Local Eats Mini Series: Columbia University

On Thursday, we’re hosting Summerfest NYC, an event for applicants interested in attending SIPA or another public policy school. Many of you will be coming in to town early Thursday. And since you probably don’t want to stray too far from campus (that subway system can be tricky for some!), I asked around to see which local restaurants our staff and graduating PAs enjoy the most. Thus, the Local Eats Mini Series was born!

Every Wednesday for the remainder of this month, I’ll post our favorite grub spots around NYC. (What a great Hump-Day treat!) Today, you’ll read about Columbia University locations, then I’ll follow up with Manhattan-wide spots, and conclude with a wrap up of the outer boroughs. (Hint: If you’re an incoming Fall 2015 student, you should really bookmark this post.) Oh, and if you’d like to spatialize how close these restaurants are to Columbia University, just scroll to the bottom of this post for our handy Google Map.

2893 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
(212) 665-2800 | www.communityrestaurant.com
“I love this restaurant because it offers fresh, organic meals and has an excellent pancake special on weekday mornings. It’s right across from campus so it’s conveniently located and a welcome spot to eat healthy and to eat well in the neighborhood. Tip: Order the beer and burger special weekdays between 5 and 7pm.”
—Katherine McGehee, MIA ’15

Flat Top
1241 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027
(646) 820-7735 | www.flattopnyc.com
“Flat Top has been an exciting addition to Morningside Heights since its recent arrival in 2013. The restaurant’s rustic and comfortable vibe made it an instant crowd pleaser among me and my friends. Whether you’re looking for a casual escape from the usual Columbia dining scene or trying to step it up a notch for a date or group dinner, Flat Top is the place! The menu offers American cuisine for the most part, but also features some Asian inspired gems like the Bahn Mi Sandwich with a fried egg for lunch (my favorite). My favorite dinner dish is the Airline Chicken Breast, but no matter when or what you at Flat Top you can’t go wrong! They also offer delivery for those cold and rainy nights.”
—Tinsley Corbett, MPA ’15

The Hungarian Pastry Shop
1030 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025
(212) 866-4230 | www.urbanspoon.com
“I like that it is close to campus and has a European ambiance and it is cozy.  I have a sweet tooth and this cafe definitely has some of the best cookies and pastries.”
—Dario Martinez, MIA ’15

Jin Ramen
3183 Broadway, New York, NY 10027
(646) 559-2862 | www.jinramen.com
“It’s surprising to find quality ramen in Harlem.  However, Jin Ramen does it right.  More importantly, it’s quality ramen on a graduate budget!  Highly recommend the miso ramen.  Always left satisfied after eating this.  Best in the winter to keep you warm.”
—Eric Medina, MPA ’15

1272 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027
(212) 531-7600 | www.kitchenetterestaurant.com
“Kitchenette is one of my favorite brunch spots near Columbia University. The atmosphere is cozy, and they have a great selection of food. I recently discovered the strawberry shortcake waffle with a colossal-sized waffle, fresh strawberries and strawberry butter, and it’s definitely worth all of the calories. And if I just stop by for dessert, then their chocolate-chip milkshake and chocolate pudding are two of my favorite treats. Tip: If you pay cash they’ll give you a ~10% discount.”
—Kaitlyn Wells, Assistant Director of Admissions

Mel’s Burger Bar
2850 Broadway, New York, NY, 10025
(212) 865-7100 | www.melsburgerbar.com
“If you like burgers, definitely worth a try. Service was great and it didn’t seem crowded. Good beer. Not too expensive.”
—Nina-Marie Rivera, Associate Director of Admissions

125 La Salle St, New York, NY 10027
(212) 932-3500 | www.pisticcinyc.com
“Pisticci is a neighborhood gem.Their food is rated 24/30 on Zagat, which makes them the highest-rated restaurant in Morningside Heights area. Yet, unlike its peers, Pisticci is very reasonably priced, especially for lunch. In general, Pisticci is about about simple Italian fare done impeccably right. Their pasta dishes are to die for. For the environmentally-conscious, Pisticci is also the first carbon-neutral restaurant in New York; and if you’re lucky, you can ask former President Clinton about it (he’s a regular).”
—Selim Sazak, MIA ‘15

V & T Pizzeria and Restaurant
1024 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025
(212) 663-1708 | www.vtpizzeriarestaurant.com
“V &T has been in the neighborhood forever, and was recommended to me by a former boss (during an interview no less!!) who went to Columbia Business School.  Every time I saw him, he’d tell me that he was taking his family up to V & T’s for pizza.  Turns out, I am also a big fan!  The food is delicious and reasonably priced, and the service is excellent.”
—Lauren Podber, MIA ’14