See also: 10 Must-See Back to School Parties in Tempe and Scottsdale Come back tomorrow for our list of spots to eat and drink around ASU's downtown campus.
Welcome back, ASU students! Once again, it's time to hit the books and get yourself educated.
But you can't study all day. At some point, you're going to have to pull your head out of the library and eat something -- preferably not from the MU or your dorm's dining hall.
Here are some of our favorite dining options within walking distance of campus that beat the Taco Bell bean burritos and Subway sandwiches you're going to be sick of in a week.
Five R Cha -- On the north side of campus at the corner of Forrest and Seventh Street, Five R Cha serves spicy plates of stir-fried meats and veggies and rich curry bowls with sticky jasmine rice. Lunchtime specials come with a crispy spring roll and soup and won't cost you more than $8. The atmosphere is relaxed and there are plenty of flatscreens around the room, so you won't feel awkward if you get stuck eating alone. Our favorite dish is yellow curry with big chunks of filling potatoes and lots of slices of juicy chicken. Or order the BBQ chicken plate with grilled veggies if you're worried about that pesky freshman 15.
America's Tacos -- Conveniently located just blocks from campus on University, just west of Rural, America's Tacos is a much better alternative to most of the crap you'll find on campus. Authentic tortas (tasty Mexican sandwiches), burritos filled with flavorful grilled carne asada or vegan refried beans, and, our favorite, the America's Corn with lite mayo, cotija cheese, chili, and lime. Hit up happy hour for $1 tacos and $1.50 chips and salsa Monday -- Friday and if you're in a hurry, you can order online and have your order hot and ready for you when you get there.
Desert Roots Kitchen -- If you're part of the vegan/gluten free/healthy eating club, there aren't a lot of options around campus, but if you're down for a short walk to Mill Ave, you can eat your heart out on homemade healthy flavors at this brand-new cafe. The menu is constantly changing, but look for items such as pesto-filled shells, sweet pepper hummus, black bean wraps, coconut ginger soup, dolmas, and fresh-baked vegan cookies and pastries. There's a little something for everyone, and we're pretty sure you may even be able to sway your non-healthy eating friends to pay Desert Roots a visit.
NCounter -- Another Mill Ave necessity is the popular breakfast and lunch spot NCounter. Classic eggs benedict, bananas foster french toast, and veggie filled omelets will help start your day or try one of their hearty salads or signature sandwiches to get you through that lunchtime slump. This is also one of the only spots on Mill that makes a decent weekday bloody mary and drinkable latte.
D'Lish -- On the south side of campus and a little bit east of ASU on Apache sits the always-packed D'Lish. The kitchen and drive thru of this "healthy" eatery opens bright and early at 6 a.m. and serves freshly toasted bagels, savory breakfast burritos filled with eggs, cheese, and crispy bacon, and grilled sandwiches with portabello mushrooms, marinated chicken, and several different kinds of housemade soup. Try their Morning Buzz smoothie with espresso and peanut butter to get you through that early morning lecture and bring your laptop -- they have free Wi-Fi and a killer patio.
Brosenbrus Coffee Shop -- Don't even think about venturing to Cartel if you actually plan on finding a seat -- those are few and far between when school's in session. Instead pack up your bag and head over to Brosenbrus, located conveniently below the ginormous party apartment building The View. The coffee cafe serves Cartel coffee plus tasty sandwiches and breakfast pastries. Besides, what better way to get your invite to one of campus' biggest parties then by hanging out at the complex's personal coffee shop.
Big Jimmy's $5 Pizza -- You're not going to find a better $5 pizza in Tempe than Big Jimmy's. This place stays open 'til 4 a.m., will deliver, and has really good pizza for the price. They don't skimp on the cheese or the toppings and the crust is slightly thicker than those other $5 guys (aces in our book). Flavored crust is free and they also serve wings and sandwiches.
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