Campus food can get old, especially when we remember the cultural hub of Los Angeles that USC resides in. With this, comes a city teeming with food and restaurants from all different cultures. So, we asked USC students to share some of their favorite spots to eat off campus and why.
For some people it wasn’t so much whether they were close, but that they had the right atmosphere.
Lindsay Huerta, a junior studying social science, loves Cafe Mak, a small cafe in Koreatown. “It’s very aesthetic and very warm,” Huerta said. “The furniture is really, really lovely. It’s all mismatched and so it gives a very comforting, homey feel.”
Others share the same sentiment. Bengy Mitchell, a senior studying public policy, had some very specific things to say about his favorite off-campus spot, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. Mitchell says this is the kind of place he would take a “super close friend or your family or your mom when she’s in town.” However, when your mom isn’t in town, Mitchell praises how “bangin’” the food is and that the atmosphere is “just super authentic and very comfortable.”
For some, a good atmosphere doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Jenna Peterson, a junior studying journalism and political science, loves Thai by Trio, a Thai restaurant on Figueroa Street.
“When you’re inside, it feels like you’re in a place off campus, more so than eating in the Village or something like that,” Peterson said.
For others, the atmosphere is more than just good vibes. Instead, especially for those who aren’t from the area, places that remind them of home are their favorite.
Jake Wisnik, a senior majoring in international relations, says his favorite place is the famous Canter’s Deli, a Jewish Deli in the Fairfax District. Wisnik is from the East Coast of New York and says that Canter’s has “the most amazing, classic Jewish foods.” Whenever he goes, he always gets food like matzo ball soup or a pastrami sandwich, which makes him feel right at home.
“I don’t know. It just has the atmosphere of being a very East Coast, kind of warm, homey spot,” Wisnik said.
Kylie Leung feels the same. A sophomore studying sociology and communication, Leung also loves Thai by Trio for their pad thai as well as Northern Cafe. She explained that Northern Cafe, “It’s definitely a place that I think brings comfort to a lot of international students from China, just because there aren’t a lot of Chinese restaurants around campus.” Although Leung isn’t an international student, Northern Cafe reminds her of her “Chinese American community and family back home.”
However, some are just looking for convenience.
Although Huerta and Leung appreciate a good environment at a restaurant, some of their favorite places are some of the easiest to get to. For Heurta, Wingstop, a crosswalk away from the USC Marshall School of Business, “[It] is definitely up there. It’s very close, very convenient.” Leung, on the other hand, loves a restaurant in Little Tokyo called Marugame Udon “because it’s convenient and you can get there by Metro.”
And choosing convenience doesn’t mean sacrificing experience all the time, according to Sydney Wood, a sophomore studying cognitive science. She likes a place called Ebaes, located on South Hoover Street. because it “gives the experience of going out to dinner without having to go far and it is pretty convenient.”
Whether it is within walking distance or on a small trip, the previous restaurants provide a good alternative to food found at USC.