10 Late-Night Restaurants that UCI Students Are Grubbing At Right Now

Categories: Local Eats
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Ippo Sushi

Since the founding of Harvard back in the 1600s, college students have always frequented the open-til-two or the 24-hour restaurants, whether it was grog they were seeking or ramen, either as a study break or after a long night of partying at the generic frat house. Six hours of sleep and under has nothing on us, and our metabolisms still function at a rapid pace, so what's a couple thousand calories consumed at 3 a.m. to us?


So it makes sense that OC restaurants and cafés have extended their hours later and later in the past couple of years to serve the surrounding colleges and universities, especially those near UC Irvine, America's college capital of coed foodies. Restaurants with lit "We're Open" signs attract us like light attracts moths; slip in a $5 deal and we're sold. These 10 restaurants are what we animalistic Anteaters are currently hungering for.

10. Ippo Sushi (pictured above)

This Irvine-based sushi company is a delivery service rather than a restaurant, delivers exclusively to UCI students and doesn't open until 6 p.m.--when the average college student begins studying. From bowls to rolls--the healthy late night alternative--and requiring a minimum of $15, Ippo offers a great deal for you and your chemistry study group. And did I mention that the company was started by two UC graduates who've had their own share of cramming and procrastinating? Contact Ippo at www.ipposushi.com.

9. The Playground

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John Gilhooley

Open until 2 a.m. on the weekends, staffed by a young, energetic bunch and run by chef-turned-cooking star Jason Quinn, this Santa Ana restaurant appeals to the UCI masses. With burgers of massive proportions and unique side dishes being released all the time, it's more than enough to hold a college student's attention--and appetite. While you're waiting for your meal you can play the Ms. Pacman machine in the corner. Modern and simple--just how we like it. 220 E. Fourth St., #102, Santa Ana, (714) 560-4444; www.playgrounddtsa.com.

8. Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles

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When you're a student and living on your own, there's no one to tell you what time to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. At Roscoe's, breakfast time is all the time. The Long Beach location of the popular chain offers some of the best waffle-and-fried-chicken combinations you'll ever have, and good news: a new location is to be opened in Anaheim. Don't forget to take home some cornbread. www.roscoeschickenandwaffles.com


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12 comments
Catherine Turley
Catherine Turley

i was about to ask if there were any healthy late night spots, but tofu house probably fits the bill.

Mike MacDuffee
Mike MacDuffee

I am still curious if all those 24/hr mexican fastfood spots with the same menus are related in any way. They all have similar names and sometimes logos (fat sombrero dude). There are dozens of them, Altertos, Albertos, Alejandros, Adalbertos, Albatros (lol), etc.

Kit Hope
Kit Hope

Charlie's Chili back in my day.

phoenixashes33
phoenixashes33

Albatross isn't open late anymore. Thanks to all the idiots and murders. Thanks everyone for ruining my 2am burrito run.

Brennan King
Brennan King

Too bad this is an old story. The #1 selection (Albatros in Lake Forest) isn't open late anymore.

gkubrick1
gkubrick1

according to their website, Roscoe's closes at 8pm. How is that late night?

thom23420031
thom23420031

No way drinking college kids are going to drive to Santa Ana or Sunset Beach or Long Beach in the middle of the night for food.  These places are approx. 10 miles, 15 miles and 25 miles away.

moondoggie71
moondoggie71

Carl's Jr on Culver Drive at Michelson is open 24 hours.  Everything else except In-N-Out requires a car.  This article is bs.

Student
Student

This just confirms what I know.  There are very little options for late night food for people without cars.

Idontknow
Idontknow

" The toasted white bread in condensed milk comes drizzled in condensed milk"... good to know.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

With its 24 hour operation (and Koreatown/Garden Grove reputation), BCD Tofu House at Diamond Jamboree shouldn't need to be as good as it is.  But the fact is, I've never exited the place unsatisfied with the food...nor even the somewhat impersonal, but efficient, service.  The tab is fairly easy to swallow, too.  Not a bad choice at any time of the day when in the mood for tofu stew in sleepy Irvine. 

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@gkubrick1  

I will bet you a fried chicken breast & waffle plate that the Long Beach one is open way past 8 p.m. -- at least, on a Friday and Saturday night, when you can surely expect to wait for a table anytime after the sun goes down.  It's pretty busy late at night, esp. with those who've ingested some alcohol beforehand.  


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