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Dining on a Budget Near the University of California, San Francisco Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Being a student, whether you’re in your undergraduate program or graduate program, means money is probably pretty tight. Tuition is incredibly expensive, and staying in the dorms isn’t cheap either. So, where are you going to eat when you want to go out? You can’t eat ramen noodles every day, no matter how inexpensive and tasty they are. Sometimes you just need a warm meal, cooked by someone other than yourself, but it still needs to be within your budget. Here are three budget friendly restaurants near the University of California San Francisco that you can consider.

The Ramp

The Ramp is a local gathering place, well-known for its al fresco dining and live salsa and Brazilian music. Originally a bait shop in the 50’s, The Ramp has fully transformed into a lively and popular Bay Area destination for drinks, dining, and dancing. This casual waterfront restaurant has beautiful views of the bay and plenty of seating outside, so don’t be afraid to bring a big group to eat some great seafood and watch the boats come and go. The kitchen is located in a really cool wood building with tin ceilings; it really still looks like a bait shop! And The Ramp has some of the best happy hours in the city. On Mondays and Thursdays, you can get $1 oysters. And on Tuesdays, they’re serving up $3.50 tacos. And don’t forget the $5 drafts on weekdays.

Shangri-La Vegetarian Restaurant

Shangri-La Vegetarian Restaurant is a Chinese eatery that serves many noodle dishes, faux meats, and other vegetarian, vegan, and many kosher dishes. One of the greatest things about this place is that the chefs make all of their tofu in house; it’s the freshest you can get! They are also well-known for their traditional medicinal soups. Here are a few examples for you to wrap your mind around. There’s the Encomia Park with Veggie Kidney, which has nourishing kidney beans and American ginseng to strengthen your diaphragm and internal health. There’s also the Lout Seeds Simmer with Veggie Tripe, which helps to nourish your hair, tone your muscles, and combat physical fatigue.


Padrecito is one of the newer and hipper made to order Mexican restaurants in town. The decor is both rustic and incredibly modern; a hipster haven. Not only do they have a great happy hour, but they also serve a really unique brunch, featuring creative egg dishes and melt-in-your-mouth biscuits that you must try. There are also many vegetarian and gluten-free options available. They owners really care about where they source their food. The seafood they use is approved by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Watch List, and their meats and poultry all come from local farms.

Dining on a budget near the University of California, San Francisco doesn’t mean you have to settle for something boring, and theses three restaurants prove that. Why not try them out this weekend?