farm provides the herbs and vegetables. Whenever possible at St. Olaf’s, though, the meat and poultry is antibiotic- and growth hormone-free, apples are stocked from a nearby orchard, and dairy products are supplied by a collective of Midwestern, family-owned farms.  Plus: “We have a great dessert section—I mean five-star, classy, delicious,” says sophomore Juan-Ita Effiom.

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