When it comes to a snack between classes or getting a meal close by, little is more convenient than eating on campus.

However, the time may come when on-campus dining gets old and even a favorite restaurant loses appeal. Perhaps restaurants on campus might also fail to meet the requirements of preserving a somewhat healthy diet.

Though before venturing miles from campus or upgrading to a dorm with an oven, be sure to talk to friends and scour every nook and cranny on campus — and in walking distance of campus — for potential hidden dining gems.

For USF students and faculty, one of those hidden gems is Tarek’s Cafe — an independently-owned cafe serving breakfast, lunch, desserts and daily specials. Seating around 20, Tarek’s Cafe is located beside a courtyard within the Continuing Education building (NEC) in the northwest corner of the USF Health campus.

Tarek's Cafe Location 2

For lunch, the cafe features unique dishes like a blackened tilapia sandwich or a portobello mushroom burger alongside more common ones like a BLT or chicken tenders with a homemade twist. Most of the cafe’s food is made-to-order in the kitchen, located behind the front counter by the cafe’s cooking staff — several chefs and the cafe owner himself, Tarek Elsayed.

For the early birds, a breakfast at the cafe could consist of pancakes and turkey bacon, a gyro wrap or a Tony’s Breakfast Sandwich which consist of two eggs with cheese on toasted Cuban bread, with a choice of ham, sausage or bacon.

Sweet treats at Tarek’s include baklava, brownies or the cafe’s own Oreo-Blaster Balls.

Tarek’s Cafe is typically open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday, but these hours may change with the semesters. Be sure to call or visit for more info.

Now go find more delicious diamonds in the rough to share with friends!