Kaylee Heartman and Michelle Wu / Daily Nexus

Best Coffee: Cajé

Sury Dongre, Opinion Editor  

Every so often, something great happens. Something truly worth remembering, something that sticks with you forever. For me, that happens every time I have a hangover. 

After a night full of ragers and a deep sleep, most wake up with a headache and a dry mouth. We all pick something different — cold pizza, Diet Coke or a Sweetgreen bowl DoorDashed from Thousand Oaks. For me, I know exactly what to do. I slip on my favorite pair of jeans and my hoodie from the Smithsonian, keys in hand and AirPod in ear. After some water, I make the walk to the promised land: the I.V. Cajé. 

Cajé early on a Saturday morning is an experience to be treasured: The customers are sparse, the breeze is cold and all you want is to double-fist a hot coffee and an everything bagel. Their bagels are truly sublime — crusty and chewy, flavorful and most importantly, characters that stand up to whatever you slap on top of them.

To quote a wise man, “Well yes!” 

The first sip of a Cajé mocha on a grey Saturday morning is what gives me hope, what keeps my feet glued to this mortal coil. It is the definition of “girl who is going to be ok”. It reaches somewhere deep within you – somewhere that has calcified and frozen over throughout the terrors of the week – and brings it back to life. 

The Cajé mocha (and matcha, and latte, and smoothie and acai bowl) are truly unique. I’ve never had a mocha quite like it: It tastes like it briefly met a chocolate bar once, and then decided to travel the world and become much more interesting. It’s spicy and bitter and sweet and tastes like a warm hug. And every morning after — past, present and future — I could always use one of those. 

Best Snack Delivery: Snag


Best Bagel: IV Bagel Cafe

Kaitlin Lee, SciTech Editor

Known to be the perfect spot for a hangover cure, I.V. Bagel Cafe has got you covered with delicious bagel combinations from sweet cinnamon sugar to savory pesto cream cheese. UC Santa Barbara students flock to grab a bite to eat from this bagel spot after a night out, with some of its busiest hours most notably being Saturday mornings. The joint has even earned a spot on Spoon University’s ranking of best breakfast spots in college towns across America. I.V. Bagel Cafe has yet to meet its match, being voted “Best Bagel in Isla Vista” and maintaining a reputation as one of the most popular breakfast spots in I.V. 


Best Boba: Mojo

Angelina Song, Staff Writer

Looking for a spot to get your drinky-drink fix? Mojo Asian Fusion Cafe is your ultimate destination for delicious drinks and a great atmosphere.

Mojo’s drinks range from sweet Thai teas to aromatic rose green teas, so variety makes it the perfect choice for the undecided. Additionally, their toppings are second to none: the sweet and chewy tapioca pearls, the crunchy agar bobas — all of them make a great addition to their flavorful teas.I particularly love the delectable mango stars that are the perfect add-ons to Mojo’ fruity drinks, such as their mango milk tea or their strawberry milk tea.

To top it all off, Mojo’s provides a great atmosphere to study in, with comfy chairs and an aesthetically pleasing cafe area. Mojo is the perfect place to grind out assignments while sipping on a jasmine milk tea. 


Best Beauty Services: IV Beauty Lounge


Best Beer Pitcher Deals: Woodstock’s


Best Food Pop Up: Roger’s Tacos


Best Pizza: IV Pizza Pub

Sneha Cheenath, Managing Editor 

Having an incredible after-swim snack is arguably the only good thing about getting out of the water, so the choice of food is critical. One sunny fall quarter day, after spending hours in the ocean, my friend and I decided to bestow that honor upon an Isla Vista eatery we hadn’t tried before: I.V. Pizza Pub. 

The establishment’s set-up is simple but genius. They have ready-made pizzas at the front that you can buy by the slice, and they’ll put it in the oven to heat it up. This extra time in the oven gives its cheese the perfect melt and its thin crust the perfect crunch. 

I also love their pizza-oven-made chocolate chip cookie — meant to serve six but so good it’s barely enough for three. The cookie is definitely big, and it has a soft, gooey inside with a harder, chewier outside, making it the perfect cookie for anyone’s taste. 

If you’re looking for the perfect after-swim snack, a welcoming dine-in space to eat with your friends or just a really good slice of pizza, then I.V. Pizza Pub is the place to be. 


Best Drunchies: IV Deli Mart

Emily Yoon, Editor in Chief 

We’ve all been there before. The party was supposed to be your carefree, hot girl, “happy-free-confused-lonely-in-the-best-way” moment but you’re stuffed like a sardine in a box full of men that smell like they bathed in the lagoon. The DJ has been playing EDM deep cuts that only he recognizes for the past hour. Your wrists doesn’t have a single frat flick left in them, your feet are giving out, and you’re kind of hungry.

No … you’re famished. 

Where do you go? 

I.V. Deli Mart! 

A nighttime trek to the I.V. Deli Mart is better categorized as a pilgrimage to the Holy Land or expedition to the Fountain of Youth. Truly, when all other businesses in Isla Vista are shuttered for the night, our beloved deli — which is open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays – is the perfect oasis to refuel at after an eventful night out.

However, not only are I.V. Deli Mart’s hours convenient for a post-party bite, its menu is downright delectable as well. From grilled cheese and loaded fries to shawarma and falafel, the selection is diverse — and consistent in quality across the board. As for standout picks, the Nexus recommends the teriyaki chicken bowl and turkey pesto avocado sandwich. 

For maximum enjoyment, consume your late night “drunchie” from I.V. Deli Mart alongside McConnell’s ice cream from the deli’s freezer and a much-needed debrief of the night with your best pals. 


Best Hangover Cure: Blenders

Abigail Monti, On the Menu Editor 

Picture this: It’s 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, your eyes just opened and you wish you waited a few more hours before making that mistake. Your head is thumping like the weed whacker the gardener next door had the audacity to fire up, your throat is drier than the sand at low tide and your limbs are tingling from a vitamin deficiency, or 10. 

The cause of this unprecedented malady? Just your run-of-the-mill hangover. 

Chances are that every I.V. resident has experienced more than a few hangovers and has a few tricks they’ve discovered to get rid of them — sunglasses, Pedialyte, bagel sandwiches, spiked coffee… you name it. But one trusty hangover cure tops all others: a 24-ounce smoothie from Blenders In The Grass (because, let’s be honest, 12 ounces simply won’t cut it).

There’s something about freshly blended fruit and sherbet that freezes away a hangover like nothing else. Smoothies are refreshing, sweet and — most importantly — liquid (hydrating AND unlikely to induce nausea? I call that a double win). Plus, Blenders offers a variety of supplements to choose from, like Immune Support and Antioxidant, that sound so healthy, they might just trick your body into feeling better. And with dozens of flavors (shoutout Red Mango), there’s something for everyone. Of course, the fact that Blenders remains one of the most affordable I.V. food options only sweetens the deal. 

Next Sunday morning, instead of scrolling on TikTok in bed, regretting every choice you made the night before, drag yourself out to Blenders. Trust me, you won’t regret it. 


Best Electric Scooter Company: Lime


Best Burrito: Freebirds

Nina Timofeyeva, On the Menu Editor 

Often, it seems that the debate over the best burrito in I.V. will never cease. However, this year, the majority has granted the title to Freebirds, one of I.V.’s most well-known eateries. Freebirds offers customers the two options of the regular burrito or the monster burrito. While these options may seem humble, the size and filling of the burritos are anything but that. With protein choices ranging from chicken to birria to carne asada, Freebirds wraps these up in sizable portions along with vegetables, beans, guacamole and rice, among other additions. A standout feature is the perfect crispiness of the outside of the tortilla in each burrito, creating a satisfying combination of varying textures. Taking into account the largeness of the burritos, diners are surely getting their money’s worth with them. Next time you’re feeling ravenous, head over to Freebirds and give I.V.’s best burrito a try!


Best Weeknight Activity Hosted by an IV restaurant: Woodstock’s Trivia

Best Convenience Store: IV Deli Mart

Pihu Jain, On the Menu Editor

Isla Vista exists in multitudes. It is simultaneously affordable and exorbitant, commonplace and avant-garde. It lulls you into a sense of familiarity, and just when you think you’ve seen it all… someone reports a Jojo Siwa sighting on Yik Yak (not real, but shocking nonetheless). Perhaps the most representative of the spirit of I.V. is our beloved  I.V. Deli Mart. Putting the convenience in convenience store within the heart of I.V. since 2012, this little shop of wonders never ceases to amaze, with its worldly snack selections, 8:00 a.m. -1 a.m. hours of operation and a boundless menu that would put many a restaurant to shame. There is just something so fulfilling about purchasing your late night cravings with your daily bread and butter; for me, the packs of pasta with some chocolate ice cream cone tips that I will shamelessly run through in a night. Many tired, begrudged UCSB students have found solace under the bright fluorescents of I.V. Deli Mart at 1 a.m. on finals week, out waiting with their friends for two orders of personal size buffalo chicken fries, mingling, everyone’s stress collectively dissipating in the cool late night breeze — even if just for a moment. How many convenience stores can say that? Our I.V. Deli Mart is certainly second to none. 


Best Library Floor: 2nd/4th (tie)

Lizzy Rager, News Editor

It’s right there once you enter the Davidson Library entrance after a gust of wind flies at you from the automatic sliding doors. Bright oblique hanging lamps with thin, paper-like panels draw your eye to an overhang, where students rigorously work away. Looking closer, leather, curved armatures at wood-slabbed, rectangular tables resemble a professor’s study. Windows parallel to the overhang filter in some lovely natural light. Go up two flights of stairs and you’ve reached the second floor of the library. 

Not too far above it, a different, perhaps more casual environment invites the more experienced student in. Chairs and tables are strewn together loosely for an impromptu study session. The lighting is more intimate, darker but with a few overlooking views of campus. It’s busy in both its layout — walls of bookshelves hiding the main room — and occupancy. 

What the second-floor library has in its shiny veneer and open concept, the fourth-floor, UCSB’s poster child, supplements in its hominess and authenticity. There’s some charm in the wear of the seats, not likely changed since the 70s. The layout is wider than its second-floor counterpart, and its main draw is the mass of tables lined up on the oceanside like a banquet for ideas. With whiteboards on wheels, students point to their messy Venn diagrams and bullet points like that one meme of Pepe Silvia. It’s an image of collected chaos.

In a sense, the second floor breathes aspiration. Sound-proofed study rooms in the mountainside corner inspire tenacity, especially when you’ve peered at a whiteboard with equations you couldn’t hope to understand. At the oceanside, the Ethnic and Gender Studies section invites students into its exclusive archives. Vending machines with snacks and health products operate 24/7, next to a scanner and printer in a convenience corner. And not to forget the walls of bookshelves lining the main walkway, something of a labyrinth hiding the more seemingly exclusive studying spots.

The fourth floor is “the spot,” though. The energy channeling through the floor is a perfect mix for those who need that public pressure to work. Maybe you’ve grown attached to the floor from so many study sessions that it’s hard to go somewhere else. Maybe you need to feel like a part of society by occupying the intimate space, instead of being bolstered in some singular study cubicle. 

Neither is without its faults. At those picturesque (literally on the UCSB promo photos) tables on the second floor, ants often climb the desk. Those damned red curved couches, debated to be the best nap spots in the library, are full at nearly every hour. And don’t even think about trying to reserve a room during midterms or finals week at least a week early. On the fourth floor, a musty smell permeates by some combination of odor from densely packed students and poor ventilation. It’s the uglier sibling of the second floor, with uncovered piping on its ceiling in a not-so-rustic-chic fashion. Plus, one must have the resilience to stay focused in a space brimming with potential distractions.

Both floors are among the most popular of the library, and oftentimes in the afternoon, it is nearly impossible to find a space to sit, especially one with an outlet for those rushing to get some juice before their next class. 

Nonetheless, the fourth floor might be where your best study memories take place. The second floor might be your best retreat for those midnight study grinds once every other floor is closed. 

The second floor might be what invites you in, but the fourth floor is what makes you keep coming back.


Best Smoke Spot in IV: Bluffs

Nexustentialism Staff 

After a long stressful day of work, classes, and other responsibilities, there is nothing quite like a walk along the bluffs with my old friend Mary Jane. The bluffs are a classic spot amongst stoners; the beautiful view, people watching, and cute dogs make it the perfect place to smoke. Whether you work alone or with a company, there’s no other spot quite like it. It’s consistently beautiful, temperate, and calm: never too scary for the shy smokers, but still incredibly engaging for sativa lovers. 

Everyday, people’s Instagram feeds flood with pictures of the sunsets at the bluffs, posing cutely with their friends. What they don’t show is me, in the background, smoking. On 4/20, tons of Isla Vista residents came out to the bluffs to enjoy the holiday— proving just how great of a spot the bluffs can be. Despite its popularity, the bluffs stretch out far enough to give pretty much everyone the amount of privacy they may desire. 

Oftentimes, when I end up a little too high along the bluffs, I swear I start seeing creatures in the water. I’m kind of convinced that there is a kind of sea serpent that lives around the waters in the bluffs. Has anyone else noticed that? If not, get out to the bluffs, smoke some weed, and look out at the water! 


Best Place for First Date in IV: Devs

Data Staff 

Your heart is racing. You feel nervous yet ecstatic, scared yet bold. Your 10/10 crush said “yes” to go on date with you! Congratulations! Just one problem, though. You have no idea where to take that special someone. After all, you want to impress that person, so the first date cannot be anything short of perfect. You go to UC Santa Barbara, so maybe hit up the beach? At the beach, you can get a gorgeous, unobstructed view of the sunset and the stars, creating the perfect backdrop for a romantic moment between the two of you. But there’s so many beaches to choose from. Which one would be best for your first date?

Luckily for you, the masses have spoken, and they have crowned Devereux Beach as the best first date spot in Isla Vista. Devereux Beach is located a little further from the UCSB campus than beaches like Campus Point, which is great since the date will truly be just you two. As you stroll down the shore, you guys can explore Devereux’s signature tide pools or simply listen to the calming waves as the sun sets and the stars take its place. While you may be able to do the same at any other beach, the aura and atmosphere unique to the shores of Devereux Beach will make that first date absolutely perfect. From its isolated location to its many tide pools, Devereux Beach has much to offer as an ideal first date.


Best IV Band: Dawn Patrol

Stella Mullin, Artsweek Editor

Dawn patrol: a surfer’s 5 a.m. wake up call to catch a few waves in the early morning. 

Dawn Patrol: aptly named Isla Vista surf-rock band consisting of third-year environmental studies major Miles Carter (guitar), third-year economics and accounting major James Llloyd (vocals and guitar), third-year biopsychology major Caden Lane (bass) and fourth-year economics and accounting major Joe Vliestra (drums). 

An I.V. band through and through, Dawn Patrol stems back to Anacapa Hall, where Lloyd and Carter jammed together in Fall 2021. And, in typical band network fashion, Carter recruited his roommate, Lane, to play bass. And then they found themself stuck finding a drummer. It took a year, but Vliestra was eventually brought on (after being discovered in a parking lot) and the band began playing in Spring 2023, quickly rising to “Isla Vista fame” and frequently appearing on Sound’s of IV’s instagram page. 

“Dawn Patrol is a reflection of the fun-loving, unique, and creative place that is Isla Vista. I doubt there’s anywhere else where you have this many bands to play with, this many opportunities to play, and this welcoming of a community to play to,” the band said.  

Although only playing together for a year now, Dawn Patrol have already released four singles, two more nearing their release and more on the way and play covers “from Jimi Hendrix to Mac Demarco to Radiohead.” They also play the entirety of “Hotel California,” including the guitar solo. 

“Starting a band was an easy choice we made for ourselves and we are lucky enough to be able to share our art with others. We hope we can inspire others to start jamming and see where the music takes them!”

Follow @dawnpatrolband on Instagram and catch their last show of the quarter at Ventura Music Hall on June 8. 


Best Bathroom on Campus: ILP

Amitha Bhat, Editor-in-Chief

It’s 9:16 in the morning, and the double-shot oat milk latte I ingested prior to my 8 a.m. is running right through me — and not in a good way. Before I proceed to fall to my knees in the middle of the Arbor, I must take matters into my own hands. 

Cue “Challengers: Match Point” on the “Challengers” soundtrack, because the battle between me and the humbling nature of my biology officially begins. As the Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross score intensifies, so do the inner workings of my stomach. 

I look to my right and see the Interactive Learning Pavilion in all its glory, a cathedral in its own right. I watch as students chatter about their unscrupulous midterms or the delectable lunch they’ll eat later, but I can’t indulge myself in the luxury of eavesdropping as I fast-walk over to the building. 

The silvery archway looms over me while I scamper inside the first floor bathroom. Within the privacy of the gorgeous, tall doorway, I can finally relax. I put my AirPods in, turn up the volume and get down to business.