College campuses aren’t typically known as culinary havens, but two San Diego universities are making a mark with their meals and have just been ranked among the best colleges for food in the United States.
The Daily Meal released a list of the “75 Best Colleges for Food in America” and both the University of San Diego (USD) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), landed solid spots on the round-up.
According to the list, impressive dining programs garnered USD the No. 30 spot, while UCSD ranked No. 19.
Food events throughout the year made USD a scrumptious standout, including the school’s fall Applefest and Strawberry Fest in the spring. The school also hosts an annual student cooking competition where the winner gets their dish featured in the dining halls.
The Daily Meal also points out USD’s focus on sustainability, and the fact that the school uses a bio-digester to reduce waste and turn it into energy. The campus was the first in the country to install a bio-digester.
For dining, USD offers many options, including the campus food truck, “Torero Tu Go.” Embracing the Mexican influence in San Diego, the truck serves dishes like chicken skewers and skirt steak tacos and sets up shop at the Vistas and Copley Library throughout the week.
There are also 17 off-campus dining locations that accept USD Campus Cash. Plus, there’s a grocery store and deli on campus so students can have convenient access to all kinds of food.
As for UC San Diego, its high ranking on the list is attributed to the professionally-trained chefs on campus and dining programs that have won awards for quality and taste.
The university also hosts themed food fairs for students throughout the year, including the Chocolate Festival at Sixth College.
And, in terms of sustainability, UCSD offers Eco Tours for students that highlight the eco-friendly buildings on campus and hydration stations.
The Daily Meal compiled its list by looking at approximately 2,000 four-year colleges across America. Criteria included sustainability and access to healthy food for students, as well as the food scene of the area surrounding a campus.
The top 75 colleges that made the cut were also chosen for their efforts to improve taste, nutrition and community through their dining programs, and efforts to offer educational, food-centered events on campus.
The colleges that ranked in the top 5 on the list included, in order: Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine; Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; Columbia University in New York; Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.; Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
To check out the full list, click here.