We’ve all been there. It’s midnight or later, and you’re sitting in the saddening Leavey Library when your stomach suddenly decides to break the monotonous silence with an embarrassing growl. Or, if it’s a weekend, the munchies may very well have gotten the best of you after a night out with friends.
Next comes the frustrating realization that most fast food restaurants and quick eats are closed for the night. But, don’t have sleep for dinner just yet! Here’s your all-inclusive list to the best, most convenient and most affordable late-night eats on campus and within Fryft distance.
Honestly, El Huero was a saving grace my freshman year. A 24-hour walk-up stand serving Mexican food, El Huero is conveniently located close to the Row, offering build-your-own burritos, nachos and plate combos. The stand also has plenty of vegetarian options, which can easily be made vegan, and the staff is always accommodating to various dietary restrictions. Though the stand also offers burgers, onion rings and other traditional American diner foods, El Huero is most known for its burritos, which hit — especially at 2 a.m. after a shitty frat party.
Located on North Alvarado Street, this Mexican food truck is popular among USC students. Open until 2:30 a.m. most nights and 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Taco Zone exclusively caters to late-night eating. With vegan and vegetarian options, this food truck is incredibly affordable and accessible for all. Many Zone-goers it’s the perfect night-cap after a night out and about.
Trojan Grounds Starbucks
Located right next to Leavey Library, the TroGro Starbucks is the sole beacon of hope and consolation available to students as they cram for that one midterm they really should have studied for earlier. It also happens to be the perfect on-campus eatery after a night out, with a beckoning, while oftentimes chaotic, energy right off the EVK Fryft drop-off location. From coffee pick-me-ups to pre-packaged snacks to baked goods, this Starbucks has it all. Just make sure you don’t stop by during the crucial yet often-forgotten closing time from 2:30 to 3 a.m. I have pulled up to Trojan Grounds one too many times ready to feast (if you can call it that) only to stare helplessly at the paper sign and begrudgingly head back to my dorm.
Open 24 hours, this donut shop-deli hybrid needs no introduction. Infamous for its late-night appeal, as evidenced by its cultural relevance on the USC memes Facebook page, Spudnuts is a staple for USC students. While I personally have not experienced the glory that is Spudnuts (don’t crucify me), it is known for its affordable, flaky donuts. Spudnuts’ six-donut-holes-for-a-dollar deal is a steal. The shop also serves breakfast sandwiches all day, and sometimes (OK, most times) breakfast at 2 a.m. is exactly what you need. But make sure to stay away from the boba; you’re better off going to Pot of Cha instead.
Postmates, Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash
Why go anywhere, honestly, especially if you’re busy doing homework or can’t seem to move after having finally made it back home on a Saturday night? Postmates, Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub offer convenience like no other late-night snack or meal. While usually at a higher price point than the aforementioned eateries, these food delivery services are a great once-in-a-while splurge for college students on a budget. Make sure to take advantage of the occasional promotions and codes the apps offer for cheaper dining and recommend them to your friends to get credits for the pricey delivery fees!