When I'm up late studying, hunger is usually my constant companion. It's tough to fight that feeling of emptiness that your stomach creates to compromise for your poor, poor brain binge-eating textbook pages. I thought about writing about cutesy things that you might want to read at 1:11, like the most adorable Halloween food costumes for kids (actually, you can see the real thing here), but that would just make you hungrier. So here's to accepting your appetite's slow and steady expansion during test season.
I urge you to be creative about your eating choices. I know we're spoiled for choice with the single option on campus open past tea-time super-early dinnertime. JJ's Place, the new and improved version, may have ditched its strict Leave Your Diet at the Door (Ain't Nobody Got Time for That) policy, and John Jay now has a ramen station. I like it. I really do. But when I'm craving some comfort food (not infrequently of the Indian variety), I'm often surprised by the options around MoHi. So ditch your books for an hour and head off campus for some good old-fashioned slow food. Serving times range between 10 to 20 minutes, but it's worth it.
Massawa: Looking for a relaxed weeknight dinner break, in a place so dimly lit it could put Ruggles ceiling lights to shame? Ethiopian food is fun, tasty and gives you all the choice you could want. Share it with a friend on a fluffy rice pancake—no-fuss food with a no-cutlery, all-hands approach to eating.
Roti Roll: This conjoined twin (but not really) of gay bar Suite, has received many a food review from campus foodies. Not because of Suite, silly. Its soft, buttery 'Bombay frankies,' flatbread stuffed with your choice of meat, seafood, or veggies seasoned in Indian spices, will have you going back for more. As a resident of Bombay myself, this little fella doesn't quite put the Bombay into the frankie, but it does a pretty good job. Open till 3:00 a.m., and you get two rolls for a steal.
Shahi Biryani & Grill: Fine, I'm only a little biased toward the Indian subcontinent. Shoot me, I'm international. But if you like lots of food on one plate, and multiple options to boot, this friendly neighborhood Pakistani restaurant is perfect. Try their steaming hot chai (milk tea, not chai latte, pleaseandthankyou) to end your meal. And if you think you've been bitten by the Indian food bug, try some more nearby options, as curated by Spec.
Sun-Chan Sushi: The hipster of the Heights' sushi choices, this little restaurant is often hard to get space at. But their sushi, ramen, and yakitori (and sake, if your mood permits) is worth the wait, and so is the atmosphere. No-frills and homely, Sun-Chan is no wannabe Vine. They also don't have Thai food on the menu (what's that about, anyway?)
Café Nana: If you're feeling particularly lazy, this is technically off campus because of its café that is little-known to most, but its best-kept secret is its shakshouka. Don't know what that is? Just try it. The Israeli chef is often overworked, but his trance beats and the freshly prepared comfort food, with hummus and pita on the side, requires just a hop across to Hillel.
The Daily Beast may rank our nightlife poorly, but we probably kick ass in the off-campus culinary options category. So look beyond your curly fry and kick the halal habit for a day. Take a walk, take a friend, and try something new if you haven't already.