Rollins Recognized for Best College Food

The Daily Meal ranks the College No. 40 in its annual survey of campuses that know how to get their grub on.

If you’re a fan of the food at Rollins College, you’re not alone. For the third straight year, the College has earned a place among’s “75 Best Colleges in America for Food.”

Coming in at No. 40, Rollins was the only college or university from Florida to appear in the 2015 rankings.

“Most of the schools on the list are large institutions with more dining resources,” says Gustavo Vasconez, general manager of Sodexo Campus Services, which oversees Rollins’ food operations. “So, as a small liberal arts college, we feel proud to consistently achieve such high standards of excellence. Rollins definitely gives us a lot of flexibility to be creative and innovative.”

Editors at The Daily Meal—the world’s largest food and drink lifestyle website—judged schools on a number of criteria, including healthy options, sustainability, service, affordability, and meal plan flexibility. In addition, they looked at nutrition education and special food-focused events such as guest lectures, food fairs, and farmers markets.

“Finally, and perhaps most importantly, The Daily Meal asked about the ‘X-factor,’” according to a press release announcing the rankings. “We looked for the ‘fun’ side of the food scene on campus, focusing on the food atmosphere in dining halls and in the college’s surrounding area.”

Students gather for meals at the Cornell Campus Center. (Photo by Scott Cook) Students gather for meals at the Cornell Campus Center. (Photo by Scott Cook)

With seven on-campus locations, serving everything from Starbucks coffee to freshly rolled sushi, Rollins offers something for everyone.

In 2013, the College was one of only two in Florida to receive an “A” rating for vegan food by the nonprofit animal rights group peta2. And this fall, Rollins will unveil the highly anticipated Dave’s Boathouse, a pub-style restaurant that features locally brewed beer, wine on tap, and a diverse menu of fresh, healthy selections.

Vasconez says about 75 percent of the food served at Rollins comes from a 150-mile radius, with much of it being organic. Over the years, several internationally inspired menu items have originated from student input, including the popular Latin American ceviche seafood salad and the Puerto Rican-based mofongo fried plantain dish.