Broke and Hungry

How to afford eating out in Long Beach without breaking the bank

Words and Photos by Bailey Mount Managing Editor 

I had to cover three restaurants a week for a blog, compiling a freshman’s guide to cheap food in Long Beach. The rules for the restaurants were that they couldn’t have meals going over $20, couldn’t be chain restaurants, and they couldn’t be more than 30 minutes from campus by bus. That week, I went from Stearns Street to Pacific Coast Highway. 

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Scrambled Breakfast and Baby Bros. Pizza and Wings 

“Scrambled” for short, this restaurant has a spacious, airy setting that makes up for its crowds. 

The largest venue on our food trips thus far, its large amount of tables and booths are nearly full on weekends. The servers are friendly and quick to move between the large tables. 

However, being a breakfast place, it has its work cut out for it bringing any unique flavor to the standard, slightly expensive breakfast menu it serves. 

Ultimately, “Scrambled” is the perfect place to go with a large group of friends or your family if they’re visiting for the weekend, not if you’re looking for something adventurous. 

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MVP’s Grill and Patio 

With its outside only patio seating and overarching awning, “MVP’s Grill & Patio” is all a frugal college student could hope for. 

Service at this small venue is a little slow, but well worth the wait for all of the grubby, greasy fast food you can get your hands on. 

Though the dive and its food lack aesthetic, the taste is sure to always make up for it. It’s a nice place to be on a warm summer evening, but no so much as the semester gets colder. 

Being right down the street from the campus dormitories, however, makes it the ideal spot to grab a quick, cheap, and delicious meal. 

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Big E Pizza 

An unimpressive looking entryway greets visitors upon their initial visit to “Big E Pizza.” 

Don’t let that dissuade you. 

When stepping into the small area, servers direct you to the surprisingly large seating area on the side of the building. 

Covered in Italian mobster photos, from historical figures like Al Capone to fictional ones like Scarface and The Godfather, the area gives off a “family” atmosphere. 

Most of its patrons tend to be families and diners in two. Due to its crowds, the waiters are in no great hurry to stick around, but their food delivery is quick, efficient, and overall enables a visitor to get right down to what they came there for - the food. 


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