Arts and Entertainment | Food and Drink

Orientation 2013: Morningside Heights food matrix

Tired of Ferris but too lazy to leave Morningside Heights for food? We've got you covered. Here's our approval matrix for neighborhood eateries.  

Insomnia Cookies
Founded when Penn alumnus Seth Berkowitz was still in college, Insomnia Cookies clearly knows its audience. This bakery delivers fresh cookies until 3 a.m.—an hour that most students come to know well. The Morningside Heights location is the branch’s newest (it already has five in Manhattan), but we’re pretty sure it’s destined to become a hangout after a night at 1020.
1030 Amsterdam Ave., between 110th and 111th streets

Absolute Bagels
Ranked #1 Best Bagel Shop in NYC by Business Insider and almost universally deemed by Columbia students “the best bagels of MoHi,” Absolute bagels are mouthwateringly soft and chewy. Bring cash (no credit cards accepted), and no need to toast the bagels since they’re already warm.
2788 Broadway, between 107th and 108th streets

Koronet Pizza
These sinfully cheesy pizzas are famous for their gigantic sizes (hello, 32-inch pies), making Koronet Pizza the perfect late-night stop. Located next to Mel’s Burger Bar, Koronet is the go-to place to satisfy the drunchies.  
2848 Broadway, between 110th and 111th streets

Hungarian Pastry Shop
Hungarian Pastry Shop may appear to be a typical indie coffee shop, but the unique cultural pastries attract people from all over the city. This place serves as an important cultural institution in Manhattan and was featured in Woody Allen’s “Husbands and Wives.” Enjoy this old-world style bakery with a cappuccino and a Literature Humanities book. Alas, Hungarian Pastry Shop has its study limitations, as it doesn’t have Wi-Fi.
1030 Amsterdam Ave., between 110th and 111th streets

Nussbaum & Wu
This breakfast/brunch/lunch eatery is a great place to spend a weekend morning—without the waiting or expensive price tags that come with a sit-down brunch. Make sure to save room for the black and white cookies.
2897 Broadway, at Broadway and 113th St. 

Milano Market
The gourmet sandwiches and wraps-to-go allow Columbia students to eat well on a tight time budget, but they’re pretty pricey. Still, Milano has a loyal following and will appeal to anyone with its nearly 150 different varieties of sandwiches.
2892 Broadway, between 112th and 113th streets 

Tom’s Restaurant
This is the “Seinfeld” diner you’ve always heard about and the inspiration for Suzanne Vega’s hit, “Tom’s Diner.” Tourists love to take pictures outside during the day, while Columbia students frequent it at night for the fries and milkshakes, despite being way more expensive than they should be. Tip: order a Broadway milkshake (a mix of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee), which isn’t on the menu.
2880 Broadway, between 112th and 113th streets 

This diner is a bit more upscale than Tom’s, but a very enjoyable atmosphere. Take advantage of the $5 burger special on Mondays.
2896 Broadway, between 112th and 113th streets 

Mel’s Burger Bar
Mel’s is not only a popular bar, but it also has the best burgers in MoHi. Share the fries with a friend—the portions are hearty. A particularly notable feature of Mel’s is the “Brew Crew,” in which participants are given a list of 40 different beers they must consume—not in one night! Winners will experience eternal Mel’s fame with their name on a plaque behind the bar.
2850 Broadway, between 110th and 111th streets 

Symposium doesn’t have the best Greek food that Manhattan has to offer, but this sit-down restaurant is conveniently nestled on Frat Row, which makes a visit worthwhile if you're craving souvlaki. Make Tuesday night your Greek night out with the 15 percent discount.
544 W. 113th St., between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.

Thai Market
Thai food lovers rejoice—you can enjoy authentic Thai food within walking distance of campus. This campus favorite simulates an actual Thai market with street signs, reasonable prices, and, most importantly, decent cuisine. Some favorites are the red curry and Pad Thai.
960 Amsterdam Ave, between 107th and 108th streets

Kitchenette is the uncontested most-adorable restaurant in MoHi. The delightful brunch menu, especially the chocolate chip banana pancakes, makes it worth the (relative) schlep to 123rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
1272 Amsterdam Ave., at Amsterdam and 123rd St. 

Community Food & Juice
Community is the go-to brunch spot for Columbians. The eco-friendly and health-conscious menu will make your spirits and stomachs feel great … until you receive the check.
2893 Broadway, between 112th and 113th streets

The dim lighting and exposed brick are great for impressing your date with your sophisticated taste. Or, better yet, let your parents treat you to this freshly made Italian food when they visit.
125 La Salle St., between Broadway and Claremont Ave.  |  @aschliss


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Anonymous posted on

in what world is symposium the least tasty restaurant around? tom's is substantially worse.

Anonymous posted on

but milkshakes

Anonymous posted on


Anonymous posted on

Where are Havana central and V&T's on the grid?

Anonymous posted on

crack del not included. list incomplete.

Alumna gourmande posted on

You left out La Toulousaine French bakery/cafe on the west side of Amsterdam Avenue between 107th & 106th Streets. (Croissants, beignets, galettes, croque monsieur, madeleines, baguettes, patisserie, etc.)

Anonymous posted on

Spec did a restaurant matrix and didn't include the exact same restaurants I would have included! And they didn't agree with my opinion about every restaurant, either!