Top 10 Best USC Eats

Top 10 Best USC Eats

Find out the best food near the USC campus.

University of South Carolina students are fortunate enough to live in a city with amazing restaurants. A lot of them are even located close enough to campus to be able to walk to. Here a list of just some of the amazing places USC students are able to enjoy.

1. Cantina 76

Cantina is definitely my all time favorite restaurant in Columbia. It is not only budget-friendly, but amazing as well. The menu features creative tacos and delicious enchiladas that can even be served with queso on top instead of salsa. They also have nachos, quesadillas and a fried ice cream that will blow your mind.

2. Kaminsky's

If you are looking for a gourmet desert, head to the Vista and stop by Kaminsky's. Their menu features a variety of desserts, coffees, sundaes and alcoholic dessert beverages to satisfy any sweet tooth.

3. Community Table

If you need to spend some of your meal plan but still want some good food, Community Table is where you need to go. It is right on the edge of campus across from Strom and Greek Village. Breakfast, including waffles and omelettes, are served all day along with some mac & cheese that is to die for.

4. DiPrato's

If you are looking to splurge on a brunch with some friends, DiPrato's is the place to go. It is located just barely off campus and features a good selection of brunch and lunch items along with fresh baked pastries.

5. California Dreaming

Whether you need a good date night place or somewhere to take your parents when they come to visit, California Dreaming is the place to go.

6. Mellow Mushroom

Located in the Vista, Mellow Mushroom has some amazing pizza and appetizers. It is the perfect place to go to with friends on a Friday night or with your parents when they come into town.

7. Tio's

If you want some delicious Mexican food or margaritas without going too far from campus, look no further than Tio's located off campus just past the horseshoe.

8. Village Idiot Pizza

If you are in Columbia looking for a New York style pizza, Village Idiot is the place to go. They also deliver as well, so you don't even have to leave your place. They even have two locations near campus. There is one by Granby Mills and another one in Five Points.

9. Tsunami

The best place to get sushi by campus is definitely Tsunami in the Vista. The sushi is freshly rolled after it is ordered with the best ingredients. You can even sit at the sushi bar and watch the chefs roll your sushi.

10. Hibachi House

Lastly, the best place to get take out is definitely Hibachi House. The hibachi is amazing however, they do tend to take a while since it is usually very busy. Ordering ahead is the best way to ensure you aren't stuck waiting.

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The 8 Most Instagram Friendly Restaurants In Gainesville

Rule one: the phone eats first.

In the small city of Gainesville, foodies have succeeded to find the most Instagram-able restaurants to eat at. These are the best, and don't forget, the phone eats first.

1. Dragonfly

The go-to sushi in Gainesville. If you’re a foodie, you’ve already been here multiple times. If you are one to say “ew” to Brussel sprouts, I promise your opinion of the vegetable will change when you go to this restaurant.

2. Civilization

The classic “phone eats first” meal: avocado toast. Definitely the best, and one of the only, avocado toast, healthy/organic places to go for a Sunday brunch in Gainesville.

3. Boca Fiesta

No, this is not in Boca, but yes it is the best Mexican food here in Gville. With make your own guacamole for your Instagram and delicious corn, you will definitely love it.

4. Social

The go-to place for $5 Wednesday mac & cheese. Buffalo chicken mac and cheese to be exact. Everyone loves a picture of mac and cheese, and this one will blow your mind (and followers) away.

5. OAK

Big pretzel appetizers and mac and cheese bites, what could be better? The go-to birthday celebration restaurant, this Original American Kitchen will fill you up.

6. Keke's

The Sunday morning cure. The best omelets in Gainesville for sure.

7. 29 82 In The Swamp

The renamed 3 Natives, walkable distance from campus you have the option of building your own acai or choosing your own lettuce wrap, the possibilities are endless.

8. Bento

From poke bowls to sushi rolls, what will you choose?

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Riech, 2017

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Yes I'm A Vegetarian And There's Plenty I Can Eat

It's really not as hard as it seems.

Every time I see someone after a long period of time I’m greeted with, “you still a vegetarian?”

I’ll be honest, I could never go vegan. I know my diet would become so unhealthy with a reliance on junk food if I relied on a vegan diet.

As a vegetarian, the only thing I don’t eat is meat. Chicken, beef, pork, etc.

Technically, I’m a pescatarian. I eat fish which tends to be my main source of protein. But believe it or not, meat isn’t the only food out there with flavor and the capability to keep us healthy. I love eating fish, I love Chinese food, I love sushi, I’ve learned to love beans, hummus and so many other foods I had never tried before turning to a vegetarian diet.

If anything, since becoming a vegetarian I’ve become even more health-conscious. I pay attention to what I eat and often have to plan meals since I know the biggest nutrient I’m missing without meat is protein. I never used to be a breakfast fan. I love breakfast food, but not at breakfast time. Over the last few years, I’ve started making myself eggs and toast and eating actual breakfasts almost every day. I’ve grown to love a tuna sandwich and I’m almost always in the mood for egg salad.

In the beginning, I worried a lot of people because I didn’t really know what I was doing. I had made the decision to switch to a vegetarian diet without any idea about how to do it in a healthy way. It took me a little while to figure it out, but once I did, I found a whole new group of foods I had never tried before.

I found myself at vegan restaurants, with loads of skepticism, and enjoying every bite. I discovered a love of veggie burgers, something I had never tried before.

I learned so much about myself and the things I’m willing to try.

I find myself so much more willing to try new foods ever since I stopped eating meat. Such a simple lifestyle change led me to tasting and sampling a million foods along the way and finding so many restaurants with dishes requiring no meat but holding a ton of flavor.

Even if it’s just for a week, a month or a few months, I really do recommend testing out a vegetarian diet. You might miss meat at first, but as you taste around, you will find so many other foods and you will forget about mean all together.

Give it a try! If anything, at least you can say you tried something new.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Boniello

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