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5 Best Restaurants for Students Near ASU Tempe (Plus One for Their Parents)

The Tijuana Torpedo
The Tijuana Torpedo
Timur Guseynov

We'll admit, when we were in college we weren't the most enlightened of diners. That basically means we wasted a lot of money eating mediocre food at restaurants simply because we didn't know any better. But you don't have to make the same mistake.

There are plenty of good -- and almost more important, affordable -- restaurants around Arizona State University's main campus. So whether you're just starting your college career, or just starting to figure out that there are restaurants besides Chiptole and Panda Express (or both), you're going to want to do yourself a favor and check out this list of student-friendly restaurants around Tempe.

See also: 5 Best Restaurants in Tempe Right Now The Chuckbox

Sure, students could head south of campus and get a cheap burger at In-N-Out, but why bother when you have The Chuckbox -- a veritable Tempe institution -- right in your backyard? This simple burger joint has been around for more than 40 years and still serves one of the best burgers in town. The difference is that unlike other burger spots, The Chuckbox still cooks their ground beef patties on a grill powered by mesquite charcoal. Each one is also covered in the restaurant's special blend of spices and then left untouched for you to customize at the condiment bar. Two important tips for first-timers: Don't forget to order the beer-battered onion rings, and don't forget cash. This place is old-school so no credit or debit cards are accepted.

Kale Caesar Salad
Kale Caesar Salad
Lauren Saria

Original ChopShop Co.

For a lighter meal around campus you'll want Original ChopShop Co., a health-focused restaurant located just steps off campus. The specialties here include salads, sandwiches and protein bowls packed with ingredients such as kale, forbidden rice, and grilled chicken. In short, everything you should be eating to avoid that dreaded Freshman 15. The restaurant itself is a cozy spot for eating, drinking, and even just hanging out -- particularly on the spacious patio with games, community picnic tables, and stringed lights. On the drinks side you can get everything from fresh-squeezed lemonade or pressed juices to coffee, espresso, and even sangria.

 

Paitan Ramen
Paitan Ramen
Lauren Saria

Umami

Though a bowl of ramen at Umami will be more expensive than the packaged noodles most students are accustomed to eating, we promise this restaurant is worth every penny. At this Tempe restaurant you can customize your own bowl of noodles starting with the type of broth. The choices range from the mild shio, or sea salt broth, to the rich paitan, made with pork and chicken bones. You also get to choose what you want on top of your bowl. We like the housemade chashu pork belly and side of roasted garlic to notch up the broth. You also also fill up a build-you-own bento box with everything from excellent squid salad to tofu and kimchee. During happy hour both food and drinks get discounts. The restaurant knock $2 off any regular bowl of ramen and four item bento box as well as $2 off the specialty cocktails.

Hummus Xpress does Lebanese food Subway-style.
Hummus Xpress does Lebanese food Subway-style.
Lauren Saria

Hummus Xpress

Though it's a little farther away from campus, Hummus Xpress is worth a short drive. This one-of-a-kind restaurant does Mediterranean and Lebanese food in a fast-casual setting and in Subway-style. That means you get to build-your-own pita, bowl, salad, or plate starting with a protein of you choice: gyro, falafel, chicken, beef, or vegetarian. You can fill out the entree with vegetables, hummus, or salad and add toppings including olives, tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers, pepperoncinis, and more. Each of the options will set you back less than $10 and are sure to fill you up. For a lighter snack you can also get an order of housemade hummus with pita and a choice of meat for less than $5.

 

The Oggie
The Oggie
Heather Hoch

Cornish Pasty Co.

Cornish Pasty is as cool as a restaurant can be, with its dark interior and tiny dining room. As soon as you step in it feels like you're part of a cool, pasty-loving crowd you never knew existed prior to walking through the door. The house specialty is the Cornish pasty (past-ee) that originates from Cornwall. The large turnovers come filled with just about anything you can imagine including bangers and mash, chicken alfredo, and salmon. The traditional pastry, called The Oggie, is a good place to start. It features steak, potatoes, onion, and rutabaga and comes with a side of red wine gravy or ketchup. The menu also offers a selection of sides, appetizers, and desserts, in addition to a respectable selection of beer.

Bruschetta with fig, goat cheese and prosciutto.
Bruschetta with fig, goat cheese and prosciutto.
Heather Hoch

Take your parents to...House of Tricks

Though it's just steps off of Mill Avenue and within spitting distance of campus, this longtime Tempe restaurant feel like a true oasis. In fact, it's downright romantic. House of Tricks -- named after owners Robert and Robin Trick, not a reference to any sort of in-house magician -- is located in a 1920s cottage and 1903 adobe brick house, which are attached by a spacious outdoor bar and fireplace. It's a perfect setting for a dinner of inventive New American cuisine. Think, tagliatelle pasta with sweet peas, cherry tomatoes, pistachio-arugula pesto, and shaved manchego or roasted porchetta with charred rapini, sweet corn risotto, and scallion jus.

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Related Locations

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House of Tricks
miles
The Cornish Pasty Co.

960 W. University Drive
Tempe, AZ 85281

480-894-6261

www.cornishpastyco.com

miles
Hummus Xpress

930 W. Broadway Road
Tempe, AZ 85282

480-968-2311

www.hummusxpress.com

miles
Umami

21 E. 6th St.
Tempe, AZ 85281

480-222-2244

umamitempe.com

miles
Original ChopShop Co.

222 E. University Drive
Tempe, AZ 85281

480-307-9336

www.chopshopco.com

miles
The Chuckbox

202 E. University Drive
Tempe, AZ 85281

480-968-4712

www.thechuckbox.com


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