Niche, a website that provides statistics on colleges across the United States, rated Virginia Tech No. 1 for best college food in 2019.
“We couldn’t do it without a committed staff,” said Ted Faulkner, director of dining services at Virginia Tech. “We’ve been able to develop a culture of excellence, and they’re tremendously committed in providing such services to the campus. The administrative support from the university is always top-tier in regard to providing support to the program.”
Niche analyzed food options for 1,382 colleges across the nation, and Virginia Tech claimed the top spot.
According to Faulkner, Virginia Tech is one of two universities in Virginia that has self-operated dining services, meaning it does not use third-party vendors or contractors to provide food to campus.
“I believe that gives us a vested interest in this community,” Faulkner said.
Virginia Tech Dining offers 47 places to eat across 11 different locations, such as Hokie Grill and Turner Place. Food trucks also provide food for students on campus.
Additionally, renovations in Owen’s Food Court will be completed and open to students beginning during move-in for the fall 2019 semester, according to Faulkner. The dining hall began remodeling for the first time since 1992 in spring 2019 and will feature a variety of foods from different locations around the world.
“You’ll see regions across the globe that will be presenting food selections in a bowl format — they’re all the rage and are quite hot these days,” Faulkner said. “It gives you a little bit of customization and (more) flavor profiles. I think it’s yet another extension of this program and department diversifying in services and food offerings.”
Moreover, dining centers at Virginia Tech are increasingly using products that promote a sustainable dining and food system. Local products are used to promote organic food and the local economy, with food coming from Homefield Farm, the Virginia Tech Meat Center, Red Sun Farms and other providers located a maximum of 250 miles from Blacksburg, Virginia.
In addition to the best college food rating, Virginia Tech ranked No. 3 out of 1,408 for “Best College Campuses in America” and No. 7 out of 131 for “Best Big Colleges in America.” The university received an “A+” rating overall on Niche, with an “A+” in athletics, value and campus; an “A” in academics and party scene; and an “A-” in diversity. Niche gave Virginia Tech a four-star rating based on 3,658 reviews.