Lunch spots for prospective student around Columbia and NYU?
My son is visiting NYU and Columbia and we have allowed plenty of time to hang out around campus. Which lunch spots can you suggest that are likely to have students so he can get a feel for the area? We don't want Italian but love all ethnic foods or even a good hamburger.
NYU is in the middle of the Village, so there are any number of restaurants to try. Besides Ippudo, however, I'd also recommend Momofuku Noodle Bar in 2nd Ave. It's not exactly next to Washington Square, but there are a number of NYU residence halls nearby, so it's quite possible your son could wind up there. Momofuku Noodle Bar is affordable and attracts a youthful crowd but also exemplifies a number of current trends in NY dining.
If you need to cool down, there are some good gelataria in the nighbourhood too. I like Amorino [a European chain] in University Place and 10th St, a few blocks north of Washington Sq.
Edited: for a burger, you might try Burger & Barrel in Houston St [near Mercer, 3 blocks south of Washington Sq, near NYU graduate/staff housing]. Harold Dieterle thinks it's the best burger in town. The use Pat LaFrieda beef, which is more or less the official ground beef of NY.
On the Broadway side you'll find a lot of students at Nussbaum and Milano Market (great salads), both at 113. Then there's Tom's at 112. Check out Westside Market down at 110 (good place to shop for food). A bit farther down, but Absolute Bagels between 107 and 108 has among the best bagels in the city. Your son isn't of drinking age, but he'll eventually make it to The Heights between 111 and 112 (just putting that out there).
On the Amsterdam side there is the Hungarian Pastry Shop at 111 and Artopolis Espresso at 114 isn't bad.
Check out posts by HLing for the skinny on everywhere worth eating in the Columbia vicinity. S/he turned me on to Jin Ramen: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/835698
Quick and Quality sandwiches is not bad for banh mi: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/828010
Absolute Bagels has completely awesome bagels