As a junior in high school, I had to sacrifice my spring break trip to visiting colleges. Don't get me wrong, touring colleges is a great time, but I'm more than a little salty that I spent my week off at the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) schools instead of baking in the sun.

To make touring schools more fun, I made it my mission to eat at all the best restaurants the NESCAC schools had to offer. I highly recommend doing the same. Great food is the best way to #treatyoself after a long, hard day of walking around, and lets you know the food scene of your potential college. 

For you students who already go to college in the Northeast, none of these places are very far away from each other. An epic road trip to hit up all of these spots and crown the best food college in the NESCAC at the end sounds like an awesome idea, just saying.

Bates College

Just down the hill from Bates is the town of Lewiston, which doesn't (at least at first glance) look like the ultimate foodie destination. However, Forage Market is a wonderful spot in which to curl up with a house-made bagel and coffee and hide from Maine winter. 

Around lunchtime the place is packed with people wanting one of their delicious sandwiches. You really can't go wrong with anything, but their bagels are truly spectacular.

Bowdoin College

Brunswick, a cute town brimming with fun places to eat, is basically on the Bowdoin campus. If you are there for lunchtime, make sure to hit up Wild Oats Cafe for their amazing soup selection, deli options, and yummy baked goods. 

All of their food is homemade with fresh ingredients, so you can feel confident that anything you order will be wholesome and delicious. 

#SpoonTip: If you're looking for dinner options or other places to eat, this article should help you out!

Amherst College

The number of schools near Amherst means that there are tons of amazing food options. If you want to eat somewhere in the town of Amherst itself, Bistro 63 is a great option. They serve really classic, well-executed Italian food. 

Everything on the menu is delicious, but their risottos (yes, they have multiple options) are truly a cause for celebration because of the variety of innovative flavor combinations they offer.

#SpoonTip: If you want to branch out a little bit or the Amherst restaurants do not inspire you, the town of Northampton is only a 15 minute drive away and has even more amazing restaurant options. 

Colby College

Just down the road from Colby is the adorable town of Waterville, whose restaurant scene is well-documented by their Spoon chapter (totally stalked them before I visited the shame).

When I was there, I was lucky enough to enjoy two meals in Waterville – dinner at The Last Unicorn, which surprised me by serving amazing mediterranean food (low-key obsessed with pita bread), and lunch at Selah Tea Cafe, which serves delicious soup and a myriad iced tea flavors.

Connecticut College

New London is a town jam-packed with restaurants. One that stood out to me for it's atmosphere and overall vibe was Dev's on Bank. During the day, this spot is a cute coffee shop that serves coffee, snacks, and lunch, and at night the place switches to a Bistro-style restaurant. 

Hamilton College

puree, mushroom, red wine, beans, asparagus, mashed potatoes, risotto
Amanda Becker

Hamilton's Spoon page overwhelmed me with restaurant options near the campus, but I was finally able to settle on Nola's Restaurant. This spot is a favorite among students, so you can really get the experience of being ~one of them~. If you're looking for a window into the Hamilton experience, this is a great place to find it. 

Middlebury College

The town of Middlebury, Vermont is small, but adorable. Lined with a locally-owned bookstore and stationery store filled with hilarious cards, Main Street is a perfect place to wander around after a long morning of college visits. 

If dinner is what you're after, Two Brothers Tavern is a cozy spot where you can fill your belly with classic, comfortable flavors. The ambiance is great, and the food is even better. 

On the other hand, if you're there for lunch or looking for an afternoon treat, Otter Creek Bakery is your best bet. The counter is piled high with delightful goodies, and their soups are ultra- satisfying. They don't have a ton of space to sit inside, but on a nice day you can bring your food out onto the porch. 

Tufts University

The biggest of the NESCAC schools, Tufts has the benefit of being 15 minutes away from the foodie goodness of Boston. However, they are even closer to Davis Square and Somerville, both of which are also packed with great places to grab grub.

Right in Davis Square, Oat Shop is a must-visit. They only sell oatmeal, and their flavor combinations are beyond creative. Step out of your comfort zone and try either their savory oats or innovative sweet bowls. Either way, it'll rock your world.

A little farther into Somerville is Sarma, a mediterranean small plates restaurant. Make sure to go in with an empty stomach because you are going to want to try everything on the menu. My favorites were the octopus and the baked feta, but everything I was served was impeccably well-prepared and totally worth the food coma.

Trinity College

Hartford is packed to the brim with restaurant options of all varieties: Mexican, Italian, American, even Spanish food. Their Spoon chapter helps break it all down, but it's really hard to pick a place to go to.

When overwhelmed by so many good options, I always go with the most creative one. Barcelona is a tapas restaurant that happens to serve a killer brunch. For all you college students, the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar makes this a no-brainer, but there are plenty of creative brunch dishes for those of us who are younger than 21, too.

Wesleyan University

Eliza Wilkins

Shoutout to all the Spoon chapters that make an "Ultimate Student Guide" on where to eat and drink on their campus. It makes college visits so much less stressful, because I always know I'll be able to find somewhere awesome to eat after the tour ends.

You definitely can't pass up on the spot featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and Middletown's O'Rourkes Diner fits the bill. This place features an adventurous menu and the "Brian Special": an option to have the chef make something special just for you!

Williams College

Williamstown is a beautiful place. When the sun sets, the surrounding mountains make the light purple and bathe the whole town in a beautiful glow. However, the best place to eat requires a short drive outside the center of town (it's worth it, I swear).

Mezze Bistro and Bar is a quaint, upscale restaurant located inside of an old home. However, this place is no ordinary dinner party. The menu is always changing based on what's available from local farms, and you can taste their dedication to locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients in whatever you order. 

Make sure to soak in the epic beauty and history of the building you're in as you savor the flavors of your dinner at Mezze. The prices can be a little steep, but it's totally worth it.

Whether your touring the NESCAC schools, going on a foodie road trip through New England, or just looking for a new spot near your campus, hopefully this list is a good starting point for your foodie adventures. If I missed something, dm me a pic at @mylifeinsalad and let me know!