Off-Campus Dining

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Off-Campus Dining


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4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Lots of good restaurants in Palo Alto. Lunch/dinner is usually pretty expensive, so I usually just go for ice cream/coffee/a snack.

6 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Off-campus dining can be a little hard to discover, since it's mostly accessible only by bike (downtown Palo Alto and California Ave are the go-to biking places). Once you have a car, or if you use a delivery service (Doordash, Fluc, etc), you can discover a ton of different options. There's a pretty big variety of cuisines available if you know where to look. Don't just settle for what's on University Ave. One thing about this area in general though: everything is expensive. Food is mostly not college-priced, and a $10 meal is not that easy to come by. However, there is some really good, fairly expensive food nearby. There're lots of different types of cuisine available, including some really good Italian, Mexican, Indian (try Sunnyvale), Chinese (iDumpling) and French. Good food, but a pricey if you're in the Palo Alto area.

6 people found this useful Report
4 College Student

Off-Campus Dining: The off campus dining is great, the only thing that would make it better is if it were slightly closer!

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Downtown Palo Alto is really close and a lot of students will go off campus and eat at the local restaurants which all seem great.

1 person found this useful Report
2 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Dining: Have you ever tried to eat in Palo Alto? If yes, you know why you wouldn't do it the next time. If no, don't start unless you are starving and the nearest kitchen if an hour away. Totally pointless waste of time and money.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

View student contributors

Palo Alto screams "upscale resort town" more than "cheap college fun," but there are still perks. Stanford is located right off of University Avenue, the local street for everything amazing. Filled with incredible restaurants with cuisines that range from Thai to Italian, many Stanford students find themselves walking around this area on a Friday or Saturday night.  

Although these restaurants can be a bit expensive, many of the restaurants give Stanford students discounts. If you have access to a car, Santana Row is also a great place. Located about 20 minutes from campus, Santana Row is full of fun American eateries that cater to the college crowd as well as really good bars for drinks and appetizers.

Facts & Statistics

24-Hour Dining
  • Denny's
  • Happy Donuts
  • Jack in the Box
Best Asian
  • Fresh Taste Golden Wok
  • Hunan Garden Chinese Restaurant
Best Breakfast
Hobee's California Restaurants
Best Coffee
Best Dessert
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Kara's Cupcakes
  • L'Amour Frozen Yogurt Café
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes
Best Healthy
  • Pluto's
  • Sprout Café
  • Trader Joe's
  • Whole Foods Market
Best Late-Night
Jack in the Box
Best Mexican
  • Palo Alto Sol
  • Sancho's Taqueria
Best Pizza
  • Patxi's Pizza
  • Pizza Chicago
  • Pizza My Heart
  • Spot A Pizza Place
Best Wings
  • The Old Pro
  • Wingstop
Best Place to Take a Date
  • Buca di Beppo
  • Gordon Biersch Restaurant and Brewery
Best Place to Take Your Parents
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Darbar Indian Cuisine
  • Nola
Other Places to Check Out
  • Back A Yard Grill
  • Bistro Elan
  • Café Borrone
  • Caffé del Doge
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • The Counter
  • Coupa Café
  • Crepevine
  • Don Giovanni Ristorante
  • Dutch Goose
  • Ewia Estiatorio
  • Fresh Choice
  • Garden Fresh Chinese Vegan Cuisine
  • Il Fornaio
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Jing-Jing Szechwan Hunan
  • Joanie's Café
  • Joya Restaurant & Lounge
  • La Strada Italian Restaurant
  • Loving Hut
  • Maruichi Japanese Noodle House
  • McDonald's
  • Mediterranean Wraps
  • The Oasis Beer Garden
  • Oaxacan Kitchen
  • P.F. Chang's
  • Peet's Coffee & Tea
  • Philz Coffee
  • Pinkberry
  • Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits
  • Red Mango
  • Red Rock
  • Reposado
  • Satura Cakes
  • Siam Royal Authentic Thai
  • Slider Bar Café
  • So Gong Dong Tofu House
  • Stacks
  • Sundance Steakhouse
  • Sushi Tomo
  • Taco Bell
  • Tandoori Oven
  • Taqueria El Grullense
  • Taqueria Tres Hermanos
  • Thaiphoon Restaurant
  • University Coffee Café
  • Village Cheese House
  • Zao Noodle Bar
Did You Know?
Every Stanford student receives a book full of coupons at the beginning of each year that has specials and discounts for many off-campus restaurants. The book also features discounts for boutiques, spas/nail salons, and convenience stores, for all of your college wants and needs.

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

JJ & F Food Store
520 College Ave.
(650) 857-0901
Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
325 S. Sharon Park Dr., Menlo Park
(650) 854-3056
Daily 24 hours
Trader Joe's
855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
(650) 327-7018
Daily 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Whole Foods Market
774 Emerson St., Palo Alto
(650) 326-8676
Daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Bella Luna
Food: Italian
233 University Ave.
(650) 322-1846
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: Massive portions, family-style dining
Buca di Beppo
Food: Italian
643 Emerson St., Palo Alto
(650) 329-0665
Price: $10-$20
The Cheesecake Factory
Food: American
375 University Ave., Palo Alto
(650) 473-9622
Price: $10-$20
Darbar Indian Cuisine
Food: Indian/Pakistani
129 Lytton Ave.
(650) 321-6688
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Lunch buffets for $7
Food: American
1201 Broadway, Redwood City
(415) 364-4545
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Open 24 hours
The Fish Market
Food: Seafood
3150 El Camino Real
(650) 493-8862
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Amazing sourdough bread, fresh fish
Frankie Johnnie & Luigi Too
Food: Italian
939 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View
(650) 967-5384
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Coupons and student discounts
Fresh Taste Golden Wok
Food: Asian
2111 El Camino Real
(650) 324-8749
Price: $2-$7
Cool Features: Student specials
Gelato Classico
Food: Italian ice cream
435 Emerson St.
(650) 327-1317
Price: $1-$5
Cool Features: Unique flavors, like pumpkin and pear
Gordon Biersch Restaurant and Brewery
Food: American
640 Emerson St.
(650) 323-7723
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: Also features a brewery!
Happy Donuts
Food: Donuts, pastries
3916 El Camino Real
(650) 843-0658
Price: <$10
Cool Features: Donuts are made fresh overnight.
Hobee's California Restaurants
Food: California breakfast
4224 El Camino Real
(650) 856-6124
Price: $2-$7
Hunan Garden Chinese Restaurant
Food: Chinese
3345 El Camino Real
(650) 565-8868
Price: $5-$10
Jack in the Box
Food: Fast food
2280 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
(650) 856-0350
Price: $3-$8
Cool Features: Open 24 hours
Janta Indian Cuisine
Food: Indian
369 Lytton Ave.
(650) 462-5903
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Many special meals for two
Kara's Cupcakes
Food: Cupcakes
855 El Camino Real, Suite 50
(650) 326-2253
Price: $10
Krung Siam Thai Cuisine
Food: Thai
423 University Ave.
(650) 322-5900
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Pineapple fried rice
La Fondue
Food: Varied fondue dishes
14550 Big Basin Way, Saratoga
(408) 867-3332
Price: $20-$60
Cool Features: Alligator, ostritch, boar
L'Amour Frozen Yogurt Café
Food: Frozen yogurt
276 University Ave.
(650) 853-1328
Price: $10
Mango Café
Food: Jamaican
435 Hamilton Ave.
(650) 324-9443
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Goat, jerk chicken
Max's Opera Café
Food: Deli
711 Stanford Shopping Center
(650) 323-6297
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Great sandwiches, `50s atmosphere
Minokichi Restaurant
Food: Japanese
150 University Ave.
(650) 324-9536
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: All-you-can-eat sushi
Food: Sushi
140 University Ave.
(650) 323-9449
Price: $10-$25
Cool Features: Techno music, strobe lights (at night only)
Food: New Orleans-flavored food
535 Ramona St.
(650) 328-2722
Price: $20
The Old Pro
Food: American
541 Ramona St.
(650) 326-1446
Price: $10-$20
Food: Italian
247 Hamilton Ave.
(650) 328-5700
Price: $10-$25
Cool Features: Excellent, authentic Tuscan cuisine
Palo Alto Sol Cocina Mexicana
Food: Mexican
408 S. California Ave., Palo Alto
(650) 328-8840
Price: $10-$20
Food: Italian
326 University Ave.
(650) 328-4585
Price: $2-$8
Patxi's Chicago Pizza
Food: Pizza
441 Emerson St.
(650) 473-9999
Price: $10-$20
Peninsula Fountain & Grill (The Creamery)
Food: American diner
566 Emerson St.
(650) 323-3131
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Great milkshakes (though pricey at $4.95) and grilled cheese sandwiches
Pizza Chicago
Food: Deep-dish pizza, pasta
4115 El Camino Real
(650) 424-9400
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: There are Chicago-related names for a lot of the food offerings.
Pizza My Heart
Food: Pizza
220 University Ave.
(650) 327-9400
Price: $10-$20
Food: Salads, sandwiches
482 University Ave.
(650) 853-1556
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Yuppie dining at its best
Sancho's Taqueria
Food: Mexican
491 Lytton Ave., Palo Alto
(650) 322-8226
Price: $5-$15
Spot A Pizza Place
Food: Pizza
115 Hamilton Ave.
(650) 324-3131
Price: $10-$20
Sprinkles Cupcakes
Food: Cupcakes
393 Stanford Shopping Center
(650) 323-9300
Price: $10
Sprout Café
Food: Healthy
168 University Ave.
(650) 323-7688
Price: $10-$15
Food: Coffee, tea
79 Stanford Mall, Palo Alto
(650) 330-0754
Price: $3-$8
Wing Stop
Food: Wings
1135 Industrial Road, San Carlos
(650) 592-9464
Price: $5-$15

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 95 responses

Very poor
  • 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 115 responses

  • 65% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
  • 28% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 4% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 3% An endless repetition of the same few places.
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