I was so excited to start at Columbia but there’s no denying it’s not in the hippest part of New York. Now that I’ve been here for a couple of months, I really appreciate Harlem and Morningside Heights. The crowds of midtown make my twitchy and I like that things are a little bit more chilled uptown. It feels like an interesting time to be in Harlem too. It’s so full of buzz. And while we might not be featured in the hippest food blogs and magazine articles, I promise there are plenty of cool places to check out. I’ve started to list them below and I’ll try to update as the year passes.
Joe – one of the best two coffee places on campus. It’s always packed but people are happy to share tables. It’s a great, light-filled space to study. The coffee is good, there are donuts from Donut Plant, oatmeal and a few sandwiches and soup for lunch.
Double Dutch – great coffee, snacks and free wifi. A nice place to sit and study.
71 Irving Place – another great coffee spot with the best pastry case and a pretty extensive breakfast and lunch menu. Be warned, the line gets long.
Thai Market – Sydney has some of the best Thai food on earth so I was sceptical when I was dragged here after class but it surpassed my expectations. It’s not quite my beloved Muum Maam but it’s an acceptable substitute. It’s inexpensive and there are plenty of vegetarian options.
Levain – some of the best chocolate chip cookies in New York. Skip the coffee and go across the street to Double Dutch.
Silver Moon Bakery – the bread here is some of the best I’ve tried in New York. There are lots of interesting wholemeal options and they’ll slice it for you too. I can’t vouch for the coffee but the pastries are on point.
Columbia farmers market (Thursday and Sundays on Broadway between 114th and 116th) – my favourite stand is the first one as you’re heading up Broadway (just on the corner of 114th and Broadway). It has the best variety of apples I’ve ever seen (#foodnerd).
Birch Coffee – a nice place to study and flat whites ftw!
Friedmans – weirdly great range of beers on tap, salad bowls, soups etc.
Oren’s Daily Roast – espresso to go (in normal sized cups, or giant if that’s more your thing) and an impressive pastry selection. The pistachio loaf is perfection and they sell lots of coffee beans and loose leaf tea to brew at home.