If you are like me and love food, then I bet you are wondering about our dining options (heck, even snack options). Let me break it down for you:
At USC, there is always something that is just right for you, and it’s always easy to eat well. Over the years, our campus has experienced many updates to our traditional dining halls, which include Everybody’s Kitchen (EVK), Parkside, and USC Village Dining. These three dining halls are strategically located throughout our campus to give our students convenient options just steps from their dorm rooms. The dining halls provide a wide variety of dining options including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and more! If you have food allergies, there is the Allergen Awareness Zone in Parkside that serves food that doesn’t contain the top eight allergens. If you have the time, I encourage you to check out what is being served at each dining hall, so you can pick a place to visit and eat your favorites. You can view each dining hall’s daily menu on the USC Hospitality Residential Menu site.
USC also has halal and kosher options for students with religious dietary needs. Kosher entrees are available at Parkside (IRC) and at Seeds Marketplace. There’s also the SChalom floor in Parkside that facilitates Kosher cooking in resident kitchens. USC has expanded kosher options in recent years, including making hot kosher entrees available daily. Places like LiteraTea have fresh kosher salads available every day, as well. In addition to on campus halal options, there are also many outstanding halal restaurants in Los Angeles, given our large Muslim population.
In general, you’ll find that we do our best to be inclusive of all food lovers. For the health nuts and the junk food lovers, you will find something to suit your palette on campus. With salad bars, smoothies, wok stations, waffle makers, grills, and a variety of ice cream/frozen yogurt options, there’s something for everyone. The Tutor Campus Center (TCC) offers restaurants and cafes such as Seeds Marketplace that feature grab ‘n go options, as well as made-to-order sandwiches and salads. Panda Express, Verde, and Burger Crush serve familiar fare. And of course, what campus center would be complete without staples such as pizza and coffee? Students can order salads, pastas, and pizzas at The Kitchen or order a favorite coffee or ice-blended beverage at C&G Tea Co. And to make the food search even easier, USC Hospitality now uses a Mobile Ordering app!
There is also my personal food heaven: the USC Village! It offers such a wide range of options from delicious dining to lifestyle shopping, fitness centers, and so much more. You could get ramen from Ramen KENJO or tacos at City Tacos. Do you have a seafood craving? I recommend the clam chowder at Oceana Seafood. Or try Cava (the Admission Office’s favorite) for delicious, create-your-own grain bowls, salads, and pitas. Don’t forget to try a churro from Dulce, too! Finally, our newest addition to the USC Village is…Insomnia Cookies! There are so many more restaurants I could rave about in the USC Village, but I recommend your taste buds test it out for themselves.
With all of these options for food, there are also a ton of options for COFFEE! Last December, the Office of Undergraduate Admission explored the various cafes on campus and reviewed some favorite cozy drinks. It’s safe to say that we were fully caffeinated (maybe too caffeinated – some of us were a bit jittery). Check out the Cozy Campus Coffee Spots blog for the full reviews!
Lastly, a real treat that is offered on campus is the Trojan Farmers’ Market that occurs every Wednesday on the McCarthy Quad at 11am-3pm. The Trojan Farmers’ Market is committed to offering healthy food to students, staff, faculty, and surrounding community members. There are over 30 local vendors who offer a variety of locally grown produce, handmade products, and fresh healthy foods. Some favorites among us current Trojans are fresh strawberries, homemade hummus, pupusas, and fresh salsa.
Our students truly have a large variety of options when it comes to finding brain food on campus. The next time you visit, we hope you’ll grab a snack and experience a taste of what our campus has to offer!
Dylan Goodwill, Assistant Director – USC Office of Undergraduate Admission