Los Angeles restaurants near USC: 10 dishes for under $10

Trojans and Downtowners alike can score meal deals at these tasty places near the USC campus and keep their bellies and wallets full.

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Enchiladas poblanos at Mariscos Maria's

Enchiladas poblanos at Mariscos Maria's Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

As Downtown booms with hot new restaurants, rooftop bars and plush lofts, USC's University Park neighborhood follows suit with some new eateries. From tapas and happy hour at one of the city's top wine bars to custom-built burgers, meal deals in and around the USC campus are affordable and satisfying. Whether you're pre-gaming, cruising through the California African American Museum or seeing a show at the Shrine Auditorium, check out these cheap eats under $10. Fight (and eat) on!


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The Lab Gastropub

  • Price band: 2/4

Whether you're on your way to class or need to shake off a long day, the Lab Gastropub—located on USC's campus—is a great place to grab a drink and a bite and "hoozah" your way through happy hour. The outdoor seating is a perfect spot to enjoy a light breeze, while the long, sleek tables give the interior a welcoming, upscale cafeteria-style feel. Dropping in for a happy hour drink is a must ($4 dollar beers, anyone?), as is the truffle mac and cheese ($12), at least once.

  1. 3500 Figueroa St
More info

The Pizza Studio

  • Price band: 1/4

The Pizza Studio, a graduate of the LA school of build-your-own-pizzas, brings its own version of customizable pies—from rosemary herb crust to truffle salt—to the USC area. For those who are too indecisive to build their own pizza ($8) or are looking to save a couple of dollars, the "starving artist" option ($6) offers pre-made creations such as the traditional meat eater’s favorite—aka pepperoni—and white pie with caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, freshly grated mozzarella and arugula on a rosemary herb crust.

  1. 3584 S Figueroa St
Book online

Urbnmrkt

  • Price band: 1/4

Stop into this industrial-styled space for lunch or an iced coffee, but good luck making your way back to the office or class, as Urbnmrkt serves just as well as a clean-cut workspace. The sandwiches and create-your-own salads are fresh and quickly prepared to accompany your busy schedule. We like the chicken panini ($6.29) and the Urbn Soul burger ($5.99). The monthly specials such as $1.50 tacos are a steal and can’t be missed. Tip: Be sure to hold onto your rewards card—buy ten lunch combos (sandwich/salad + drink + chips, fruit or cookie) and get your eleventh free.

  1. 3434 S Grand Ave #1
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Jacks N Joe

  • Price band: 1/4

Breakfast should be celebrated; after all, it is the most important meal of the day. This flapjack hot spot churns out morning comfort food seven days a week. Regularly filled with Trojans, Jacks N Joe features an all-day breakfast menu that's as lively as its patrons. From Jacks Banana WTF Pancakes ($6.85) to the Denver Not Boulder Omelet ($8.75), fueling up has never been so creative. If you're venturing out on the weekend, get there early or join the line that starts building before doors open. But we promise, it's worth the wait.

  1. 2498 S Figueroa St
More info

Mariscos Maria's

  • Price band: 1/4

Finding a Mexican restaurant in LA is easy, but settling on a great one, on the other hand, might seem impossible. When in the USC area, Trojans migrate to this local hole-in-the-wall for mouth-watering enchiladas and margaritas—don’t miss the beef burrito. Make sure you brush up on your Spanish: The menu listings are just as authentic as the food.

  1. 2215 S Vermont Ave
More info

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