The Favorite Campus Food Stops for NYU Faculty

Because professors need to eat too.

Sweetgreen is just one of the many dining options professors opt for near campus. (Via Wikimedia)

In the rush between classes, students have plenty of options for sustenance: Mediterranean fare from Kimmel Marketplace, a spicy chicken sandwich from Weinstein Food Court’s Chick-fil-A or a healthy salad from Lipton Dining Hall. These spaces offer students convenient on-campus meals, but what about their professors?

For Food Studies Adjunct Professor Lauren England McKee, dining halls are definitely not the answer.

“One time, I did an ethnographic study where I had to go and eat a meal in the dining hall and watch people for two hours,” McKee said. “That’s the only time I ever ate at a dining hall.”

Because she only comes into the city once a week to teach her class, it seems reasonable that McKee didn’t purchase a meal plan. Nevertheless, she found her favorite hideaway nooks at Amelie Wine Bar, which has “really good cheese,” along with the Mermaid Inn East Village for their delicious oysters. 

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On the other hand, Clinical Music Associate Professor of Educational Theatre Nancy Smithner has spent the past two months living in Pless Hall and working on her upcoming play. In order to make it through the crazy production schedule, Smithner often brings home-cooked meals to work since she decided not to enroll in a faculty meal plan. When she does buy her lunch, she eats at places that students may be familiar with. 

“I always go to the Space Market salad bar, trying to eat healthy food,” Smithner said. “It’s a huge salad bar, and I can eat lots of vegetables.”

Expository Writing Professor Michelle Dent enjoys her meals at home in Broome Street Residence Hall. As a Faculty Fellow in Residence, she also has Campus Cash to use for student and colleague meetings at NYU cafes and dining halls. For off-campus spots, Dent recommends Ippudo for ramen, Sweetgreen for a healthy indulgence and Pizza Mercato.

Associate Professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communications Finn Brunton invariably opts for eating out rather than bringing food from home or dealing with NYU dining halls. With his long lines of students for office hours, innumerable international conferences and hectic travel schedule, Brunton looks for convenience. 

“Eva’s Kitchen on Eighth Street or Court Street Grocers for the most amazing sandwiches,” Brunton said. “Karakatta for ultra-garlicky ramen and Fanelli Cafe for a lovely old-school neighborhood sit-down below Houston.”

While some of their choices may be a bit more upscale, for the most part, NYU’s faculty nourish themselves at many of the same off-campus spots that students frequent. So the next time you customize your Space Market salad or bite into a cheesy slice of Pizza Mercato, keep an eye out for NYU staff filling up between classes. Professors — they’re just like us. 

Email Alex Tran at [email protected]

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