The Best of Guide to UCSB

UCSB Campus

By Stephanie Pande

Check out this Google map to all the hot spots:,-119.997177&spn=0.611245,1.233215&z=10&g=93117

Best place to grab a late night meal – Freebirds World Burrito - Freebirds is well known for having amazing Mexican food. It is open 24 hours, and always crowded. The menu includes burritos, monster burritos, nachos, tacos, and some secrets like the Quesanachurrito (a burrito with melted cheese and chips inside) and the Quesarrito (a quesadilla with all the fillings of a burrito). They also sell the best brownies I’ve ever had in my life. No joke. The downsides are that it is usually pretty busy, especially around 1 A.M. on weekends (when it tastes best) and not too cheap, the usual order being around $11. However, we all look past those slight inconveniences and happily wait in line and pay up for the best nachos this side of the Tijuana border.
879 Embarcadero Del Norte, Isla Vista
Phone: (805) 968-0123

Best place to study - University Center - The UCen has WiFi for all students and comfortable couches to study or crank out last minute assignments. There are also plenty of places to get coffee, snacks, or meals, including a Wendy’s, Panda Express, and Jamba Juice. For nice, sunny days, there are tables outside on the balcony overlooking the lagoon. The Bookstore is also located inside the UCen and is a good place to buy extra school supplies if needed. There are also a few computer labs to print out assignments and go online.

Best place to exercise/work out- UCSB Recreation Center - The Recreation Center was completed in 2005 and now includes- two swimming pools, three gymnasia, three weight rooms, two squash courts, a climbing wall, a Jacuzzi, a pottery studio, a classroom and five racquetball courts. Students have a free membership if they show their student id. There are also turf fields, tennis courts, and a roller hockey rink. Some may choose to run along the Sands Beach trail, which is a great flat and scenic run. But for playing sports or doing weight training, or for the few rainy days of the year, the Rec Center is wonderful to have. You can rent equipment for sports for a very small amount of usually only a dollar or so. It is open from 6:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and closes at 10 p.m. on Fridays. On the weekend, it is open 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Saturdays, and 9 a.m. - 11 p.m. on Sundays.

Best make-out spot- Window to the Sea - It doesn’t get much more romantic than a two-person swing facing the ocean. The Window to the Sea Park is located on the 6700 block Oceanside Del Playa Drive.

Best restaurant to take your parents when they're visiting- Pascucci - Pascucci is located on State Street and serves some amazing Italian food. The atmosphere is really cozy and warm. On weekend nights there is often a small band playing in the front room. There is also an outdoor balcony in front; great for people watching, and curtained booths for two. Pascucci is a great place to take your parents because it’s classy, has good food, and they’ll pay, so you get to treat yourself.
729 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 963-8123

Best place to watch a game- Giovanni’s - Giovanni’s is a great pizza place and a fun place to get rowdy while watching a game. There are indoor and outdoor tables and televisions inside to watch sports. It was voted Best Happy Hour by the Daily Nexus and Best of Santa Barbara by the Santa Barbara News Press. What makes Gio’s such a great place to watch a game is the cheap food, beer and laid-back setting. They love to have lots of people and encourage fans to get crazy. Address:
6583 Pardall Rd, Isla Vista
Phone: (805) 968-2254

Best bar- Dublin’s / The Study Hall - There are only two bars in Isla Vista, Dublin’s and The Study Hall, and both are pretty different. Dublin’s is the larger of the two. It has pool tables, air hockey, plasma televisions for watching games, karaoke and a small menu to order from, though not worth just going for the food. The Study Hall is definitely a lot smaller and consists of a bar and a few tables. The greatest difference between the two is that The Study Hall has what is called the 50 Club. In order to be in the 50 Club, you must go to the Study Hall and buy at least one drink 50 times. After you become a part of the 50 Club, you are invited to their 50 Club parties. The Study Hall also has a location on State Street and welcomes guest bartenders on a pretty regular basis. But with their Isla Vista location and Dublin’s being only a short walk from home, these two bars are quite popular.
Address for Dublin’s                                                          
910 Embarcadero Del Norte, Isla Vista
Phone: (805) 685-1503   
Address for The Study Hall
6543 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista
Phone: (805) 685-0929

Best place to go for all your printing needs- Alternative Copy Shop - Alternative Copy Shop is an easy place to get copies done, projects binded, etc. They have a staff of knowledgeable, helpful students to assist with all of your copying needs. They are located right on Pardall Road, a short bike ride from anywhere in Isla Vista.
6556 Pardall Road
Isla Vista, CA 93117
PH: 805.968.1055
FX: 805.968.1220 

Best place on campus to get some sun- Lagoon - Located at the University Center, the lagoon connects to the ocean and is often used for marine and biology studies. There is a lawn right next to it, which is great for lying down and reading, napping, etc. in between classes. Some people complain that the lagoon smells but I think that after you’ve lived in Isla Vista for a month or so, the ocean smells become pretty unnoticeable. It’s pretty hard to complain about having nice weather and comfortable grass complete with oceanic scenery right on campus.

Best under 21 night spot- Q’s Billiards - Q’s is located in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street and is open for 18 and older nights every Wednesday. It is the only underage club located in Santa Barbara and Isla Vista. There are three floors -  the first floor is the dancing floor with a bar, which is limited to only non-alcoholic drinks on the 18 and older nights. The restrooms and an outdoor balcony are also located on the first floor. Twenty-one year-olds and up must get a wristband in order to go to the second and third floors where they can buy drinks and play billiards. On regular nights, Q’s offers a sushi bar, billiards, dancing, and private parties.
409 State St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 966-9177