As a sophomore with apartment style housing, I have the option to have an apartment meal plan, which is made for students who plan to mainly cook their own meals instead of eating from the dining hall. However, I did not want to take on the time commitment of cooking, so I upgraded to the Cardinal Meal plan, which includes 19 meal swipes a week.

As a USC student, you will use your USCard for a lot, from getting into your dorm and libraries to printing, my favorite way to use my USCard is to eat. So far, I have used my USCard, and my weekly 19 meal swipes, in multiple different ways in multiple different places. During this blog, I am going to take you through different meals I have gotten.


I am a big advocate of breakfast, even though with my class schedule, I am either eating breakfast at around 7:30am or basically as an early lunch at around 10:30am. Personally, I like to get my breakfast to go, so I do not often go to the dining halls for breakfast. I usually get food from one of the many restaurants and cafes on campus that have special combos for which students can pay with meal swipes. One thing I love about these combos is that they come with a water bottle or coffee, fresh fruit, and yogurt, so I now have more snacks to eat throughout the day.

One of my favorite breakfast meals I have had so far is the sausage breakfast burrito combo, which is sold at multiple cafes on campus. I also enjoyed the 16oz Trojan Acai Cup from C&G Juice Co. and the Pesto Egg White sandwich combo from The Café.


This semester I have around 1 hour and 30 minutes between classes to eat lunch. Unlike breakfast, I usually alternate between going to the dining hall or getting takeout from an on-campus restaurant for lunch. It is usually super easy to squeeze in a quick dining hall visit between class, but if the lines are a little long or I have less time for lunch, I use the USC Campus Dining mobile app to quickly order and pick up food.

I often eat at Everybody’s Kitchen (EVK) or Parkside dining hall with my friends in between classes. All USC dining halls have different menus that change everyday. I have eaten pizza, Korean BBQ, poké, and so much more at the dining halls. I’ve also enjoyed the Chicken Pesto Sandwich from Popovich Café and the Chicken Tikka Masala Combo from Tutor Hall Café.


Due to club meetings or other events and involvements, I don’t eat dinner at the same time everyday. Sometimes I am on the main campus until 9:30pm and sometimes I am back in my dorm at 1pm. I often pick up dinner from one of the USC restaurants while heading back to my dorm in the evening or sometimes go to the dining hall.

One of my dinner favorites is Verde, which is a Chipotle-like Mexican takeout place on campus. I have gotten the 3 taco combo and various burrito combos, which all come with chips and a drink. Additionally, the hot dinners from Seeds Marketplace, which is open until 10pm, are really good and include roasted salmon and meat lasagna. Also, I often go to the Village dining hall for dinner, since it is near my dorm. One of my favorite things about the Village dining hall is the crepes they have at night.

One suggestion I have for everyone who wants to order food at USC is to get the USC Campus Dining app so you can order your food online! It makes everything easier and faster and can be so useful when you have a busy day.

I love the sheer amount of options USC has for dining under the residential housing plan. There are still so many things I have not tried that are on my bucket list.

Victoria Pinkett

Victoria Pinkett

MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2024 HOMETOWN: Inglewood, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @victorriaimani I'm a member of Regional Executive Board for the National Society of Black Engineer's Region VI. On campus, I am also involved in USC Makers.