As is the case with many of the attractions near Irvine, you’re going to need a car to get to many of the fine eateries off campus. Since Orange County is a fairly spread out, wealthy area, there are always going to be restaurants ranging from fine dining to grab-and-go restaurants looking to satisfy consumers and keep attracting their money. While well-known national chains such as IHOP, Denny’s (make friends with a waitress!), and Olive Garden are student favorites, local spots like Claim Jumper are worth a visit, too. Fear not, though, because there are still many relatively cheap places close to campus, including the ever popular In-N-Out Burger. If this restaurant isn’t around your home area, trust that you’re likely to become a fan.
Since UCI has a booming commuter population, it shouldn’t be hard to find a friend to mooch off of for rides when you’re in the mood to eat out. Restaurants within walking distance from campus tend to be a little a bit more understanding to the student budget, versus the more popular restaurants distributed throughout the rest of Irvine that normally cater to the upper-middle class. Overall, what the restaurants around campus lack in variety, they make up for with low prices.