Cozy Campus Coffee Spots

Aaaaaahh, December! This month is a very interesting yet exciting time for myself and my colleagues within the Office of Admission at USC. It is the start of an LA winter – highs are in the 60s (yet still so cold), there’s fog in the morning, and the sun is setting at 5pm. It also means our December 1st deadline has just passed and we have begun reading your applications! It’s the true start to what we call “reading season!” On the other hand, our current USC students are hunkering down for finals, so this means all Trojans are in need of fuel right now…AKA caffeine.   

My friends can confirm that my primary sustenance is coffee (a grande hot latte with an extra shot of espresso from Starbucks, to be specific). But I am not the only coffee addict in our office or on campus! I say this because there are SEVERAL coffee spots on campus, which can only mean that Trojans really love their coffee. So, the Blog Squad thought it would be a good idea to document some favorite cozy drinks at some of the coffee shops on campus.  Truth be told, this project was one I was very excited about and I’m not ashamed to say that I had a lot of coffee in the last couple of weeks… and so have my colleagues. We were on the hunt for “SCrumptious” coffee on campus, and I now present the Cozy Coffee reviews from the Territory Managers (TM) of Office of Admission: 

Scroll through the pictures of our on campus coffee experiences by clicking on the arrows next to each picture

Law Café

Located in the Gould School of Law 

TM Reviewer(s): Dylan Goodwill, Andy Nguyen, Isaiah Sneed & Rachel Cho 

Order(s): Hot Latte, Thai Tea with Boba, Espresso over ice & Milk Tea with Boba 

“Thai Tea Boba!  Not too sweet and healthy amount of boba given.” 

“Busy, but the line moves quickly! Good place to study or catch up with friends – has a good number of tables and chairs.”  

Seeds Marketplace

Located in Tutor Campus Center 

TM Reviewer(s): Lina Goggins-Rendón 

Order(s): Yerba Matte Tea 

“Grocery store vibe.  If you’re in a hurry, Seeds is great for a grab-and-go bottled coffee, juice or energy drink. Seeds is best known as the place for great paninis and salads.  There is also sushi, snacks and hot meals like Mac n’ Cheese, grilled salmon or roasted chicken.” 

Café Annenberg/Illy at Annenberg

Located in Annenberg School of Journalism 

TM Reviewer(s): James Ezell & Dylan Goodwill  

Order(s): Vanilla Frappe with extra vanilla flavor & Hot Latte with an extra shot of espresso 

“I would consider this an open concept that is great for a grab and go.” 

“Coffee and other hot drinks were the primary menu, but they are one of the only places on campus that serves gelato!”  

Note: James would like to recommend the Affogato (if available) and Dylan would like to recommend any of the gelato (if available). 

Popovich/Illy at Marshall

Located in the Marshall School of Business 

TM Reviewer(s): Lina Goggins-Rendón, Jamie Black, Tyler Swartout & Jennifer Cox 

Order(s): Mocha latte with whipped cream, Vanilla Iced Coffee, Hot Mocha & Hot Mocha with Oat Milk 

“I love Illy because the coffee is always great quality and I definitely feel more awake and ready to go for the day!”  

“Breakfast, lunch, and coffee options. Mostly for grab and go, they have acai bowls too! 😀” 

“This was a super convenient place to grab a quick lunch and yummy mocha (and even more convenient if you order head on the USC Campus Dining mobile app!); I’m excited to try more things on the menu!” 

Starbucks at Trojan Grounds

Located near Leavey Library 

TM Reviewer(s): Lucy Negash, Camille Bradshaw, Cal Jensen & Tyler Swartout 

Order(s): Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, (another) Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew & Toasted White Mocha with an extra espresso shot 

“’Trojan Grounds’ the Starbucks that is open (almost) 24 hours a day!” 

“TroGro is great for a quick coffee or snack; it’s more of a fast-paced vibe for you to grab a coffee while studying at nearby Leavey Library. Or you might see some Admission Counselors running in to grab a Pumpkin Spiced Latte before heading to the Admission Center! Minimal tables outside, but plenty of good snacks if you don’t want to make the trek to Seeds.” 

“A great easy place to pick up a reliable drink anytime, and it’s also very conveniently located next to multiple dorms, libraries, and parking lots.” 

LiteraTea

Located in Doheny Library 

TM Reviewer(s): Jordan Holmes & Hayley Camin 

Order(s): Whole Milk Latte & Oat Milk Latte 

“Drip coffee, espresso drinks, hot and iced teas, grab-and-go snacks, breakfast burritos served all day!” 

“Tucked behind Doheny Library, LiteraTea is a great quiet spot to cozy up with your drink and your favorite breakfast burrito (served all day!). Find a spot in the large bench to the left when you enter or take your drink outside under the metal umbrellas for some fresh air.” 

“Cute and cozy! The courtyard is a great quiet place to grab a coffee and read a book.” 

Coffee Bean

Located in the School of Cinematic Arts 

TM Reviewer(s): Reuben Hernandez & Dylan Goodwill

Order(s): Vanilla Iced Latte & Iced Latte with an extra shot of espresso

“Great place for either a quick grab or catching up with your friends! Staff is great and the lines are short.” 

“Best iced coffee on campus!” 

“Even though it’s a little bit of a walk to get here it’s totally worth it. The coffee is great and nice spot to enjoy a drink around the fountain.” 

C&G Juice Co.

Located in Tutor Campus Center

TM Reviewer(s): Lina Goggins-Rendón & Dylan Goodwill 

Order(s): Fight On Smoothie & Iced Coffee with Vanilla flavor 

“[Primarily], the go-to for smoothies and fresh-pressed juice is C&G Juice Co at the Tutor Campus Center. Whether you’re in the mood for mango or want a post-workout protein shake, C&G Juice Co has delicious drink options. You can also create your own açaí bowl!” 

“Quick grab, friendly staff – Located in the heart of campus, it’s a great place to hang out with friends and meet new people.” 

“Easy place to get a quick and basic cup of coffee – apart from Seeds & Trojan Grounds, of course!” 

For this project, my colleagues and I got to drink many cozy drinks and visit many awesome coffee spots on campus.  It’s safe to say that the Office of Admission is fully caffeinated (maybe too caffeinated – some of us are a bit jittery) and are hard at work, reading your applications!   

If you are ever on campus, give our coffee shops some love: University Park Campus – USC Hospitality 

Written by: 

Dylan Goodwill, Assistant Director – USC Office of Undergraduate Admission 

 



USC Hidden Gems and Favorite Spots: Staff and Student Picks

Want to get the insiders scoop of all the great places to study, eat and hang out at USC? Our students and staff are ready to dive in and reveal some of the best spots on campus

FAVORITE PLACE TO GRAB COFFEE/SNACKS

“My go-to order is an iced blueberry matcha latte from Dulce Cafe in the village. It’s the perfect twist to a regular matcha latte!”
-Naomi, Cupertino (CA), Sophomore, Business Administration major and Cinematic Arts minor

“My absolute favorite spot to grab a coffee/chai tea before class is Dulce in the USC Village! I love their tea lattes and their breakfast sandwich, and one of my favorite things to do is to meet a friend here and have breakfast together before classes!”
-Abby; Bartlett, IL; Junior; Linguistics, Spanish


Literatea! Absolutely love the pun with the name and the thai tea boba brings me major joy anytime during the semester! The courtyard outside is also super nice to enjoy that LA sun and get some studying in.”
-Audrey, Orange, CA, Senior, Business Administration/minor: Music Industry

“Literatea (hidden behind Doheney Library)”
-Haley Rosenspire, Admission Counselor for City of San Diego, Phoenix, Oklahoma

“I love passing by The Illy Café in our Wallis Annenberg Hall! They have delicious macaroons, and if you ever go, I recommend trying the Chocolate or Caramel flavors!”
-Aime; Porterville, CA, Junior; BA Psychology, BA Spanish, and Minor in Education and Society

“Orange Mocha from Illy in Annenberg. Its my fav and I miss them dearly.” 
-Hayley Camin, Admission Counselor for the Central Coast of California and Canada

“Cammereli Cafe in Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall. Always quiet, and a great courtyard to hang in outside”
-Cal Jensen, Admission Counselor for Orange County, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire

HIDDEN GEMS ON CAMPUS

“Queens Courtyard”
-Pj; Winter Park, Florida; Sophomore; Psychology and Economics Major with a Minor in Environmental Studies
“My favorite hidden gem on campus is the Special Collections section in Doheny Memorial Library! I feel like I’m on a secret mission when I visit and it’s so cool how we have rare artifacts on our campus!”
-Aime; Porterville, CA, Junior; BA Psychology, BA Spanish, and Minor in Education and Society


“My favorite hidden gem is actually Traditions in Tudor Campus Center (TCC), not very hidden, but good food and great memories! I remember eating $1 wings almost every Monday night with my 2 best friends during my sophomore year. I just absolutely love the vibes and the memories I made there.”
-Audrey, Orange, CA, Senior, Business Administration/minor: Music Industry

“My favorite hidden gem on campus is the little courtyard outside of Mudd Hall. Here you’ll find this beautiful fountain surrounded by palm trees and flowers and only about 3 tables or so, and it’s right on the edge of campus, so it’s the perfect place to study if you want somewhere outside and quiet.”
-Abby; Bartlett, IL; Junior; Linguistics, Spanish


“It’s not super hidden, but I love hanging out on the lawn in the Thornton Courtyard! It’s pretty quiet, secluded, and has shade!”

-Adrika, Santa Clara, Junior, Political Science/Psychology minor

“My favorite study spots are the study rooms in the upper levels of Fertitta Hall because through the windows I can see downtown’s skyline!”
-Naomi, Cupertino (CA), Sophomore, Business Administration Major and Cinematic Arts Minor
“Hoose Philosophy Library – get some absolute silence away from the otherwise hustle and bustle of campus”
-Neelam Savla, Associate Director

“Town & Gown! It’s so gorgeous with it’s beautiful chandeliers, large fireplace, and the open layout that you can’t help but feel very fancy when you are inside. And when it’s decked out for Christmas…*heart eyes*”
-Dylan Goodwill – Admission Counselor for Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas, Utah & California (San Bernardino, Riverside, Ontario area)

“The upstairs balconies of the School of Cinematic Arts are perfect for people watching and a nice hideaway in a busy part of campus! You’ll often overhear students talking about their latest projects and upcoming film assignments. Also totally accessible to students not in the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA)!”
-Natasha Hunter, Admission Counselor for Santa Clara, CA and Upstate NY

BEST PARTS ABOUT BEING ON CAMPUS

“At least once every weekend my friend (who is now my roommate!) and I would meet up and sit on the windowsill of 6th floor Pardee Tower to talk about our nights and usually eat a late-night snack. We did it so often that other people on our floor knew they could count on us being there and would come by and say hi before going to bed.”
-Adrika, Santa Clara, Junior, Political Science/Psychology minor

“McCarthy Quad Farmers Market on Wednesday mornings, especially the pupusas”
-Cal Jensen, Admission Counselor for Orange County, CA, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire

“My favorite part about living on campus is the community events that happen through Residential Education. This year, I’m a Virtual Peer Mentor, which means I plan a ton of virtual events for USC students, and I absolutely love the opportunity to attend these events, meet new people, and get the chance to take a break with other people and spend some meaningful time with others.”
-Abby; Bartlett, IL; Junior; Linguistics, Spanish

“My favorite memory about living on campus was when I studied with my friends during Finals Week! In my first semester of my sophomore year, my friends and I would claim one of the study rooms and make it our private “home”. We brought snacks, drinks, and motivated one another when we were struggling to study!”
-Aime; Porterville, CA, Junior; BA Psychology, BA Spanish, and Minor in Education and Society

“My favorite memories on campus involve USC sports in any capacity, with my friends to tag along! The basketball games are the absolute best and so fun, even for someone like me who is not a huge sports fan. Baseball games are also super fun, especially with free hotdogs or free sweatshirts to incentivize me and friends to go.”
-Audrey, Orange, CA, Senior, Business Administration/minor: Music Industry
“The people! I appreciate my coworkers so much, as they make this job so fun and amazing. But even reaching out to the Faculty and Students shows you how awesome the Trojan community is!”
-Dylan Goodwill – Admission Counselor for Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas, Utah & California (San Bernardino, Riverside, Ontario area)

“The Village is always a great place to meet up with friends and coworkers after class or after work. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch one of these sunsets while sitting on the Village couches!”
-Natasha Hunter, Admission Counselor for Santa Clara, CA and Upstate NY

USC MEMORIES THAT LIVE ON

“One USC memory I will always remember is my first USC concert put on by concerts committee, Springfest, since I was a spring admit. I remember seeing so many amazing artists. It was so fun to get all the free goodies and listen to some awesome bands/music from all genres.”
-Audrey, Orange, CA, Senior, Business Administration/minor: Music Industry

“I will always remember when the first time I performed in the pre-game, half-time, and post-game shows during our first home football game. I was one of the Silks in our Trojan Marching Band, and even though I was really nervous to be in front of thousands of fans, the energy inside the Coliseum was infectious and exhilarating. What made it even better was that my mom and sister were in the crowd and were able to experience that moment with me too!”
-Aime; Porterville, CA, Junior; BA Psychology, BA Spanish, and Minor in Education and Society

“Football (and bigtime collegiate athletics) was a deciding factor in why I chose USC and I will never forget the day I walked into the Coliseum for my first USC football game my freshman year. It was an earlier game I think noon kickoff, but walking through the tunnel to our seats and seeing the Coliseum open up on a sunny, warm day with the red seats popping everywhere combined with the green grass and cardinal and gold everywhere is a highlight of my time at USC. Made me way more excited for football and I knew I made the best choice. ”
-Whitney Rollerson – Admission Counselor for Long Beach, CA

“My favorite memory was walking to the Native American Student Assembly (NASA) center and eating frybread with the members. We ate home food while we all talked about home. I have a huge soft spot for my Native students and being with them makes me so happy!”
Dylan Goodwill – Admission Counselor for Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas, Utah & California (San Bernardino, Riverside, Ontario area)

“One of my favorite USC memories was when my best friend and I got to attend a Spanish film premiere in the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Blvd! At this time, I was a part of a Spanish film and culture class, and for our final project, we were supposed to go out into LA and attend some type of cultural event. I asked my professors if she had any recommendations for an event, and she ended up giving these premiere tickets to me and my friend for free! Because of this project, I was able to walk on the red carpet, watch an incredible Spanish film, listen to a Q&A with the directors and actors who flew in from Spain that day, and even attend the reception after the event. It was quite honestly one of my LA dreams come true!”
-Abby; Bartlett, IL; Junior; Linguistics, Spanish


“Years ago I had a very long layover in Incheon, South Korea and decided to go on a guided city tour. There were 4 people total on the tour and another couple were USC alumni – we bonded immediately since I was wearing my USC sweatshirt and had a great time talking about USC football and exploring Incheon for those few hours in between our flights!”
-Neelam Savla, Associate Director

Ready to visit these spots on campus? Let us know if you tried them in the comments!

Fight On!



Counting Down to January 15th

You’re almost there! Just five more days for you to submit your application to USC!

Whether you’re currently tangled up in one of our short answer essays or are zenfully waiting for last minute inspiration/panic to arrive, we figured you could do with a little motivation! In honor of the last five days before our freshman application deadline, here are five reasons to apply to USC…

5. The Joint Educational Project

A common refrain in any classroom is, “When am I going to use this in real life?” USC’s Joint Educational Project (JEP) answers that question and does you one better. You can actually earn course credit for taking the lessons you learn in the classroom and using them to fulfill community needs. It is service learning at its best and an amazing way to see the relevance of your education while building bonds and working with our neighbors.

4. An On- Campus Trader Joe’s

Need to stock up on some fuel before that all nighter? The Fearless Flyer’s got rows of hummus, Joe-Joe’s, and mochi to keep you going. All you have to is pop on over (or down) to the USC Village to ensure all of your snack needs are covered.

3. Visions & Voices Programming

This arts and humanities initiative gives students and community members the opportunity to engage with the people who inspire them. Whether you’re attending an interview with John Cho, a conversation with Roxane Gay, or an immersive theater-game led by Robert Karimi, you have the chance to more intimately appreciate the art you love and even be introduced to some surprising new favorites!

2.  Lighting the Olympic Torch

USC is well known for its contributions to college sports, and we are equally proud of the Trojans who have gone on to compete in the Olympics. While we eagerly await the 2028 summer games (I am totally going to list my office as a room on Air BnB), we get to enjoy a little Olympic glory every time we have a home game at the Coliseum.  At the end of the third quarter, the Olympic Torch in the Coliseum is once again ignited as Tommy Trojan charges down the field on Traveler.

1. Possible Celebrity Sightings

It wouldn’t be LA without a little silver screen glamour! USC’s campus may be one of the best places to spot celebrities. With shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and How to Get Away with Murder regularly being filmed amidst our buildings, your chances of running into the Hollywood crowd (and accidentally becoming an extra) are high.

 

Whatever gets you excited about being a Trojan, tap into that energy to get you across the January 15th finish line.  Good luck!