Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Jul 8, 2006 08:15 PM

Eats near UCSD?

I'll be attending UCSD (ERC, if you're interested) in the fall and while I absolutely LOVE the weather, I wasn't able to find many good places to eat.

I'm not looking for any specific type of food, just whatever's good and (kind of) nearby, preferably by UCSD shuttle or the Coaster, since I won't have a car for a while.



(ps. this redesign is amazing!)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. without a car, it makes it harder to get around. The good, cheap ethnic places (other than Indian) are on or around Convoy Ave, which requires a car or taking public transport. Indian food is around Black Mountain Road.

    That said, in the UTC area, there are either good high end places (Roy's, Cafe Japengo, Donovan's) or cheaper lower end chains with varying quality of food (Rock Bottom, TGI Friday's, CPK, Islands, BJ's Pizzeria).

    In UTC, the places on our rotation are:
    Whole Foods
    Z Pizza (next to Jamba Juice in the Ralph's/Trader Joe's center)
    L & L Hawaiian BBQ
    Edo Sushi (on Towne Center Drive)
    Rubio's (in the Whole Foods center)

    BJ's Pizzeria does good deep dish style pizza. Z Pizza is a thin crust, trendier/organic style pizza.

    Chipotle Grill next to Trader Joe's is not too bad, although I wouldn't consider it "great" or "authentic" Mexican.

    The rice bowl/grilled meat place next to Bombay Company in the Whole Foods center is not too bad, either.

    Skip Elijah's Deli--bad deli food. There is a Thai place in the Towne Center Drive plaza called Sawaddy Thai, I think. Not worth the money or time.

    1. I enjoy Saigon Noodles in the UTC mall food court. Good basic Vietnamese close to UCSD. I reguarly order the vegetarian bahn mi and the vegetarian pho. Pretty good for mall food. And the potato chips at the Tacone Wraps right next door are very good.

      1. Public transport isn't really a problem for me... I managed to find my way up to UTC during orientation (and manage to make it back to the Solana Beach Amtrak in time for my train!), so those are some good tips :)

        If I was interested in Indian food, I would probably just go back home or cook in my dorm room (Hooray for being Indian!). But I will still keep an eye on Black Mountain Road, because my cooking isn't always 100%, hehe.

        Thanks for your suggestions, daantaat and Divamac; I really appreciate it. :)

        Oh, also: Places that deliver that *aren't* Papa Johns or Pizza Hut would be awesome too.

        I will be posting a review of some of the San Fernando Valley places that I love for the UCLA and CSUN kids when time permits. :)

        1. Also one 'block' "South East" from after you walk out of the Sears and through that parking lot...there is a small mall (Renaissance) that has a Rubios, Quiznos and Chicago Hot Dogs, Wired (French Bistro), Barolo (kind of fancy Italian, but with specials), Le Peep, Daily's (heart-healthy stuff) and a sushi place....The largest thing in there is a Rite Aid drug store...

          There will probably be lots of ads in the school papers about delivery...

          ....and on Black Mountain Road, there are a few good Indian grocery stores...lots of spices and interesting stuff, not just restaurants...the authentic stuff, you know, if you 'need' to have it.

          1. Hey,

            I was in a similar predicament last year when I was a freshman at UCSD. Luckily though, two of my friends had cars, so that opened up things A LOT.

            Near and on campus, pickings are pretty slim. Here's my analysis:

            ON CAMPUS:
            Shogun in Price Center: Decent (read edible) chicken katsu and other "japanese" food. It's ok, just breaks the monotony of dorm food.

            New Vietnamese place in Warren: Haven't been there, but I hear it's decent. Again, better than dorm food.

            Thai: There will be a new Thai place in the new student center. I don't know when it will open or what their prices will be like, but it should be decent.

            Club Med: Of all the dining places on campus, whether it be OVT, Plaza, ERC, etc, Club Med is by far the best in both quality of food, variety, and price. I highly suggest that after a few weeks of getting used to dorm food, you should check out Club Med on the medical school campus. It closes at 4pm, so go there only for lunch.

            OUTSIDE CAMPUS:

            Well, it's hard walking of campus as it is, and once you finally walk of, there isn't a whole lot. The only place that isn't a chain is the this place that's called International Market and Grill. Here is a link:

            it's ok persian food. Get the plate with rice and you will get full. Also, they bring in rosewater icecream from Mashti Malones in LA, and it is the only real reason going to the place. It's delicious! Many of your friends are going to want to go to the Golden Spoon in Ralphs. Forget it. Take them to this place and get the rosewater icecream and they will thank you for it.

            If you order pizza to your dorm, order from Regent's pizza. they are more expensive than dominos by a lot, but they are quite tasty, although not as good as Bronx (Hillcrest) or Ciero's (Gaslamp). But they have free delivery to campus. Order only cheese to keep prices low.

            MY ADVICE:

            I GUARANTEE that one of your suitemates will have a car. If this person likes to drive people around, I highly suggest using that to your advantage. Every Friday and/or Saturday night, me and my friends go eat at a great SD eatery somewhere in the SD area. I can't tell you how fun it is to have great food (that only tastes better after months of dorm food) and get off of campus. So, instead of spending a Saturday afternoon with your suitemates watching Family Guy Season 3, tell everyone that "Hey, why don't we go check out ..." You'll be surprised how everyone will want to go. Use this blog to find restaurants:

            My favorite SD eateries (so far... only been down there for a year):
            -Punjabi Tandoor (15 minutes from UCSD
            )-Bronx Pizza (15 minutes from UCSD)
            -El Zarape (15 minutes from UCSD)
            -Ciero's (20 mintues in Gaslamp)
            -Nhu Y Restaurant (15 minutes from UCSD)

            Still got a lot of exploring to do.

            Final note: I don't know how many people who posted on this thread are current UCSD students, but how would everyone feel if I started a UCSD Chowhound Facebook group?

            5 Replies
            1. re: young_chower

              "I don't know how many people who posted on this thread are current UCSD students, but how would everyone feel if I started a UCSD Chowhound Facebook group?"

              Good idea!

              And my god, I have bookmarked your post.
              Lifesaving information if I've ever seen it.

              1. re: ray9x

                The Facebook group has been created. Type Chowhound into the search function and join.


              2. re: young_chower

                Club Med has gone downhill. It was always cafeteria food, but I agree that it used to be an acceptable option on campus. Unfortunately, new ownership in the past year has increased prices, cut out the good coffee and dropped the quality and variety of food offered.

                Many of the med students now walk over to the VA hospital to eat at one of the cheap places there. The pizza is okay and cheap, and there are several other options in the mini-food court on the first floor. I wish there were better options.

                1. re: Joseph

                  hmmm... interesting. I thought the VA hospital was going under renovation and was closed. What do you recommend? Do they take student meal points?

                  1. re: young_chower

                    They don't take student meal points.

                    It is under renovation, but it certainly isn't closed.