Although USC Village offers a wide range of dining options, they seem to all share one factor in common: a high cost. While USC Village may be convenient, students often choose to eat elsewhere because of the lack of affordable options. However, amid overpriced salads, sandwiches and more, there are still a few lunch options under $10 (with tax!).
1. Mini Pita and Soup – Cava – $8.50
For a more affordable option than a full Cava bowl, a mini pita is the perfect lunch. The combination meal allows customers to put toppings of their choice on Cava’s signature pita. This lunch option is rife with variety in both flavor and amount of food, as Cava’s farm-fresh toppings change daily. Customers have the following options for their pitas: three dips and spreads, one protein, unlimited toppings and one dressing. However, Cava offers a wide array of combinations between six dips and spreads, six proteins, 14 toppings and six dressings. The pita meal is also served with a cup of steaming, seasonal soup.
2. The Our Burger – Wahlburgers – $8.95
If you are looking for a heartier lunch, this burger may be the move. The ⅓ pound angus beef patty is a proprietary blend of brisket, short rib and chuck. In addition to the patty, the burger contains tomato, onion, government cheese, pickles and the restaurant’s signature house sauce. For further customization and flavor, customers can add free toppings to their burger, including fresh jalapeños, pickles, mustard sauce, buffalo sauce, barbeque sauce and chipotle mayo.
3. Shio or Soyu Chicken Ramen – Ramen KENJO – $9.00
A steaming hot bowl of ramen is the perfect lunch option for a cold day. Customers must first choose between the salty Shio broth or the soy sauce-based Soyu broth. Both chicken broth bases are served with slow-cooked chicken and corn. For extra flavor, the ramen is topped with pickled egg, bean sprouts, green onion, seaweed and sesame seeds.
4. Personal Pizza – Rance’s Pizza – Personal Pizza: Pan or Tavern Style – $8.99
Rance’s, which specializes in deep dish Chicago pizza, serves affordable personal pizzas, the perfect lunch size. Even better, this lunch special allows customers to choose between two different crust options: a thicker pan crust topped with chunky tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, and a thin crust, tavern-style pizza with smooth marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.
5. Cranberry Walnut Salad – Dulce – $8.75
Dulce’s cranberry walnut salad is a light and refreshing meal. A base of mixed greens and arugula is topped with avocado, fuji apples, walnuts, dried cranberries and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. A olive oil balsamic glaze drizzled over the salad complements these flavors well.
6. Premade wraps and salads – Trader Joe’s – Under $5
At Trader Joe’s, shoppers can choose between many premade salads and wraps for a delicious lunch. These meals cater to meat-lovers, vegetarians and vegans. Favorites include the Southwest Salad, which is a mix of black beans, corn, Cotija cheese and ranch dressing, as well as the Buffalo-Style chicken wrap. In this premade meal, spicy chicken, celery and blue cheese dressing are wrapped inside of a tomato tortilla.