When you think of Davis, the following images may come to mind: cows, bicycles, and overly-sported farmers market hats. But it doesn't stop there, at least not for a recent graduate like myself. Davis is, was, and always will be my home, so naturally, I reflect fondly upon the town's eateries. Though I have only just officially graduated and moved away, I already feel nostalgic as I recount my favorite go-to restaurants in Davis. Here's a list to save you the trouble of missing out before you, too, graduate.

10. Open Rice Kitchen 

meat, huevos rancheros, rice, egg, vegetable
Alyssa Wang

While the food here wasn't my absolute favorite, there are some hidden gems that can't go unmentioned. Take, for instance, the kimchi fried rice, which contained the perfect ratio of kimchi to rice to counter all of my late-night Korean food cravings. The fact that I could get a huge serving of this for $6 coupled with $1 boba on certain days of the week made Open Rice Kitchen the perfect post-studying stop throughout college.

9. Thai Canteen 

pork, meat, chili, pasta, chicken, vegetable, sauce, pad thai, rice
Alyssa Wang

For those who are habitually late eaters or have late night labs, this restaurant is a lifesaver. You really can't find solid Thai food anywhere else at 2 am. As for me, I preferred eating when the sun was still out, and Thai Canteen was my go-to place when I wanted quality, yet affordable, Thai dishes such as kaeng kari (yellow curry).  

8. Sam's Mediterranean Cuisine 

Although I regrettably did not frequent this restaurant as much as I would've wanted to, when I did, I was always left impressed. The chicken shawarma, which consisted of shredded chicken between crisp pita, was the only item I tried before falling in love with Sam's. If you want consistently good Mediterranean food, make Sam's your lunch hangout destination.

7. Dot Island Grill

pork, shrimp, chicken, salad
Alyssa Wang

Dot Island Grill was my restaurant of choice when I didn't feel like cooking but still wanted a healthy, hearty meal. Although I was constantly tempted to get the chicken katsu dish, I found myself opting for the salmon bowl because of its clear health benefits and surprisingly fresh taste. 

6. Taqueria Guadalajara Grill 

mushroom, beef, sauce, cheese, pasta, poutine
Alyssa Wang

On the flip side, Tacqueria Guadalajara Grill was my guilty pleasure for not-so-healthy foods. Davis made it way too easy to get my fix of lengua tacos, super-sized burritos, and guac and chips, as there were two locations on opposite ends of the town. 

5. Nami Sushi

rice, sauce, tempura, salmon, eel, tuna, sushi
Alyssa Wang

Davis is a booming hub of sushi buffets, but Nami Sushi was the only one I really cared about. When I had fourteen bucks and a bloated stomach to spare, I was probably at Nami pigging out on salmon nigiri and rainbow rolls. Cheers to decent sushi at an unbeatable all-you-can-eat price.

4. Raja's Tandoor 

chicken, rice
Alyssa Wang

Another one of my favorite Davis buffets was Raja's Tandoor, which offers an array of Indian classics at a low price of $7. Rumor has it that Raja's isn't as authentic as other Indian restaurants in Davis, but a plate of warm curry stockpiled with naan slices was more than enough to do the job for me during college. My countless visits to Raja's Tandoor were only further complemented by the owner's cheerful greetings.

3. Shah's Halal Food Cart

tacos, salad, chicken
Alyssa Wang

If I had a dollar for every time I got food from Shah's while on campus, I'd be rich enough to buy even more Shah's. This food truck has blessed our school with glorious boxed lunches and rich Mediterranean flavors. For those who aren't familiar with how to order from a food truck, don't worry. It's quite simple and only involves five words, at least in this case. Spicy chicken over rice, please.

2. Burgers & Brew

chips, cheese, french fries
Alyssa Wang

If you're like me, you appreciate a good burger every once in a while. Burgers & Brew was my top Davis bistro of choice, though I'd come here in a heartbeat even if it was located in another city. My absolute favorite item on the menu was the spicy avocado burger, which embraces the features of a classic burger while incorporating a fresh Baja twist that can't be matched anywhere else in Davis.  

1. Dumpling House

pastry, flour, pork, meat, tortellini, dough, gyoza, ravioli, dumpling
Alyssa Wang

Dumpling House was the holy grail of all Davis restaurants for me. Home to my favorite comfort food, dumplings, this eatery was a place of refuge in times of academic distress and general celebration. Leave it to my #1 favorite restaurant in Davis to make pork chive dumplings so good I almost wish I could be a UC Davis student again.

College goes by in the blink of an eye, so if you haven't tried any of these restaurants yet, I'd recommend doing so before you graduate. They'll be sure to make your time at UC Davis all the more worthwhile.