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Food options at UMass Amherst fit for gourmets, survey says

A cafe inside the Commonwealth Honors College administration building at the University of Massachusetts.

NANCY PALMIERI for the boston globe/ file 2013

A cafe inside the Commonwealth Honors College administration building at the University of Massachusetts.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst boasts the second-best campus food in the nation, according to the Princeton Review.

After ranking third the past three years, the UMass dining service was moved up a notch in the 2015 edition of “The Best 379 Colleges,” which was released Monday. Only Virginia Tech received higher ratings.

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The Princeton Review conducts annual surveys of students at 379 colleges across the nation on a range of topics regarding campus experiences, the company’s website says.

“Unlike students at many universities, UMass students rave about the ‘delicious food’ in the dining commons,” the website said. “The quantity, quality, and diversity for food options are awesome,’ one student says.”

UMass Amherst has been recognized in the past for its fine dining options, according to a statement by the university. Recently, the dining service has been praised nationally for its sustainability initiatives, nutrition programs, and promotions and special events.

“We’re thrilled with the ranking,” said Ken Toong, executive director of auxiliary enterprises, in the UMass statement. “Thanks to the support of our students — they are the best customers in the world. We love them and they are the cheerleaders of our program.”

According to UMass, credit for the high ratings also goes to the staff, which includes several chefs who have earned top honors in regional and national competitions in the past few months.

UMass Amherst was named the top spot in the country for collegiate dining in 2013 by the website University Primetime in January, the statement said.

On the school’s website, one student endorsed the dining service as “a model example of small community ideals.” The website proudly touts its egg-white omelettes, elaborate salad bar, and locally grown fruit and vegetables.

Trisha Thadani can be reached at trisha.thadani@globe.com.Follow her on Twitter @TrishaThadani.
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