My Favorite Restaurants & Cafés in Isla Vista

Whether you want some late-night munchies, or just a change of scenery from the Trop cafeteria once in a while, Isla Vista has a plethora of eateries in its two square miles. Hit up these places in IV for something different and delicious.

  1. Blenders in The Grass: Blenders is known for having the most delicious smoothies! They are a bit expensive at around five dollars a smoothie, but it’s worth it for an occasional treat. 6560 Pardall Road
  2. Starbucks: This well-known coffee shop is perfect in a college community for a late-night pick-me-up. 888 Embarcadero del Norte
  3. Silvergreens: This is a yummy and healthy restaurant that serves great salads, breakfast burritos, soups, and one amazing acai bowl. Nutritional information is right on your receipt! 900 Embarcadero del Mar
  4. Pizza My Heart: As a new pizza joint in IV, it has already been credited as one of the best pizza places in the Santa Barbara area. 6533 Trigo Road
  5. Crushcakes & Cafe: Right next door to Pizza My Heart is Crushcakes, which serves dainty and delectable cupcakes perfect for a delicious dessert after some pizza or Crushcakes’ own menu of breakfast all day, paninis, sandwiches, wraps, and hot and cold beverages. On Tuesdays, show your Trop key for a 10% discount (Tropicana Ten-Percent Tuesdays). 6533 Trigo Road
  6. Freebirds: The best Mexican food in IV! It is conveniently located in the middle of IV and one of the most popular restaurants. Their nachos and burritos are huge and very good! 879 Embarcadero Del Norte
  7. Isla Vista Food Co-Op: The Co-Op is one of my favorite places because it has organic foods and bulk candy, granola, and trail mix. I recommend Sunny Bears, which are candy gummy bears that are all natural. Their granola is amazing. 6575 Seville Road
  8. The Habit: This is a cost efficient and savory burger place with really good burgers and shakes. Their famous charburger is perfect when you need a break from dorm food or just want something filling. The Teriyaki Charburger with pineapple is my favorite. I get mine with a veggie patty. 888 Embarcadero del Norte #C
  9. Subway: Open 24/7! Everyone loves Subway and it is open all day every day. 888 Embarcadero del Norte #B
  10. Café Equilibrium: This café makes the BEST crepes. My favorite is the Nutella crepe with strawberries. They are not too expensive and you can even get ice cream on your crepe. 6549 Pardall Rd, #B
  11. Pita Pit: I have long loved Pita Pit and was so excited to see one in IV! It is similar to Subway, but with pitas instead of sub sandwich bread.
  12. Domino’s: Domino’s is an American favorite, perfect for late-night munchies. Every Tropicana building has a Domino’s kiosk where you can order pizza, pasta, sandwiches, wings or breadsticks, to be delivered to you right to Trop. Choose a 2-topping medium or large pizza for a special Trop only discounted price. 955 Embarcadero del Mar

You can also check out to see a list of more restaurants that deliver and have takeout.

5 Ways to Stay Organized In College

  1. Get a Planner.
    The SBCC campus bookstore has many different planner options, one of which is the official SBCC planner which has all of the school’s important dates in it. It’s perfect for pulling out during class to write down the due dates of homework assignments or projects.
  2. There’s an App for that!
    If you have migrated into the modern age of technology, you might prefer pulling out your smartphone and typing it out. There are many different apps that can help you in this. I prefer to use iStudiez Pro because you can sync it to both your phone and computer. You can put in your classes (days and times) as well as your finals and it will remind you. It has 4 tabs at the bottom: Today, Calendar, Assignments, and Planner. The Today tab shows you what classes you have that day. The calendar has all of your classes and assignments. It’s also synced with your phone calendar so you can see those dates as well. The Assignments section is where you put in any homework you need to do. You can mark it for a specific class and set a due date. The Planner is where you can see each class you are taking for that semester.
  3. Own a Whiteboard.
    In elementary school, one of my favorite things to do was draw on the big whiteboard in the front of the class. I love being able to write things in bold colors with dry erase markers and then obliterate them and start new when I’m done. Because of this, I have a giant whiteboard in my room and it is a life saver. I am able to put my many different to-do lists on it, an inspirational quote, a random thought, or a doodle to bring a smile on my face.
  4. Map it out on a Calendar.
    Whether it’s on your phone, in your planner, on your computer, or hanging it on your wall, a calendar is a necessity. It’s great for remembering all of those important dates: spring break, finals, birthdays, Trop programs and events, etc.
  5. Keeping it Clean.
    This concept is so basic and yet is easier said than done. In order to stay on top of school, you need to be in an uncluttered environment. This can be achieved by a weekly cleaning of your room. You will find that you are able to think more clearly when your surroundings are neat and tidy. Schedule a clean-up day in your planner, sync it to your phone, add it to your calendar and draw it on your whiteboard!

Tropicana Student Housing Announces New 2013-2014 Residence Life Staff

Exceptional UCSB and SBCC Students to Lead Residence Hall and Apartment Communities

Isla Vista, CA – April 8, 2013 – Tropicana Student Housing is proud to announce its student Residence Life staff for the 2013-2014 academic year.  After an intensive 5-week interview and training process, twenty-six UCSB and SBCC students were chosen to provide leadership and build community at Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall, Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall and the Villas at Tropicana Upperclassmen Apartments.

“We are looking forward to using the unique talents of all of our student staff next year,” said Anna Rogers, Associate Director of Residence Life. “The candidates we selected are leaders who can inspire our residents and are crucial for creating a tight-knit community at Tropicana.”

Jacob Staines, a UCSB junior from Sacramento, will be the Residence Director at Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall for UCSB students. Erika Bellitt, a Westmont student from Pleasanton, and McKinley Mathon, a SBCC student from Atherton, CA, will be the new directors at Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall for SBCC students.  Alex Markovich, a UCSB student from Corona, CA, will be the new Director of the Villas at Tropicana Upperclassmen Apartments.

New Resident Assistants for the 2013-14 school year will be Martin Brambila (UCSB) from Santee, CA; Zachary Clark (SBCC) from Tehachapi, CA; Tanaya Deshmukh (UCSB) from Pune, India by way of Mission Viejo, CA; Yoli Gavaldon, (UCSB) from Irvine, CA; Hannah Guillies (SBCC) from Thousand Oaks, CA; Harmony Hartley (SBCC) from Ojai, CA; Kodie Hebert (SBCC) from Portland, OR; Nico Hernandez (SBCC) from Salou, Spain; Yarim Jalomo, (SBCC) from Fresno, CA; Jenny Nguyen (UCSB) from Santa Clara, CA; Gladiola Pelayo, (UCSB) from Glendale, CA; Tracy Pfister (SBCC) from Napierville, IL; Eric Rouse (UCSB), from Placerville, CA; Matthew Ruth (UCSB) from Valley Springs, CA; Morgan Ryan (UCSB) from Salt Lake City, UT; and Johnathan Sokol (UCSB) from Thousand Oaks, CA.

Returning Tropicana Resident Assistants include Francisco Escobedo, a UCSB student from Cerritos, CA; Austin Fekete, a UCSB student from Chino, CA; Betti Guerrero, a UCSB student from Greenfield, CA; and Sean Tanabe from San Francisco, a current SBCC student who will transfer to UCSB next year. Ryan Fluence, a native of New Orleans who is transferring from SBCC to UCSB next year. Carolyn Burt, a SBCC student from Palo Alto, CA, will be Tropicana’s Program Coordinator.

Domino’s Rolls Out Self-Service Ordering Kiosks at Tropicana

Students in Private Residence Halls Tropicana Del Norte and Tropicana Gardens now have the convenience of ordering their favorite Domino’s food at their fingertips.

Los Angeles–February 15, 2013 – In order to maximize Domino’s presence and accessibility to UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) students living in Isla Vista, local Domino’s franchisee Mark Talarico needed an innovative solution. With the rollout of EMN8-powered self-service kiosks, and the help of a local student housing company, he was able to get just that – more food delivered to more students in a quick, convenient, affordable and easily-managed fashion.

Starting this semester Tropicana Student Housing residents have the ability to order Domino’s right from kiosks located in their residence halls. The added convenience provides Talarico with a solution that addresses student needs while simultaneously offering a smarter, more streamlined system to manage customer orders.

“The Tropicana Student Housing kiosk installation enhances Domino’s footprint in Isla Vista and allows us to drive more sales through EMN8’s QSR solution,” said Talarico, Owner of Domino’s Pizza in Isla Vista, CA. “We’re excited to deliver this new offering to the community along with exclusive discounts and promotions to area residents craving the fresh taste of Domino’s pizza.”

“The UCSB students and Santa Barbara City College students who live in our residence halls are up at all hours studying,” said Dave Wilcox, Executive Director of Tropicana Student Housing. “As a private student housing company we are always looking for new and innovative ways to keep our residents happy. We found the latest cutting edge technology provided by Domino’s and EMN8 helped further this goal.”

Students of the residence halls have also expressed excitement about the kiosks, an offering that is quickly growing in popularity because of their relative ease of use and special discounts available to those that use them: there is no dialing, no waiting; simply place the order and EMN8’s technology takes care of the rest.

“What’s great is you get deals, and not have to speak on the phone with the operator like in the past. Plus, my building has two kiosks so depending where you’re located in the building, it’s very convenient,” mentioned Ryan Fluence, a student at Santa Barbara Community College.

“When I first touched the screen a woman spoke to me explaining my options. There were a ton of options! I also noticed it gave me a reasonable delivery time. The machine was very convenient and easy to use! It helped me with every step of the way. I think every building should have one of these! Very cool,” said Giana Olivieri, a UCSB student.

As the quick service industry in the United States reached $160 billion in 2011, Domino’s ranked #12 in the US and is currently the #2 pizza franchise. Through a partnership between EMN8 and Domino’s, Domino’s franchises have seen an increase in revenue and are working to expand the availability of the solution to additional markets in 2013 based on positive test rollouts.

About EMN8

EMN8 Inc. designs, builds and delivers self-service platforms for the restaurant and retail industries. The company’s digital solutions increase transactions, while delivering operational efficiencies, enhanced brand engagement, gross margin improvement and customer loyalty. With cross-platform integration across online, in-store kiosk and mobile, EMN8 Inc. provides seamless, multi-channel customer experiences, and products that leverage innovative technology, design, cash and payment card handling, and integration with leading consumer applications. EMN8 Inc. currently supports tens of millions of guest transactions for global and regional brands such as, Burger King, The Counter, CPK, Domino’s, and Jack in the Box, KFC, Taco Bell and YUM! Brands International. For information visit

About Tropicana Student Housing

Tropicana Student Housing,, offers private residence halls and apartments for students attending the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB )and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall caters to incoming UCSB freshmen; Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall serves students attending Santa Barbara City College, and the Villas at Tropicana is a college apartment community for upperclassmen. Tropicana Student Housing is also host to more than 90 summer camps annually and has been the proud summer home of Michael Jordan’s Flight School since 1995. For more information, please contact Wendy Ballard, Director of Marketing at (805) 968-0351.


Weber Shandwick on behalf of EMN8, Inc.

Kim Kish206-576-5588

Twitter: @EMN8


Tropicana Students Feed More than 10,000 Hungry Children

Santa Barbara, CA – December 1, 2012 – For several hours on a rainy Saturday afternoon, more than 75 Tropicana Student Housing residents and staff  along with UCSB Rugby, UCSB Field Hockey, and SBCC Cheerleaders, teamed up to prepare meal packets for Stop Hunger Now. Tropicana Gardens Café turned into an assembly line to create 10,300 meals of rice, soy protein, dehydrated vegetables and nutrients.

“I’m so proud of the work the volunteers did to pull this off,” says Dave Wilcox, Executive Director of Tropicana Student Housing.  “It was exciting to hear the gong sound whenever we reached the milestone of another 1,000 meals completed.” The 10,300 meals that the Tropicana students and staff assembled will be distributed to Guatemala through Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief agency that ships them to school feeding programs in developing countries.

Stop Hunger Now coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world, with a mission to end hunger in our lifetime. Stop Hunger Now’s meal packing program began in 2005, and since then, more than 100,000 volunteers have packaged nearly 30 million meals to feed the world’s impoverished.

View more news coverage of the event at the Daily Nexus and KEYT.

About Tropicana Student Housing

Tropicana Student Housing operates private residence halls and apartments for students attending the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) in Santa Barbara, California.  Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall (, conveniently located adjacent to UCSB’s Main Campus is a small and friendly community with spacious suite-style units, an unlimited meal plan and resort-style living. Villas at Tropicana ( is an Isla Vista apartment community that caters to upperclassmen with furnished apartments and flexible leasing options. Tropicana Gardens (, located an express bus ride away from Santa Barbara City College, is a private residence hall that provides an attractive alternative to apartments for SBCC students with its suite-style units and social and recreational activities organized by its large team of energetic RAs. For more information, please contact Wendy Ballard, Director of Marketing at (805) 968-0351 or


First Impressions of an SBCC Freshman

It’s my first year in college and my experience so far has been incredible. The past few months have been filled with meeting new people, beach volleyball games, epic ping pong tournaments, biking around Isla Vista, and much more. As a freshman, I didn’t know what to expect when moving to Isla Vista because of its party reputation. Trop’s location is perfect because it is sort of on the outskirts of IV, so it’s not too caught up in the craziness of the party scene. You can walk five minutes to Starbucks, Freebirds, Woodstock’s Pizza, you name it. I personally recommend Blenders smoothies and Silver Greens, which are both pretty healthy and so very yummy!

SBCC is such a beautiful campus and I am so grateful to be a student there. I am a theatre major and the theatre classes that I am taking are great and the new theatre is beautiful. I really recommend SBCC because it is reasonably priced and you feel like you are going to school in paradise every day. I actually look forward to going to school and doing my homework in the library overlooking the ocean. I feel such a sense of serenity when I am there. I am so happy with where I am right now and I wouldn’t do my first year of college any other way. I am having a fantastic first year and every day feels like a new adventure!

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