USC Dining Hall

November 9, 2022
By AdmissionSight

USC Dining Hall

Where Do Students Eat At USC?

Where do students eat at USC? There are 24 cafes on the University Park Campus, including three USC dining halls, four on-campus eateries, and 17 quick service establishments, according to USC Hospitality. Only two of these places stay open past 9 p.m.: the USC Village Dining Hall, which stays open until 10 p.m., and Starbucks at Trojan Grounds, which stays open until 11 p.m.

The 13 restaurants at the USC Village that do not take meal swipes are not included in this total. Rock & Reilly’s, Greenleaf, and City Tacos all take discretionary dollars.

After 15 months of virtual instruction, students are not only reconciling with friends and professors, but they will also be dining at USC dining halls like Parkside, Everybody’s Kitchen, and the USC Village. USC Hospitality exclusively operated out of EVK and offered take-out meals to students during the 2020–21 academic year. Through GrubHub, which allowed connections to students’ USCards, EVK accepted online orders.

View of a woman eating alone on a table.

Last summer, USC Hospitality made the switch from exclusively offering fast service and carry-out alternatives to also offering in-person options, opening EVK during the week for students. When returning to campus, both freshmen and sophomores may find it difficult to decide what and where to eat. Here are some dining options for students this fall at the University Park campus.

Full-Service Restaurants

The Lab Gastropub – A walk-up bar providing inventive gastropub dishes.

Moreton Fig – Farm-to-table gourmet California cuisine is served at Moreton Fig, a full-service restaurant with a comfortable bar and amazing California wine options.

McKay’s – Full-service restaurant Mckay’s offers a daily breakfast buffet, fine dining, and it has a lounge.

University Club – A private, members-only club with a full-service dining room.

Quick Service Locations

Food Crush

Burger Crush is a locally owned and operated take-out restaurant that serves traditional fast-food staples like burgers, fries, and thick frosty shakes.

Café Annenberg

Serving coffee, gelato, pastries, and sandwiches, this Italian-inspired café.

C&G Juice Co.

At RTCC, C&G Juice Co. serves acai bowls, juices, and smoothies.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Features scrumptious iced, hot, and blended drinks, as well as delectable snacks and pastries.

Fertitta Café

Bao, banh mi, dim sum, Asian salads, noodles, rice bowls, and sushi are all available on the menu.

Law School Café

Asian bowls and boba tea are available at the Law Café, which is housed in the Law School’s basement.


Hot tea, coffee, boba tea, and nutritious grab-and-go options are available at Literatea.

Panda Express

A well-liked dining establishment, Panda Express combines fresh ingredients with traditional Chinese flavors.

Popovich Café

Mediterranean sandwiches, wraps, salads, acai bowls, and pastries are available at Popovich Hall.

Rosso Oro’s

Pizza with a thin crust and other Italian food is available at Rosso Oro’s, a sports-themed hangout with TVs and shuffleboard.

The Seeds Marketplace

Made-to-order salads, artisan sandwiches, homestyle hot entrées, snacks, and desserts are available at Seeds Marketplace. Create your own selection or pick from a choice of fresh grab-and-go foods.

Starbucks at Trojan Grounds

The most well-known coffee in the world is available at Starbucks, made to your preferences. Pick up a snack while you’re there and get your go-to favorite or a novel invention!

Tutor Hall Café

Indian food, sandwiches, salads, pastries, coffee, and tea are available at the Tutor Hall Café.


Just a few steps from your place of employment, URBNMRKT in the CAL building serves breakfast and lunchtime favorites. Visit if you crave for a snack, pastry, or coffee.


Mexican-inspired foods cooked to order are available at Taco-Taco. Build your new favorite burrito, bowl, or salad by selecting from a wide range of ingredients.

How Many Dining Halls Does USC Have?

How many dining halls does USC have? Each residential neighborhood has an all-you-care-to-eat dining venue. Residents are enrolled in a meal plan which has unrestricted access to all three USC dining halls. Each restaurant offers a distinctive dining experience that appeals to a range of dietary preferences and lifestyles among USC’s varied student body.

View of an unidentified person eating on a wooden table.

Everybody’s Kitchen

Everybody’s Kitchen (EVK), which is situated close to Birnkrant and New Residential Colleges, serves up homestyle classics, a made-to-order action station, pizza, daily grill specials, a salad bar, and a dessert counter. Every month, USC Hospitality modifies the dining area, brings in entertainment, and lets the cooks “go all out” with the meal. The students look forward to these themed nights.

Parkside Restaurant & Grill

In addition to serving various dishes from its four demonstration stations, Parkside Restaurant in the International Residential College at Parkside also serves vegetarian and vegan options, sandwiches, pizza, and salads. Every month, Parkside also holds theme nights for students and staff members to enjoy and take part in.

USC Village Dining Hall

The newest USC dining hall, which is tucked away in USC Village, complements the university’s plan for its residential college program, which integrates living, learning, and community for 2,500 students. One of the biggest construction projects in South LA history is USC Village. The 8,000-square-foot room, which has seating for more than 400 people, is decorated with collegiate gothic architecture, towering ceilings, dramatic lighting, and lovely stained-glass windows.

To promote the USC Hospitality Food Philosophy, Chef Nathan Martinez has produced an equally outstanding menu with a variety of dining alternatives, including USC’s first-ever 100% self-contained plant-based station (vegan-friendly). The dessert station offers made-to-order sweet and savory crepes as well as hand-scooped ice cream, and there is a full salad, sandwich, and soup bar as well.

What Time Do Dining Halls Open At USC?

There is a restaurant, café, or specialized dining location for you at any hour of the day, no matter what you are in the mood for. So, what time do dining halls open at USC? Browse through the hours for USC dining halls below.

Operating Hours

Monday through Friday – 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Sunday through Saturday – 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Monday through Friday – 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM CLOSED

For more dining options, you may check the hours of operation for other restaurants on campus.

Does USC Have Good Dining Hall Food?

Despite being right in the heart of the culinary capital of the world, Los Angeles, USC makes a concerted effort to provide its 19,000 undergraduate students with access to an incredible range of food on campus. Nearly 40 dining options are available, ranging from the well-liked Traditions bar and grill on campus to Moreton Fig, a fine-dining establishment, and The Lab, a gastropub.

Menus at the USC dining halls (where theme evenings are hosted every month) are supported by homemade stocks and sauces, and instead of the large “troughs” you will see at most cafeterias, employees can dish out smaller portions of freshly prepared food using small serving pots.

A young woman eating alone in a cafeteria.

If you’ll ask “Does USC have good dining hall food?” Lean meats, vegetables, and whole grains are incorporated into recipes by USC’s chefs in close collaboration with their full-time dietitian. Additionally, the university has implemented a program to guarantee that local, sustainable, and organic foods are served every day at all dining halls, including some herbs and vegetables grown on campus. Every dining hall offers vegetarian and vegan alternatives, and there are regular farmers’ markets on campus.

Everybody’s Kitchen

Everybody’s Kitchen, often known as EVK, is the closest restaurant near Birnkrant and New North Residential Colleges. It takes pleasure in serving “homestyle favorites” and is best recognized for regular college fare. There is an ongoing discussion among students over whether you should love or detest the food at EVK, even though it is the only dining hall with a breakfast smoothie bar.

Parkside Restaurant & Grill

The kosher, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan selections at Parkside Restaurant & Grill are well-known. Parkside is farther away from the USC Village and other residential colleges and buildings despite being closer to the International Residential College. However, students claim that the walk is worthwhile given the variety and quality of Parkside’s meals. Students are particularly excited about the live egg bar at breakfast and the varied option of pizza at lunch and dinner. Parkside also has amazing wraps, particularly the tandoori chicken wraps.

USC Village Dining Hall

Due to its proximity to the honors college, USC Village’s dining hall—often referred to as McCarthy—attracts students from around the university with its Hogwarts-like atmosphere. In a novel addition, the USC Village offers the first vegan and “flexitarian” stations for students. Students choose USC Village dining hall for its vegan and vegetarian alternatives, while all the dining halls offer a variety of options for students with dietary needs.

How Much Is the USC Meal Plan?

All undergraduate students of USC Housing will have required (mandated) meal plans that they can use in the residential dining halls for the academic year 2022-2023.

First-Year Students (Freshmen):

  • The standard complete meal plan will be assigned to all first-year undergraduate enrollees (Cardinal Plan.) This rule is applicable to all USC Housing properties, including suites, apartments, and dorms.

All Undergraduate Upperclassmen:

  • The default partial meal plan will be given to all undergraduate upperclassmen (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) assigned to apartment facilities (Apartment Plan.)
  • The default complete meal plan will be given to all undergraduate upperclassmen (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) living in residence halls and suite facilities (Cardinal Plan.)

Graduate students will not be required to purchase a food plan.


No matter how frequently you would like to visit the USC dining halls, the Cardinal Meal Plan allows you unrestricted access to them. They provide a welcoming environment and a wide selection of culinary options for a meal, a snack, a visit with friends, or a practical spot to work on a project for class.

The Cardinal Meal Plan also includes two Campus Center Meal Swipes each week that can be used for meal combos at numerous locations at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center since you might need to grab a fast meal between classes when you’re not close to a dining hall.

What you will get:

  • Seven additional guest swipes every semester in addition to unlimited residential meal swipes.
  • Two Campus Center Meal Swipes per week at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center’s Seeds Marketplace, The Kitchen, Verde, Burger Crush, and C&G Juice Co. (These swipes do not roll over week to week, they reset every Sunday).


Some students might like to give their meal plan greater latitude. If you would prefer so, you can use 50 Campus Center Meal Swipes from the Flex Meal Plan over the course of the semester.

What you will get:

  • Unlimited Residential Meal Swipes, plus 7 Guest Swipes per semester.
  • 50 Campus Center Meal Swipes each semester at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center’s Seeds Marketplace, The Kitchen, Verde, Burger Crush, and C&G Juice Co.


The Gold Meal Plan includes Dining Dollars that can be used at the majority of USC Hospitality establishments on both the University Park and Health Sciences campuses, including Starbucks and Panda Express, for students who would like to use their meal plan for dining outside of the Campus Center venues. The total Dining Dollar value is discounted by 20% under this plan.

What you will get:

  • Unrestricted residential meal swipes, plus seven additional guest swipes per semester.
  • $500 Dining Dollars per semester.


Some college students might prefer a food plan that uses only Dining Dollars. The Trojan Plan is for you if that best satisfies your needs.

What you will get:

  • A Full Dining Dollar plan.
  • $3,955 Dining Dollars per semester.


When they finalize a USC Housing contract, all sophomores, juniors, and seniors residing in apartments will be given the Apartment plan. This package offers 150 Dining Dollars per semester in addition to 40 residential meal swipes. The meal plan can be upgraded by residents.

View of students eating on a dining hall while talking.

You can buy a new Apartment, Community 25, or Community 50 plan when the Residential Meal Swipes expire if you use up your Apartment plan and decide you want more Residential Meal Swipes. At the end of the semester, any unused Dining Dollar balance will be reset.

Graduate students are exempt from the meal plan requirement.

What you will get:

  • 40 Residential Meal swipes.
  • $150 Dining Dollars per semester.

Now that you have an idea of what you could benefit from each plan, it’s time to answer the question “How much is the USC meal plan?”

2022-2023 Residential Meal Plans

Meal Plan Type Cost per Semester
Cardinal Full (default plan) $3,465
Cardinal Flex Full (optional upgrade) $3,715
Gold Full (optional upgrade) $3,865
Trojan Full (optional upgrade) $3,955
Apartment Plan Partial (default plan) $755

Besides the wide range of dining options, inclusive of USC dining halls and restaurants on campus, USC also provides students with a diverse selection of academic programs. The University of Southern California (USC) is the oldest private research university in the state of California and is widely known for its illustrious creative programs, most notably in the field of film. The University of Southern California is also known to have a stringent admissions process. With this, AdmissionSight can assist you in creating a strong application to USC. Feel free to set up an initial consultation with our experts and discuss what AdmissionSight could offer.

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