How to Finesse Some Free Food

You should never have to choose between going broke or being fed. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to eat in the city without breaking your wallet.


Ben and Jerry’s Free Cone Day will be on Tuesday, April 9. (Staff Photo by Alina Patrick)

Ria Mittal, Staff Writer

As the weather gets warmer and students slowly begin to creep out from the shadows and into the sunlight, there are bound to be more midday trips to SoHo or Chelsea Piers to enjoy the good weather and overpriced food. However, with hectic commuting and class schedules, it’s hard to earn some extra cash outside of school to support your hungry habits.

Luckily for us, many New York City establishments offer some opportunities to snag that free dish you’ve been craving.

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day – April 9
Once a year, Ben & Jerry’s shows its customers just how much it really loves them by giving out free cones of ice cream for an entire day in stores all over the world. So, if the pints of Cherry Garcia and Phish Food in your freezer aren’t enough, hit up the Ben & Jerry’s on St. Mark’s Place this Tuesday between noon and 8 p.m. for some cold, velvety goodness made even sweeter by the dollars you saved.

Baskin-Robbins Mobile App
Another opportunity to get a free cone comes from the Baskin-Robbins mobile app. Customers can enjoy one free regular scoop of any flavor after downloading the app and registering as a first-time user. We all get a little tired of Lipton Dining Hall’s frozen treats selection sometimes, so why not mix it up with some free Baskin-Robbins?

Insomnia Cookies – April 20
Insomnia Cookies are great for both midday munchies and late night sugar cravings. Not only are they offering 20% off on orders over $20 from April 1 to 8, but according to Thrillist, they’re also giving out free cookies on April 20. Let’s be blunt about it — it’s high time you take advantage of this deal.

Foursquare Check-Ins
Foursquare is the holy grail of free food. Including free appetizers, drinks, entrees and desserts, Foursquare’s got your back. All you have to do is check in to get free starters at places like Curry & Tandoor Corner, Mexicue, Pangea, El Rio Grande and many more. Check in on the Foursquare app for the first time and you could get a soft cookie from Subway, a slice of cheese pizza at Gerorgio’s Pizzeria or any sandwich on the menu at Terri. For free.

Fests and Fairs
There is always a street fair or festival to look forward to in the city and around campus, and we know that most of the time, these lead to free food. So mark your calendars for events like the Bridges International Easter Spring Festival on April 13, New York City’s first-ever Maple Fest on April 14, NYU’s Earth Day Street Fair on April 26 or the NYU Strawberry Fest on May 3 to enjoy the good weather and, even better, free food.

Correction, April 9: A previous version of this article listed Anfora as a restaurant that had a promotion through Foursquare. The promotion ended before the publication of this story. The article has been updated to reflect this change.

A version of this article appears in the Monday, April 8, 2019, print edition. Email Ria Mittal at [email protected]