Tag Archives: Cafe Rosso

What’s for Lunch?

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, just a student sharing what I found on the SF State campus.

You’ve heard it before: “Pack your food, it’s healthier. You’ll save time and money.”

But sometimes, it’s not that simple, and packing your food doesn’t automatically mean it’s healthier or cheaper.

From a steaming bowl of pho to a sandwich with so many toppings it can hardly fold closed, SF State has a lot to offer when your stomach starts growling. So many, in fact, that it can be overwhelming – especially when you’ve only got 30 minutes, but want to make a relatively healthy and cheap choice for a meal.

So I talked to a few Gators to find out their game plan when it comes to eating while at school.

Senior Shani Winston is a food packer.

“I don’t really like the food on campus,” she said. “I like to make my own food. It feels better cooking it myself. I know where it comes from.”

Some days, Winston is on campus from the early morning until late afternoon. To her, this means packing two meals. Recently, she brought a smoothie made of strawberries, dates, an apple, and a few mint leaves to have for breakfast.

On this day, she enjoyed a vegetarian sandwich made out of eggplant, pickles, tomatoes, and basil leaves plus a small salad she had tucked away for lunch. This senior shops at the farmers’ market held in the Stonestown parking lot on Sundays. The local stands offer fresh, affordable produce, she says.

Winston’s classmate, Mercedes Flores, packs her lunch occasionally. But on this day, she chose to buy refried beans, plantains, rice, one hard boiled egg, vegetables, and tofu from Taqueria Girasol on campus. She also sipped on a glass of just-made Horchata.

She paid $7 in total.

Senior Gabrielle Matthews and junior Clarisa Hernandez said they buy food on campus some days, and pack it on others. However, since beginning jobs in the Marina District, both Matthews and Hernandez say they have had less time to pack a meal.

When their shifts are too long and the commute too far, the girls turn to burritos, also from Taqueria Girasol.

Matthews purchased both of their meals for about $5.50 each – what a great friend!

Others don’t care too much one way or the other about their on-campus meals. Their meal time grub is whatever a loved one decided to pack. Junior Norman Robles is one of these lucky gators.

On this day, he snacked on baked cucumbers with vinaigrette, and plain spaghetti with a bit of olive oil while working on assignments for class.

Robles’ homemade lunch is estimated at about $1.

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  • Flores chose refried beans, plantains, rice, one hard boiled egg, vegetables, and tofu from Taqueria Girasol on campus. She also sipped on a glass of just-made Horchata - all for $7
  • Senior Gabrielle Matthews and junior Clarisa Hernandez anjoyed burritos from Taqueria Girasol.
  • Matthews purchased the burritos for about $5.50 each - what a great friend!

So now you’re left to decide – how much are you willing to pay for a meal? After three years at SF State, often searching for cheap, healthy food, here’s my take:

Most likely to break your bank: Gold Coast Grill

Here, meals average $9 – but don’t worry! You can always buy their plain toast for $2 – yum.

Most healthy options: Natural Sensations/Café Rosso/Taqueria Girasol

Natural Sensations offers:

–       Fresh squeezed carrot juice for $3.25/medium

–       Up to three types of soups daily for $2.95

–       Whole wheat bagels for $1.25

–       Fruit, cucumber, and Greek salads, starting at $2.75

Café Rosso offers:

 -Whole wheat, turkey and vegetarian sandwiches at a pretty decent size for $5-6


Taqueria Girasol offers:

-Fresh steamed veggies


-Black beans


-Hard-boiled eggs

-Shredded chicken breast

Most affordable across the board: Café Rosso

Café Rosso – where you can purchase a decent sized hamburger or a breakfast croissant sandwich for about $3.

But if you’ve decided there are just TOO many choices and the lines are too damn long…or maybe you just don’t give a rat’s ass one way or the other…

Then just hit The Pub for a sake shot and can of Sapporo, only $5!

Why not? School’s not doing much for you anyway, right? And textbook prices will only make you cry. After all, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!



Campus Grub

It’s a usual school day, and your classes are running dreadfully slow. Your stomach is growling from hunger, so after class you decide to swing by Cafe Rosso hoping to get a quick bite of food or a coffee before you run off to your next class. The only problem is, the line is as long as the eye can see as three long formation of students depicts that of a mad sale during black Friday.

There is not always enough time, or food in your fridge, to pack a lunch before school. Most students moved out of their parents’ house and have had to say goodbye to the good ol’ days when Mom would send them off with a bag full of snacks. But there’s no need to stress, there are many places located around campus that offer a variety of cuisines at a reasonable price. BBQ, Thai, Mexican and Japanese are each available, to name a few. Unless students have some free time to wander around between classes, they might not know where to find these restaurants.

“Some people who have been on campus for four years don’t realize we’re here,” Frances Valbuena, an employee at Tuk Tuk Thai and Psychology major at SF State, says. Tuk Tuk Thai opened almost two years ago and is located below the Cesar Chavez Student Center. Valbuena says their most popular dish would be the Pad Thai, which cost between $4.50 and $6.50.


Many students happen to stumble upon places to eat. Tanya Schleyer moved to San Francisco from the Los Angeles area this semester and found restaurants in the Cesar Chavez building by wandering around, simply searching for somewhere to sit and eat. Her favorite item to get is the veggie wrap from Healthy-U. Matt Juul, a Math major, says he knows about places on campus from just walking around, but usually heads to Cafe Rosso for a sandwich.

For students who don’t feel like wandering around, or have the time, the following is a guide to a  list of restaurants located on campus.

Cesar Chavez Building

Plaza Level:

  • Natural Sensations: Wraps, smoothies, frozen yogurt, and fresh squeezed orange and carrot juice. Most items are under $3.00.
  • Cafe 101: Espresso, teas, and pastries. Some of the pastries include: croissants, muffins, apple fritters and scones. Prices are $3.00.
  • Taqueria Girasol: Quesadillas, tacos, nachos, and burritos for under $5.00.
  • Gold Coast Grill: Breakfast items such as pancakes and omelette’s. Also, burgers, sandwiches, baked potatoes, and a salad bar for less than $6.00.

Quick bites (On Plaza Level):

  • Healthy-U: A convenience store with ready-made sandwiches, wraps, and sushi rolls. Also a variety of juices and teas in cans and bottles are available.
  • Lobby Shop: A convenience store that offers chips, cookies, crackers, gum, energy drinks, sodas, and some student necessities such as Scantrons.

Out side:

  • Carmelina La Petite: Fruit, cookies, trail mix, and sandwiches. The most expensive item on the menu cost $3.75.
  • Jessie’s hot House: Soul food. Jessie’s offers breakfast items such as oatmeal, eggs, bacon, and grits. They have sandwiches, fried and grilled chicken and shrimp, and vegetarian items such as BBQ tofu and veggie sausage patties. The most expensive item on the menu is $7.00.

Lower Conference Level:

  • Tuk Tuk Thai: Specializes in Thai food. Pad Thai, one of the restaurants most popular dishes, comes with your choice of chicken, pork, veggie, or shrimp.
  • The Pub: Serves beer and other alcoholic beverages. Some beers available on tap include: Anchor Steam, Sierra Nevada and Samuel Adams. Also, a good place to get some garlic fries and popcorn. Alcoholic beverages cannot leave The Pub.

Recreation and Dining Level (where the games are):

  • Asia Express: Asian dishes with vegetarian options.
  • Pizza and Pasta: A slice of cheese pizza goes for $1.70. Some of the pastas inlcude: spaghetti, penne, or fettuccine with your choice of sauce.

Lower Campus:

  • Taza: Burritos, gyros, wraps, and smoothies. Taza usually offers a special that might include a buttito, drink and side such as a bag of chips that cost around $5.00.
  • Cafe Rosso: Bagels, coffee, pasta, pizza slices, salads and sandwiches.
  • Subway: Five dollar footlongs, sometimes.
  • Sushigo: Sushi rolls for around $7.00, udon, ramen and rice bowls.
  • Village Market and Pizza: a convenience store and fresh made pizza.

No matter your time and budget, Campus eating has never been so easy. Now you can go to class with a full stomach, ready to tackle those papers and or finals!