Not only is it important as an incoming freshman, but also as a current student, to be aware of everywhere one can eat on the UCSD campus, as well as the break down of the meal plan(s). If you think you know everything there is to know about eating on the UCSD campus, I invite you to read this article to make sure. If you don’t think you know everything there is to know about eating on the UCSD campus, keep reading!
The Meal Plan Options
The UCSD dining plan is basically a food debit card that you are required to fill up at a one to one rate at the beginning of the year. Although everything sold in the markets is sold at a significant markup. The rule for which dining plan you should select has been, and always will be, to choose the lowest possible amount for your living assignment: $3400 for a res hall or $2635 for an apartment.
There is no reason to opt for the larger plans considering that most students spend within their plan, and those who don’t can purchase more in the spring from fellow students for a cheaper two “dining dollars” for one “real” (U.S.) dollar rate. Feel free to learn more here!
Ranking of Dining Options (Around Campus)
Specialties: Good pizza, Mexican Food, Sushi, Stir Fry
You honestly can’t go wrong with anything at Pines. It serves the best pizza on campus and a variety of menu items throughout the day whereas the much of competition serves the same few options all day. Centrally located on campus, it’s also a convenient stop if you’re craving sushi, Mexican food, or a salad. Pines is also the place to be if you’re craving dessert, with its lineup of cakes and cookies. But because it’s one of the most popular dining halls, you might want to avoid the long lines at breakfast and the hourly post-class rush.
Specialties: Burgers and Salads
Newly renovated, 64 Degrees is campus’s most lively and aesthetically pleasing dining hall. 64’s burgers are the best thing that comes served between to two buns at UCSD, and their salad options allow for a different salad for every day of the week. Along with these two favorites, they offer street tacos, sandwich bar, stir-fry, and a rotating selection of meals in their cuisine station. The only downside is that 64 Degrees is expensive to eat at compared to the other dining halls so I don’t recommend making it your go to for every meal.
Specialties: Breakfast Burritos, Burrito Bowls
Named after the famed Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, Goody’s is situated in West campus near RIMAC and Marshall college housing. Goody’s is essentially an on-campus Chipotle Mexican Grill. Their entrees make for a tasty post-workout meal or group meal. The breakfast burritos are worth crawling out of bed before noon, and the ten p.m. closing time makes Goody’s a campus favorite for a late night meal.
Specialties: Mac n Cheese and rotating cultural foods
Another Instagram-worthy site, Cafe Ventanas is the crown jewel of dining hall architecture with its vaulted ceilings and stunning wood accents. You’ll show up for their “Mac Daddy Tuesday” custom mac n cheese specials or fresh fully stocked salad bar and stay for the breathtaking atmosphere. If you’re one of the lucky ERC residents who have Cafe V as your local dining hall you’ll also enjoy a diverse selection of cultural foods and holiday specials throughout the year.
Specialties: Wraps and Pizza
Located on the east side of campus in the middle of Sixth College’s apartments, Foodworx is the often forgotten dining hall. It serves custom pizza starting at 5 pm and decent wraps and sandwiches throughout the day. They have also been experimenting with a wider selection, but honestly Foodworx is mostly good for a quick meal if you happen to live in the Sixth college apartments or you’re passing through; otherwise, you’re not missing out on much.
Specialties: Mediterranean Bar
Canyon Vista is the underachieving sibling of UCSD dining halls. It tries to accomplish the variety of dining halls like Pines and Cafe V, but the food is often lackluster. The Mediterranean bar makes better food than Santorini’s, the Greek food vendor in Price Center, but the station is only open for Tuesday lunches.. The burger bar is open from noon to nine daily, but it pales in comparison to 64 Degrees’ burger lounge. Honestly the fries are the only thing you don’t get sick of after two visits. The pizza often tastes as if it were made at Pines then leisurely walked over to Canyon Vista. In conclusion, enjoy the beautiful canyon view while you ponder why you even decided to eat at Canyon Vista.
Formerly known as Oceanview Terrace (yes, there are ocean views), this dining hall in Marshall College was closed for the entirety of the 2015-16 school year for remodelling and a revamping of its food offerings. The name “Angie’s” was picked to honor alumna Angela Davis, another nod to Marshall’s activist and social justice focus. As for the food, there are rumors of the new dining site being open 24/7 and having a Pieology/Blaze Pizza style custom personal pizza bar. You’ll have to find out what’s in store for yourself when this upgraded dining hall opens in 2016.
Extras Dining Information
Fine Dining Options
The Bistro and 64 North offer students with a table service restaurant experience that takes dining dollars! The Bistro, located in the Village, boasts a wide selection of delicious sushi rolls and Asian fusion dishes. 64 North was opened this year and serves a menu inspired by California regional cuisine. Both locations offer high quality food that are perfect for a family visit, group meal, or post-midterm hangover.
Vegetarian Dining Options
UC San Diego is for the most part well-accommodated for a vegetarian lifestyle. I encourage everyone to at least partake in meatless Mondays. Or to take advantage of the free nutritionist guidance provided to you as a student. Roots is the campus vegan dining hall offering a selection of sandwiches, soups, entrees, and desserts that would impress diehard meat eaters. The rest of the dining halls, with the exception of Canyon Vista and Cafe Ventanas, always have a wide selection of tasty vegetarian food available.
Fine Dining (Vegetarian) Dining Options
If you’re willing to shell out some real money, the campus Food Co-Op offers vegetarian food and is a student run non-profit. The Food Co-Op also has local monks visit every Wednesday who serve vegan food for five dollars a plate, or fill up the biggest Tupperware you own for eight dollars. UCSD makes it easy for you to live ethically and sustainably. So while you might be broke for four years you can at least be a broke vegan.
What are some other tips for eating on the UCSD campus? Comment below for our readers and share this article with friends!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Featured image source: youtube.com, delawie.com
Mohamed is a second year computer science student at UC San Diego who is excited about campus co-ops, college Democrats, and campus activism.