College is a miserable yet endearing time when you’re stuck on campus for hours on end, trudging from class to class and barely having time to feed yourself. When you do manage to find time to eat, you suddenly remember the outstanding balance on your student loan so you budget your meal accordingly. This usually has you stuck in a rut of eating whatever is within walking distance and under six bucks. Fast food joints and mundane campus food courts become part of your lunch routine. When you do feel like breaking away from the usual, you don’t know where to start and you don’t want to waste your money on some bunk-ass food either.
Lucky for you, we’ve created a food compendium specifically for California State University Fullerton and Fullerton College (Same thing right?) students seeking to break away from the lull of fast “campus” food. Jamba Juice be gone!
What’s Up Men
Thank you, noodle gods, for blessing CSUF students with this ramen spot within walking distance of the CSUF campus (insert prayer hands emoji here) Carb load for the busy day ahead of you with these comfort noodles and fatty broths. The staff are super friendly and always seem to have a welcoming smile on their face. My favorite is the Aka soup but you can’t go wrong with any other bowl the menu. 512 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 526-5966
You’ve probably passed by this establishment on your drunken nights stumbling through DTF or you’ve already gotten wasted here yourself. If the latter is true, then you already know that Matador’s Taco Tuesday nights host a lively ambience along with $3 Coronas, $4 Mexican drafts and $5 margaritas—careful with the margartias as they’re potent! The delicious gourmet tacos are priced at $1.25-$3 on Tuesdays as well. If that’s still too pricey for you, fret not—Taqueria De Anda (see below) has you covered with their dollar Taco Tuesday special. 111 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 871-8226
Taqueria De Anda
Sometimes, you just need some greasy Mexican tacos to hit the spot, you know? This iconic-in-OC Mexican chain also serves up hefty burritos and aguas frescas. Definitely college budget friendly and within walking distance of CSUF. As mentioned above, Taqueria De Anda has dollar Taco Tuesdays. Have a taco feast here, then Uber to Matador for the desmadre. 602 W. Chapman Ave., Placentia, (714) 528-2671
You’ll have to get in your car and make a small drive to Placentia for this katsu sandwhich spot, but it’s worth it! Bread and breaded, deep-fried chicken cutlet make a glorious coupling. Try the monstrous $20 sandwich known as “The Works aka Sandwich 5000” if you can stomach it—or, better yet, get your sociology class group project here for that. For those with a normal-sized tummy, get the habanero pesto—the right balance of creamy, savory and spicy. Don’t forget to get a side of potato puffs—basically small croquettes that come in regular or curry flavor. 3165 Yorba Linda Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 986-9888
You know the 24-hour Subway off of Chapman? Thailandia is right by it. Steamy Thai soups, pad thai, fried rice, the sweet and savory Thai options never seem to end here. The portions are also generous and will surely require a doggy bag. You’ll be glad you got this when you arrive to your dorm drunk or faded—or both—and are looking for late night leftovers. 2500 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton, (714) 526-0777
Once this sweltering heat wave dies down and we return to El Niño, treat yourself to some hot pho at Pho Olivia. Conveniently located a few steps away from Thailandia, Pho Olivia offers sweet lunch deals with pho an egg roll and fried rice. The bowls are large, the broth is good and the noodles are plenty. 2466 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton, (714) 525-5888
This place serves generous portions of Mediterranean classics such as beef or chicken shawarma, kabobs, tabbouleh, moutabol, hummus and sweet, sweet baklava. The combo plate option gives anyone new to Mediterranean food the opportunity to pile on as many new cultural bites as possible. Tip: order the things you can’t pronounce. 1343 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton (714) 449-0100
Keep your eyes peeled for this classic next time you’re driving through Commonwealth towards downtown Fullerton. Here, you’ll explore the indigenous flavors of Oaxaca, Mexico and exercise your tongue-rolling capabilities when ordering dishes such as tlayuda (the Mexican pizza-looking thing) and the ever-infamous dried grasshoppers. 700 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 773-4290
DogHaus is in the University Housing commercial space down the street from CSUF. While a majority of the clientele are University Housing tenants grubbing before their usual routine of college debauchery, this place is still non-CSUF/bro friendly. DogHaus offers delicious King’s Hawaiian bun hot dogs or burgers topped with all kinds of artery-clogging goodness. If you finish your entire meal without having a heart attack, hi-five yourself. 2555 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton, (714) 213-8265
The best freaking garlic naan you’ll ever try—at least in Fullerton. The naan is warm, fluffy and crunchy on the outside. You can customize your styrofoam combo plate with several different kinds of curry, all of them delicious. The chicken tikka marsala and veggie samosas are also excellent. Curry Hut’s colorful pink and green walls provide a perfect backdrop for Instagram-worthy, selfies too. 1317 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton, (714) 746-4333