Top 5 spots in Pomona for students

By Julia DeFoe and Briana Leon, Jan. 30, 2024

Cal Poly Pomona hosts countless university events and provides several dining experiences for students. However, busy college undergrads are looking for something more to fill up their weekends with. Some off-campus entertainment is necessary for all and fortunately the city of Pomona is full of activities, restaurants, shops and nightlife.

Here are five options for you to explore with friends.

The Fox Theater | 301 S. Garey Ave., Pomona, CA 91766

The Fox Theatre welcomes bands from all genres. | Julia DeFoe

Originally a movie theater in the 1930s, the Fox Theater Pomona has since been converted into one of Pomona’s hottest venues as it houses music events in the heart of the Arts Colony downtown.

On the first floor of the venue, the Green Room Cocktail Lounge and Chow resides. A green light illuminates this lounge, which serves quality food and drinks to all, concertgoers including the flavorful steak nachos and a wide variety of tacos. This is a great place to fill an empty stomach and catch up with friends before a show.

The lively atmosphere of the venue continues inside where a recent remodel upgraded the environment into Pomona’s very own version of the Hollywood Palladium. Its high ceilings and wide stage have hosted iconic artists from Duran Duran and Two Door Cinema Club to Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens.

“I’ve been to the Fox Theatre so many times and it never disappoints,” said English student Emily Navas. “It’s my go-to spot and the food is also really good.”

The Basement | 184 W. 3rd St., Pomona, CA 91766

The Basement, one of Pomona’s dance and nightclubs. |

Also located in downtown Pomona, The Basement is an 18 and over night club that opens its doors on Friday and Saturday nights from 8 p.m. until 3 a.m.

The nightclub is home to two different rooms, each playing different music ranging from reggaeton and hip-hop to house music and EDM. The Basement offers VIP tables and guest lists for those who desire a more intimate visit with friends. This nightclub does not serve food but does offer a large variety of drinks.

The Basement requires an RSVP to the location at least 30 minutes before opening to remain compliant with COVID-19 safety recommendations.

Pomona Pizza Company | 46 Rio Rancho Road, Unit 101, Pomona, CA 91766

Pomona Pizza Company invites both good eats and entertainment. | Julia DeFoe

One thing most college students can relate to is the search for great food at an even greater price. Pomona Pizza Co. could be the new spot. This restaurant is an inexpensive option for grabbing casual food while watching a game.

Located in the Rio Rancho neighborhood, Pomona Pizza Co. offers an array of American and Italian foods. The restaurant is known for its gourmet pizzas such as buffalo chicken and pastrami pizza. The restaurant also has intriguing menu items like pasta and buffalo wings.

The restaurant’s atmosphere comes complete with a variety of arcade games like Baseball Pro and Super Bikes. Multiple TVs for various games and ample seating add to the comfortability and laid-back feel of the place.

Pomona Pizza Co.’s operating hours are Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Mi Cafecito Coffee | 101 S. Main St., Unit D, Pomona, CA 91766

Mi Cafecito Coffee is in downtown Pomona, housing a lighthearted atmosphere to not only enjoy a cup of authentically crafted coffee and pastries but to also be immersed in the culture that comes with it. Nestled on the corner of West 1st Street and Main Street, Mi Cafecito is steps away from the Art Colony with outdoor seating.

Mi Cafecito is a Latinx family-owned business that has been around since 2016. As soon as you walk in, hospitable staff and a sweet-smelling combination of cinnamon and coffee welcomes you. ranked it #2 out of 205 cafes in Pomona, CA.

The cafe features a selection of Mexican coffee items including a horchata and a dulce de leche espresso. Additionally, Mi Cafecito offers light pastries such as sweet empanadas and savory bolillos stuffed with cream cheese and jalapeños.

Mi Cafecito is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

The Glass House Record Store | 200 W. Second St Pomona, CA, 91766

The Glass House houses a record collection with a variety of genres. | Julia DeFoe

Whether you are visiting for a concert, vinyl records, music recommendations or for just a laid-back space to hang out in – Glass House has it for you. Alongside the Glass House Concert Hall, the two establishments have made quite a name for themselves over the past 18 years in the Pomona community.

With their own niche selection of music, Glass House has created a community of patrons who all share an appreciation for the variation in music supplied by the store. Genres include jazz, hip-hop, psychedelic rock, indie, country and much more. With one of the most extensive collections of used vinyl records throughout Southern California, customers are bound to find something that fits their personal taste.

“We’re a little bit more esoteric for the area that we’re in and that’s because we curate it ourselves,” shares Ivan Castaneda, a worker for Glass House for the past eight years.

The Glass House record store is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Saturday.

Feature image courtesy of Darren Loo

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