Every occasion could use some food. Thankfully for all Bruins and Westwood residents, there is no shortage or lack of variety of places to eat at or go to around here.  From a birthday, to a date, to simply fulfilling a craving for some pizza, this list will have you covered.

1. You turn 21: Good Times at Davey Wayne’s

Distance from campus: 20 minutes driving

Photo Courtesy of @gtdaveywaynes on Instagram

Although this is not quite in Westwood, this is definitely a trip you need to make because Westwood’s bar scene is depressingly small. In fact in good traffic it’ll be about a 20 minute drive to central Hollywood, but when they say good times, oh boy, do they mean good times. This unpretentious little bar/club or “blub” is off of Hollywood Blvd. on a sketchy looking little street with a very long line on weekends but it is well worth the wait. Enter through a secret entrance, a classic trademark of any Houston Bro’s speakeasy, and into a world of shrimp grilled cheeses, boozy snow cones, outdoor hammocks, fireplaces to dance on, and people of all ages and backgrounds letting their hair down in the ultimate no judgment zone to dance their booties off to the likes of “Eye of the Tiger”, “I Will Survive”, and every recognizable 70s beat you can think of. Believe me, the vibes are so fantastic that the bouncers don’t manage to kick everyone out till around 2:30 am… and the bar closes at 2 am. If everyone hasn’t created some kind of soul connection with each other by the end of the night, it all comes together when “Bohemian Rhapsody” comes on. Once you have the good times there is no going back and you’ll wonder why you haven’t been 21 your entire life.

Address: 1611 N El Centro Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028

2. You’re craving Mexican: Tacos Tu Madre

Distance from campus: 9 minutes driving/25 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @tacostumadre on Instagram

This gem of a restaurant is a small Mexican place down Westwood Blvd. with all the vibes of a taco truck without being an actual truck. Pull up to the curb by a small little building painted in bright pink with skull decorations (it’s actually cute, not creepy), and order at the window. Tu Madre is really special – you can get banh mi tacos, duck mole, lamb birria, and lengua, along the usual pastor or carnitas if you aren’t feeling adventurous. They do taco samplers for very reasonable prices and if you get a burrito make sure to ask for a spinach tortilla. The true secret besides the explosion of unique flavors in anything you order, is also in the “secret sauce” – there’s always got to be a secret sauce right? For you sweet tooths out there, the red velvet churros are a must. While Tacos Tu Madre is quite a distance down Westwood Blvd. and away from campus it is well worth the walk, bike, or drive, and on weekends it is one of the few places that is still open until 3 am.

Address: 1945 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025


3. When you’re craving greasy food: Fat Sal’s

Distance from campus: 3 minutes driving/4 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @fatsalsdeli on Instagram

Fat Sal’s. Post frat party? Post night out on the town? Post late-night study session? This is where you will find a queue of people hanging around Gayley Avenue next to In N Out, all waiting to satisfy their 2 am munchies at a string of little order-at-the-window stops like Tommy Taco or Gushi KBBQ. Fat Sal’s is the most popular of these choices late at night. From the Fat Mona, to the Fat Jerry, to the original Fat Sal itself, these monster sandwiches pack a punch. Pair them with a side of Carne Asada Fries, Chicken Fingers, or Mozzarella Sticks, and you will feel content walking back to the dorms on that giant hill knowing that you burned off half the calories… (not really, but at 2 am there’s “no ragrets”).

Address: 972 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024


4. When you’re craving Italian: Pomodoro Trattoria

Distance from campus: 7 minutes driving/17 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @maggiehuangg on Instagram

One word: Gnocchi. Although any of the countless options are a great choice (pesto is a personal favorite). If you go somewhere else you’re making a grievous mistake. Pomodoro is also a fair walk down Westwood Blvd. south of Wilshire but is a great place for a birthday, a date, or a classy, traditional dining experience. The staff is extremely friendly and attentive and do all they can to show that warm northern Italian hospitality. Truly an authentic experience.

Address: 1393 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles CA, 90024


5. When you’re craving Mediterranean: Sunnin Lebanese Cafe

Distance from campus: 7 minutes driving/25 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @sunninlebanesecuisine on Instagram

This is probably considered more Lebanese than Mediterranean cuisine, but Sunnin Lebanese Cafe makes me so happy. Having grown up in the Middle East, I came to LA in search of my tabbouleh, falafel, shawarma and other Arabic delicacies and only Sunnin really fit the bill. The food here is flavorful and delicious with tender meat, the mezze and dips like hummus (chickpea base), Baba Ghanoush, and Muttabel (eggplant bases) are packed with delicious spices that aren’t found anywhere in LA as far as I’m concerned. When I’m feeling homesick or nostalgic, Sunnin never fails to put a smile on my face.

Address: 1776 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024


6. When you’re craving Indian: Bollywood Bites

Distance from campus: 2 minutes driving/6 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @lifteatnjoy on Instagram

Having been born in India, I have tried to stay away from Bollywood Bites (part of the cringing comes from the stereotypical and highly unoriginal name) for as long as possible, but as all of my non-Indian friends raved about it, I decided to swallow my pride and try it out. It’s really the only Indian option within Westwood Village and they do offer a 10% discount for UCLA students as well as the Bruin Bowl for only $5.50. The Chicken Tikka Masala over Basmati rice is usually a safe, simple, and tasty option.

Address: 1051 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024


7. When you’re craving Asian: KazuNori

Distance from campus: 3 minutes driving/6 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @kazunorisushi on Instagram

This sushi stop is Chez Nozawa’s newest brain child (from the brilliant man who brought us SugarFish, one of the best sushi restaurants in town).  The original KazuNori is in Downtown LA where it specializes in hand rolls only. Now another outlet has opened up in Westwood, reeling in crowds eager to get a taste of the famous chef’s very finest and freshest rolls. The commitment to quality is just phenomenal and worth shelling out those few extra bucks for a special occasion – like a post midterm or final celebration.

Address: 1110 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024


8. When you’re craving seafood: The Boiling Crab

Distance from campus: 4 minutes driving/11 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @boilingcrab on Instagram

Whenever I take visitors around Westwood, they are always mind blown by the idea that we have our own Boiling Crab as they usually have to drive for ages before they get to one. Boiling Crab is one of those seafood restaurants where you have to leave all your inhibitions behind and just get to crack-a-lacking into those mouthwatering crab shells, jumbo shrimp, and crawfish. While I choose to go full on savage and attack everything with my bare hands, sauce dripping from my mouth into my sodden plastic apron (thank god for those), you can opt to use your handy shell crackers and scoops as well. Do not leave without ordering corn on the cob – somehow they make it a magical experience that I haven’t been able to replicate at home.

Address: 10875 Kinross Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024


9. Your parents are visiting and they’re footing the bill: Inn of the Seventh Ray

Distance from campus: 27 minutes driving

Photo Courtesy of @dulcecandy on Instagram

Just look it up and you’ll understand. It’s located in Pacific Palisades – about a 15 minute drive west of UCLA. Located up on Topanga Canyon, this beautiful and tranquil restaurant is in the kind of place where people have their weddings. The candles, greenery, lighting, impeccable service and high quality of food (despite smaller portions) create an ambiance that is magical and makes you feel like you are no longer anywhere near the buzzing and busy city. Just don’t look be too shocked when the bill is more than your campus job paycheck.

Address: 128 Old Topanga Canyon Rd, Topanga, CA 90290


10. You’re craving something sweet: Saffron and Rose

Distance from campus: 6 minutes driving/17 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @brunchstagram_ on Instagram

Saffron and Rose was the first place I ever ate at at UCLA and I have returned without fail at least once a month to sample the myriad of unique flavors that this Persian ice cream joint whips up. Everything is so refreshing, light, and delicious without using copious amounts of sugar. My favorite flavors without a doubt are date, almond, and cucumber. Yes, cucumber, you read right. Some say you love it or you hate it but the latter have no idea what they are doing in life anyway. Just go, eat little bites of ice cream heaven, and be very very happy.

Address: 1387 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024


11. You’re trying to be fancy/romantic: P’tit Soleil

Distance from campus: 7 minutes driving/19 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @grayspeeks on Instagram

This is a charming little French-Canadian bistro on Westwood Blvd. known for its diverse range of poutines (if you don’t know what that is, stop reading right now and go order a Poutine Flight – which consists of three choices of deliciously prepared fries with cheese curds and meats). Although poutine doesn’t sound romantic, the quiet and calm background piano music, the attentive and friendly (Canadian!) service, and the candelight allow for a truly charming night. You cannot go wrong with the Poutine Daniel (a bed of fries loaded with cheese curds, shredded duck and a cognac peppercorn sauce), Poutine Île-du-Prince-Édouard (a bed of fries loaded with cheese curds and mussels au gratin), or Poutine Marat (a bed of fries loaded with cheese curds, sliced filet mignon, mushrooms, and some cognac cream sauce). For side orders, the Salade du Quebec , meatballs, or crepes. The food is very much on the heavier, richer side so go hungry and be ready to hit B-Fit or Wooden Center the next day.

Address: 1386 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

12. You’re craving a slice: Lamonica’s New York Pizza

Distance from campus: 2 minutes driving, 13 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @lindsey_de on Instagram

Battles might have been fought over 800 Degrees vs Pieology but if you just want to grab a slice hit Lamonica’ss on Gayley for some truly New York style pizza. Quick and perfect for your late night pizza craving. The best part is that a single slice of cheese pizza will only set you back $2.60, and the slices aren’t small. This is the place to come to when you need to quickly fill your craving for something cheesy and warm.

Address: 1066 Gayley Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024


13. You or your friends don’t eat meat: Veggie Grill

Distance from campus: 4 minutes driving/12 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @veggiegrill on Instagram

Los Angeles is always going to have options for anyone’s diet and lifestyle. But if you really want to get into vegetarian food, Veggie grill is where to go. Boasting a menu with no meat on it, the food here is consistently delicious and nutritious. With a menu ranging from salads to sandwiches to (fake) chicken tacos, there is something here for everyone.

Address: 10916 Lindbrook Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90024


14. You’re going on a Tinder date: Espresso Profeta

Distance from campus: 3 minutes driving/12 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @espressoprofeta on Instagram

Although this may not be a fancy dinner or anything, this is the perfect place to get a casual coffee on a first date with someone you met on Tinder. Tucked away on Glendon Avenue, Espresso Profeta has arguably the best coffee in Westwood. Where better to go on a first date than casual coffee in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating so no matter the weather or time of day, you will have somewhere to relax and get to know your new date.

Address: 1129 Glendon Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

#spoontip: In a hurry? Have a Diddy date. Diddy Riese boasts tasty and cheap ice cream sandwiches for just $1.50. Chat while you wait in line and then let the mess of eating an ice cream sandwich be an ice breaker. If your date blows, you can abandon it with a conveniently timed rescue phone call, or if it’s going well, hit over to the cinemas next door or to The Improv Space. If it’s going REALLY well… then… skip all that. 😉


15. You’re trying to be healthy: Fresh Corn Grill

Distance from campus: 5 minutes driving/16 minutes walking

Photo Courtesy of @freshcorngrill on Instagram

This is the place to be if you’re trying not to gain the Freshman 15 amid all the delicious food options in Westwood. The food here is healthy and delicious and the atmosphere is unpretentious and welcoming. From salads to skirt steak, grilled salmon tacos, and shrimp bowls, you’ll be spoiled for choice. You can also choose to sit indoors or outside and watch people and cars go by on the busy Westwood Blvd., just a stone’s throw from the Hammer Museum.

Address: 1266 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024