Off-Campus Dining

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Off-Campus Dining


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4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: The food right around campus is all gross fast food but if you venture further into downtown and the surrounding area, there's some really great food.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Most places near campus don't offer student discounts. However, there are a fair number of local ethnic restaurants worth checking out. One of the best is El Cholo on Flower St.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Not bad, they are pretty nice.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: I don't eat off campus much, but having Yogurtland and Chano's is great.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Too much fast food and not enough real food

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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LA natives are famous for appreciating the finer things in life—family, safety, security, and a good burrito—and the quality of food you will find here is fitting for a population of satisfied customers. If you are driving, there are countless restaurants to choose from. Beverly Hills and Hollywood have some of the fanciest restaurants in the world, along with a slew of less-exclusive, equally good places to eat. The coastal towns, just 20 minutes west of campus, offer a wide selection of less expensive, more casual restaurants. Chinatown, just north of downtown LA, is famous for Dim Sum and other Asian delicacies.

Downtown LA has always been regarded as offering little more than skyscrapers and a few old-fashioned sandwich shops, but times are changing. Ciudad, Zucca, Morton’s Steak House, and the California Pizza Kitchen have turned downtown into the nearest point of interest for students who want to go out for a meal. L.A. Live, Los Angeles’s attempt to be more like Manhattan, now offers a variety of new restaurants that will gradually open in the years to come. For the foot soldiers who seek something within closer proximity to campus, there aren’t any fancy restaurants, but there are still a number of places to get a good meal. Bistango Café, La Barca, Chano’s, and Pete’s Burgers are some restaurants specific to the immediate area. Although none of the restaurants around campus are stellar, everyone seems to be happy with off-campus dining.

Facts & Statistics

Student Favorites
  • Chano's Drive Inn
  • Tommy's Original
24-Hour Dining
  • Del Taco
  • Denny's
  • Diner @ the Standard
  • Jack in the Box
  • The Original Pantry
  • Subway
  • Tommy's Original
Best Asian
Anywhere in Chinatown
Best Breakfast
Best Healthy
Best Pizza
Papa John's
Best Wings
Wing Stop
Best Place to Take Your Parents
  • Café Stella
  • Hard Rock Café
Other Places to Check Out
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Diddy Riese
  • El Pollo Loco
  • Grand Lux Café
  • King Taco
  • McCormick & Schmick's
  • McDonald's
  • Morton's Steakhouse
  • P.F. Chang's
  • Panda Express
  • Pasta Roma
  • Pete's Burgers
  • The Ragazzi Room
  • Rainforest Café
  • Taco Bell
  • Viztango Café
  • Wahoo's Fish Taco
  • Wendy's
  • Yoshinoya
  • Zucca
Did You Know?
  • Discounted lunchtime menus are available at many restaurants throughout LA.
  • For an authentic Mexican treat-of-a-drink, try a horchata. (You aren't going to find it served on the East Coast.)

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

Ralph's Market
Adams and Vermont
(323) 732-3863
Smart & Final
Across the street from Kapriellian Hall
(323) 733-5875

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Bucca di Beppo
Food: Italian
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal Studios Citywalk
(818) 509-9463
Price: $15-$25
Cool Features: Each dish is designed to be eaten by two or more people, so even eating with a group of friends will feel like you are eating at home with your family.
Café Stella
Food: French
3932 W. Sunset Blvd., Silverlake
(323) 666-0265
Price: $20-$40
Cool Features: This French restaurant is a great place to take a date and has a classy feel that is great for all occasions. Enjoy Los Angeles's weather and sit outside, where you can enjoy a delicious meal under the night sky.
California Pizza Kitchen
Food: Pizza
121 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles
(310) 854-6555
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Offers an interesting menu, such as Thai chicken, original BBQ chicken, and Jamaican jerk chicken pizzas, as well as old standbys like pepperoni and traditional cheese.
Cha Cha Cha
Food: Caribbean
656 N. Virgil Ave., Los Angeles
(323) 664-7723
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Sangria is amazing, as is the jerk chicken and plantains.
Chano's Drive In
Food: Mexican drive thru
3000 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
(213) 747-3944
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: This is the original Chano's with a drive-in for a quick grab and go. The food is very good and very cheap. A common place to go grab a bite to eat after partying on the Row.
Chez Jay
Food: Steak and seafood
1657 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica
(310) 395-1741
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Known as a celebrity "dive" or hangout throughout its history.
Food: Mexican
3748 S. Figueroa St.
(213) 765-9068
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: This Chipotle is in the Tuscany Apartment complex.
Food: South American
445 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
(213) 486-5171
Price: $10-$25
Cool Features: An all-tapas menu on Sundays from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. and Spanish wine by the glass. Regular menu changes daily, reflecting what's best at the market.
Del Taco
Food: Mexican American
2735 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
(213) 744-1706
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Signature fish tacos, and made-to-order burritos, such as Tacos Del Carbon (corn tortillas, grilled steak or chicken, Anaheim chili sauce, cilantro and diced onions). If not in the mood for Mexican, cheeseburgers are on the menu as well.
Food: Diner
University Village
(213) 765-0612
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: It stays open 24 hours and has free Wi-Fi for customers, making it a good place to go eat during an all-nighter.
Diner @ the Standard
Food: Diner
8300 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
(323) 650-9090
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Separate menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
El Cholo
Food: Mexican
1121 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles
(323) 734-2773
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: Signature tamales cooked right in their corn husks. Great margarita menu; mix is sold in restaurant store.
Electric Lotus
Food: Indian
4656 Franklin Ave., Los Feliz
(323) 953-0040
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Tandoori specialties, as well as an extensive wine, beer, and champagne menu.
Food: American
1011 S. Figueroa St., LA Live
(213) 765-7070
Price: $15-$25
Cool Features: On top of the great food, the TV room features huge screens playing a multitude of sports games. Before, during, and after your meal, you can also enjoy the sports-themed game room upstairs for even more fun.
Food: Burgers
4070 Marlton Ave., Los Angeles
(323) 299-2447
Price: $2-$8
Cool Features: Wrapped in paper, served on plastic trays and dripping with toppings-these burgers are definitely fat.
Hard Rock Café
Food: American
1000 Universal Studios Blvd., Universal Studios Citywalk
(818) 622-ROCK
Price: $15-$25
Cool Features: Just like any other Hard Rock, it offers a variety of burgers and plays classic and contemporary rock music. On top of this, Citywalk offers a lot to do after dinner, so it is a great place to take a date or your parents.
In-N-Out Burger
Food: Burgers
119 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale
(818) 409-1921
Price: $2-$8
Cool Features: The ingredients used at this popular California chain are all incredibly fresh and you can taste the difference. Try a burger or your fries "Animal Style" to get caramelized onions and special sauce. There are other "secret" orders you can make as well.
Jack in the Box
Food: Fast food
4353 S. Figueroa St.
(323) 235-4345
Price: $5-$10
La Barca
Food: Mexican
2414 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles
(323) 735-6567
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: $2 drink happy hour draws in mobs of USC students. Happy hour: Monday-Friday 3 p.m.-8 p.m., except Tuesday until 10 p.m.
Lala's Grill
Food: Argentinean
7229 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles
(323) 934-6838
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Fast service, and they give you bread and dipping sauce at your table.
Food: Chinese
8386 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Hills
(323) 655-6115
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: Take-out menu.
The Original Pantry Cafe
Food: Diner
877 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles
(213) 972-9279
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Serves breakfast all day. Restaurant receives 2,500-3,000 customers a day.
Papa John's
Food: Pizza
2222 S. Hoover St., Los Angeles
(213) 743-5999
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Fast delivery.
Food: Subs
University Village
(213) 745-4868
Price: $2-$8
Cool Features: This Subway offers all of the great and healthy foods it is known for, but this one comes with an added feature: it is open 24 hours a day, making it a healthy alternative for late-night snackers.
Food: Sandwiches
3619 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles
(323) 730-2900
Price: $2-$8
Cool Features: A student favorite for USC students because it's cheap and healthy.
Tommy's Original
Food: Burgers
2575 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles
(213) 389-9060
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: World-famous chili cheeseburgers.
Wing Stop
Food: Wings
2280 S. Figueroa St.
(213) 745-9464
Price: $5-$20
Cool Features: There are five other locations around Los Angeles.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 207 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 212 responses

  • 39% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
  • 33% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 25% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 2% An endless repetition of the same few places.
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