As an international student studying at USC, one of the best parts about living in Los Angeles is the diverse selection of food. Whether it be street tacos or ramen, there’s no shortage of delicious options to choose from. When it comes to Asian cuisine, USC is surrounded by some of the best spots in the city. Whether you’re in the mood for spicy Szechuan dishes or authentic Vietnamese pho, the options are endless. As someone who loves to explore new restaurants and cuisines, I’ve had the pleasure of trying out many of the Asian food spots around campus. From mouth-watering noodles to authentic Thai dishes, here I rounded up some of the popular Asian food spots around USC that you should check out.
1. Northern Cafe
$$ | 2904 S Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90007
If you’re craving some authentic Chinese cuisine, Northern Cafe should be your go-to spot. Located just a few blocks from the USC campus, Northern Cafe offers a range of dishes from hand-pulled noodles to spicy Szechuan dishes. Don’t miss out on their famous beef roll or dumplings, which are sure to satisfy your cravings.
“The dishes at Northern Cafe are definitely worth trying and the price is also reasonable. What really stands out to me is the cold sliced beef in chili sauce,” said Mandy Cai, a first-year graduate student majoring in digital social media.
2. Thai by Trio
$$ | 2700 S Figueroa St. #101, Los Angeles, CA 90007
If you’re a fan of Thai food, Thai by Trio would be a must-go place for you. This cozy restaurant offers a range of authentic Thai dishes, including pad thai, curry and tom yum soup. Their dishes are always packed with flavor, making it a popular spot for USC students.
3. Qin West Noodles
$ | 2520 S Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90007
Qin West Noodles is a must-visit for noodle lovers. Their specialty is hand-pulled noodles, which are made fresh daily. Their menu offers a range of noodle dishes, including their famous liangpi noodles and beef noodle soup.
“I really like the Guilin soup (Guilin rice noodles) as the broth is rich and flavorful. Whether you are a noodle lover or not, you won’t regret giving this one a try,” said Mo Chen, a first-year graduate student in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program.
4. Ramen Kenjo
$$ | 929 W Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007
Ramen Kenjo is a popular spot in the USC Village for students looking for a comforting bowl of ramen. Their menu includes a range of options, from “Classic Tonkotsu” to “Spicy Miso Ramen.” Don’t forget to order some gyoza or karaage on the side for the ultimate ramen experience.
“Ramen Kenjo is absolutely one of my favorite spots in [the USC] Village. Their tonkotsu broth is simply amazing! It’s a perfect spot for a quick and satisfying lunch during those busy school days,” Chen said.
$ | 929 W Jefferson Blvd. Suite 1610, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Kobunga is a Korean barbecue spot that is located in the USC Village. They offer a variety of meats to grill at your table, including beef, pork and chicken. Their banchan, or side dishes, are also a highlight of the dining experience.
6. Lotus Vietnamese Kitchen
$$ | 358 W 38th St. Unit K15, Los Angeles, CA 90037
If you’re in the mood for some Vietnamese food, Lotus Vietnamese Kitchen is a must-visit. Their menu includes a range of Vietnamese classics, including banh mi, pho and spring rolls. Their banh mi sandwiches are especially popular, with a variety of fillings to choose from, including grilled pork and fried egg.
7. Thai Cuisine at Trojan Farmers Market (Wednesdays ONLY)
$$ | 3551 Trousdale Pkwy., Los Angeles, CA 90089
If you’re looking for authentic Thai cuisine, don’t miss out on Thai Cuisine at the weekly Trojan Farmers Market. Located on campus, this popular vendor offers a range of classic Thai dishes, including pad thai, fried rice, garlic meat and Thai tea. While the waiting line can be long, the delicious and flavorful dishes are worth it. Keep in mind that they only come to school on Wednesdays, so make sure to plan your visit accordingly. Whether you’re a fan of pad thai or Thai tea, this Thai food vendor is a must-visit for any USC student looking for a tasty and convenient lunch.
Note: Price estimates are from Google Maps.