Oh, The Places You’ll Go!: North Park

Claire De Lune Coffee Lounge

2906 University Ave.

Mon.-Thurs. 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fri. 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sat. 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sun. 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
 

Pass on your typical cup of Starbucks and take a drive over to North Park’s Claire de Lune Coffee Lounge. Not only will they pump you full of jitter inducing espresso, they’ll also serve you a fat bagel sandwich. The breakfast bagel sandwich ($5.50) comes with a generous amount of egg and is topped with cheeses, tomato and onions. After 11 a.m., Claire de Lune switches from bagelwiches to regular sandwiches and freshly made soups — though it might be hard to think about an actual lunch when beautiful cheesecakes are staring back at you from inside Claire de Lune’s crystal case. Claire de Lune doesn’t just do coffee and food; it also showcases San Diego talents on the weekends. Recent performances have included ZZYMZZY Quartet and folk rock singer Whitney Steele. With a room full of leopard couches, Claire de Lune’s quirky, homey decor makes for an excellent study break. Grab some friends and give your study group a nicer view than Geisel’s gray tabletops. Heck, if you really fall in love with the place, you and your partner can one day get married at Claire de Lune’s indoor venue, the Sunset Temple.

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Ranchos Cocina

3910 30th St.

Mon.-Thurs. 9a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

When I hear about restaurants that call themselves vegetarian “with vegan options,” I imagine a measly three vegan entrees and terrible faux cheese. But at Ranchos Cocina, you’ll find that vegan-friendly “V” markings cover the menu. If you find your wallet near empty and your stomach grumbling, don’t fret: Ranchos Cocina makes three, huge, delicious pancakes that will fill you up for only $6. And while you’re waiting for them to arrive, you can snack complimentary chips and salsa, made in house. Ranchos Cocina serves Mexican cuisine made traditionally and modified to suit vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan diets (there are vegan pancakes on the menu, too). Although Ranchos was busy, the surrounding customers and staff won’t bother you. Lighting that’s easy on the eyes and a friendly staff make Ranchos great for a lunch break when you can escape the dining halls on campus.

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Veg-N-Out

3442 30th Ave.

Mon.-Thurs., Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
 
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Take a short drive off of University Avenue, and you’ll find Veg-N-Out, the “original veggie burger spot.” Walk through the turquoise accented door and grab a menu, because you’re going to want to stay for lunch — or at least a bowl of their natural acai sorbet. Their menu is packed with creative burgers (made of plant proteins) like the Juanito ($9.25) with feta and jalapenos or the Western burger ($9.75) piled with onion rings. If you’re looking for something a lighter, then go for a sandwich. The Very Vegan is definitely enough for two because, while it might be a regular sized sandwich, it’s dense. Veg-N-Out makes the Very Vegan with Follow Your Heart cheeses (a vegan cheese alternative), vegenaise, avocado, tomato, sprouts, onions and — get this — apples. Take a walk down the veggie side and see all that it has to offer.

Off the Record

2912 University Ave.

Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
 
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Off the Record isn’t a music place that just happens to have some vinyl, it’s a vinyl place that happens to have CDs. One thing we students seriously lack in La Jolla would be thrifty music shops. Luckily, Off the Record is only a short drive and can cure our cheap music withdrawals. Not only does Off the Record keep older music in stock from Iron Maiden to Janet Jackson, but also some of the CDs are priced as low as one dollar. Nothing feels better than finding a CD you’ve “needed” for years, but haven’t found at a good price. Don’t feel bad about spoiling yourself with Amy Winehouse’s “Lioness” because now you won’t have to keep it on a loop on Spotify. Not only is Off the Record great for a broke student’s wallet — in comparison to buying it from that wretched Amazon — but it also supports small, local businesses. Win-win situation.

Sipz

3914 30th Ave.

Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sun. 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
 
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Sipz started out as a small coffee and boba place, and now is a must-go for San Diegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Sipz’s menu is huge and draws from Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine, with dishes such as sweet-and-sour soup and vegan sushi. If you find yourself in need of a break, Sipz has happy hour all day on Tuesdays. Most appetizers are either $3 or $5, and all beer or house wines are $3. Don’t forget to grab a dessert. Spoil yourself and try the sweet rice with mango ($5.95).

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Heaven Sent Desserts

3001 University Ave.

Mon., Sun. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Tues.-Thurs. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fri., Sat. 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The only issue with Heaven Sent desserts is that their cupcakes are too pretty to eat. These are the cupcakes you skip lunch for because God only knows how many calories live inside them. They make the Chocolate Banana Cupcake ($3.50) with chocolate devil’s food cake filled with banana mousse with bananas inside and top it with a healthy amount of frosting. Their Chocolate Pumpkin Pie ($6.25) is a single serving of pumpkin pie with chocolate whip on top and a slab of thin chocolate – probably just to make it look artsy. I’m pretty sure everyone deserves to spend a fiver on a single cupcake, and Heaven Sent is the place to do it.

North Park Farmers’ Market

3150 N Park Way

Thurs. 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The only issue with Heaven Sent desserts is that their cupcakes are too pretty to eat. These are the cupcakes you skip lunch for because God only knows how many calories live inside them. They make the Chocolate Banana Cupcake ($3.50) with chocolate devil’s food cake filled with banana mousse with bananas inside and top it with a healthy amount of frosting. Their Chocolate Pumpkin Pie ($6.25) is a single serving of pumpkin pie with chocolate whip on top and a slab of thin chocolate – probably just to make it look artsy. I’m pretty sure everyone deserves to spend a fiver on a single cupcake, and Heaven Sent is the place to do it.

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