What You Can Get for the Price of a Meal Swipe in the Real World

It is almost impossible to step into any dining hall without hearing complaints from freshmen about the high cost and quantity of meals they are required to purchase. All freshmen are automatically assigned the 300 Flex meal plan priced at $2,466, which provides $150 Dining Dollars and 300 meal swipes at $7.72 each. But if you’re tired of the dining halls, try one of these local favorites for comparably priced eats.

A. Vanessa’s Dumpling House — 220 E. 14th St.

Inspired by street food in Beijing, Vanessa’s Dumplings provides easy access to everyone’s favorite Chinese comfort food. One can enjoy eight boiled vegetable dumplings for only $5.49 or a grilled chicken sesame pancake sandwich for $2.99. Their 30 piece bags of frozen dumplings are perfect for nights in with friends at less than $12 a bag. Vanessa’s also offers free delivery until 10 p.m.

B. Mamoun’s — 119 MacDougal St.

This conveniently located falafel restaurant has long been a late night favorite of NYU students.

Albeit a crowded hole-in-the-wall, Mamoun’s is the oldest falafel restaurant in New York City and their traditional recipes have earned them a near perfect rating on Yelp.com. Mamoun’s famous falafel sandwich — along with three other vegetarian sandwich options — is just $3.50. Their popular shawarma sandwich is $6.00.

C. Fuku — 163 1st Ave

Fuku, one of the latest ventures of the team behind Momofuku Noodle Bar and Momofuku Milk Bar, has quickly become a favorite of those seeking an alternative to Chick-fil-A, even though it’s on the pricier side. Fuku’s signature spicy chicken sandwich features a large, sustainably sourced deep-fried chicken thigh marinated in habanero purée, buttermilk and  spices inside a Martin’s potato roll with pickles and butter. The sandwich is $8 and is best paired with fries or slaw, both $3.

D. 2 Bros Pizza — 319 Ave of the Americas

Due to the massive size of its slices, many NYU students rank 2 Bros Pizza a step above the average dollar pizza place. With a minimalistic menu and a cash only policy, 2 Bros is the ideal snack after a night on the town. The beloved pizza place offers a combo that includes two slices of pizza and a canned drink for only $2.75.

E. Tortaria — 94 University Place

Tortaria, a casual Mexican sandwich shop, is well known for its party-like atmosphere. Menu favorites include the $7.81 Mexican grilled cheese with Oaxaca cheese, tomatoes and salsa and the $7.35 Tacos al Pastor with grilled pork and sweet and sour pineapple salsa. Tortaria also has a full bar and sells a variety of Mexican pantry staples.


A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 1 print edition. Email Taylor Nicole Rogers at [email protected]

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