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Dining on a Dime: Five Affordable Restaurants for College Students in Tempe


Olivia Munson    College Times


Sometimes the dining hall just does not cut it, and you have to curb your cravings elsewhere. When college students go out to eat, the No.1 priority is not to break the bank. Fast-food chains are often the quickest and cheapest option, but there are so many other choices out there.

More than Microwave Ramen: Republic Ramen is a major upgrade from the classic microwave kind found in any convenience store. Republic is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. The restaurant’s website says it is “a fresh, new approach to Asian cuisine.” At Republic, customers can enjoy ramen and noodle dishes made from quality ingredients. The food menu, which ranges $1 to $8.95, also offers boba milk teas, flavored teas, slush and snow, which are $3.75 for a small and $4.50 for a large. The ambience is cozy and casual, so Republic is great place for everyone.

Republican Ramen and Noodle Bar, 1301 E. University Drive, Tempe, 480-388-3686, republicramen.com.

Best Vegan Food: Loving Hut offers accessible gourmet vegan food for a fraction of the cost. From nonvegans to veterans of the plant-based diet, Loving Hut invites customers to make healthy decisions and try foods that may be out of their comfort zone. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Seating is limited to three tables inside and six outside, but delivery orders are available via DoorDash. With a friendly staff and rustic atmosphere, Loving Hut separates itself from other casual dining experiences. The menu is packed with so many options, ranging from homemade desserts to burgers and hot dawgs. The menu is priced between $2.50 and $9.95.

Loving Hut Vegan Cuisine, 405 W. University Drive, Tempe, 480-968-4096, lovinghut.us/tempe/.

The Boston Pizza Experience: Arizona is not well known for its pizza prowess, but Sal’s Pizza could put it on the map. Originally from Boston, Sal’s offers larger than life slices, specialty pies and calzones. It is also home to the 19-inch 3-pound pizza. An individual slice at Sal’s costs $3.49 and is equal to two regular slices at any other pizzeria. The pizza special features a slice and fountain drink and is $4.99. Sal’s menu has classics like chicken parm calzones, but also contains different creations like the jalapeño popper pizza. Store hours vary so be sure to check out its website to see when Sal’s is open.

Sal’s Pizza, 922 E Apache Boulevard, Tempe, 480-248-9338, salspizzaaz.com.

Where to Celebrate Taco Tuesday: House of Tacos, or H.O.T., is the place to be on Taco Tuesday. Gourmet tacos are only $1.75 on Tuesdays, so go with a big appetite. Other than its famous tacos, H.O.T.’s menu includes quesadillas, burritos and papas locas. Everything is under $11, except the meat choice by the pound, which gets a little pricier. H.O.T. offers takeout, as well as delivery via DoorDash. The restaurant is great for kicking back with friends and enjoying quality Mexican food. H.O.T. is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

House of Tacos, 740 S. Mill Avenue, Suite D130, Tempe, 480-588-6451, house-of-tacos.business.site.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth: Mango Rabbit is truly the “best boba in Tempe.” Nothing can compare to its signature teas or original bubble waffles. Drinks are customizable, so feel free to add pudding, crema and of course, boba. Even if sweets are not your thing, Mango Rabbit offers savory options to keep you content, including crispy chicken and fried squid balls. The menu ranges from $1.50 to $5.99. Mango Rabbit’s atmosphere is sure to cheer up anyone with its sweet treats and cute interior design including a giant teddy bear photo-op area.

Mango Rabbit, 1250 E. Apache Boulevard, Suite 112, Tempe, 480-912-6283, mango-rabbit-famous-boba.business.site. CT


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