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everyday lunch options near columbia

  • m

i'm going to be starting a summer course at columbia. are there any good and cheap places up there for lunch? i would love to hear of any good chinese or japanese places especially, but any cuisine (as long as it's decently cheap and appropriate for a quick lunch) will be fine. thanks!

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  1. My favorites are

    Amir's Falafel - 2911 Broadway. (falafel. very cheap.)

    Hamilton Deli - um, Amsterdam Ave ca. 116th. (takeout heros, burgers - get an "email burger" with guacamole, mmm.)

    Deluxe - 2896 Broadway (at 113th) (less cheap & fast, but pretty nice diner food)

    For Asian food there is Ollies at 116 & Bwy, inexpensive but quality varies wildly, Caffe Swish next door, a little pricier and IMO even less good, quality-wise. Tomoe is decent sushi down the way on Broadway, not cheap.

    Lots of options along broadway, as you'll see, though nothing that will really thrill you.

    1. Not to be a downer, but I'd just grab a bagel from Absolute Bagels (Bway b/w 106 & 107 if I recall correctly). The food around our school is horrible, IMO.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tupac17616

        agreed...i've taken some classes there, and yes, the food nearby is pretty awful...i'd pack a bag lunch and sit out on the nice quad or on the old library steps and people watch...

        the salade nicoise at Le Monde is passable...or, if you want to walk a bit, there is some very tasty takeout tabouli, hummus, and Middle Eastern chicken at a place on Broadway near 124th (west side -- not sure the name of the place)...or get jumbo slice of Koronet pizza w/ anchovies...

        Beyond those, i've had only bad meals in the area...

      2. You can walk a bit up to Toast (Bwy&125-126) for decent burgers and sandwiches or down Amsterdam Ave. to Taqueria Y Fonda @109 (I think) for cheap filling mexican food.

        1. Tomo for lunch specials (110 and broadway- east side of broadway) is not bad. sushi is OK. staff is friendly. I woudl have to agree though, the food up there sucks. I just finished graduate work at columbia and moved 30 blocks south. its like a whole new world. if you're up for a walk- 90th and amsterdam is Saigon Grill- Vietnamese with Sushi at night. Delicious, fast and cheap.

          1. Go to Café Fresh on Amsterdam and 121st.
            Other options: Symposium (113th), Koronet (B'way and 110th) Ollie's (B'way and 116th), Panino Sportivo (Amst. and 120th).

            1. Saji's kitchen (109 betw. Amsterdam and Broadway) has simple but surprisingly good japanese, especially if you stick to the basics. It's tiny, and so I've only had takeout.

              If you want cheap, greasy lo mein (or chow fun) that has surprisingly good veggies (and plenty of MSG), West Place (Amsterdam betw. 123/124) scratches the itch. I wouldn't try many other things there, though.

              Kitchenette (Amsterdam and 123) is overpriced, but their mac and cheese is lovely.

              Sandwiches at Cafe Fresh are surprisingly good, and Max Cafe across the street has some nice panini options.

              3 Replies
              1. re: sholli

                I'm glad to see someone else mention Café Fresh - I was starting to think it was a figment of my imagination. Give the salads a shot one day, they're awesome!

                1. re: piccola

                  what's up with cafe fresh? what kind of food other than salads. liquor/wine?

                  1. re: dadad

                    No alcohol that I know of. It closes pretty early - 9 p.m., I think - so it's not really a dinner place. But great for lunch, brunch, or just hanging out.
                    As for the menu, it's basically sandwiches, salads, baked goods and coffee. But it's all made there - they have a full kitchen in the back, which is rare for a café. The coffee is organic and fair trade, too.

              2. If you like korean you have to try the Mill on 112th and broadway- it's cheaper than anything on campus and while cramped, it was my saving grace when I was in misery for a year and 1/2.
                As it used to be a diner, strangely enough you can get a lime rickey with your bibimbop.

                1 Reply
                1. As mentioned above Saji's is good for Japanese. Can't say much about the Chinese food around campus.

                  The cheeseburger deluxe at M2M has quite a few fans. Tastes diner-ish, nothing to write home about, but under $5. I perfer their onion rings instead of fries.

                  You could try Hamilton Deli at 116 & Amsterdam

                  Panini Sportivo at around 120 & Amsterdam is decent, but a bit pricier.

                  The soul food place next to Saji's at 110 & Bwy (forget waht it's called) is surprisingly good, but might be too hefty a meal for lunch.

                  La Rosita on 108th looks really grungy, but is decently good.

                  Bombay Frankie Roti Roll is decent but takeout only (you can eat at the gay bar next door)