Food & Fun Guide 2018

August 26, 2018

As upperclassmen and first-years slowly migrate into their new or familiar NYU stomping grounds, we wanted to give you a guide to start off your new semester of discovering, eating and experiencing your way through New York. Because even if you’re a super senior, grew up in New York or devoured the “Things to Do” section from Time Out New York, you still haven’t seen it all. From coffee shops to music festivals and from shopping to restaurants to go with your parents, we share with you places that we cherish here and have spent way too much time and money at. We hope to inspire you to stop going to that Starbucks every morning or to stop ordering Insomnia Cookies after the first week and try somewhere else. We hope you enjoy the spread and get out there to try something new.

FOOD     Food Trucks      Coffee, Tea and Cafés      Desserts     Pizza     If You Miss Home     Branch Out      Dinner with the Parents

FUN     Festivals/Concerts     Outdoor Events    Day Trips     The Arts     Nightlife     Local Shops 

Food Trucks

Tacos Cholula

142 E. Second St.
It’s fast, it’s inexpensive and it’s open until 4 a.m. every day. Rain or shine, the Tacos Cholula food truck on Second Street and Avenue A is a reliable source of greasy, sour cream-stuffed delicacies — a staple for the many NYU students who opt out of housing and into the East Village flow.

Story by Jemima McEvoy  |  Photo by Jemima McEvoy

Sidewalk Tacos

In front of Gallatin Building (Washington Place and Broadway) or the Courant Building on Mercer and West Fourth Street
With a wide selection ranging from tacos to quesadillas, Sidewalk Tacos offers a filling and inexpensive meal freshly prepared and ready to devour in only a few minutes. It serves as a great option for a quick bite between classes or the main course for an impromptu picnic at Washington Square Park.

Story by Yasmin Gulec  |  Photo by Jemima McEvoy

Yankee Doodle Dandys

In front of Elmer Holmes Bobst Library

Avid chicken lovers should keep an eye out for this All-American food truck which specializes in tenders. Be sure to try out their signature sauce the next time you see them parked right outside of Bobst Library.

Story by Melanie Pineda  |  Photo by Jemima McEvoy

Coffee, Tea and Cafés

Boris & Horton

195 Avenue A

The first dog friendly cafe in the city, it serves up City of Saints coffee and other coffee-complimenting snacks which you can enjoy beside your own pooch or the pups of other cafe-goers.

Story by Anna Letson  |  Photo by Katie Peurrung

La Colombe

400 Lafayette St.

La Colombe is the perfect place to relax after class. With huge windows letting in natural light and baby pink walls, the atmosphere is lovely and tranquil. Order the draft latte; the drink is light, refreshing and a perfect pick-me-up for a study slump.

Story by Scott Hogan  |  Photo by Sam Klien

Mountain Province

9 Meserole St.
Mountain Province is a quaint coffee shop owned by Ray Luna, a proud Filipino who opened the shop as an ode to his grandmother. Other than being the only coffee shop in New York City that solely-uses Philippines-sourced coffee beans, they have delicious menu items inspired by Luna’s grandmother’s recipes like taro and purple yam brioche, pineapple scones and one of the best avocado toasts in the city.

Story by Yasmin Gulec  |  Photo by Yasmin Gulec

Southern Cross Coffee

300 E. Fifth St.
This tiny East Village cafe combines Argentine and Australian coffee and snacks; try adding vegemite to your avocado toast. Fight for one of the seats by the window.

Story by Sam Klein  |  Photo by Sam Klein

Five and Dime

8 Park Pl.
Just around the corner from NYU’s Woolworth Building, this ornate cafe doubles as a full bar for students over 21. From upscale cappuccinos to fanciful cocktails, Five and Dime certainly provides collegiate glee in both forms.

Story by Nicole Rosenthal  |  Photo via


816 Broadway
To encourage a brunch atmosphere on weekends, it turns off the wifi on Saturdays and Sundays, but its weekday afternoon deals on food and coffee make Outro, which replaced chain coffeehouse Caffe Bene in 2017, a peaceful rest from the work grind.

Story by Sam Klein  |  Photo by Sam Klein

Bluestone Lane

51 Astor Pl.
This Australian-style cafe has lattes that hit the spot and a variety of toasts toppled high with either avocado, ricotta and berry or beetroot hummus. If you’re planning on doing work here, charge up beforehand because this cozy coffee shop is outlet-free.

Story by Pamela Jew  |  Photo by Alana Beyer

Think Coffee

248 Mercer St.
Students flock to Think Coffee for the free wifi and ample space for studying. While you set up camp to finish that paper for Writing the Essay, make sure to sample some of the food there. It has some of the best study snacks around, such as its egg and cheese sandwiches or caprese panini.

Story by Scott Hogan  |  Photo by Sam Klein


Sweets by CHLOE.

185 Bleecker St. 
The vegan chain’s sweet-toothed counterpart bakes, scoops and serves everything from creamsicles to one-pound chocolate cakes. Save the animals and head to this trendy dessert bar for some freshly baked cookies, then wash them down with a jug of chocolate almond milk.

Story by Alejandro Villa Vásquez |  Photo by Rachel Buigas-Lopez

Rice to Riches

37 Spring St.
Rice to Riches is everything you never knew you needed. It has an ice cream parlor set-up, but instead of ice cream, you get to choose from an array of rice pudding flavors. Now, I know rice pudding sounds like something only your grandma eats, but this place will show you that your grandma has been right this whole time. Plus, they give you a reusable container with a cool spoon.

Story by Tyler Crews  |  Photo by Pamela Jew

Van Leeuwen

48 E. Seventh St.
Van Leeuwen takes unique and commonplace flavors to the next level with its creamy texture and unforgettable flavor. They also have a large list of vegan ice cream that can’t be beat. This place is great for a quick treat, a celebration or somewhere to meet up with friends. As for flavor recommendations, the Honeycomb and the Peanut Butter Marshmallow Crunch never disappoint.

Story by Sage Lally  |  Photo by Sage Lally


60 Mulberry St.
This fun ice cream shop is known for their bubble waffles and colorful toppings, like Pocky and Fruity Pebbles. Its ice cream flavor list for both scoops and soft serve include Matcha, Cherry Blossom and Egg Nog. In addition to ice cream, Eggloo also sells bubble tea and other specialty drinks.

Story by Natalie Chinn  |  Photo by Natalie Chinn

Spot Dessert Bar

13 St. Marks Pl.
The crowd of people waiting outside is all the evidence one needs of how special the desserts are at the Spot. As long as you’re prepared to wait, there is no better way to end a casual night out with friends than sharing their unique Asian-inspired desserts with friends.

Story by Taylor Rogers |  Photo by Sam Klein

Snow Days

248 Mercer St.
Students flock to Think Coffee for the free wifi and ample space for studying. While you set up camp to finish that paper for Writing the Essay, make sure to sample some of the food there. It has some of the best study snacks around, such as its egg and cheese sandwiches or caprese panini.

Story by Scott Hogan  |  Photo via


Screamer’s Pizzeria

620 Manhattan Ave.
Nothing completes a night of “slumming it” in millennial Brooklynite bars than a couple of slices of cruelty-free pizza smothered in spicy chicken and ranch. This Greenpoint pizzeria boasts an all-vegan menu and an awesome variety of animal-friendly pizzas, calzones and toppings.

Story by Alejandro Villa Vásquez |  Photo by Katie Peurrung

2 Bros

32 St. Marks Pl.
2 Bros is the best dollar pizza I’ve ever had. Not only does it take card with no minimum (lots of New York City pizza places only take cash), it closes at 2 a.m. on weekend nights — just in time for your late night pizza cravings — and has a seating area. 10 out of 10 would recommend.

Story by Molly Dolan  |  Photo by Sam Klein

Prince Street Pizza

27 Prince St. A
Prince Street Pizza is a New York icon serving up some of the best slices around. Make sure you order the Spicy Spring pizza, a classic pepperoni slice with a kick. Everything from the stretchy cheese to the little puddles of oil caught in the pepperoni make this slice legendary.

Story by Scott Hogan |  Photo by Alana Beyer

Two Boots

201 W. 11th St. or 42 Avenue A
Two Boots slices consistently boast a perfectly crunchy garlic buttered crust. Your greasy fingers will be the telling aftermath of your visit. If you go too late, the East Village pizzeria might be out of your go-to order, so to your future inebriated self: I’m sorry you had to settle.

Story by Pamela Jew  |  Photo by Jemima McEvoy


740 Broadway
The long, individual pizzas are loaded with toppings for if and when you get sick of dollar slices. The assembly line process takes you through your pizza’s journey to the oven and then straight into your stomach.

Story by Sam Klein |  Photo by Polina Buchak


88 Third Ave.
Gotham Pizza has seen us at our worst much more frequently than it has seen us at our best. Tactfully positioned across the street from NYU’s infamously wildest first-year dorm, Third Avenue North Residence Hall, Gotham is the perfect destination for a late-night snack or a boozy bite. Unfortunately, this crusty haven is often overshadowed by its blockbuster neighbour, Joe’s Pizza, but Gotham has one big advantage: there’s no credit card minimum.

Story by Jemima McEvoy  |  Photo via

If You Miss Home

Pollos Mario

86-13 Roosevelt Ave.
Whenever I start to crave true Colombian cuisine (no, Empanada Mama certainly does not count), I grab a couple of friends and head to my favorite traditional restaurant: Pollos Mario. From plantains made three ways to homemade margaritas, this cozy yet lively spot will please any crowd.

Story by Alejandro Villa Vásquez |  Photo via

Clay Pot NYC

58 St. Marks Pl.
This tiny establishment serves Chinese home cooking just blocks away from Washington Square Park. For $12, Clay Pot NYC prepares “Bao Zai Fan” with traditional toppings and flavors that will have you scraping the pot for every last grain of crunchy rice.

Story by Candace Tan  |  Photo via Candace Tan

Caracas Arepa

91 E. Seventh St.
Stuffed full of pork, cheese, plantains and more, these traditional Venezuelan corn flour arepas tickle taste buds for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. If you’re not interested in braving the dinner rush, you can also take out.

Story by Rachel Buigas-Lopez |  Photo via


9 St. Marks Pl.
Visit Boka on St. Marks to satisfy any cravings for Korean food. You can order Korean-style chicken wings, kimchi fried rice, spicy rice cakes or all of the above for a fulfilling and comforting meal.

Story by Janice Lee  |  Photo by Brooke Mueller


144 Second Ave.
Veselka is open 24-hours a day, which means some of the best pierogies (and borscht) in New York, hot and ready at 3 a.m. Whether you simply eye it as you make your morning commute or spend late nights chowing down on the flagship Ukrainian specialities, Veselka has established itself as an East Village staple.

Story by Hanna Khosravi |  Photo by Jemima McEvoy

Empanada Mama

95 Allen St.
Empanada Mama is one of the most authentic, fulfilling Latin empanada joints to ever hit the Lower East Side. The snug spot, which has the option to eat in or take out, sells over 40 flavors made with 100 percent natural ingredients. It’s also open 24 hours, so you can give into your cravings for mama’s cooking at any time of the night.

Story by Melanie Pineda  |  Photo by Melanie Pineda

Branch Out

Momofuku Milk Bar

251 E. 13th St.
Known for cereal milk-flavored soft serve, birthday cake truffles and an unrivaled aesthetic interior, Momofuku Milk Bar crafts a range of innovative desserts quintessential of New York.

Story by Janice Lee |  Photo by Jemima McEvoy

Superiority Burger

430 E. Ninth St.
This vegetarian burger joint’s menu changes on the chef’s whim, often without notice, but that’s what makes it so unique. If you want to plan ahead, just check Instagram, or grab a desk inside and inhale a Sloppy Dave and tamarind gelato.

Story by Akshay Prabhushankar  |  Photo by Rachel Buigas-Lopez


269 11th Ave.
Avocaderia prides itself on being the world’s first avocado bar. This casual eatery uses avocado in every dish from the avocado burger to a slightly more experimental avocado lime cheesecake. With simple recipes, high-quality foods and locally sourced sustainable ingredients, this quirky spot is committed to supporting a healthier lifestyle.

Story by Yasmin Gulec |  Photo by Rachel Buigas-Lopez

MáLà Project

122 First Ave.
Find authentic Sichuan dry pot at MáLà Project, from bok choy to cheese-filled fish cakes, craft your own dry pot with fresh ingredients, and then top it with the restaurant’s secret sauce. Also available are Sichuan dishes like Dandan Noodles and marinated sliced beef. If you crave spicy food, MáLà Project has you covered.

Story by Tony Wu  |  Photo by Tony Wu

Crif Dogs

113 St. Marks Pl.
Crif Dogs is famous for its late-night dogs smothered in seemingly random toppings. Branch out and try the Good Morning, a mix between a breakfast sandwich and a good ol’ dog. It sounds gross; but the odd combination of flavors blends together surprisingly well, especially past 2 a.m. on a Saturday night.

Story by Tyler Crews |  Photo by Jemima McEvoy


372 Lafayette St.
Though Honeybrains really shines when it comes to brunch, it can’t be beaten at most times of day. The colorful eatery — a walking distance from Washington Square Park — serves some of the best biscuits and ginger beer in New York City, crafting each item on its menu to genuine perfection. This is also a great place to bring your family when they’re in town, if you want to showcase the amazing food and great coffee available in the area.

Story by Amanda Burkett  |  Photo by Jemima McEvoy

Dinner with the Parents

The Smith

55 Third Ave.
Conveniently down the block from Third Avenue North Residence Hall, this restaurant has class, great steak, killer mac and cheese and gourmet all-American favorites. Also, it’s a hotspot for celebrities — if you ever wanted to see Shawn Mendes scarfing down a bowl of cheesy noodles.

Story by Anna Letson |  Photo by Jemima McEvoy

Go Zen

144 W. Fourth St.
This bright orange gem sits hidden beneath West Fourth Street, but is certainly not unknown to NYU’s sizeable vegan population. The Chinese comfort food establishment has a full menu of delicious vegan-friendly spins on traditional take-out favorites, including General Tso’s chicken and lo mein.

Story by Nicole Rosenthal  |  Photo by Rachel Buigas-Lopez


21 E. Seventh St.
With tons of pastas, salads and protein centric entrees, Porsena is a safe bet for even the pickiest eaters. . Unlike most Italian restaurants, Porsena doesn’t lose its charm after two visits. . The menu changes daily, toeing the line between familiar and experimental.

Story by Amanda Burkett |  Photo by Rachel Buigas-Lopez

The Park

118 10th Ave.
Hop off the High Line with your folks to visit this beautifully decorated indoor/outdoor restaurant serving wood oven pizzas, burgers and easy-to-share large platters. Order a cheese board for the table if you’re feeling brave — as long as it’s on your parents’ tab.

Story by Rachel Buigas-Lopez  |  Photo by Rachel Buigas-Lopez

Thai Villa

5 E. 19th St.
With a palace-like interior and food that’s just as grand, this restaurant’s cozy yet classy dining experience makes it the perfect spot to impress your visiting parents. Thai Villa serves both popular dishes and rare finds traditionally made for Thai royalty.

Story by Candace Tan |  Photo by Candace Tan


120 Hudson St.
This place is great for brunch especially, but is truly a treat for any meal. Serving some of the best biscuits and ginger beer in New York City, each item on the Bubby’s menu is crafted to absolute perfection.

Story by Sage Lally  |  Photo by Sage Lally

Food and Fun-3


Global Citizen

Great Lawn Central Park 79th Street and West 85th Street
Global Citizen is a socially conscious organization aiming to end extreme poverty by 2030, which in pursuit of its goal, hosts a free day-long festival in Central Park: Global Citizen Festival. Past headliners include Stevie Wonder, Rihanna and Greenday; and to secure a spot all you have to do is complete tasks using their app to help spread awareness about the very worthy cause.

Story by Yasmin Gulec |  Photo by Anna Letson

The Meadows

Citi Field Parking Lot
To end out the summer festival season and do your ears in one last time, The Meadows Music and Arts Festival planned on bringing in its third year in the parking lot of Citi Field. Due to permit issues for the festival to move to Flushing Corona Meadows Park and whispers of last year’s low ticket sales (NYU was gifted hundreds of three-day general admission wristbands), the festival’s third installment has been held off until 2019.

Story by Pamela Jew  |  Photo by Anna Letson

Electric Zoo

Randall’s Island Park
Electric Zoo is returning on Friday, Aug. 31 for its 10th annual weekend-long rave. Seeing that NYU Welcome Week starts that same week, this festival is for students who are either really into the EDM scene or are ready to rave. If you are looking for a wholesome day in the sun with your new roommate, this may not be the festival for you.

Story by Tyler Crews | Photo courtesy Electric Zoo

New York Film Festival

Alice Tully Hall (where the majority of screenings are held) 1941 Broadway 
Churn your cinephiliac craze on overdrive with this prestigious film festival taking place from Sept. 28 to Oct. 14 at the Lincoln Center, with exclusive advanced screenings open to the public (for a small price). Whether your a novice or a veritable film buff, it’s always exciting to explore the new and next of cinema before the curve.

Story by Matthew Holman  |  Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Outdoor Events

Met Opera Summer HD Festival

10 Lincoln Center Plaza
Indulge your inner intellectual with a visit to one of the many free opera screenings at the Lincoln Center. Take the chance to immerse yourself in an incredibly beautiful art form, which is complemented by the breathtaking magnificence of the Lincoln Center at night. You can also brag to your friends about your now-superior knowledge and appreciation of Vivaldi.

Story by Daniella Nichinson | Photo by Tony Wu

Brooklyn Book Festival

Brooklyn Borough Hall and throughout the city
Every fall (this year from Sept. 10 to 17), the Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City. The Festival’s Literary Marketplace features more than 300 authors and 250 booksellers. Book lovers, this could be a great time to expand your personal library and get some face-to-face time with the people writing and editing your favorite works.

Story by Matthew Holman  |  Photo Courtesy the Brooklyn Book Festival/Silas Hyde

Union Square Holiday Market

Union Square
Grab yourself a cup of hot apple cider, and buy all of your friends from home gifts that resemble slightly cooler versions of the ones you would’ve ordered for them on Etsy.

Story by Hanna Khosravi | Photo by Anna Letson

Rooftop Films

All over New York City 
If there’s one thing New Yorkers love, it’s a good rooftop. Combining that with this city’s undying artistic passion is Rooftop Films, a non-profit that organizes sky-high outdoor cinema screenings of underground movies. Learn about a lesser-known director while inhaling what can be seen of the New York City sky’s stars.

Story by Jemima McEvoy  |  Photo courtesy Rooftop Films/Irwin Seow

Day Trips

Governors Island

A military complex turned national park, Governors Island off the southern tip of Manhattan is a great getaway from the often hectic city. The island features historical sites, scenic paths and an incredible 360 degree view from The Hills, a new addition to the island which offers a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey. The island is free to visit and if you take the Governors Island Ferry on a Saturday morning you save the usual $3 round-trip travel fare.

Story by Darcey Pittman | Photo via Vadon

Prospect Park

Away from the bustling streets of Manhattan, most of Prospect Park remains incredibly calm and quiet even during the day. Traverse its biking paths while taking in the view, or embrace the wildlife of Brooklyn’s last remaining natural forest via the park’s hiking trail. Then, there’s always the option to simply lay down on the grass and relax. Prospect Park can be your temporary shelter from the stresses of life at NYU. Also, volunteering and preservation programs are hosted in the park throughout the year, and this pristine patch of land sometimes plays host to the infamous Smorgasburg from August to October.

Story by Tony Wu |  Photo by Tony Wu

Bear Mountain

Route 9W North, Bear Mountain, NY 10911
For those pining for a cement-free walk in the woods, the peaceful world of Bear Mountain is closer than it seems. Only an hour-long ride from Grand Central Station, the Bear Mountain State Park in upstate New York is the exact opposite of a Manhattanite’s daily life. Lap up the traffic-less quiet, climb the mountain and feel the satisfying burn in your calves as you hike back down.

Story by Jemima McEvoy | Photo by Jemima McEvoy

Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail

Tuxedo, NY 10987
The Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail is a great hike to see deer, experience amazing views and get a good workout. Although it’s easy to follow, the trail requires endurance because of its steep hills and rocky terrain. The trail is around 22 miles long, so start the hike early unless you want to be walking all night. But if you do decide to brave the twilight, there are campsites and resting spots accompanying the trail, such as the Tom Jones Shelter.

Story by Yasmin Gulec  |  Photo by Yasmin Gulec

The Arts


22-25 Jackson Ave.
Consider this the smaller, more experimental counterpart to the well-loved Museum of Modern Art — without the swarms of tourists. Although the regular $5 student admission is already a deal, I highly recommend the annual Art Book Fair that is free and open to the public running from Sept. 21 to 23.

Story by Rachel Buigas-Lopez | Photo by Rachel Buigas-Lopez

MET Cloisters

99 Margaret Corbin Dr.
The Cloisters is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to the magnificent art and architecture of medieval Europe. The museum provides a niche, historically enriching art experience that always warrants repeat visits even with its location in northern Manhattan.

Story by Guru Ramanathan  |  Photo via

BUILD Series

692 Broadway
BUILD is a live interview series where fans can sit inches away from — and even engage in conversation with through a Q&A aspect — their favorite entertainers and entrepreneurs candidly discussing upcoming plans and projects. Added benefit: all events are free. You just might have to stomach a significant line.

Story by Guru Ramanathan | Photo by Rachel Buigas-Lopez

Dizzy’s Club at Lincoln Center

10 Columbus Circle
Aptly located in Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola boasts nightly jazz offerings from emerging and established talent with Southern-themed food and a great view to boot. Whether you come for a 7:30, 9:30 or 11:30 p.m. set, don’t forget to use your NYU ID to get a student discount on the cover charge.

Story by Sarah Jackson  |  Photo by Sarah Jackson


Under 21

Chinatown Fair

8 Mott St.
This light-nauseating fun house stuffed in the alleys of Chinatown houses arcade games that your local Chuck E. Cheese’s would rival. Be warned: it’s expensive and you could be sucked into skeeball for hours.

Story by Pamela Jew | Photo by Echo Chen

Knitting Factory

361 Metropolitan Ave. 
If you are looking for a night out with Williamsburg charm, eccentric dance music and 18+ entry, look no further than this Brooklyn gem. Offering genre-themed nights ranging from indie pop to grunge to emo, the Knitting Factory is the place to be if you are searching for an alternative to your average dance club.

Story by Nicole Rosenthal  |  Photo by Katie Peurrung

Brooklyn Bazaar

150 Greenpoint Ave.
With a music venue, karaoke rooms, mini golf, arcade games, a restaurant and market vendors, this place has everything you could possibly need for a good night out. Manhattan-based NYU students often cringe at the thought of taking the oh so long trek to Brooklyn, but I promise, the Brooklyn Bazaar is so worth it.

Story by Tyler Crews | Photo by Katie Peurrung

Birdland Jazz Club

315 W. 44th St.
From Miles Davis to John Coltrane, the list of legendary musicians who performed at Birdland is endless. Branch out on a Saturday night and catch a swingin’ jazz set at this historic and culturally-rich venue.

Story by Daniella Nichinson  |  Photo by Yasmin Gulec

Over 21

The Public Hotel

215 Chrystie St.
The Thursday night parties at The Public, which last from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., are not for the faint of heart, but are for the sociable, adventurous and mostly non-hetero — though unlike being 21, this is not a prerequisite.

Story by Amanda Burkett | Photo via

The Rosemont

63 Montrose Ave. 
This typically trashy and oh-so-flashy bar is smacked between Williamsburg and Bushwick. If you’re looking for a glittering dance floor without that pesky dance-floor cover charge, this is your next destination.

Story by Alejandro Villa Vásquez  |  Photo by Katie Peurrung


992 Amsterdam Ave.
With its woodshed exterior, this gay club located in Morningside Heights offers its patrons an intimate setting for drag shows and general tomfoolery under the iconic disco ball lighting.

Story by Matthew Holman | Photo via

Burp Castle

41 E. Seventh St.
The novelty of Burp Castle never wears off. The bartenders wear monks robes; the walls are splashed with prolific watercolors — and the best part, you aren’t allowed to speak. When inside, you can only whisper, and if you violate the sacred rule, you are hushed by the gatekeepers of this quirky Belgian beer bar.

Story by Jemima McEvoy  |  Photo by Jemima McEvoy

Local Shops

L Train Vintage

204 First Ave.
Expect to run into friends and classmates as you comb the racks for perfect fitting Levi’s, essential overalls, kitschy T-shirts and varsity sweaters.

Story by Amanda Burkett | Photo by Jemima McEvoy

Pompeii Artisan Flea Market

Bleecker Street Between Carmine and Leroy
To get more than clothes, and even more for your money, flea markets are a relaxing way to be involved in your new community. Make sure to hear the stories behind items, as they are interesting and fun to retell — just don’t forget to bargain.

Story by Amanda Burkett | Photo via (Markets of New York City)

Beacon’s Closet

10 W. 13th St.
Beacon’s consistently offers a blend of fun pieces and high-end essentials at decent prices. But beware of long, still lines for the fitting rooms and irritable employees.

Story by Amanda Burkett | Photo from WSN archives

International Boutique

500 LaGuardia Pl.
A shop with not-quite-consignment, but not-quite-common stock. You may find yourself walking out with a neon green beret you never knew you needed.

Story by Amanda Burkett  |  Photo via

Artful Posters

194 Bleecker St
Looking for a way to decorate the bare walls of your dorm room? Artful Posters has anything from vintage prints to collectible postcards, all of which yearn for a spot on your white walls. This small but quaint shop around the corner from NYU is a mecca for those seeking unique images of their favorite films, music or popular culture.

Story by Daniella Nichinson | Photo by Rachel Buigas-Lopez

Fishs Eddy

889 Broadway
This store makes buying something that is usually so boring actually, truly fun. They sell vintage dishes, napkins, and tablecloths that often include a good pun or two. If you are in the market for a mug that features Benjamin Franklin saying “it’s electric,” you’ve come to the right place.

Story by Sage Lally  |  Photo via

Casey Rubber Stamps

322 E. 11th St.
This East Village gem has its walls lined with thousands of rubber stamps, all of which are original designs. The shop takes orders for custom designs and also has a giant sale section of reject stamps for purchase.

Story by Natalie Chinn | Photo by Natalie Chinn

Canal Street Market

265 Canal St. 
Located on the cusp of SoHo and Chinatown, this indoor street market features rotating vendors, some of them up-and-coming players based in New York, selling designer and artisan goods. Also, check out its food hall, with vendors serving sushi and dim sum.

Story by Tony Wu |  Photo by Tony Wu

Search and Destroy

25 St. Marks Pl. A
If leather and spikes speak to your soul, Search and Destroy may become your next staple thrift store. Pick up a zine at the front, sift through vintage memorabilia and watch yourself become whisked away to the East Village decades ago.

Story by Nicole Rosenthal | Photo by Rachel Buigas-Lopez

Cure Thrift Shop

111 E. 12th St.
No matter how esoteric or bizarre an NYU event, Cure Thrift Shop sells the applicable wardrobe. Come in on Wednesdays for half off everything.

Story by Sam Klein  |  Photo by Sam Klein


Reading Partners

Reading Partners is a program that assigns you to a New York City public school, where you will tutor one child in reading and writing for at least an hour a week. . It is a great way to get involved in the local community, and the program itself has demonstrated significant literacy improvement rates throughout New York City public schools.

Story by Molly Dolan | Photo via


410 E. 38th St.
If you’re an animal lover, this is the best place to volunteer because you basically just get to play with puppies and cats all day. Bideawee is one of the oldest no-kill shelters in the city, and it takes a lot of pride on the way the facility is run.

Story by Sage Lally  |  Photo by Sage Lally

Housing Works

126 Crosby St.
Housing Works is a cozy escape away from the New York masses. This nonprofit bookstore is full of donated books along with a cute cafe in the back, run by friendly volunteers. Stop by for affordable books and records, but make sure you charge your laptop beforehand if you’re going there to study because there are no outlets. If you’re interested in volunteering, you can sign up for a weekly shift online — and get a 50 percent off discount on everything.

Story by Laura Shkouratoff | Photo by Alana Beyer

Petey Greene

All over New York City 
Designed to prepare incarcerated people for re-entrance into society, this tutoring program places you in a New York correctional institution where you provide one-on-one supplemental education in math, English, social sciences and a number of other subjects. It’s usually a day long commitment for which you can be placed in Juvenile Detention Facility or adult jail complex like Rikers Island.

Story by Jemima McEvoy  |  Photo via Facebook

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