If you are anything like me, you get tired of the same old campus dining options. Simply put, there are only so many Lemonade cookies and Seeds paninis a girl can consume. If that’s the case, head over to Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles. This enormous open-air market is a foodie’s paradise. Bonus: it is only about a 10-minute drive from USC’s campus.
The first time I went, I felt immediately overwhelmed by the bustling crowds and more than 45 food vendors. Did I want a juicy burger, a breakfast sandwich, tacos or gourmet ramen? I spent nearly an hour taking laps around the market and reading different menus before deciding on a meal. Since then, I have taken many trips to Grand Central Market — and spent basically all of my money at food stands. Now I feel confident in my list of best food vendors to help first-time customers navigate the sea of options.
You’ve probably seen photos from this iconic breakfast spot on Instagram. After devouring The Fairfax sandwich with eggs, chives and sriracha mayo in under twenty seconds, I can confirm that this popular food stand lives up to the hype.
2. Sticky Rice
Head over to this funky vendor if you’re craving authentic Thai street food. They offer everything from papaya salad to Pad Thai to mango rice. To make things even better, this vendor uses organic and locally sourced ingredients in every dish.
3. Horse Thief BBQ
This may be on the list because the Texas-inspired meals remind me of home, but hey, my delicious brisket sandwich with fennel slaw tasted like real Texas barbeque. Everyone should give it a try.
4. McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream
Who doesn’t love creamy, old-fashioned ice cream? McConnell’s offers creative ice cream flavors like churro con leche, eureka lemon and marionberries and toasted coconut almond chip. Skip the cup and get your scoops in a freshly baked waffle cone!
5. Tacos Tumbras a Tomas
Having grown up in Texas, I’ve eaten my fair share of tacos, and Tacos Tumbras a Tomas is at the top of my extensive list! This small food stand serves inexpensive, authentic tacos with generous amounts of meat. Their carnitas and carne asada tacos are a must.