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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Built Custom Burgers

  • Price band: 1/4

What's better than a juicy burger for less than ten bucks? One built from scratch, with an epic list of toppings. Built Custom Burger has made eating burgers simpler and tastier than ever. Step one, choose your protein: options include hormone and antibiotic-free beef, all-natural turkey, all-natural chicken breast or housemade vegan veggie. Then, customize your burger with seven types of buns (including two types of green wraps) and 14 different sauces—the eight-step process can get intense. We suggest you take a look at the menu and make notes beforehand, or start with the Simply Built combo—burger + fries + soda for $9.75.

  1. 3584 S Figueroa St
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Mercado La Paloma

  • Price band: 1/4

Satisfy your ethnic food cravings at this shopping center that’s as lively as it is diverse—from vegan Indian at the Village Marketplace (where the dahl is to die for) to Yucatán classics at Chichen Itza, your palate will be just as overwhelmed as your eyes. Be sure to pick up a couple of Mexican-themed trinkets at the gift shop on your way home.

  1. 3655 S Grand Ave
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Bacaro LA

  • Price band: 2/4

USC sorority girls, grad students and professors pack in alongside the DTLA after-work crowd at this wine bar whose esoteric, terroir-driven menu changes as frequently as the attention span of its patrons. Chalkboard walls list a constantly rotating menu of red, white, sparkling and dessert wines by the glass. Drop in for happy hour Monday nights (5-7pm) when Cal-Med bites are $5 and wines by the glass are half off.

  1. 2308 S Union Ave
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Nature's Brew

  • Price band: 1/4

If you're looking for a new workplace or a good ol' cup of joe, this is it. Bacaro’s owners are back—on the same street, in fact—with coffee, pastries, fresh juices and plenty of power outlets. Take a seat in the spacious and warmly lit cafe, and get cozy with your favorite book or zone out with your physics flashcards. Order the Protein Boost salad ($8.75) or a classic club sandwich ($6.99) on your study break. And if you've really lost track of time, travel home with a "Meal in a Bag" ($12-$13) filled with a protein (chicken, salmon, tilapia), carb (bulgar, whole rice, cracked wheat) and seasonal and fresh veggies.

  1. 2316 S Union Ave
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  • Price band: 2/4

If you're looking for sushi, shabu-shabu, sake and hookah, find it all at this Japanese/Middle-Eastern one-stop spot. Start with a handcrafted caterpillar roll ($14) and pair it with a green apple sojutini ($10). (They may not keep the doctor away, but they will make your day.) Take advantage of weekday happy hour from 5pm to 7pm when beers are $3, sojutinis are $5 and all sake is buy one, get one free. Or even better, reverse happy hour Wednesdays from 10pm to midnight get you a late night hump-day hang.

  1. 3742 S Flower St
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