With the remodel of the University Center and the addition of the Student Life Pavilion in 2009, campus dining has taken a definite turn for the better. The UC now includes Tu Mercado, an all-in-one supermarket, gelato shop, sandwich and salad bar, café, and gift shop. The SLP has fruit and salad bars, sushi, a pasta bar, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers, tuna melts, a dessert bar, and "Secret Ingredient," where they make original meals featuring the unique secret ingredient of the day. Other eateries on campus include Aromas (coffee, tea, baked goods, crepes), La Paloma (fresh sandwiches, salads, gyros, soup), Bert’s Bistro (wraps, sandwiches, sushi, barbecue, burritos), and Mission Café (coffee, waffles, frozen yogurt, smoothies). La Gran Terraza, located in the UC, is USD’s most elegant and, accordingly, most expensive dining option. It is a nice, sit-down restaurant with delicious Mediterranean-inspired food. USD also has a food truck that parks outside Copley Library in the mornings and near the Vistas at night, and serves a wide variety of food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Between about 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., you can expect a long wait just about anywhere on campus. Dinner at the SLP, which starts at 4:30 p.m., gets pretty busy between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Since you can only use the meals on your meal plan at dinner and brunch at the SLP, both eating times get pretty busy. Students, in an attempt to use their meals, will come in herds to the SLP. At lunch, students who live on campus use dining dollars across campus, often trying to avoid another typical SLP meal. The food at USD is of very high quality—definitely not your average college cafeteria food—but the limited options mean you can get sick of the food during the semester.