The one single thing you are bound to miss when you are studying abroad is home-cooked food. College food usually translates to boring, insipid, food that’s just meant to fill your stomach, right? But there are colleges that stretch themselves that extra mile and pride themselves in offering food that may not match what your mother lovingly cooks for you back home, but will definitely keep your taste buds and stomach happy.

Some of the best college for food are:

1. Bowdoin College, Maine, USA

The Bowdoin College which offers a four-year residential study that concludes with a baccalaureate degree in the liberal arts is reputed for its dining and is a recipient of many awards. All meals are freshly made in-house by a staff of talented culinary professionals. This ensures that the food is healthy and trans-fat-free and without high fructose corn syrup. The college has its own organic garden that supplies fresh veggies, fruits, and herbs. 

For those with a sweet tooth, most of the desserts too are baked in-house.The eating options cater to a varied preference –vegetarian, non-vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc. They also stock lactose-free and nut-free food. 

Dining at Bowdoin may cost approximately $7,528 per semester.

Notable alumni are Jes Staley, Anthony Doerr, and Hayes McArthur.

2. Virginia Tech, USA

Virginia Tech offers major programs in engineering, business, management, marketing, human sciences, biology, and social sciences and its award-winning dining are continuously ranked as one of the best campus dining experiences. There are about 47 dining centres at 11 locations that cater to a varied palate as well as 2 food trucks that comb the campus to feed hungry students. Menus change constantly to keep the interest alive and the food is always nutritious and even has a ‘You’re Eating Smarter’ program that offers healthy eating options. Special food for those who need to be on a special diet or with food allergies will also find ample food to suit their needs.

Dining costs will depend on how many meals you will eat per week. They have 10 meals/12 meals/14 meals a week plans to choose from.

Notable alumni are Homer Hickman, Hoda Kotb, and Bruce Smith.

3. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA

The University offers diverse major and minor programs at the College of Natural Sciences and the dining options come close to matching this diversity. There’s a dining centre at every corner of the University – there are 20 retail cafes. There’s Kosher and Halal, a Bakeshop, UMass catering, and the University Club. Added to this, two food trucks do the rounds on the campus for students who don’t have the time to go to eat at a dining centre. 

UMass Dining sources food locally and does all it can to reduce food waste. The food served is healthy, nutritious and organic. They encourage eating more plant food, as it’s healthy and environment-friendly.

The Unlimited DC Plan that costs $2,912 per semester is the most worthwhile dining plan. There are other more expensive plans available too.

Notable alumni are Richard Gere, Jack Welch, and Bill Pullman.

4. Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA

The University is reputed for the varied opportunities in research that it offers for undergraduates. Students can choose from an equally wide variety of dining – there are close to 30 eateries on campus offering a wide variety of eating options from all over the world - from delis to takeaways to cafes. It has the best burger joints, American Grill, authentic Italian cuisine, Latin-inspired cuisine, authentic Indian cuisine, Asian cuisine, Mongolian Grill, and more. Salad bars, dessert places, pizza joints, and baked goodies will keep you want to have more.

The University offers Student Meal Plans starting from $4,516 - $6,832 with a meal point system to help in budgeting meals.

Notable alumni are George Zimmer, Peter Sarsgaard, and Andrew McCabe.

5. University of California – Los Angeles, USA

University of California, Los Angeles – UCLA is a world-ranked university reputed for majors in biology, business economics, political science, psychology, and psychobiology. UCLA Dining is a recognized, award-winning service with superior cuisine and state-of-the-art provisions. The meals are always fresh, healthy and tasty. Food options at UCLA are diverse. You’ll find freshly prepared wraps, salads, sandwiches, vegan, vegetarian, and kosher offerings, Asian-style noodles, sushi, and boba. Charbroiled burgers, chicken sandwiches, chilli fries, shakes, and so much to keep you satiated. And if you are allergic to gluten, there’s a gluten-free pantry too to cater to your special needs.

Meal plans are linked to on-campus housing so you pay for your meals when you make your housing payment.

Notable alumni are Francis Ford Coppola, James Dean, and Jim Morrison.

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