As a new student at Cal State Long Beach, the number one concern besides how to get from one class to the other is where to grub.
Sure, you could always stop by one of the four convenience stores on campus and grab a soda or bag of chips (if you’re feeling healthy, a protein bar) but how long can that really sustain a person? You could always visit The Nugget, Panda Express or any of the other food establishments on campus, but those options tend to get old quickly — and expensive.
One benefit of the campus is the multitude of food establishments nearby ready to feed hoards of college students for a decent price. The best part is most of these locations are a 10-minute walk or drive from campus — about the same amount of time it would take to walk from upper to lower campus. From Mexican food to American-style dishes, there’s something for everyone.
Some say that California is the epicenter for great and authentic Mexican food. While Taco Bell is good enough for someone on a dime and in a rush, Chronic Tacos is the best choice if you’re looking to get genuine Mexican food for a great price. In Chipotle-esque style, customers choose a base from the menu and can add varying “proteins” including marinated grilled chicken and steak, fish, shrimp and veggies as well as other sides to their dish. They offer bowls, burritos, quesadillas and a variety of sides. Portions are generally large, so students will definitely be getting their money’s worth.
Location: 5525 Stearns St, Long Beach, CA 90815
Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cha for Tea, Tea Bar & Restaurant
With only three locations open all in California, Cha for Tea is definitely a rare gem conveniently located mere minutes from upper campus. Don’t let the name fool you, while Cha for Tea boasts an impressive drink menu, including iced teas, milk teas and herbal teas, the menu also contains several food items to choose from. The menu is vegetarian-friendly with options including curry and orange tofu, as well as non-vegetarian choices including crispy dumplings ($6.20 for an entree) and orange chicken ($7.72 for an entree). The interior of the restaurant is fun and contemporary, perfect for grabbing good food and getting comfortable to do some homework or study.
Location: 5720 E 7th St Long Beach, CA 90803
Monday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
L&L Hawaiian BBQ
The best part about living in California is the different cultural foods that are available, not only at an affordable cost but also locally. L&L Hawaiian BBQ considers itself “Hawaii’s comfort food” and offers hearty portions of mostly meat options including chicken katsu ($7.99), BBQ beef ($7.99), and even a BBQ cheeseburger ($4.89) complete with fries. Vegetarians can enjoy fried shrimp and garlic shrimp plates for $7.99. If you’re not in the mood for a complete meal, try a spam musubi ($1.85) or two to satisfy your hunger while still getting something delicious to eat.
Location: 5716 E 7th St B-6, Long Beach, CA 90803
Monday-Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Okay. Target is not a restaurant, but it can still offer students midday snacks at a much more affordable price compared to the campus convenience stores. Besides the myriad of food options offered, there are also food establishments within the store including Pizza Hut and Starbucks. Students can find a seat and do homework while snacking on anything the store has to offer.
Location: 5760 E 7th St, Long Beach, CA 90803
Monday-Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Denny’s or iHop? The college debate of the century. Denny’s is an American style restaurant that offers almost any traditionally “American” food dish. While famously known for its breakfast, the restaurant also offers lunch and dinner — but why have a burger when you can have overly sweet chocolate chip pancakes? Open 24 hours and seven days a week, Denny’s is the perfect place to snuggle in for a late-night study session with its cheap food, free coffee and free hot chocolate refills. What more could you ask for?
Location: 5570 Pacific Coast Hwy Long Beach, CA 90804
Open 24 hours, seven days a week