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Mar 3, 2010 03:34 AM

princeton (university) recs?

Hi there! Last minute request. I have 2 lunch hours to kill today in Princeton. Anything amazing and cheap highly recommended (soup dumplings, steamed buns, falafel, etc. etc.)?

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  1. Tracyk, there's not a whole lot that'll fill that bill here, I'm afraid. For dessert, you can do no wrong by going to Bent Spoon, which has amazing gelatos, sorbets, and killer cupcakes and cookies. But for a quick meal like you mention...there ain't much. You could try Chapin, a Guatemalan spot on Witherspoon St, not far from the public library. Their sopes and huaraches are good, not great, but good enough. There are some fair Indian buffets, though Masala Grill on Chambers has gone downhill, and Kalluri Corner isn't good, but Mehek is OK. I realize I'm damning with faint praise here. Nassau Sushi-Korean is in the category of not bad, although if you order one of the Korean stews, those are pretty good. That's on Nassau St, just past the intersection of Washington Rd, which is where Firestone Library is (walk away from the U). Small World Coffee, locations on Nassau St and Witherspoon St (the larger cafe) has good sandwiches and soups, but they're not cheap, but they are organic etc and tasty. The coffee is outstanding, as is the chai--tingly and spicy. I wish there was more to offer here along the lines of pho, falafel, etc, but Princeton isn't the kind of college town that has joints like that. Witherspoon Grill's burger is good, but is $14, I think.

    3 Replies
    1. re: brownie

      Thanks, everyone, for the recs!
      It was crappy weather when I was there, so I grabbed a quick egg, cheese and avocado at Cox's, which was really good! The egg was perfectly cooked and the avocado was abundant and ripe, which is not always the case here on the east coast.
      The next day I did a cheesesteak and at Hoagie Haven, which did not disappoint, though I wish there was at least a counter inside where i could stand and enjoy.

      1. re: tracyk

        Next time you might want to try 'George's Roasters & Ribs' which is right next door to Hoagie Haven.

        The way I hear it (having grown up eating Hoagie Haven's food thirty years ago) is that HH's original owner retired and left Princeton. He then decided he didn't like retirement and returned to Princeton and opened Georges' - even though his name isn't George.

        Anyway, even though I still go to HH for nostalgic reasons, I believe that the word on the street now is that Georges' has:

        1) The same menu as HH and then some.
        2) Has better quality food for not much more money.
        3) Is usually less crowded than HH.
        4) Has tables where you can actually stay and eat - good for those of us who long ago decide that we didn't like our car smelling like onion for a week after eating a greek souvlaki from Hoagie Haven.

        1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

          I have been to George's several times, as well as Hoagie Haven, and while both are great, I have been going solely to George's since trying it. The prices at both provide excellent deals, and the food is very tasty.

    2. Tracyk, you might try the Underground Cafe which serves Bulgarian food along with some distinctly non-Bulgarian items. I've had some very good lunches there at what I consider reasonable prices. Today happens to be a national holiday in Bulgaria (see the web site below) but it would appear that the main celebration at the restaurant will take place tonight.


      1. i don't know if this is helpful but my cousins swear by some sandwich shop in princeton, i can't remember the name but did a quick google search and i believe its called hoagie heaven.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pie22

          Yes, this place is indeed hoagie heaven but the name is actually Hoagie Haven. I called it Hoagie Heaven for quite a while until I actually read the sign on the restaurant!

          Probably too late for the OP but this place is on Nassau Street.


        2. This is too late for the OP, but I can't get enough of the felafel at Olive's on Witherspoon ($5.50). Drawback: only a few counter seats. Best thing to do is to take your felafel over to the library plaza. I believe Zorba's on Nassau Street behind Thomas Sweet also makes a felafel sandwich, but I haven't eaten there in years. If you have a car, the Peasant Grill in Hopewell (about 20 minutes away) is really good but not quite cheap.