Tritons returning from summer break will find a variety of new student-friendly dining options near campus to enjoy: The Shops at La Jolla Village is in the process of adding student favorites Philz Coffee, Snooze: an A.M. Eatery, and The Melt. All three are expected to open before classes begin on September 28.
The three openings are part of a larger expansion for The Shops at La Jolla Village, the shopping center south of campus housing Whole Foods Market and CVS Pharmacy. Over the past few years, the complex has added a Nordstrom Rack, Drybar, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, and Mendocino Farms. The new offerings will keep ShopCore Properties, the complex’s new ownership group, competitive with the nearby La Jolla Village Square and Westfield UTC. ShopCore purchased the complex and adjacent apartments in June for $168 million.
Snooze: An A.M. Eatery will be a more familiar option for locals, with existing restaurants in Hillcrest and Del Mar. The Denver-based diner serves traditional breakfast and brunch options in an eclectic modern setting. The popularity of its food and cocktails frequently leads to hour-long waits at its other San Diego locations. The La Jolla restaurant will begin serving the public on August 30.
The Melt is a location that Bay Area residents will find familiar. The San Francisco grilled cheese chain is opening its thirteenth location and first in San Diego County in September. With its variety of burger, sandwich, and salad options, as well as its online ordering and pick-up alternative, it should become another good option for students looking for lunch or dinner near campus.
Philz Coffee, likely to quickly become the most popular of these three choices, should help offset the closure of the center’s Peet’s Coffee earlier this year. The drip coffee-focused chain has brewed up a cult following in its native Bay Area, particularly around its signature Mint Mojito iced coffee. Students have expressed a desire for off-campus coffee shops nearby and the La Jolla location, expected to open mid-September, will be the chain’s second in the region, after it opened a café in Encinitas early February.
“The nearest coffee shops that are not on campus are a couple of Starbucks locations, so having a Philz nearby is going to be really convenient for students,” said recent Marshall graduate Karishma Kumar. “I think overall Philz makes good coffee—they have really good flavor. It’s not like Starbucks at all, in that their flavor comes from their beans rather than from syrup or sweeteners.”
Customers looking for a latté, however, will be disappointed. The chain only serves drip coffee, meaning that espresso drinks such as macchiatos and americanos are nowhere to be found.
Marshall rising third-year Diana Hwang prefers lattés, and was disappointed by her first and only Philz experience. “I had high expectations for the mint mojito and was pretty excited to try it,” she said. “It was so bitter and bad though…Maybe it’s because I like my coffee really sweet but I didn’t like it at all.”
However, Hwang is excited about one of the other restaurants opening soon, describing Snooze as one of her favorite spots in San Diego. “I get one of the [eggs] benedicts and pancake flights every time,” she said. “The next time you want to get brunch, go to Snooze.”
“I think it’s a breakfast place worth going to at least once,” agreed Sixth rising fourth-year Haley Dang. “They are famous for their pancakes, especially their pineapple upside-down pancakes…I actually had to wait with my boyfriend for a while [but] I can’t quit on those pancakes.”
More dining options will open in the area when Westfield UTC completes its $600 million expansion southeast of campus. The expansion, anchored by a new Nordstrom and transit center, includes plans for a Shake Shack, Din Tai Fung, Napizza, Javier’s Finest Food of Mexico, True Food Kitchen, Bazille, Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar, Great Maple, Arbor, Smokeyard BBQ and Chop Shop, and La Colombe. The UTC renovation is expected to open mid-October.
Rohan Grover is a staff writer for The Triton.