Living In LA

Southern California is among the world's most vibrant and exciting geographic areas with cutting-edge commercial activities and unparalleled access to cultural and recreational opportunities. Los Angeles is a global city where culture, business and industry blend into opportunity. This is where four million people power the world's 15th largest economy.  

Bordered by iconic neighborhoods — Bel Air, Brentwood and Beverly Hills — UCLA is a crossroads of ideas, cultures and limitless experiences and opportunities. Theaters, sporting events, performances and leisure activities are all available either within or just beyond the borders of the UCLA campus.
Keep reading below to learn about some of the recreational opportunities our students can participate in while living in the Los Angeles area.

On-Campus Activities

UCLA Athletics: UCLA leads the nation with 109 NCAA team championships and 130 total national championships. Students are able to purchase discounted tickets via the UCLA Central Ticket Office.  

UCLA Recreation administers the coordination of programming, facilities, equipment and supervision of campus recreational activities and services. The John Wooden Recreation and Sports Center is a comprehensive student-activities building with multiple gymnasium spaces, five racquetball/handball courts, a rock wall, two squash courts, a weight-training facility, exercise/dance and martial arts rooms and a games lounge. UCLA Recreation also organizes Intramural/Club sports, recreational classes and outdoor adventures.
UCLA Store – Ackerman: The biggest UCLA store location occupies all of B-level of the Ackerman Union, with departments for BearWear (UCLA emblematic), BookZone, Computer Store, Essentials (school and office supplies), Fast Track (sportswear) and Market (snacks, health and beauty). Upstairs on the A-level are textbooks, graduation and more.

On-Campus Museums. You can catch an art exhibit to relax and refresh your mind at one of our three museums: Fowler Museum of Cultural History, UCLA's Grunwald Center for Graphic Arts or UCLA Hammer Museum.

Dining facilities are available at several locations on campus. The UCLA Anderson complex houses the cafe Il Tramezzino, where a wide selection of light meals, snacks and beverages are available. Other on-campus dining facilities include: Wolfgang Puck Express, which offers artisanal sandwiches, delicious salads and refreshments at the center of our campus in Ackerman Student Union; the North Campus Student Center that offers a variety of foods, including a salad bar; Lu Valle Commons, a short walk through the beautiful Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, features a dining facility and coffeehouse.

Near-By Attractions

Los Angeles offers some fantastic food and entertainment options, and our students/staff have provided some recommendations of their favorite local places to go:  
800 Degrees

10889 Lindbrook Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Fast-food style pizza with wood-burning ovens. This place makes neopolitan-style pizzas with fresh, locally sourced ingredients at a great price.
Go To Website

Bodega Wine Bar

814 Broadway 
Santa Monica, CA 90401 
(310) 394-3504

A relaxed wine bar in Santa Monica with beer, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Better on weekdays than weekends, the DJ spins good music and keeps things chill. The glasses are decently priced all the time, but the happy hour specials are especially great — though, it ends at 7 p.m.
Go To Website

Bread & Porridge

2315 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403 
(310) 453-4941

Since 1994, they've served Santa Monica residents simply prepared American food, elegantly presented in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Visit them for an old-fashioned breakfast starting at 7 a.m. Lunch/dinner items are available starting at 11 a.m. The kitchen closes at 9 p.m.
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Diddy Riese

926 Broxton Avenue 
Westwood, CA 90024 
(310) 208-0448

With a line outside the door at all times, this place is a UCLA favorite. Choose any two flavors of their soft, chewy cookies, add any flavor of their Breyer's ice cream and voila! You have a delicious ice cream cookie sandwich for $1.50.
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Father's Office

1018 Montana Ave 
Santa Monica, CA 90403 
(310) 393-2337

With a wide variety of beers, including some good local brews from up and down the West Coast, Father's Office is a great spot to go for dinner and drinks. Unfortunately, they won't let you make reservations, but it's well worth the wait. Arguably the most delicious hamburger in all of California, the chef won't allow you to alter the burger as it is on the menu. But, that's ok, because you'll take it and you'll like it.
Go To Website

Literati Cafe

12081 Wilshire Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA 90025 
(310) 231-7484

When you walk into Literati, you know you've arrived somewhere different than the norm. To the right is the fireplace, to the left is the dessert counter and all around you are books they love, places they love and people they love. The warm ambiance, with indoor and outdoor seating, is inspirational and enlightening. Surrounded by creativity, you'll see why they're known to provide "brainfood for Brentwood." The refreshing, sophisticated environment is perfect for meeting friends, writing your screenplay (our cafe is laptop-friendly) or just to eat the best soup of your life.
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Q's Billiards

11835 Wilshire Blvd. 
Los Angeles. CA 90025 
(310) 477-7550

Ah, Q's. It's a staple for UCLA Anderson students when it comes to watching sports, playing pool or just having a few beers with friends. Typically overrun with Bruins and Trojans, it gets especially busy for big games, and even with two floors and multiple back rooms, Friday and Saturday nights can get pretty packed.
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Sunnin Café

1779 Westwood Boulevard 
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 477-2358  

The best Middle Eastern food on the west side, and they recently opened up a new, bigger location. This is coming from a Middle-Easterner, so you can believe it! Definitely order the garlic paste.
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The Bungalow

101 Wilshire Blvd. 
Santa Monica, CA 90401  

"This is what you thought L.A. would be — an endless summer where the margaritas are always flowing and the ocean is just steps away." (Time Out) The Bungalow — an actual bungalow on the grounds of Santa Monica's Fairmont Miramar — makes a night of drinks feel like a house party. Hang out by the fire pit or head inside to lounge on one of the Mexican-blanket-wrapped couches. If you're feeling active or competitive, there's an outdoor ping pong table and indoor pool table.
Go To Website

True Food Kitchen

395 Santa Monica Place 
Santa Monica, CA 90401

"See and be seen" at this healthy hot spot in Santa Monica providing guilt-free eating with organic, gluten-free, New American items, fresh-squeezed juices and even cocktails in a "bright, modern" setting with a pleasant patio. There are some other good restaurant options in Santa Monica Place with nice happy hours!
Go To Website

Urth Cafe

8565 Melrose Ave. 
West Hollywood, CA 90069 
(310) 659-0628  
- or - 
2327 Main St. 
Santa Monica, CA 90405 
(310) 314-7040

Fashionable brunch, often with the stars. Go to Melrose for celebrity spotting and outdoor sitting, Santa Monica if you want to park. Mostly grown-up food, but kids are always there. Try the bread pudding!
Go To Website


10911 Lindbrook Dr 
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 208-2888

The new, popular chain has recently moved in to Westwood Village and has already become a favorite to UCLA students. A self-serve frozen yogurt place that allows you to get your yogurt the way you want it, you choose from classic yogurt flavors like vanilla wafer and cookies 'n cream to more exotic flavors like taro and green tea, many of them with no sugar added and nonfat. With more than 20 fresh toppings to choose from, and at $.30 per ounce, this a fro-yo lover's paradise.
Go To Website

Tourist Attractions

Santa Monica Pier: If you're looking for some carefree entertainment in a beach setting, try visiting the Santa Monica Pier, which offers numerous rides and attractions, restaurants, and kitschy shopping.  The pier is open 365 days a year and admission is free.

Beaches:  From Santa Monica down through Redondo, the beaches are a popular destination for volleyball, surfing, people watching and students' other outdoor pursuits. 

Amusement Parks: While you're living in LA, why not take a break from your studies and take advantage of UCLA discounts to theme parks including: Disneyland, Universal Studios, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott's Berry Farm, and Raging Waters. 

Movies: There are a large number of movie theaters near UCLA and Westwood has been known to host a number of film premieres at the Village Theater. Anyone is welcome to stand to the side and star gaze as celebrities arrive in their limousines!