Off-Campus Dining

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Off-Campus Dining


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2 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Riverside is not exactly the culinary capital of California. The food choices are pretty poor around the university.

1 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: All asian food. thats it.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: The only bad thing about the Off-Campus Dining at UCR is that you usually need a car to access the good places.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: The places are not that far from the dorms. The prices are average and the food is good.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Off campus dining is good, but pretty expensive for everyday.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Unlike on-campus dining, there is a myriad of restaurant options outside of UCR. Dining areas immediately surrounding the campus are fast food or short-order places, like Del Taco and Fatburger. Sit-down restaurants are located farther downtown or part of shopping areas like the Galleria at Tyler and Riverside Plaza. The best places, however, are those little holes-in-the-wall that require a bit of searching but have the greatest culinary payoff. Mexican restaurants are, perhaps not unsurprisingly, of the greatest quantity, though you may need to rely on some good word-of-mouth to find the most authentic and/or worthwhile ones. Usually, size is an indication of price, but the reward is a vast variety of food options and a unique atmosphere, such as California Pizza Kitchen and the Old Spaghetti Factory.

For those who'd rather enjoy an alternative to standard fare, most restaurants offer kosher, vegetarian, and healthy options, though typically these are only available in sit-down or short-order places—not fast food joints. In short, there is a near unlimited supply of off-campus dining—it's just a matter of price, location, and motivation.

Facts & Statistics

24-Hour Dining
  • Baker's
  • Carl's Jr.
  • Del Taco
  • Denny's
  • Jack in the Box
  • Santana's Mexican Food
Best Asian
  • Life Café
  • Sushi Asahi Japanese Restaurant
Best Breakfast
  • Denny's
  • IHOP
Best Coffee
  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
  • Starbucks
Best Dessert
Best Healthy
  • Quiznos
  • Subway
Best Late-Night
  • Del Taco
  • Denny's
  • Santana's Mexican Food
Best Mexican
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Santana's Mexican Food
Best Pizza
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Marcello's Pizza & Pasta
  • Pizza Hut
Best Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
Best Place to Take a Date
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • The Cheesecake Factory
Best Place to Take Your Parents
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • The Old Spaghetti Factory
Other Places to Check Out
  • Alberto's Mexican Food
  • Berry Sweet
  • BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
  • Boba Café
  • Burger King
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Claim Jumper
  • Coco's Bakery Restaurant
  • Crepe Shack
  • Elephant Bar Restaurant
  • Extreme Pita
  • Farmer Boys
  • Frostbites Crepes & Frozen Delights
  • Fugus Sushi Bar & Grill
  • Hooters
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Jafang Pizza
  • Juice It Up
  • KFC
  • Little Caesar's Pizza
  • McDonald's
  • Mediterranean Palace Grill
  • Mi Tortilla Mexican Grill
  • Mongolian BBQ
  • Oishii Sushi
  • Pacific Cabin Sushi
  • Panda Express
  • Papa John's Pizza
  • Round Table Pizza
  • Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill
  • Shakey's Pizza Parlor
  • Smokey Canyon BBQ
  • Starfish Sushi
  • Sushi Station
  • Taco Bell
  • Taco Station
  • Tapioca Express
  • Templo Del Sol
  • Wingstop
  • Yogurtland
Did You Know?
Many restaurants near the UCR campus offer discounts to UCR students with a valid ID.

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

Food 4 Less
3900 Chicago Ave.
(951) 369-9434
Daily 6 a.m.-12 a.m.
5225 Canyon Crest Dr.
(951) 784-3123
Daily 6 a.m.-1 a.m.
Smart & Final
3310 Vine St.
(951) 341-8230
Monday-Saturday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Stater Bros. Markets
2995 Iowa Ave.
(951) 686-1032
Daily 6 a.m.-11 p.m.

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

At Thai Café
Food: Thai
1223 University Ave.
(951) 684-2968
Price: $5-$10
Baker's Drive-Thru
Food: Fast food
5396 Mission Blvd.
(951) 787-8151
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Baker's has a vegetarian menu!
Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
Food: American, wings
12450 Day St., Moreno Valley
(951) 653-9464
Price: $8-$15
California Pizza Kitchen
Food: Italian, pizza
3540 Riverside Plaza Drive
(951) 680-9362
Price: $10-$30
Cool Features: Known as "CPK" in local lingo
Carl's Jr.
Food: Fast food
1250 University Ave.
(951) 686-3745
Price: $3-$8
Cool Features: Open 24 hours
The Cheesecake Factory
Food: American
3525 Tyler St.
(951) 352-4600
Price: $10-$20
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Food: Mexican, fast food
3525 Riverside Plaza Drive
Price: $3-$8
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Food: Coffee, tea
900 University Ave.
(951) 827-7270
Price: $3-$8
Del Taco
Food: Mexican
1255 University Ave.
(951) 781-9781
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Four tacos under $1!
Food: American
1245 University Ave.
(951) 684-6171
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Open 24 hours
Domino's Pizza
Food: Pizza
4012 Chicago Ave.
(951) 788-4141
Price: $8-$15
Food: Fast food
1223 University Ave.
(951) 779-0237
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Many options are available when customizing your burger.
The Flame Broiler
Food: Korean
1201 University Ave.
(951) 276-0014
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: This location has "Spicy Seeded Sauce," a distinct flavor that differs from their traditional "Spicy Magic Sauce."
Getaway Café
Food: Pizza
3615 Canyon Crest Drive
(951) 786-3606
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Very close to campus, Getaway is a popular hangout for UCR students.
Food: American, breakfast
1320 University Ave.
(951) 369-4028
Price: $8-$15
Jack in the Box
Food: Fast food
3886 Chicago Ave.
(951) 786-3974
Price: $3-$8
Cool Features: Open 24 hours
Koreana Grill BBQ Buffet
Food: Korean
10051 Magnolia Ave.
(951) 688-9000
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: One of the only all-you-can-eat Korean buffets in Riverside.
Life Café
Food: Asian
1242 University Ave.
(951) 686-6688
Price: $5-$15
Marcello's Pizza & Pasta
Food: Italian, pizza
7024 Van Buren Blvd.
(951) 776-9711
Price: $10-$30
Cool Features: Check out the website for coupons!
The Old Spaghetti Factory
Food: Italian
3191 Mission Inn Ave.
(951) 784-4417
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: All décor is train-related.
Ono Hawaiian BBQ
Food: Hawaiian
2721 Canyon Springs Parkway
(951) 656-6188
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Self-serve condiment section
Pizza Hut
Food: Pizza
1485 University Ave.
(951) 276-3307
Price: $8-$15
Food: Sandwiches
1201 University Ave.
(951) 328-9215
Price: $3-$8
Ray's Pizza
Food: Pizza
1201 University Ave.
(951) 274-4700
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Offers delivery options
Santana's Mexican Food
Food: Mexican
1450 University Ave.
(951) 686-3966
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Carne Asada fries are their specialty.
Simple Simon's Bakery & Bistro
Food: American
3639 N. Main St.
(951) 369-6030
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: European décor: cathedral ceilings, old wood floors, etc.
Food: Coffee, tea
1201 University Ave.
(951) 274-9605
Price: $3-$8
Food: Sandwiches
1242 University Ave.
(951) 782-9434
Price: $3-$8
Sushi Asahi Japanese Restaurant
Food: Japanese
2955 Van Buren Blvd.
(951) 637-1313
Price: $10-$30
Cool Features: During lunch hours, you can sit at the bar and order straight from the chef.
Ten Ren's Tea Time
Food: Chinese
1400 University Ave.
(951) 686-5591
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Also has an authentic boba/tea room
Tio's Tacos
Food: Mexican
3948 Mission Inn Ave.
(951) 788-0230
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: The restaurant building is built entirely out of recycled parts.
Vinam Pho Restaurant
Food: Vietnamese
1201 University Ave.
(951) 784-4290
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Also offers Chinese dishes

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 260 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 270 responses

  • 30% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
  • 46% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 19% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 6% An endless repetition of the same few places.


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