New menus expand dining options for students, faculty and staff
Students and faculty alike may enjoy myriad food options on USC’s University Park and health sciences campuses. Composite image by Letty Avila and Experience USC.

New menus expand dining options for students, faculty and staff

To head off “food burnout,” USC Hospitality revamps most menus on the University Park campus. [3 min read]
ByLaura Russell

In a foodie’s paradise like Los Angeles, everything from street tacos to dim sum is just around the corner. USC aims to keep up, offering a diverse assortment of cuisines on campus and regularly switching up their offerings.

“Most students are here for four years,” said Gary Marschall, senior associate director of retail operations. “We try to keep offering new foods and experiences so our students don’t get burned out.”

In the past couple of years, the university has made some major changes to the dining options available on and around campus, particularly at USC Village. However, many changes have been happening on campus, too — there’s a little something to satisfy everyone.

Keeping caffeinated

All caffeine-addicted Trojans are in luck: Of the 28 dining locations on the University Park and Health Sciences campuses, 22 serve coffee.

For the health nut: Check out Bulletproof Coffee in the Trojan Family Room. Open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., this hidden gem has been around a little over a year and serves coffees with grass-fed butter for an alternative to milks. Marschall says that, as the singular coffee sponsor of the CrossFit games, Bulletproof is a great option for those on the keto diet, athletes or anyone who needs a pick-me-up after an 8 a.m. class. Not a coffee fan? The kiosk also offers kombucha on tap.

For the coffee snob: Head to the back counter of Seeds Marketplace to find several options from Stumptown, an artisanal roaster based out of Portland, Oregon. And, keep on the lookout — USC Hospitality is currently working to get Intelligentsia coffee on campus.

Boba bonanza

When those boba cravings start to hit, find the Taiwanese treat right on campus.

For the purist: Literatea, Doheney Library’s best-kept secret, just underwent a major makeover and is now a boba paradise. Classic Thai and milk teas grace the new menu, as well as mix-and-match options that allow guests to customize the flavor of tea and the type of boba.

For the adventurous: When the temperatures start creeping up, Lemonade’s new menu offers a dragon fruit-flavored lemonade slushy filled with blueberry popping boba. Don’t forget to check out the new décor and streamlined ordering process.

Mid-day munchies

Some people have no time for lunch between classes, while others get tired of the same boring sandwich. Luckily, USC Hospitality has everyone’s back.

For those who are just too busy: Call Mom and let her know her young Trojan is eating enough. The Popovich Café serves sandwiches, salads, and acai bowls — not to mention they’re the only place in the world to sell pastries from Porto’s Bakery that isn’t a Porto’s location itself. There’s no excuse to skip lunch: Order ahead through Tapingo and pick up the order from the window on Child’s Way.

For those thinking outside the lunchbox: Why brown-bag it when the Fertitta Café offers ramen, pho, bao and sushi? Try a Korean rib bibimbap bowl and a bag of shrimp chips and leave the bologna at home. Take a peek in the refrigerated sections for grab-and-go items from Phoenix, a Chinese food boutique that only sells their wares in their own restaurants — and the Fertitta Café.

Happy hour

There’s no need to head downtown for an evening drink or small plate. Just cross Figueroa Street.

The Lab Gastropub has remixed their menu and now has guests order at the bar for faster service. The avocado toast with garlic aioli and sweet chili sauce on grilled sourdough is not-to-miss, and the poke is a great light bite. The Lab also rolled out a new cocktail menu, with beers and cocktails on tap for $5 between 4 and 6 p.m.