Off-Campus Dining

Location
San Diego, CA
Undergrads
5,269
Tuition
$39,970
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: I don't really eat off campus because we have our own kitchen and I have a meal plan but the options near us are pretty delicious. However if you want healthier options you do have to go farther away from campus.

5 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Dining: San Diego has some great food options. Some are expensive, like downtown or Hillcrest/North Park but the quality is fantastic. There are also some great, affordable Mexican food options in nearby Old Town, especially on Taco Tuesday. Students will also be introduced to the California Burrito, which is carne asada and french fries all in one delicious creation. At 2 am, it will be the best thing you will have ever eaten, and is pretty good during the day as well.

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3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: I haven't dined off-campus very much, but there are plenty of places that I see and have looked up. Being vegan, I have gone to Whole Foods Market and found their prices to be surprisingly fair with plenty of options for me. The only downside would be the hills, because I have only a bike to ride.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: you're right up the hill from some fast food restaurants if you are looking for cheap and east food, and there are several to choose from. and it is only a 5 minute drive or 10 minute trolley right to get to old town where they have amazing restaurants

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: There are variety of places off campus to go get food. If you have a car, these places are easily accessible. Places such as Ryan's Cafe and Super Bronco offer campus cash payments. There are choices for almost every type of food and an assortment of healthy and vegetarian options. The only problem is these places can be a little hard to access without an automobile.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 82nd
    Best Off-Campus Dining Variety
  • 176th
    Best Off-Campus Dining Cost

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Shannon Palka
Hometown
Thousand Oaks, CA
Major
English and Theology
Grad Year
2015
View all previous student authors

Because USD is on a hill and relatively isolated, getting food off campus without a car can be a bit of a challenge. Down Linda Vista Road are Fiji Yogurt, Urbane Café, Zpizza, Domino's, Tio Leo’s, Starbucks, 7-Eleven, Sushi Freak, and Carl’s Jr., which are all popular destinations. Without a car, the walk is about 10 minutes down and up to 15 minutes back. Of course, with a car, you’ll have access to many more restaurants in San Diego. The city of San Diego has so many great options for food. Anything you’re in the mood for is only a short drive away. From The Cheesecake Factory to Taco Bell to authentic Chinese and Thai food in Hillcrest, San Diego truly has it all. 

Going out to dinner off campus can be really fun and a great way to escape the occasional monotony of the Student Life Pavilion. Unfortunately, the cost of going out to dinner can be expensive. Aside from the implied cost of food, there’s also money spent on parking, a valet, or wasted gas looking for free parking. Public transportation, too, can get pricey. Arguably, the best time to go off campus for dinner is during the week when everything is less crowded—both parking lots and restaurant booths.
 

Facts & Statistics

24-Hour Dining
  • Denny's
  • Fresh MXN Food
  • Roberto's Taco Shop
  • Rose Donuts
Best Asian
Emerald Restaurant
Best Breakfast
The Broken Yolk Café
Best Coffee
Starbucks
Best Dessert
Fiji Yogurt
Best Healthy
Fred's Mexican Café
Best Late-Night
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Jack in the Box
Best Mexican
Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant
Best Pizza
  • Bronx Pizza
  • Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Co.
Best Wings
  • Dirty Birds
  • Moondoggies
Best Place to Take a Date
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Filippi's Pizza Grotto
Best Place to Take Your Parents
  • Donovan's Steak & Chop House
  • George's at the Cove
Other Places to Check Out
  • 7-Eleven
  • Aroma La Jolla
  • Arrivederci Ristorante
  • Asti Ristorante
  • The BeachWood
  • Blue Point Coastal Cuisine
  • Bully's East Restaurant
  • Café Bella Italia
  • Café Coyote
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Capriotti's Sandwich Shop
  • Carl's Jr.
  • Casa de Pico
  • Casa de Reyes Restaurant
  • Casa Guadalajara
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Extraordinary Desserts
  • Forever Fondue
  • The Gourmet Bagger Sandwich Ship
  • Hard Rock Café
  • Hash House a-Go-Go
  • Hennessey's Tavern
  • Hooters
  • Hotel del Coronado
  • IHOP
  • King's Fish House
  • La Gran Terraza
  • Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria
  • Luigi's at the Beach
  • Monsoon Express
  • Mozy Café
  • Naked Café
  • New York Pizza Department
  • OB Noodle House
  • Olive Café
  • Olive Garden
  • Original Sab-E-Lee
  • P.F. Chang's China Bistro
  • Panera Bread
  • PB Sushi
  • Peet's Coffee & Tea
  • Pei Wei Asian Diner
  • Phil's BBQ
  • Pokez
  • Poma's Italian Deli
  • Red Velvet Wine Bar
  • Rice King
  • Rockie's Frozen Yogurt
  • Roppongi
  • Royal Thai Cuisine
  • RA Sushi
  • Ryan's Café
  • Sammy's Woodfired Pizza
  • Santana's Mexican Grill
  • Sara's Mexican Food
  • Saska's
  • Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes
  • Stacked
  • Star of India
  • Super Bronco Mexican Restaurant
  • Sushi Freak
  • Taco Bell
  • Tender Greens
  • Thai Time II
  • Valencia Mexican Food
  • Venetian Restaurant
  • Volare
  • Yogurtland
  • Zpizza

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

Ralph's
3345 Sports Arena Blvd.
(619) 222-0688
www.ralphs.com
Daily 24 hours
Target
3245 Sports Arena Blvd.
(619) 223-2491
www.target.com
Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Vons
3645 Midway Drive
(877) 222-6462
www.vons.com
Daily 24 hours

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Bahia Don Bravo
Food: Mexican
909 Grand Ave.
(858) 581-0670
bahiadonbravo.net
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Best burritos in the area with shrimp, steak, or chicken. Also, delivers in the University area.
Board & Brew
Food: Sandwiches
1212 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar
(858) 481-1021
www.boardnbrewdelmar.com
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Worth the drive to Del Mar because it has a perfect location near the beach
The Broken Yolk Café
Food: Breakfast
3577 Midway Drive
(619) 358-9966
www.thebrokenyolkcafe.com
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: This is an enormously popular Pacific Beach breakfast joint with early bird and champagne specials.
Bronx Pizza
Food: Pizza
111 Washington St.
(619) 291-3341
www.bronxpizza.com
Price: $5-$15
Cool Features: Bronx Pizza has a cool patio atmosphere and the best thin crust in Southern California.
Café Sevilla
Food: Spanish, tapas
353 Fifth Ave.
(619) 233-5979
www.cafesevilla.com
Price: $30-$40
Cool Features: Has a great date menu, including paella and tapas for two
Cass Street Bar & Grill
Food: American
4612 Cass St.
(858) 270-1320
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: Also has shuffleboard and pool tables
The Cheesecake Factory
Food: American
7067 Friars Road
(619) 683-2800
www.thecheesecakefactory.com
Price: $10-$20
Denny's
Food: American
3704 Camino del Rio W
(619) 295-9200
www.dennys.com
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Open 24 hours
Dirty Birds
Food: American, wings
4656 Mission Blvd.
(858) 274-2473
www.dirtybirdspb.com
Price: $10-$20
Donovan's Steak & Chop House
Food: American, steakhouse
4340 La Jolla Village Drive
(858) 450-6666
www.donovanssteakhouse.com
Price: $30-$50
Cool Features: Said to have the best steaks in the country
Emerald Restaurant
Food: Chinese
3709 Convoy St.
(858) 565-6888
www.emeraldrestaurant.com
Price: $10-$15
EZ-J's Sandwiches
Food: Sandwiches
1088 Garnet Ave.
(858) 483-0123
Price: $5-$10
Fiji Yogurt
Food: Frozen yogurt
5401 Linda Vista Road
(619) 299-9984
www.fijiyogurt.com
Price: $3-$8
Filippi's Pizza Grotto
Food: Italian
962 Garnet Ave.
(858) 483-6222
www.realcheesepizza.com
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: Decorated bottles of Chianti highlight the décor
Fred's Mexican Café
Food: Mexican
2470 San Diego Ave.
(619) 858-8226
www.fredsmexicancafe.com
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Healthier take on cheap Mexican food. Every fifth of the month is "Cinco De Fred's."
Fresh MXN Food
Food: Mexican
1975 Morena Blvd.
(619) 276-9600
www.freshmxnfood.com
Price: $3-$8
Cool Features: There are several other locations within 4 miles of campus.
George's at the Cove
Food: Californian, seafood
1250 Prospect St., La Jolla
(858) 454-4244
www.georgesatthecove.com
Price: $30-$50
Cool Features: Spectacular ocean terrace
Hodad's
Food: American
5010 Newport Ave.
(619) 224-4623
www.hodadies.com
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Has the best burgers and beer, both of which are made from a VW bus. It's been a local institution since 1969.
In-N-Out Burger
Food: Fast food
3102 Sports Arena Blvd.
(800) 786-1000
www.in-n-out.com
Price: $3-$8
Jack in the Box
Food: Fast food
7170 Linda Vista Road
(858) 571-1671
www.jackinthebox.com
Price: $3-$8
JV's Mexican Food
Food: Mexican
11112 Morena Blvd.
(619) 276-0758
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: This is a hidden spot near campus.
Lorna's Italian Kitchen
Food: Italian
3945 Governor Drive
(858) 452-0661
www.lornasitalian.com
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Mom-and-pop atmosphere with enormous portions
Moondoggies
Food: American
832 Garnet Ave.
(858) 483-6550
www.moondoggies.com
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: One of few places in San Diego to see out-of-area NHL games
Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Co.
Food: American, pizza
2245 Fenton Parkway
(619) 640-1072
www.oggis.com
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Known for its thick-crust and stuffed pizzas, this place also brews its own beers.
Old Town Mexican Café
Food: Mexican
2489 San Diego Ave.
(619) 297-4330
www.oldtownmexcafe.com
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: You can watch them make fresh tortillas from the window.
Pizza Port
Food: Italian
1956 Bacon St., Ocean Beach
(619) 224-4700
www.pizzaport.com
Price: $8-$15
Poor Boy Submarines
Food: Sandwiches
909 Grand Ave.
(858) 274-3144
www.poorboysub.com
Price: $5-$10
Porter's Pub & Grill
Food: Pub food
9500 Gilman Drive
(858) 213-3891
www.porterspub.com
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Pub is on the UCSD campus.
The Potato Shack
Food: Breakfast
120 W. I St., Encinitas
(760) 436-1282
www.potatoshackcafe.com
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: The pancakes are the size of a manhole cover.
Roberto's Taco Shop
Food: Mexican
3095 Clairemont Drive
(619) 276-0305
www.robertostacoshop.com
Price: $5-$10
Rose Donuts
Food: Donuts
5201 Linda Vista Road
(619) 294-8856
Price: $5-$10
Shack Bar & Grill
Food: Pub food
6941 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla
(858) 454-5280
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Great local surf atmosphere and spectacular burgers
Starbucks
Food: Coffee, tea
5175 Linda Vista Road
(619) 497-0328
www.starbucks.com
Price: $3-$8
Sushi on the Rock
Food: Sushi
1025 Prospect St., La Jolla
(858) 459-3208
www.sushiontherock.com
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: Spectacular happy hour food and drink deals from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Taco Motion
Food: Mexican
1313 Garnet Ave.
(858) 274-8931
tacomotion.menutoeat.com
Price: $8-$15
Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant
Food: Mexican
5302 Napa St.
(619) 542-1462
tioleos.com
Price: $10-$20
Urbane Café
Food: Salads, sandwiches
5375 Napa St.
(619) 543-9700
www.urbanecafe.com
Price: $5-$10

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 100 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Student discounts
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

How would you rate the diversity of off-campus dining options?    Based on 106 responses

  • 6% An endless repetition of the same few places.
  • 5% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 36% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 54% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
4
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