Whether you’re sick of crowded lunches at the Campus Center or just want to explore different areas of campus, here are some tucked away alternatives.
Good Karma Cafe
Location: University Church courtyard (817 W 34th Street)
When: Tuesday & Wednesday 12 PM – 2 PM
The lowdown: Good Karma is a cute pop-up cafe that serves an all-you-can-eat VEGAN lunch buffet for $10 (cash only).
Menu Highlights: Tuesdays are dedicated to Indian Kitchiree, while Wednesdays are for pasta (alternating between pesto and marinara). They are jampacked with a plethora of vegetables and flavor, showing that vegan food can actually be tasty. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s some homemade hot sauce. Good Karma also serves salad with “Divya’s Almond Dressing”, halava, an Indian dessert, and freshly made juice.
Other Notes: It’s BYOT (bring your own tupperware). Feel free to go back up for seconds, thirds, and if you’re feeling it fourths – there’s no shame. Take some back home for dinner. The bigger the tupperware, the better.
Photo by Instagram user that.fit.couple.
Nektar Juice Bar
Location: Between the Roski School of Arts and Architecture School
When: Monday – Thursday: 7:30 AM – 8 PM; Friday: 8 AM – 5 PM
The lowdown: A brand-new, trendy place to get your daily dose of juice (around 5 dollars for 16oz) or açai bowl ($7). Accepts dining dollars.
Menu Highlights: Nektar offers a variety of juices, smoothies, and açai bowls, all natural, all healthy and freshly made from vegetables that I would never eat. The juices all have “I-will-feel-great-after-I-drink-this” names, such as “The Cure” or “Toxin Flush.” The açai bowls are on the larger side and could act as a small meal.
Other Notes: If you’re getting a 16 oz juice, ask for it in a 24 oz cup with ice. No extra charge, and it keeps the drink cold. Also, if you’re gluten free, Nektar offers gluten-free granola. If you’re really into the juice trend, you can visit their websiteand order a juice cleanse package ($260 for five days).
Tutor Hall Cafe
Location: Engineering School
When: Monday-Thursday: 7:30 AM-9:30 PM; Friday: 7:30 AM-5:00 PM
The lowdown: A low key Asian eatery in the engineering hall filled with international options including Indian, Japanese and Vietnamese food. Accepts dining dollars.
Menu Highlights: The freshly made bahn mi sandwich with lemongrass chicken and a fresh coleslaw is tasty and affordable. The chicken tikka masala is also a good option if you’re feeling Indian food.
Other Notes: Located in Tutor Hall (not Tutor Campus Center) near Parking Structure A. There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and even some outlets outdoors, so feel free to pull out your laptop after lunch.
Photo by Instagram user uscmensvolley.
Location: Behind Heritage Hall, next to Loker Track Stadium
When: Monday – Friday: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
The lowdown: “Health conscious” food designed for performance (as close as you could probably get to the food served in the McKay Athletic Center).
Other Notes: The fact that there’s a dish on Wednesdays that’s called “Orintal Chx Salad.”
Photo by Instagram user _yeux_verts_.
Location: 3434 S Grand Ave Los Angeles, CA 90007. (Across the 110 at USC facility buildings).
When: Monday-Friday: 7:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Menu Highlights: The roasted au jus beef sandwich. Be sure to get the freshly fried potato chips.
Other Notes: Not on the University Park campus, but by the facility buildings a bit further north of Mercado La Paloma. The Bunker Hill bus that stops in front of the Widney Alumni house stops in front of URBNMRKT every half hour.
And of course during all hours of the day, there’s always the BurritoBox.