Food & Drink

All the Best Cheap Eats Near UCLA

Published On 10/10/2016 Published On 10/10/2016
800 Degrees
COURTESY OF SCOTT STEWART
Courtesy of Sync Marketing

Best cheap brunch: Soleil Westwood

1386 Westwood Blvd
The best spot to get your brunch fix in Westwood can be found in an unexpected place: a French-Canadian bistro. Menu must-haves include the French toast or the Nutella crepes, which come in at under 10 bucks. Plus, you’ll find good deals on bottomless mimosas, which is really what brunch is about anyways. And should you then happen to go next door to P’tit Soleil for its extensive poutine menu, which includes riffs on the gravy/cheese curd/French fry classic, we wouldn’t hold it against you.

Courtesy of TLT

Best cheap lunch: TLT

1116 Westwood Blvd
When the popular Lime Truck launched its first brick-and-mortar shop in Westwood, a new lunch favorite was born. Since opening, the taco heavy spot has garnered lengthy lines for everything from the blue crab grilled cheese to its pork belly nachos and carnitas fries. If you’re in a rush or just don’t want to wait in line, we suggest calling in your order and picking it up to go.

Best cheap date spot: Pomodoro Trattoria

1393 Westwood Blvd
It might be because of the whole Lady and the Tramp-thing, but something about Italian food always feels like a safe bet for a date -- especially when you can get away with two pastas for under $20. Sure, it’s not the swankiest place in down but the small space makes for an intimate date. Plus, there’s free bottomless bread, so you can skip apps and spend the extra money on the affordable selection of house wine and class it up a bit.

Best cheap place to watch sports: Sepi’s

10968 Le Conte Ave
If there’s a cheap sports bar where it’s worth becoming a regular during your time at UCLA, there is no better choice than Sepi’s. The reliable favorite has been a home away from home for Bruin sports fans since opening in 1961. With UCLA sports memorabilia lining the walls, great classic subs and nachos on the cheap, and plenty of beers on taps with late-night pitcher specials, there’s no better place to get you fired up about being a Bruin while watching a game -- except maybe at the actual game.

Flickr/LWYang

Best cheap pizza: 800 Degrees

1146 Westwood Blvd
I’m going to say it: this pizzeria franchise is genius. Not only because they took the Subway, create-as-you-move-down-the-line system and applied it to pizza, but because you can get a delicious Neapolitan style pie starting at under $6 until 2am.

Best cheap late night: Tommy Taco

970 Gayley Ave
This Mexican-ish late-night spot has made a name for itself by going all out when it comes to fully loaded combos perfect for 2am cravings. You can get a signature 8in burrito for $5 and upgrade it to the “K-Town” with Korean BBQ short ribs and spicy cabbage or the “Frankenstein” with two bacon-wrapped hot dogs, chili, cheese, fries, avocado, and sour cream -- all for just an extra $1.95. You also may want to consider the signature Dream Fries piled high with cheese, bacon, or steak, avocado, and sour cream for just $5.95. Not having to eat again for 24 hours comes free of charge.

Dustin Downing/Thrillist

Best cheap burger: In-N-Out

922 Gayley Ave
Whenever an In-N-Out is in your vicinity, all other burgers -- no matter how delicious -- seem to fade away into the recesses of your memory. Luckily for the UCLA crowd, the neighborhood In-N-Out is also super-affordable, clocking in at just over five bucks for a hamburger, fries, and a drink combo.

Fat Sal's Deli

Best cheap sandwich: Fat Sal’s Deli

950 Gayley Ave
If you want the most bang-for-your-buck in the sandwich department, look no further than Fat Sal’s. The over-the-top combinations like the signature Fat Sal, which comes with mozzarella sticks, roast beef, fries, brown gravy, and mayo on an extra-wide garlic hero roll is just one of the 25 different sandwich offerings, ranging in varying levels of healthfulness. Though you may be inclined to rep your school and go with the Fat Bruin, cheeseburger, chili, and bacon-stuffed sandwich that has contributed to many Freshman 15 efforts.

Best cheap Chinese: Northern Café

1064 Gayley Ave
This newcomer to the Westwood food scene has finally brought worthwhile Chinese food to the Westside. Expect long lines, but with over 10 different varieties of handmade dumplings, piping hot beef noodles, and a delicious cumin fried lamb, the wait is worth it -- especially at the prices, all of which fall under $9.

Tacos tu madre

Best tacos: Tacos Tu Madre

1945 1/2 Westwood Blvd
This trendy taqueria is all about striking a balance between the expected and the playful. Expect classic combinations like grilled shrimp with poblano ranch slaw, avocado, citrus crema, pico de gallo and cilantro to be right at home with a hot pastrami, pickles, and mustard taco. Either way, the tacos range at an affordable $2.25-$5.25 depending on your filling.

Sunnin Lebanese Cafe

Best cheap place to eat with your vegan friend: Sunnin Lebanese Café

1776 Westwood Blvd
If you have a vegan friend (which you do because you’re at college in 2016) who makes life challenging when it comes to eating out together, there is always the great option of Sunnin. The Lebanese restaurant has a long list of tasty Middle Eastern specialties with just as many meat dishes -- like their signature arayes, beef filled pitas and spicy ground beef sfiha pies -- as those that just happen to be vegan: from roasted eggplant babaganouj to chickpea balila with mashed garlic.

Best ramen for when Sawtelle is too far: Ramen Yamadaya

1248 Westwood Blvd
If you’re looking for something that’s even more conveniently located than Sawtelle’s famed Ramen Row, Ramen Yamadaya is always a viable option. The tonkotsu is the star here, made with pork bones that have been simmered for over 20 hours making for a delightfully rich broth -- plus the classic won’t set you back more than $7.95.

Flickr/Scott Dexter

Best cheap eats where you might run into Jonathan Gold: Attari Sandwich Shop

1388 Westwood Blvd
If you’re hoping for a J. Gold sighting or just want to educate yourself on the diversity of the Los Angeles food scene, then there is no better place to go in Westwood than Attari sandwich shop. This Persian spot, famous for its brain sandwiches and the ab-goosht, a delightful Persian stew, is a favorite of the Goldster and for good reason. While this gem of the LA food scene is not for the picky eater, it’s perfect for the light of cash.

Saffron & Rose Ice Cream

Best cheap dessert: Saffron & Rose Ice Cream

1385 Westwood Blvd
This Persian-style ice cream shop may not have your go-to cookie dough ice cream in store like Westwood mainstay Diddy Riese down the street, but what they do have is super-inventive, exotic flavors that never cease to amaze. From a fragrant orange blossom water flavor to mild cucumber flavored scoop, getting a cup of ice cream at Saffron & Rose is a great way to try an exotic dessert without splurging -- you can get yourself a cup starting at $4.50.