After conducting a schoolwide survey on some of the best parts of Isla Vista and UC Santa Barbara, the Nexus is publishing the winners of the survey listed in our “Best Of” edition — the final edition of the 2021-22 school year.

The descriptions are written by the editorial staff, and distributed based on the kind of content each section produces.

Below are the winners highlighted by Nexustentialism — our satire section. 

Best Way To Get to LAX: Santa Barbara Airbus

Emmett Ruhland / Daily Nexus

If braving the harrowing experience of merging onto Interstate 5 armed with only your wits and a strawberry matcha latte sounds like it’s right up your alley, then the City of Angels may be the place for you! You just gotta find a way to get there. With a hefty drive separating you from being patted down vigorously by TSA, it’s truly a godsend that the Santa Barbara Airbus can scoop you up and dump you at your terminal. Of course, a bus is a bus, so don’t expect any wild luxuries that your spoiled, little heart may desire. However, the unyielding novelties of a bus — the stained velour seats and the smell of Little Tree air freshener — are more than fulfilled by taking the good ol’ Santa Barbara Airbus. Always reliable and always slightly stinky … just like you!

Best Study Spot: Library

Shiuan Cheng / Daily Nexus

Now, this one might come as a bit of a shocker, but the library is one of UC Santa Barbara’s best kept secrets! The library is a little-known joint on campus and a great place if you’re looking for a place with a desk, a chair and some good ol’ peace and quiet. It’s a perfect place for the all the indie kids to sit and stare at 39 open tabs for three hours while still feeling somewhat productive! You might have some trouble finding it, but it’s actually conveniently tucked away right next to the Arbor. Stop by if you’re looking for an indie, underground, hot new study spot that nobody else will know about!

Beach With the Most Sharks: Sands Beach

Courtesy of Picryl

There’s nothing quite like the subsequent hole in the pit of one’s stomach that opens up after feeling something a little slimy brush past your foot as it rests on the ocean floor. If you’re looking to get a little freaked out by the thought of a whole new ecosystem living beneath your tar-stained feet, Sands Beach is the place for you this summer. Sure, these flocks of leopard sharks are virtually harmless, and maybe brushing up against your leg is their sick and twisted way of trying to make a new friend, but not everyone is cut out to bestie-fy a shark. Sands Beach is your best bet this summer for a quick adrenaline fix or a new shark bestie, depending on where you place on the shark tolerance spectrum.

Best Hookup Spot: The Beach

Libby Holmes / Daily Nexus

The people have spoken! And unfortunately, the people are wrong. Putting our student body’s apparent proclivity for exhibitionism aside for the moment, the beach may be the actual worst spot for hanky panky in the greater Santa Barbara area. Imagine being in the throes of pleasure, feeling the sand between your toes and the next day having to explain to a Student Health nurse practitioner why you have sand abrasion rashes on every — and I mean every — square inch of your body. I can name five better hookup spots off the top of my head right now: cuddled up in an egg chair, library stairwells late at night, Chancellor Yang’s driveway, the stage of Campbell Hall between classes and, last but not least, the Daily Nexus editor-in-chief’s office. Do better, UCSB.

Best Drinking Game: King’s Cup

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Being an Isla Vista resident often involves riveting activities, including finding any excuse to drink despite it being a weekday. If you find yourself in this position, King’s Cup is the perfect method to both bring your friend circle together while simultaneously tearing it apart. There’s nothing more fulfilling than holding a deck of cards drenched in seltzers and having to re-explain the rules since everyone claims that it’s “played differently” where they’re from. It’s also the perfect opportunity to weed out the degenerates lurking within your group (these will be the people who are opposed to playing categories because it’s “too hard”). Overall, King’s Cup is a truly forgettable experience — which is exactly why it’s played so frequently.

Below are the winners highlighted by On The Menu — our food section. 

Best Snack Delivery Service: Duffl 

Essa Shamsan / Daily Nexus

Of the lifesaving snack delivery services in Isla Vista, one reigns supreme: Duffl. The Nexus believes that Duffl’s personalized customer service — delivered to your doorstep with expeditious service and a customized bag — makes it the perfect way to get whatever you need in under 10 minutes. Offering a variety of snacks, pingpong balls and even Plan B, Duffl provides its customers with the comfort of timely and necessary products. Although its main rival, Snag, offers similar products, Duffl’s timely and personalized deliveries offer I.V. residents unparalleled convenience, combined with unique messaging. Duffl has created a way to be one of the kids while simultaneously servicing them — and for that, the Nexus applauds them. If you need a late-night snack, beverage or anything, Duffl is the scooter delivery service for you.

Best Sandwich: Sam’s To Go 

Emmett Ruhland / Daily Nexus

Looking for a cold beer and a delicious sub? Sam’s To Go is the best place in Isla Vista to enjoy both. With a wide array of sandwiches, Sam’s To Go provides great food and a great ambience in the hub of I.V. The veggie sandwich, for example, packs fresh, delicious veggies and some yummy cheese to make the perfect sub. This family-owned restaurant has been a staple in I.V. since 1981. There’s nothing like grabbing a sub from Sam’s To Go after a hot day at the beach.

Best Boba: Mojo Asian Fusion Café 

Shiuan Cheng / Daily Nexus

Any time of day, the only drink that anyone has on their mind is a cold milk tea from the Mojo Asian Fusion Café. Located at the perfect intersection between UC Santa Barbara’s campus and Isla Vista, Mojo serves as a beacon for those seeking a thirst-quenching beverage. Boba remains the most popular and preferred topping, but Mojo has a variety of other different choices, such as the much-beloved mango stars. For a refreshing pick-me-up, try their Vegan Thai Milk Tea, a beverage that you can’t find at any other boba spot in I.V. Mojo has great customer service, and the environment is always friendly. The upbeat music played also contributes to the fun, inviting atmosphere.

Best New Restaurant: Wingstop

When Isla Vista lost its Subway, it lost its heart … if hearts were disposable, unwanted and there were two more perfectly operational ones nearby. The sentiment surrounding Subway’s disappearance was mainly that of excitement: What would replace it? For a while, the building was dark and pregnant with the promise of something greater, something more. Finally, on Oct. 29, rising from Subway’s ashes on beautifully fried wings of lemon pepper, Wingstop arrived. Wingstop is solid. Wingstop is reliable. Wingstop is never going to let you down. Offering both boneless and bone-in, all-f lat or all-drum options and upward of 15 flavors, they’re always going to have what you want — as long as what you want is chicken. It’s hard to go wrong with any of their flavors, some of which you can apply to your fries. Lemon pepper fries? Simply out of this world. Alien. Extraterrestrial. Deja Vu is lucky Wingstop closes at midnight, or else it’d be shaking in its “drunchies king” throne. Wingstop’s pretty reasonably priced too, especially compared to the average I.V.-upcharge. Ten wings for $12 is a pretty solid deal. Swing by on a Monday or Tuesday for their $0.70 boneless wings deal to really save on your suspiciously farmed chicken. In a town with overpriced, inconsistent food, a solid, popular chain like Wingstop is always going to become a staple, and that’s exactly what it’s done this year.

Best Beer: Woodstock’s 

Ewa Zakrzewska / Daily Nexus

Have you ever been cruising down Del Playa Drive on a sunny Friday afternoon and thought to yourself, “Wow, where can I grab an ice-cold pitcher with my housemates?” Who hasn’t? There’s only one place in Isla Vista that can hook you up with delicious pizza midway through a Firestone Mind Haze IPA pitcher. At Woodstock’s Pizza, there is never a worry about getting an ice-cold brew any day of the week. You have a social that you need to get to on a Tuesday night, lucky for you, Woodstock’s is just on the way to Del Playa Drive, and hey, they even offer Bud Light on tap! Better yet, the family is here to visit for the weekend, and you don’t want them to think you’re an alcoholic? Well, send them over to Woodstock’s for a relaxing Saturday evening to enjoy some of their IPA pitchers. Oh, you’re not a fan of a nice IPA or an ale on tap? Look no further: Woodstock’s has you covered. In addition to the IPAs and ales they have for their lovely guests, they also provide Boochcraft Organic Hard Kombucha. This is all to say: Get into Woodstock’s, and order a beer today!

Best Pizza: Woodstock’s 

Ewa Zakrzewska / Daily Nexus

No matter the occasion, you can always find your way back to Woodstock’s Pizza. In terms of customization, flavor and restaurant atmosphere, other pizza parlors in I.V. just can’t compare. How could you resist their fluffy dough, the perfect cheese-sauce ratio and the plethora of unique toppings? Along with their signature pizza combos such as the Garlic Bird Pizza, Woodstock’s has options for everyone by offering modifications, such as gluten-free crust and Daiya vegan cheese. Plus, they offer the option to craft your own personalized pizza, something that you can’t get at any other restaurant in Isla Vista. If you’re feeling inspired, Woodstock’s also sells individual batches of pizza dough that you can roll out yourself, top with your favorite ingredients and bake in the comfort of your own home. However, the atmosphere at Woodstock’s is so special that you’re going to want to dine on their cozy, outdoor patio with your friends and share a pitcher.

Best Drunchies: I.V. Deli Mart 

Emmett Ruhland / Daily Nexus

Featuring affordable prices and a convenient location, I.V. Deli Mart offers a wide variety of options for the Isla Vista community. In addition to selling chips, candy, drinks and anything else you could want on a drunken Saturday night, they offer a huge menu primarily consisting of sandwiches and burgers, including the I.V.-renowned “Gaucho Burger.” They also serve bowls and plates containing rice, vegetables and an assortment of protein options. Additionally, they have a vegan and vegetarian menu for plant-based eaters, demonstrating their efforts to serve all I.V. residents to the best of their ability.

Below is the winner highlighted by Artsweek — our arts, literature and music section. 

Best of I.V. Bands: Dead Set, a Grateful Dead Cover Band 

Ewa Zakrzewska / Daily Nexus

Dead Set is a Grateful Dead cover band consisting of Aiden Kockler on bass, Albert Dicesare on keyboard, Cassidy Fragakis providing vocals, Gavin Mentz on drums, Justin Memenas on guitar and providing vocals, Marlowe Kushner on guitar and providing vocals and Nico Johnson on drums. The rock band played their first show in September 2021 and have quickly gained a following. From Trigo Road to Camino Corto to Camino Lindo to Anisq’Oyo’ Park, Dead Set has brought their groovy rock all over I.V. Dead Set has also performed for multiple fundraisers, jamming while raising awareness for events like Stop Munger Hall and Concert for the Coast. Stay tuned for future performances, often announced on their Instagram: @deadsetlive.

Below is the winner highlighted by Science & Tech — the section that reports on new research and developments in science and technology. 

Best Hangover Cure in I.V.: Bagel Cafe 

Maddy Fangio / Daily Nexus

After a night of drinking, debauchery and subsequent dehydration, taking care of your body is essential. Excessive alcohol intake can bring fatigue and nausea in the morning after, and while the pain is short term, it can be extremely exhausting. Sustenance is essential in these situations, and the best place to seek it out is IV Bagel Cafe. On any given Saturday or Sunday morning, you can be sure to find hungover college students flocking to the establishment in droves and clustering outside for their order with dead eyes and empty stomachs. Is the wait worth it? Is this really an oasis in the post-party desert? The answer is yes. Bagel Cafe’s offerings are bagel-based, as evidenced by the title, with a variety of toppings: cream cheese, lox, bacon, avocado, cheese, tomatoes, pico de gallo and most prominently, egg. The latter is the best option in a post-inebriated state, as it is not only protein-rich but contains the amino acid cysteine. Cysteine helps neutralize the detrimental effects of acetaldehyde, a chemical produced by the body during alcohol consumption. Bagel Cafe offers egg-on-bagel in many forms, some highlights being the Huevo, the Eggle Plus and the Benedict Eggle, and it’s truly impossible to go wrong with an order. As a hub of activity and dependable producer of delicious food, Bagel Cafe welcomes you into its arms to nourish and comfort. Never fear because Bagel Cafe is here.


A huge thank you to the advertisers who made producing a weekly print edition possible. A special thanks to the university which created the Getman Award “in honor of the former UCSB Dean of Student Residents, Margaret T. Getman, and the former Director of Admissions, William J. Villa.”

These annual awards recognize UCSB community members that have shown commitment to the development of student quality of life. This year, the award recognizes Virginia Beaufort, Mike Miller, Laury Oaks, Angela Pitenis, Tricia Rascon and Jayne Reimel.

CORRECTION [20/28/2022; 10:25 a.m.]: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Office of the Registrar offered the Getman award. This article has now been corrected to say that the university offers the Getman award. 


Emily Kocis
Emily Kocis (she/her) is the Managing Editor for the 2022-23 school year. Previously, Kocis was the 2021-2022 Opinion Editor. She is a Political Science and English double major and bagel enthusiast, who can usually be found color-coding a Google Sheet or desperately skimming through a reading she forgot to do.
J. Matteo Wharton
Matteo is a second-year music composition and philosophy double major who loves Marxist critiques, experimental post-modern sound art, and long walks on the beach. He is currently the assistant editor for Nexustentialism and in the middle of a twenty-year existential crisis.
Holly Rusch
Holly Rusch (she/her) is the Lead News Editor for the 2022-23 school year. Previously, Rusch was the University News Editor and co-Lead News Editor for the 2020-21 school year. She can be reached at or
Atmika Iyer
Atmika Iyer (she/her/hers) is the Daily Nexus editor in chief for the 2022-23 school year. Previously, Iyer was the County News and co-Lead News Editor for the 2021-22 school year. She's a lover of loud music, loud laughs and loud prints.
Stephanie Gerson
Stephanie Gerson is a fourth-year Art History major and On the Menu Co-Editor. She can usually be found taking long walks, wandering about museums or grocery shopping.
Marisol Cruz
Marisol Cruz serves as the Artsweek editor for the 2021-2022 school year. She can always be found listening to music.
Sindhu Ananthavel
Sindhu Ananthavel (she/they) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Ananthavel was the Deputy News Editor for the 2022-23 school year, the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2021-22 school year and an assistant news editor for the 2021-22 school year. She can be reached at