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My favorite budget-friendly restaurants around UC Berkeley

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SEPTEMBER 15, 2023

Despite being predominantly a college town, Berkeley is still known to be pretty expensive, especially in terms of food. That’s why I hope that with this guide, you’ll be able to find some budget-friendly places and meals to curb all your cravings. There are a variety of places around campus that offer some budget-friendly options, especially things that are easy to split and grab on the go. I really love using these options whenever I’m in a bind and need a bite to eat, and I hope you will too. 


First on the list, we have Mezzo. This sandwich spot is pretty popular around campus — with delicious sandwiches and salads for everyone to enjoy. You can never go wrong with its BLT or the Berkeley Special. Although the $10-$12 price tag may seem expensive, these sandwiches are the perfect size to share with a friend or even to take home and enjoy later. They are really two meals for the price of one. 

Katsumi Sushi 

Probably one of my most favorite food spots on campus is Katsumi Sushi. As a sushi lover, I try to get my sushi fix by eating here as often as I can. I usually opt for the California roll because of its cheap price at around $9, but sometimes I’ll splurge on a more elaborate roll or bento box. Everything here is honestly really tasty and worth your hard-earned cash. 

Dumpling Express

I’m a big fan of the food at Dumpling Express. It has a variety of different Chinese food options that are all really delicious. It also frequently has deals on Snackpass to make its already cheap food even more affordable to the average college student. I love to take advantage of its $5 dumpling deal Tuesdays, and I suggest you give it a try too. 


Although not really a local restaurant, Starbucks has really cheap breakfast sandwiches. Usually when I’m in a bind and have no time to make breakfast, Starbucks provides affordable and yummy breakfast options. I’m also a big fan of its coffee, which makes hitting Starbucks on the way to class even more enticing. 

Sliver Pizzeria

Extremely cheap and filling Sliver pizza is a great go-to budget-friendly lunch or dinner option. Although its “pizza of the day” concept is a little interesting to me, its options are usually really good, and a slice is usually only about $5, making it a great deal for the Berkeley area. You really don’t even need more than one slice to feel good and full. 

I hope you find this budget-friendly food guide helpful when navigating the culinary world around UC Berkeley. The food might be world-renowned, but that doesn’t mean the prices are. So as college students, it’s important for us to find good deals at our favorite places. 

Happy eating!

Contact Kendall Richter at 


SEPTEMBER 15, 2023