Bang For Your Buck: Earn Rewards for Fast Dining in LA

This is my first blog post since December, so welcome back! :) Since I last posted, two major holidays have passed AND... I moved to LA for the semester!! For the semester, anyway.

I love just about everything here – the weather, the fashion, the overall attitude of Los Angelites...I can go on and on. The one thing I have noticed is that eating out here is significantly more expensive than eating out in New York. As a college student, this is definitely making a dent in my wallet. I highly recommend signing up for OpenTable when dining out. But, when I'm grabbing a quick bite between classes or on my lunch break at work, I still want to be rewarded! That's why I've decided to compile a list of some spots in LA I've found, so you can get rewarded, too!

 

Open Space LA

Open Space coffee house offers a variety of baked goods and both indoor and outdoor seating areas. But, that's not all – the coffee shop is also a theater and art gallery. Upcoming theatrical events include an improv show on February 2nd, "Parallel Thinking" (whatever that means) on February 6th, and "Heart Broken Anonymous" where people share their stories of heartbreak to strangers on February 8th. If you buy ten coffees, you'll get the eleventh free! Plus, you can place pickup orders online – even for a cup of coffee! There are nothing but good vibes flowing from corner to corner in this coffee shop's ~open space.~ • 457 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

 

Naturewell Juice Bar

Naturewell is an organic juice bar and health food store that has three different locations across LA. They're best known for their Coconut Kale smoothie, but Naturewell also offers AMAZING patiya and acai bowls. You can choose between a variety of granola options, including a homemade organic and vegan mix. You pick your granola and put it at the bottom of your bowl, then Naturewell adds the acai or pitaya on top, along with strawberries, bananas, coconut flakes, and frozen blueberries. You can also add fresh-churned almond or peanut butter. Plus, the Studio City location has a poke bar! You can place an order for pickup at all three locations, and if you enter your number when you pay and then sign up for email alerts, you'll earn two stars toward the ten needed to get a free 16 oz juice! • Melrose Location: 7261 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046; Studio City Location: 11925 Venture Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91604; Sunset Location: 3824 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

 

Daphne's Desserts

@daphnesdesserts

@daphnesdesserts

Daphne's Desserts is an organic bakery and coffee shop serving unique streusel, pies, cookies, lemonades and coffee. Their most memorable menu item, though, is their vegan pop tarts. They come in all kinds of amazing seasonal flavors like Apple/Cinnamon and Blueberry & Strawberry MIXED. If you earn 5 points, you'll get a free mini organic coffee or tea – here, you spend less to get more! • 13646 Burbank Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91401

 

sweetgreen

This is sort of cheating, since I know sweetgreen is a chain. BUT, I have eaten here too much since I've been here and there are too many things I like about it to not include it. sweetgreen offers a number of fresh iced teas and customizable salads and bowls. The best part about eating here as frequently as I do is moving up in their generous rewards program. They have a "status" rewards program, similar to that of Starbucks. To reach green status, you have to spend $100 within the calendar. Benefits include a free salad on your birthday, and "1% of every app purchase helps to build healthier communities, either through sweetgreen in schools programming or local impact partners' initiatives." To achieve gold status, you have to spend $1,000 within the calendar year; enjoy all the benefits of green status plus surprise swag and access to invite-only events. If I ever attain black status, I'll be a little scared, as I'll have spent $2,500 on sweetgreen within a calendar year. With black status, you get all green and gold benefits plus an exclusive customer service concierge service, credits to purchase sweetgreen swag from the online shop and have an exclusive in-store experience with ten friends for a night. Sure, you do have to spend a lot to actually get rewarded, but you can just buy the meals and have your friends Venmo! Right? • Multiple locations

Cocobella Creamery

@cocobellacreamery

@cocobellacreamery

If I'm telling you that Cocobella's vegan, dairy-free ice cream is worth trying and getting rewards for, you should totally believe this "ice cream" it's actually amazing! This "ice cream" is made from scratch and has normal flavors like chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, but also fun flavors such as Honeecomb (bee-free honey-flavored ice cream with chocolate covered "honeycomb"), Sunbutter Cup (sunflower seed butter with mini chocolate chips and fudge swirls), and even Pineapple Mojito (refreshing pineapple sorbet mixed with fresh mint leaves). They also make custom birthday cakes *hint hint*! The best part about making this "healthier" choice is that you'll get big rewards! Instead of getting a star per visit, you'll get stars for every dollar spent; earn 70 and you'll get a free cup of ice cream! So, I guess that means the next round is on YOU!

Happy dining! Comment your favorite places to eat that offer rewards! :)

Megan Shelton