These are the greatest four years of your life, but as college kids, we're all ballin' on a budget. Make sure you make it count and don't waste what little money you have on sh*tty food when you're at the University of San Diego.

As a current senior who's been around the SD food block, I'm here to give you the go-to for any situation. Along with the restaurants I prefer for each category, I've also listed my usual order. I now present—the USD student's guide to eating in San Diego: 

1. You’re craving a burger and/or munchies at 2 am: In-N-Out Burge

Elisa Djuhar

This is already a no-brainer, but just in case you forgot, or you're out of state, In-N-Out is ALWAYS the move. It's open 24/7, cheap and never disappoints. 

What to order: Double double w/ animal-style fries and a shake because #health

#SpoonTip: Ask a local about the secret menu if you want something off the board.

2. You need to grab lunch for under $10 between classes: J&T Thai Street Food 

Serving up killer dishes from curry to pad thai and everything in between. All for between 7 to 9 bucks! It's a quick trip right down the hill on Linda Vista and easily within walking distance from campus if you don't have a car. 

What to order: Chicken pad thai w/ thai tea 

3. You’re cramming for exams and the library is full: Lestat's Coffee House

Lestat's is key for finals season, or if you're just feeling behind on work and need a caffeine-filled night to power through and get back on track.

This eclectic 24-hour coffee house gives students a good study space around the clock for when the library is packed beyond belief. With one location in Hillcrest and the other in Normal Heights, you can't go wrong with Lestat's. 

What to order: Your choice of highly caffeinated beverage with fresh baked pastry (for the extra sugar rush to put you over the edge)

4. You’re trying to be healthy: Tender Greens 

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Healthy, wholesome, and local is what Tender Greens is all about. You'll leave feeling good about your healthy choice, but satisfied at the same time. Tender Greens prides itself on local products and changes specials daily. There are plenty of locations throughout the San Diego area in Point Loma and Mission Valley to name a few. 

What to order: Your choice of local meat (or vegan option) on salad or as a plate 

5. You’re trying to watch the game: PB Shore Club

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They don't call it shore club for nothing, Located RIGHT on the beach in PB, Shore Club has it all. Beer, great food, a ton of TVs airing live games, and Red Bull vodka slushies. That's right, Red Bull vodka slushies, people. What better place to spend your Sunday Funday, people?

What to order: Nachos and a Red Bull Vodka Slushie/ Margarita Slushie 

6. You’re “doing it for the Insta”: Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream

Almost too cute to eat, these little sample-sized ice cream cones are Insta-worthy for sure. Flights can be as big or small as you want and the flavors are fresh and made in-house. They change every day and always have plenty of options to choose from. 

What to order: Flight of 6 with 3 exotic and 3 classic flavors

7. When you're craving something greasy: Hodad's 

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A San Diego classic, Hodad's brings the greatest burgers and the greatest people together under one eclectic roof on Newport Street in Ocean Beach. Although there are more locations around the area, the OB location is the OG and always a good time.

The burgers are outrageous and almost impossible to fit in your mouth. Wash it down with a cold one, or a colossal milkshake and you can't go wrong. 

What to order: Single burger w/ everything on it, side of frings (fries and onion rings mixed), and a chocolate shake 

#SpoonTip: I always go with the single burger. No matter how hungry you are, I guarantee you will be happy you played it safe because of all the extra toppings, fries, and onion rings that come with.

8. Your parents are visiting and they’re footing the bill: World Famous 

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Another prime beach-front location in Pacific Beach, World Famous is known for insanely fresh seafood and creative dishes. It's always pretty sweet when you're looking at the ocean your food just came from. Great scenery and atmosphere for a dinner when the folks are in town. They also have a killer brunch on weekends not many people know about. 

What to order: Appetizer—Ahi tuna, Dinner—Bacon wrapped scallops

#SpoonTip: Check out their taco deals throughout the week for a more college-friendly budget dinner. 

9. When you're 21: Backyard 

Backyard has got it all. A giant bar, multiple dance floors and a great crowd. Be ready for a line if you get there later on in the night but it's so worth it. If you're around during the day or on football Sundays, they have great deals and food too. 

What to order: I always go for a classic local beer like Ballast Point, but if you want to get fancy with a mixed drink, go for 'Sexy Thyme'

#SpoonTip: If you're from California or have a student ID card from around here, you can go in the local line, which tends to be shorter. 

10. When you're hungover: Duck Dive 

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How to kick a hangover 101: hair of the dog. With killer weekend bottomless mimosa specials and $3.50 bloodies, Duck Dive is always the answer. The champagne is flowing and the self-serve juice portion allows you to pick your favorite juice and fruit to complement the bubbly.

Added bonus—the food is KILLER too, so you'll leave a lot less hungover than you were before. 

What to order: $17.50 bottomless mimomos and breakfast corn dog bites 

So there you go, kids! Your guide to food near the University of San Diego in all circumstances relevant to us college kids. Hope this makes your late night, between class, parent-sponsored, drunken food decisions that much easier.