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Aug 20, 2008 07:48 PM

restaurant near UC RIVERSIDE FROM 1-4 PM

my daughter been taking class in uc riverside for the past 4 weeks , so every tuesday wednesday and thursday I have to wait for her from 1-4 pm, I don't know the neighterhood at all, so I been eatting at CoCo's the past 4 weeks, this is the only place I can find close to school , no problem for parking and I can sit and eat for 3 hours comfortablelly, anybody can help me and tell me wher to go.

I have two more weeks to go, and I am really tire of the food, any suggestion?

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  1. First post here. I went to UCR for 5 years, know the restaurants around there pretty well.

    One thing I hope you'll understand is a lot of the UCR folks there are simply forced to drive around a whole lot. You can drive down to Moreno Valley and there's a Portillo's on Day Street, Red Robin is in the area, a Mimi's, and a couple of other chain restaurants. There is also an Olive Garden further down the 215/60 east, that you can see right from the freeway. I think it was in between the Frederick and Day St exits?

    Near campus there's Getaway Cafe, which serves decent junk food (pizza and beer type place) and is actually very quiet and pleasant in the summer and midday. It's a college hangout restaurant, but in the summer and early afternoon it was literally one of my favorite getaways. Problem is, parking is limited to an hour there, and the owner of The Sub Station goes out of his way to report cars that park there beyond the limit and also students in a rush who can't find parking when Lot 30 is over packed beyond its multi-thousand car capacity and every pay-parking spot is filled and the threat of flunking a class over one missed term paper is imminent (ask me how I know this).

    Just around Blaine and Watkins (just north of the campus) there is a small shopping plaza with a Boba cafe that serves cheap asian food to go, a mediocre sushi place that isn't quite good but doesn't taste bad, and also at the end is another pizza and beer type parlor.

    Also check out the UV, which I'm surprised you haven't. You can find a variety of average food places there, and just relax and read a book and have coffee at Starbucks or bring a laptop and use the free UCR wi-fi there (ask your daughter for her wi-fi login, it's her UCR webmail and password/permpin). I've had to visit the area a few times this summer (as recent as a week and a half ago) and the entire lot seems to be currently free from charges.

    Also last rec, just drive around a bit. You've got 3 hours to kill. Just be wary driving towards downtown via University Ave, it gets real ghetto.

    3 Replies
    1. re: John S.

      thanks a lot, it's good to know, I guess I will explore the area tomorrow, but I will not go to the restaurant have parking problem

      1. re: John S.

        I drive through that area going to and from the desert and sometimes stop at the Romano's at 5225 Canyon Crest Dr., not far from campus. They have decent pizza (actually, good pizza for Southern California) and very good Chicago-style hot dogs.

        1. re: John S.

          I heard they have a Top Dog hot dog stand there, is that correct? Thanks.

        2. My favorite place from when I used to go to UCR is Simple Simon's. It has some of the best sandwiches around. It's by the Mission Inn in Downtown Riverside. It's a great place to sit and relax and enjoy great food in Riverside. Parking might be tough around the Mission Inn and there's always a line around lunch time due to the folks that work there going on their lunch break but trust me, it's worth the wait. This is the hands-down best place in Riverside in my opinion.

          I also recommend Getaway Cafe. Very laid back kind of restaurant/bar with decent food and prices. Like John S. said, parking is limited to an hour there but I've parked there hours without a problem so I guess that's up to you if you want to take the chance.

          If you're looking for something besides american food, there's Best Thai on Spruce and Chicago. It's a good little thai place where the food is decently priced. This was one of my favorite places to go for lunch with friends.

          If you're looking for somewhere to just sit and relax I'd recommend the Coffee Depot off of University Ave. in Downtown Riverside. I like the atmosphere there more than Starbucks. It has a friendlier, homier vibe so it's always a good place to sit and relax.

          And about John S.'s comment about driving towards downtown via University, it was pretty ghetto before but in recent years they've redone the street and bought some of the businesses there and redone the area so it's not quite as ghetto as before. It's still not the best area to be around but it's a lot nicer than it was 6 years ago.

          1. When I visited my friends at UC Riverside, they would usually take me to Victoria Gardens or to Moreno Valley to eat. Near campus, though they liked this place called University Cafe which i coincidentally found out is run by my friend's cousin. They say it's the closest thing you'll get to good Chinese food in Riverside.

            1400 University Ave
            Riverside, CA 92507
            (951) 686-6338

            2 Replies
            1. re: crystaw

              Wow, Victoria Gardens is a FAAAR drive. At least a good 25 miles from UCR. I recall only driving there once because that was where the closest Yardhouse was. Now there's one in the Tyler Galleria (damn, too late, too little you jerks!). If anything when friends came around I don't recall ever having the problem of entertaining them as there was always a party Monday-Thursday (weekends were reserved for obligatory trips to LA) as us UCRejects are famous for.

              University Cafe's food is like Boba Cafe across the street and Tapioca Express around Blaine and Watkins. All serve cheap Chinese-like junky comfort food, and I personally always liked going to Boba Cafe for their beef chow fan. One thing I vividly remember is Uni. Cafe's green tea being unreasonably bitter and just nasty, and I love bitter green teas.

              1. re: crystaw

                Ironic because of the complaints as to the lack of Taiwanese food anywhere near the UCLA campus on the LA board, yet there's authentic Taiwanese food here right by UC Riverside.

              2. I suggest that you visit the Mission Inn at least once while you're stuck in Riverside for an afternoon. There are three restaurants there that I can think of which remain open thru the afternoon: Las Campanas for al fresco Mexican (pretty good), Bella Tratoria (never been) for Italian and the Mission Inn Restaurant (just okay IMHO). If parking irks you, you can always use the Mission Inn's valet parking. Go ahead, splurge just one time; it's the only place in Riverside I can think of that's worth seeing (grew up there, but still have to return for Holiday family visits). Leisurely wandering this historic landmark can easily chew up one or two hours as well.

                As long as you're in Riverside, you've got to try a D'Elias grinder on University Ave. I suggest a whole ham (w/ extra ham) grinder. You can eat it there (onsite parking lot) or get it to go. If you do get it to go, make sure you get the oil on the side so the sandwich won't get soggy.

                Oh, and meatertarian's right - University Ave might at one time have been as bad as John S paints it, but it ain't that bad to drive through now.

                1. Another spot you might try is Goodwin's Organic on Watkins (sort of behind UCR). It has a cafe and absolutely fantastic coffee (Clover). The food isn't absolutely great, but it's as good as CoCo's for sure. Laid back lounge area and balcony upstairs.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mayjay

                    I'd go to the Canyon Crest Town Center because it gives you a whole mini neighborhood worth of stuff to do, with restaurants, shopping, browsing, tables to sit etc. Jammin Bread is owned by folks who (the wife) used to work at Simple Simon's.

                    Another alternative is to head to Mission Inn vicinity downtown and park in a free lot (e.g. library) and walk Main Street. Clark's is several blocks from there and has a little restaurant, plus there's Mexican, sandwich shops etc.

                    A bit farther out is Riverside Plaza, which was redone 4-5 yrs ago as open air. There's Trader Joe's, Chipotle, Panera, CPK, plus Borders and other shops for browsing.