Culture Desk Dining: Farewell Edition

The culture desk reveals where they go to dine before saying farewell to the city for winter break.

Clinton Street Baking Company is a must-try all-day brunch spot. (Staff Photo by Carol Lee)

For those of us lucky enough to avoid cramming in a credit requirement during J-term, leaving the city for a breath of fresh air and slower pace is a welcome break. But there’s a catch. Whether you hail from a small town or big city, no one’s hometown matches the variety of dining options served up by New York City. Before departing on that plane, train or automobile, NYU students might find it necessary to grab their favorite New York City dining offering before saying farewell for a month. The Culture Desk editors are no exception.

Bagel Bobs

51 University Place

Bagels have always held a special place in my heart. The local bagel shop in my hometown of Irvine, California was where my dad took me for breakfast on Sunday mornings when I was a kid. As the only place open 24/7 in my small town, the same bagel shop turned into the late-night hangout spot for my friends and I in high school. I didn’t think there was a better bagel out there. But then, I came to New York. Bagel Bobs is at the center of my college memories. From early morning on-the-go breakfasts to a late afternoon hangover fix with friends, Bagel Bobs has seen it all. The staff quickly came to recognize my face and asks me about my day and my classes when it comes time to pay for my food. Beyond providing me with a source of comfort and community, Bagel Bobs serves what are in my opinion, the best bagels in New York City (hot take, I know). Every year on the day before I leave the city for winter break, you’ll find me ordering my sesame bagel with scallion cream cheese at Bagel Bobs. I guarantee it. — Calais

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Sticky’s Finger Joint

107 E. 14th St.

Now I could try and be all pretentious and say that my must-have restaurant 

is some upscale French eatery like Boucherie or my favorite Malaysian restaurant Laut. But truthfully, before I return home to Boston for the winter, I crave a final visit to Sticky’s, home to “the best damn chicken finger.” My go-to order is the medium chicken poppers (more bread-to-chicken ratio than the standard chicken fingers), chipotle aioli and my beloved Cajun fries. This meal can be enjoyed drunk or sober, but is best consumed at 2 a.m. after a night out, surrounded by your equally inebriated friends. Over a cardboard carton of nuggets and fries, I like to recap the events of the night and line my stomach with carbs before going to bed. — Lauren

Clinton St. Baking Company

4 Clinton St.

If breakfast for dinner is your kind of thing, you seriously have to stop by Clinton St. Baking Company. Everything I’ve tried there has been scrumptious. Their pancakes are unbelievably fluffy and their French toast is nice and thick. But the real star of the show, especially if you prefer savory over sweet, is their eggs benedict. The creamy yolk, smoked salmon and crunchy latkes combine to create a gustatory delight you’ll never forget. — Carol

Bagels in General, Notably…

Bagel Belly — 114 Third Ave.

Bagel Bobs — 51 University Place

Moving to New York, a bagel wasn’t the first thing that came to mind when I thought about famous foods the city was known for. But after my first visit to Bagel Bobs, I suddenly understood. What was I doing my whole life eating plain bagels? What was I doing my whole life eating them by their top and bottom half and not like a sandwich? They’re now my treat-yourself bites when running around campus or after a particularly grueling midterm. Before I go back home for long breaks, I make it a point to eat a bacon, egg and cheese (from Bagel Belly on Third Avenue) or an everything bagel with cream cheese (from Bagel Bobs on University). I bought a dozen back in my hometown for my family from a place called “New York Bagels LA” and although they were some good bagels, it just didn’t do New York justice. Bagels just aren’t the same back home. From the wise words of my mother, “New York will ruin all food for you.” — Bella

Email the Culture Desk at [email protected]

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