Campus Dining

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5 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: I is great and the dining dollars go a long way.

Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: I live off-campus and do not eat on campus. I have only had hor d'oeuvres during special events at the campus. The hot d'oeuvres were excellent, but I cannot speak on behalf of the dining on campus.

3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: Compared to other schools the food is pretty amazing. However, it is repetitive and expensive. Dining services also tries to make it seem like the food they are serving is a lot fancier or better than it actually is. However, as mentioned before, it is hard to stay frustrated with this things when you compare it to other campus dining options.

3 College Senior

Campus Dining: its not bad and its not good. its pretty average for the amount of dollar that is going into the school annually.

5 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: Food is great compared to most other universities. Especially at La Paloma. Students are tempted though because there are so many other options off campus that are phenomenal and priced similarly.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 10th
    Best Quality Food
  • 26th
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 41st
    Best Cafeteria Variety
  • 80th
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 104th
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Shannon Palka
Thousand Oaks, CA
English and Theology
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

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.

Facts & Statistics

Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Student Favorites: Campus Dining Hall
Pavilion Dining
Student Favorites: Campus Restaurant/Vendor
  • La Paloma
  • Tu Mercado
Student Favorites: Breakfast Food on Campus
  • Bagels from Missions Café
  • Brunch on the weekends
  • Chocolate-chip pancakes
  • Omelets
Student Favorites: Lunch/Dinner Entrée on Campus
  • Chinese food from Pavilion Dining
  • Salmon Caesar salad
  • Sandwiches from Tu Mercado
Student Favorites: Late-night Snack on Campus
  • Frozen yogurt ("fro-yo") from Missons Café
  • Pizza
24-Hour Dining
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Olive Café
  • Ryan's Café
Special Options
USD Dining Services offers foods that are gluten-free, low fat, organic, nut-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Color-coded symbols designate these options, so they're easy to spot. USD also serves fair trade items and meals made with local ingredients.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

Location: Maher Hall
Food: Pastries, Starbucks coffee
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Bert's Bistro
Location: Mother Rosalie Hill Hall
Food: American, breakfast sandwiches, Mexican, paninis, rice bowls, salad bar, sandwiches, soup
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
La Gran Terraza
Location: Hahn University Center
Food: American, California cuisine
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
La Paloma
Location: Kroc Institute
Food: Breakfast, coffee drinks, hot entrées, gourmet on-the-go items, signature sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
Missions Café
Location: Valley Fitness Center
Food: Breakfast, salads, sandwiches, sushi
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Location: Hahn University Center
Food: Tapas
Hours: Monday-Saturday 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Pavilion Dining
Location: Student Life Pavilion
Food: American, Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean, Mexican, pastries, pizza, salad bar, soup, vegetarian, Vietnamese
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Tu Mercado
Location: Student Life Pavilion
Food: Natural food grocery store, smoothies, specialty bar
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

Student Polls

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 10 responses

  • 21% Mongolian noodles at Paloma
  • 16% Crepes at Aromas
  • 16% Salads at Paloma
  • 16% Aromas
  • 11% Missions Cafe
  • 5% Chives salad bar in the SLP.
  • 5% La Paloma
  • 5% BERTS!!!
  • 5% O'tooles/La Gran Terraza

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 83 responses

Very poor
  • Convenient hours
  • Ethnic/kosher options
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Value
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

What are the worst things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 10 responses

  • 27% Overpriced
  • 23% Dining dollars go faster than meals
  • 19% Meals at the end of the semester are wasted.
  • 12% Very restricted
  • 12% Inconvenient
  • 8% Low quality dinner

What are the best things about the campus meal plan?    Based on 8 responses

  • 44% The SLP lowkey rocks
  • 33% All you can eat dinner and weekend brunch.
  • 22% Nothing. Way too much money for the freshmen.


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