Moving to New York City at 18 to start college can be really overwhelming. I remember being extremely flustered my first semester of Freshman year: getting lost all the time, walking around with my ID on a purple lanyard (#embarrassing), awkwardly trying to make as many friends as possible, attempting and failing to stalk Dakota Fanning. I was a mess. I spent most of my time on Yelp trying to find restaurants around the area to get away from the dining halls. From visiting NYC with my parents when I was younger, I was familiar with all the tourists’ spots like Sara Beth’s, Serendipity, and Max Brenner’s. But I knew these were not close to school and were not places where I’d find fellow students. So now, as a recent graduate, I’ve decided to put my knowledge of the Greenwich Village to good use for those looking to grab a bite in between classes, have lunch with a new friend, or indulge in late night eating.

Your Guide To Restaurants Around NYU

Bagel Bob’s- 51 University Place

Your typical bagel store. They don’t serve eggs but their everything bagels and cream cheese spreads do the trick. Everyone there on Saturday mornings is either a soccer mom or a hungover NYU student so don’t be embarrassed to go in your pajamas.

A photo posted by Trudy (@t.1016) on

Grey Dog- 90 University Place

The Grey Dog on University is packed with NYU students year-round. It’s pretty much an NYU staple, especially for the Greek community. During the week, you’ll see a multitude of sisterhood dates, fraternity brothers trying to crash sisterhood dates, alumni advisors looking over their organization’s finances, and groups of girls in letters taking study breaks.  On the weekends, you’ll see entire pledge classes getting brunch together and witness tons of Snapchat stories in the making. On weekdays, prepare for long lines after the 11 AM classes get let out at 12:15.  I’ve wondered why students love Grey Dog so much and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because it’s easy, fast, and there’s something for everyone. They serve breakfast until 3 and offer a variety of sandwiches, soups, salads, burgers, and healthy options. Plus, it’s a coffee house so it’s a great place for a quick meeting over a latte and a baked item. You can even order to go and delivery online.grey dog

Joe’s Pizza- 7 Carmine Street

The famous Joe’s Pizza is as authentic as it gets. It’s definitely a step up from your typical dollar slice covered in processed cheese. Joe’s is a standing-only restaurant but it’s a neighborhood staple in the Greenwich Village. The walls are adorned with photos of celebs like Jessica Alba, Conan O’Brien, Neil Patrick Harris, and Matthew McConaghey.

A photo posted by Monica (@monicabhambhani) on




OatMeals- 120 West 3rd Street


I don’t understand why it’s never crowded because OatMeals is seriously amazing. You can’t go wrong with any of their sweet or savory concoctions, but my favorite is definitely the Banana Cream Pie oatmeal, which has nilla wafers, bananas, vanilla and brown sugar, and heavy cream. If dessert for breakfast isn’t your thing, they have a selection of healthier options. Each bowl on the menu can be made with either milk-based or water-based oatmeal and comes in three sizes: baby bear, mama bear, and papa bear.oatmeals




Peanut butter & Co- 240 Sullivan Street


This tiny sandwich shop is pretty fun to check out. They have 20 different kinds of peanut butter sandwiches made with their own line of 10 peanut butter flavors, which you can also purchase in store. If you’re the ultimate PB fan, save room for desserts like the Death by Peanut Butter Sundae or the PB&J Shake. Its proximity to the library makes this the perfect study break snack.peanutbutterco




Potatopia- 378 6th Avenue


Crinkle cut fries, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, tater tots, waffle fries, curly fries, shoestrings, potato skins. As the name suggests, this restaurant is a dream world serving up every kind of potato with an array of proteins, toppings, cheeses, and sauces. Like Subway for potatoes.potatopia








Saigon Shack- 114 Macdougal Street


I discovered Saigon Shack one night when I was sick. It was freezing outside so I wanted to pick up soup from somewhere close to my dorm. If you’re a fan of Vietnamese cuisine, you should definitely try Saigon Shack. It’s a small place so it can get crowded at night, but usually during the day it’s pretty empty. The restaurant is super casual and food comes out very fast. The only downside is that it’s cash only but there is an ATM nearby. I’ve been returning to Saigon Shack almost once a week since the first slurp of chicken pho my freshman year.

A photo posted by Dylana Suarez (@dylanasuarez) on

The Smith, East Village- 55 3rd Avenue

Where everyone goes when their parents are in town.  It’s also one of my favorite downtown brunch spots. The Smith offers a great selection of American food with a few locations throughout the city. It can get very crowded on weekends so be sure to make a reservation.

A photo posted by The Smith (@thesmithnyc) on



Washington Square Diner- 150 West 4th Street


Another special place that brings me back to my freshman year. Washington Square Diner is open 24 hours and will literally make you anything you want, even if it’s not on their menu (pizza bagels!!!!). Whether it’s for chocolate chip banana pancakes on a Sunday morning or a grilled cheese at midnight, the diner always has a place for you to sit.



A photo posted by dillon burke (@threadsalt) on


Soho Sushi- 231 Sullivan Street

Soho Sushi holds a special place in my heart. I randomly walked in one night with my freshman roommate and we immediately fell in love. So in love, I think I ate lunch AND dinner there for, like, six weeks straight. Most of their business comes from Seamless orders so it’s never over-crowded and they can always accommodate you.  Speaking of Seamless, I also highly recommend Soho Sushi for delivery. It’s incredibly fast and they’ll deliver to the library so you don’t even have to give up your highly coveted seat on one of the recently renovated floors. Also, the staff there is so friendly and upbeat. The owner even Facebook messaged me during Hurricane Sandy to make sure I was okay and see if I needed anything. What was once a random restaurant has become a go-to for so many NYU students. I can’t go there without seeing tons of people I know. Not saying I started a trend, but my picture is on the wall next to their first dollar bill!sohosushi

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About The Author

Resident Tourist

Born here. Lives here and never leaving. The nicest person to ever not speak in public. Loves New York