Ten years ago, I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from New York University and no idea what kind of crazy journey the real world would take me on. But here I am, still truckin’ 10 years later in Los Angeles. Do I miss New York? Occasionally, but I certainly don’t miss the city’s cold winters and dealing with the MTA. But I’ll always have fond memories of my time at NYU, where I got to eat, study and party (ahem) in the heart of one of the world’s most iconic cities.
Plus, NYU celebrates the end of the school year with this at Strawberry Fest:
It’s the best. (But I still miss Coles Carnival.)
I stumbled upon this NYU food map posted by my social-media savvy alma mater and it got me thinking about where I used to love to eat back in my college days. Since I won’t be attending my 10-year reunion (sadface), I decided to commemorate this milestone with a list. Sadly, a lot of my favorite places are long gone (Spice! Yummy House! Cedar Tavern!), but here are the ones who are still standing for the purple and white.
YOU CANNOT ATTEND NYU AND NOT GET A FALAFEL HERE is what one of my upperclassman friends yelled at me during my freshman year. And so thus we ventured to Mamoun’s for a falafel I still remember with a hot sauce I’ll never forget. Because in all seriousness, YOU CANNOT ATTEND NYU AND NOT GET A FALAFEL HERE. It’s like a graduation requirement.
Cozy Soup N’ Burger
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I went through a lot of food phases during my four years at NYU. One was my french onion soup phase, during which I discovered that Cozy has the greatest and cheesiest french onion soup ever. Total perfection for a cold winter’s day.
#tbt to my favorite #NYC #hotdogs: #CrifDogs! So creative and #delicious! I loved this place while I was in college. 😊 👍 🍴🌃🎓 #food #instafood #foodgasm #foodie #foodporn #yummy #eeeeeats #noms #nomnom #foodpic #foodshare #foodlovers #onthetable #meat #meateater #newyorkcity #newforkcity #nyu #hotdog #bacon #instayum #greenwichvillage A photo posted by Couch Potato Cook (@couchpotatocook) on
I stumbled upon Crif Dogs late in my Violet career, but it doesn’t mean I love it any less. This place had deliciously creative hot dog toppings before they became a thing. It remains one of the consistent places I still miss about NYU. I also miss wandering around St. Mark’s Place after eating a Crif Dog.
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I know this is a chain and everyone’s favorite burrito place, but hear me out. They used to give out free burritos like all the time. Grand openings, midterms, finals. I had so many of them that I actually had to give up Chipotle for years because I was Chipotle’d out.
Girls vs pizza A photo posted by 💁Get it ripe, get it right🍕 (@missnewfoodie) on
Whenever I needed food in a rush between classes, this place was my standby. How can you beat a special which gives you 2 slices of pizza and a drink for super cheap? Pizza Mercato, you never let me down.
Blue 9 Burger
One of my colleagues at the Washington Square News (the student newspaper, where I spent 3/4ths of my time at NYU) insisted that we order burgers from Blue 9. He was so passionate about this request that none of us really wanted to disappoint him, so we did it and it was definitely worth the walk to 3rd Avenue. He kept saying these burgers were “like White Castle, but better,” but I think that’s an unfair comparison. I think they’re just greasy and cheesy good.
Baluchi’s Indian Food
Love Indian? Earn points for a free Gift Card on our new App. Link to download in our bio. Photo by @tayoscreation #Baluchis #indiannyc #indianfood #authentic #indiancuisine #newyork #newyorkcity #UES #manhattan #foodnyc #foodie #travelnyc #nycrestaurants A photo posted by Baluchi’s Restaurants (@baluchisnyc) on
This is the place that first introduced me to Indian food during my freshman year. Sure, the name sounds Italian, but back in the day, the now-defunct 3rd Street location had a 50% off deal on Wednesdays that me and my work-study coworkers indulged in often, but Baluchi’s lives on in a location on 3rd Ave. Thank you, Baluchi’s, for starting my love affair with Chicken Tikka.
One of my food phases at NYU was — get this — vegetarian. I didn’t actually give up meat, per se, but I did get really into eating vegetarian cuisine. Seitan and tofu was something new and cool and I wanted to try all the vegetarian restaurants I could, this one included. Everything I ate here during that phase was really yummy and I only have fond memories of this place.
During my senior year, I became obsessed with poutine (blame Degrassi). Luckily, this fry joint had that — and more. The poutine is great and I’ve spent many a late night here, eating fries and talking about what just happened. Sadly, the original Pomme Frites was damaged in an explosion in March, so they’ll be reopening on MacDougal Street in the fall.
Kimmel Center Food Court Pasta
living in the past #goodlife #kimmelpasta A photo posted by frédérique👑GNAMAN (@fredeka) on
The Kimmel Center for University Life opened during my junior year at NYU and I loved the building from the first moments I stepped inside. I loved napping in its oh-so-comfy chairs (until it was banned) and I loved eating in the food court, which has a balcony with an amazing view of Washington Square Park. Most of all, the pasta station was the best. I don’t know what it was — the extra care the chefs displayed when cooking the pasta, or maybe it’s the cute white box it still seems to come in.
All I know is that it’s always been my favorite and last year, I e-mailed NYU asking how to get into Kimmel using my Violet Pride alumni card so I could specifically eat Kimmel pasta while I was in New York. Because 10 years changes a lot things, but not one’s love for Kimmel pasta.