Food hot spots to know as a first-year

A list of places near campus for quick bites between classes.

Between packing, moving, starting school and reading NYU emails, life can become overwhelming for first-years coming to New York City and Greenwich Village. Here is a compilation of some restaurants around the block to satiate mid-day hunger, cheer you up or make you the new foodie in the crowd.

If you could think of it, Matto Espresso has it. (Staff Photo by Alex Tran) (Alex Tran)

Matto Espresso

293 Mercer St.

“Do you know that ‘everything for $2’ sign you pass by on the way to the Cantor Film Center? You know that little store with a line that always wraps around Mercer Street? This is it. Matto sells literally everything — iced chai lattes, egg sandwiches, alfajores, zucchini bread — for just $2. It’s such a good deal for quality food and beverages that braving the constant long line doesn’t seem so bad. I’ve heard their omelet multigrain croissant and hot chocolate, in particular, are life-changing.” — Ria Mittal




Pelicana Chicken will satisfy your craving for Korean bbq. (Photo by Marva Shi) (Marva Shi)

Pelicana Chicken

52 E. Eighth St.

“Pelicana is a Korean fried chicken chain that recently opened a new location next to  the Cantor Film Center. The most affordable combo on the menu is the chicken for one, which includes a large portion of boneless chicken drizzled in a sauce of your choice, a generous scoop of rice and a side salad. Pelicana has another location in Koreatown’s famous Food Gallery 32, but this one comes more highly recommended due to its proximity and cheaper prices.” Marva Shi


Cava gives you a taste of the Mediterranean just down on 4th Ave. (Photo by Chelsea Li) (Chelsea Li)


143 Fourth Ave.

“I found Cava’s Mediterranean ingredients to be far more flavorful and interesting than those of a basic salad bar. I also appreciated the unlimited number of toppings as opposed to the maximum of three or four at other salad places. Though the finished bowl was a bit too saucy for me (with three dips and a dressing), the flavors and service made this the best salad experience I’ve had so far.” — Chelsea Li




NY Dosas is an experience you can find inside Washington Square Park. (Staff Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)

NY Dosas

Washington Square Park

“If you haven’t had a dosa, it’s time you try one. My advice is to eat slowly to maximize the experience — you’re never going to taste your first dosa again. Tangy, crispy, yet surprisingly chewy all in one. Flavors of the coconut chutney, potatoes and fresh vegetables danced on my tongue. It was a symphony of flavors that brought me (ode to) joy, as each bite presented a new layer of texture, flavor, spice and crunch.”  Gabby Lozano


Caffe Reggio, located on MacDougal Street, is the first café in the United States to serve a cappuccino. (Staff Photo by Alex Tey) (Alex Tey)

Caffè Reggio

119 MacDougal St.

“Home of the first cappuccino served in the United States, open till 3 a.m. and a five-minute walk from Bobst Library and Washington Square Park, Caffe Reggio is and has everything an NYU student needs. Go for the espresso and cannolis and stay for the patio, where regulars smoke cigarettes and drink coffee or cocktails for hours on end. The cafe also has Wi-Fi, meaning it’s the perfect place to pretend to study while socializing with friends or people watching.” Trace Miller

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