Just As We Thought -- Wash. U. Students Dine in Splendor [Updated]

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Dinnertime at Wash. U.
Update: Alert reader Micah Herstand has informed us that we were mistaken in our reporting. Unlike many of the other institutions mentioned in the Daily Meal's rankings, Wash. U. does not have 24-hour dining.

He writes:

The Whispers Cafe space is open 24-hours, but they stop serving coffee and food at midnight or earlier. I'm guessing you don't count their run-of-the-mill vending machines as "24-hour dining". ;)

Wash U students, just like the rest of St. Louis, gotta trek over to Coffee Cartel for 3am cappuccinos.

Wash. U. students, you have Gut Check's heartfelt sympathy.


A long, long time ago, when Gut Check started college, well-meaning upperclassmen took us aside and passed along a few rumors we were sure were meant to scare us. Some we dismissed out of hand (these involved ghosts). Some remained a source of intrigue (the steam tunnels that ran beneath the campus). But one we clung to as absolute fact for the next four years:

Our school's food service specialized in institutions. It had nine levels of quality, ranging from prison food at number one to four-star hotel food at level nine. We students, it was rumored, were fed number two. We were eating food that was one step above prison food. And we had to pay for it!

We ate a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches during those years.

Just as we suspected, college students today are way luckier than we were. We refer, in particular, to those who attend Washington University. Their library has a snack bar with real coffee. (We got ours out of a machine.) Their student center has leather armchairs and chaise longues. Their mattresses, we hear, are TempurPedic.

And now, the Daily Meal, in its rankings of the 52 Best Colleges for Food in America has declared that Wash. U.'s dining options are the finest in this fair nation, save for Virginia Tech and Bowdoin College. The Daily Meal and Wash. U. aren't exactly strangers to each other -- earlier this year, the website said Wash. U. was the very best college for food-lover -- but being a foodie is a bit different from being a college student who just wants a goddamned sandwich after biology lab.

Naturally, we had to skim over the competition. Even though editor Nina Famufod explained that the Daily Meal had visited nearly 2000 colleges, ate the food there and rejected many of them for the list out of hand for having boring menus, serving meals at very limited times and for being plain old disgusting ("Students have found everything from thumbtacks to grasshoppers in their campus food. Completely unacceptable"), the reports that came in from the top 52 were staggering.

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