Meal plans at UCCS are great for those living on campus, but everyone needs a little variety once in a while. These five options give students a chance to explore some cheap and quick spots around Colorado Springs.
Eateries included on the list fall into several different food genres, and vary from drive-thru to walk-in. While most restaurants listed are chains, I’ve tried to avoid the most generic spots that everybody knows about, like McDonalds or Chick-Fil-A. Each meal price includes a side and drink.
Located in University Village, it’s a quick drive or walk from campus. While there’s seating inside, service is often fast enough to make for the perfect to-go lunch. Most regular sized sandwiches add up to $8.50-9.00, and a side of crinkle cut fries and a fountain drink make the total $15.12. My favorite option is to make your own sandwich (my favorite is turkey, provolone, olives, onion and honey mustard).
Santana’s Vegan Grill
Up Austin Bluffs next to Dunkin, Santana’s has a drive-thru as well as space for dining inside. One of the pricier options on the list, but I have yet to try something disappointing off of their menu. My meatball mozzarella sandwich added up to $11.29, but most of their burgers or sandwiches range from $10.50-12.39. A small side of fries was $3.11, and a small drink was $3.75, totaling $19.62 for lunch.
Next door to the Starbucks in University Village, Awi Sushi is my favorite lunch sushi spot. They have wonderful prices for great rolls. They have waited seating as an option, but it’s also possible to walk up for takeout. Most specialty rolls are $9.99-11.99, and classic rolls are all $4.99. My order of a spicy yellowtail roll ($4.99), edamame ($2.99), miso soup ($1.99) and a drink ($1.99) totaled $12.92, not including tip.
Wienerschnitzel is completely overlooked, but they have awesome hotdogs and good prices. On the corner of Austin Bluffs and North Academy, there is a small indoor seating area but the drive-thru is usually pretty quick. Premium beef hot dogs with specialty toppings start at $4.29, and my corndog was $2.29. A side of medium French fries is $2.89 and a drink is $3.09. I would highly recommend the cucumber lemonade, which is an additional .90 but worth every cent. My visit added up to $9.92.
There are limitless possibilities at Trader Joes, another University Village option. They sell frozen meals as well as freshly prepared foods like soup, salads and sandwiches. Prices vary a lot more depending on what you choose to buy, with prepared food ranging from $4.49-6.99 (My peanut udon noodle salad was $4.99). I typically buy a bag of elote chips to have a snack with lunch, and then save the rest to take home ($2.69). As for drinks, I never leave Trader Joe’s without a bottle of limeade ($2.99). My lunch cost $10.67.
Each location on the list has meatless options for vegetarians, and quick turnaround times for a short break between classes. If you find yourself hungry this week, take a chance on one of these great stops!
Awi Sushi is located in the University Village Shopping Center. Photo by Lillian Davis.