Written by Bwog Staff
Bwog’s very own Frank Bruni, Michael Snyder, dishes (see what I did
there?) about Morningside Height’s buffet (and here?) of restaurants
The famous Seinfeld spot is “the quintessential diner,” replete with
“mediocre food” unfriendly service, and plastic-upholstered banquettes. Steer clear of the “questionable breakfast foods” and go straight for the milkshakes. Hint: Tom’s is home to “every Columbia student’s favorite secret menu item.” Don’t worry. It never stays secret long.
The “go-to place” for a “great brunch” and the “best burgers on Broadway” also makes “a mean steak sandwich” and “the best cobb salad around” in a bowl the size of your kitchen sink. For comfort food, try mac and cheese that “puts John Jay to shame.”
“A Columbia student’s best friend,” this gourmet food market is “a second home” for “Columbians without meal plans” and anyone sick of fried grease at Campus eateries. The “salads with endless toppings for only $8” are the best healthy steal around, and the made-to-order sandwiches are “anything and everything you’ve ever wanted in a
Another “good brunch” choice with “great open-air seating,” Le Monde is about as close as you can get to real French food in Morningside. Too bad dinner is “over-priced and underwhelming.” “Addictive fries, delicious omelets, and decent pastries” make Le Monde a good mid-morning or “post-dinner” stop, especially if you want a more “refined setting” than you’ll find at most Morningside joints.
A “perfect 24-hour” spot for the drunken walk back from 1020. The
brief menu of dosas ensures that whatever you mumble in your “drunken stupor” won’t be met with any big surprises. (Don’t try this at Taqueria)
It’s “the only place for Korean in Morningside” so expect passable bibim bab and other favorites. You might not be “blown away” but if it’s a “kim chi fix” you’re after, this may be “your only shot within walking distance.”
Nussbaum & Wu
The “black awning with the funny name” marks the spot for “the best bagels in Morningside,” or “the only bagels in Morningside” outside the cafeterias and the “equally greasy Pinnacle.” Come here for your “lox spread on a pumpernickel bagel” or any other “pseudo-gourmet bagel combination.” Though Nussbaum also sells “salads, sandwiches, quiche, etc,” for anything other than bagels you’d better “stick to
Milano across the street.”
“Columbia Cottage isn’t that far away.”
For “acceptable pan-Asian fare” come to Swish. “Less greasy than your average Chinese place” Swish was, until recently, “the only place for Pad Thai between 110th and 125th streets.” Chances are “you’ll end up here more often than you might like.” The food might be “pretty innocuous,” but you could do a whole lot worse than “the $8 lunch-box special.”
“No surprises here. Just your typical Starbucks.” For espresso drinks, the Morningside outpost of the “ubiquitous coffee house” between 114th and 115th streets is a fine choice. For coffee beans, teas, and more, “just go to Oren’s.”
“A lack of comfortable seating” hampers this branch of “the local coffee chain,” but Oren’s still “roasts the best coffee around.” You’ll find a “broad variety of roasts and loose teas,” some of which are vertically integrated “from the plantation to your coffee maker.” Whether you’re a “do-gooder, organic, fair trade type,” or just an “average cup o’ Joe drinker,” Oren’s is the place for you.
You’ll probably agree that Barnard’s cafeteria is “so much better than John Jay” for a time. Then you’ll realize that’s it’s really only “less bad.” For a slice of “decent pizza” or some “legitimate vegetarian options,” this is the place (at least if you’re on a meal
plan.) By mid-year, you’ll be “sick of the food, the walk, and the mean staff,” and Milano will seem more attractive every day.
“Try to resist.” You won’t be able to, but it’s worth a shot. If you regularly crave “fried bar-foods, Pepperidge Farm, and cereal,” JJ’s Place will be your “second home” on weeknights. But beware: “this is where they invented the term ‘Freshman 15.’ ”
For anything other than “the satisfying daily brunch,” John Jay is best avoided. Dinner here, though “inevitable,” consists primarily of “all your requisite food groups” miraculously imbued with “everyone’s favorite flavor: grease!” For a mid-morning breakfast craving, though, “John Jay has the best waffles and omelets your meal-plan can buy.”
Like every other campus place, Ferris Booth will seem “a whole lot better than John Jay” for a while. Then one night you’ll be eating
“your fifth bowl of fried rice in a week” and you’ll realize it is—like everything else at Ferris Booth—”cold, salty, and boring.” But then again, “salt’s better than grease. Isn’t it?”
Considered by many to be “the best restaurant in Morningside,” Max SoHa is a charming neighborhood Italian. The “cute, candlelit room” is the perfect setting for “fantastic homestyle Italian” at “reasonable prices—especially the pastas.” The handful of tiny tables fill up fast, and the no reservations policy can make it “difficult to snag a seat.”
“Better than Deluxe and John Jay,” Kithcnette is home to “the most decadent brunch around.” Country style “eggs, waffles, pancakes, and anything else you could ask for” are made on the “cutesy, tea-party-ish” premises. Prepare for a wait, though, because, true to it’s name, Kitchenette’s dainty proportions make one of the
much-coveted weekend brunch seats a hot commodity.
The cutest coffee shop that “no one goes to,” this small spinoff of Max SoHa up the block serves “decent coffee, drinks, and dessert” in a “romantically lit room with low sofas and tables.” In other words, this is “exactly the place you’d want for a relaxed cup of mid-week evening coffee.” If only you had time for a mid-week evening coffee on 122nd Street. Oh, well. Maybe next year.
“That other Italian place” on Amsterdam is “the only real competition for Max SoHa.” Larger than it’s up-the-street neighbor, Sezz Medi specializes in “great brick-oven pizzas” and over-priced—though delicious—salads. For many Morningside restaurant rovers, “this is
the place to go.” (If you can’t get into Max SoHa, that is.)
“The Ethiopian place that isn’t Awash” also isn’t as good. If it’s injera you’re after, take the walk to 107th Street.
Perhaps “the most exotic food in the neighborhood,” Awash is also your best bet for the kind of Ethiopian food your grandmother used to cook back in Scarsdale. Rolls of “marvelously spongy injera” and “carefully spiced meats and vegetables” more than compensate for the “strange, cheesy décor.” Though “prices seem a bit high” at first
glance, keep in mind that “one entrée is enough for two people.” Only “go with your cleanest friends” because you’ll be eating exclusively with your hands.
Hungarian Pastry Shop
The best place for “reading and endless coffee,” the Hungarian is a mecca for “earnest intellectuals of all stripes.” Thankfully, the “coffee refills are free,” the ambience is “cozy” and you will never be asked to leave. So sit back, relax, and “enjoy your Kant and coffee.”
Good-bad Chinese food anyone? This is the place for your “everyday, gooey, sloppy Chinese food.” Stick to the most basic menu items—”think sesame chicken and lo mein”—and you won’t be disappointed. And did I mention the “free half-carafe of terrible boxed wine with every entrée”? Come hungry. Leave drunk. The makings of a perfect night.
14-inch slices of pizza are a dream for “anyone who’s ever had the drunk munchies.” The pizza may be “greasy,” but “the price can’t be beat.” A staple of “many a drunken 1020 walk,” Koronet’s is open 24/7
to suit “your every inebriated need.”
The first thing to know about Tasti-D is that “it’s not really ice cream.” “Don’t expect Ben & Jerry’s” from the low-cal, no-fat frozen treat; do expect “convenience and economy.” The Lerner locale couldn’t be more central and they accept dining dollars. “You’ll learn to love the chemicals” with every swipe of your ID.
“Your South Korean roommate will always have an M2M bag” full of fun and occasionally “frightening” snacks from this pan-Asian market. No worries—for the less adventurous palate, M2M is “your best bet for a quick burger.”
It’s a Greek bakery! It’s a creperie! It’s a gelateria! No, it’s Artopolis! “All your prayers are answered” at this fresh-faced Amsterdam café. “Crepes, gelato, and baklava in one place—it’s a dream come true” for anyone craving that elusive taste “Mediterranean relaxation” here in Morningside.
“Wings. Beers. It’s that kind of place.” But what it does, it does well. “Take a break from the crowds at 1020 and the Heights” for a drink and some bar bites. When you wake up the next morning with neither a headache nor a dull ringing in your ears, you’ll be glad you did.
“Open your mouth and shut your eyes and you’ll be in for a big surprise” at Taqueria y Fonda la Mexicana, where “three dollars and a sense of adventure” will get you a long way. Tacos in “exotic flavors” (think tongue, ear, tripe) are surprisingly delicious and “well worth the risk.” After all, “three bucks isn’t much to pay for
bragging rights to having eaten ear.”
At this “Broadway mainstay” happy hour is the best time, when “$4 can buy you a margarita or a pint of beer.” Weekday afternoons are “reasonably quiet” compared to the “crazy weekend nights.” The bar food is “little more than passable” no matter what anyone tells you, but the nachos are pretty decent and “after three margaritas at 5
o’clock, who really cares anyway?”
Yes, it is 24-hour. Otherwise, “why bother?” Other than the “okay white pizza,” Pinnacles “does nothing that other places don’t do better.”
Once the only 24-hour grocery in close proximity, Morton Williams is still “cramped with a terrible selection.” Good for “a late night beer run and a stick of deodorant.” For anything else, go to 110th street.
“Heaven on earth” for any Morningside cook, West Side Market is “everything Morton Williams is not and so much more!” Everything you could want in a grocery store, and “it sure beats the walk to Fairway.”
Tags: not free food