New York

Cornell University, Ithaca College

Mattie G., Cornell Class of 2010, and Carol M., Cornell Class of 1964

In Collegetown/on Campus: Collegetown is a quaint Cornell hotspot at the base of the campus hill where most of the bars, restaurants, eateries and upperclassman reside. Whether you are looking to grab a quick bite or enjoy a sit-down meal, Collegetown has a little something for everyone- no car required.

Collegetown Bagels (referred to as “CTB”)
415 College Avenue
Ithaca, New York

An all-time favorite among Cornell students, faculty and local residents alike, this is a must-hit destination when visiting campus. Freshly baked bagels and delicious, made-to-order sandwiches and wraps create the perfect recharge meal — whether you take your food to go for the walking tour or sit down and enjoy the people watching.

403 College Avenue
Ithaca, New York

If you’re looking for a nicer sit-down meal, look no further than Stella’s. The chicken pesto mozzarella wrap, chicken & wild mushroom pasta and local grass-fed Finger Lakes burger are favorites, and you can’t go wrong with one of their omelet specialties for breakfast.

100 Dryden Road
Ithaca, New York

A more casual Greek restaurant, Aladdin’s offers dine-in and to-go service. Everything is tasty and comes in large portions, great for family style dining or leftovers later on. Student favorites include any of the souvlaki or pita plates, the sundried tomato pesto pasta and the fruit and nut salad.

The Dairy Bar
Cornell Agriculture Quad
Ithaca, New York

Another must-visit spot to really experience the Cornell culture. The ice cream is made locally by agriculture farms around campus, and it is absolutely to die for! Every year, dairy science students compete to win the year’s best new ice cream flavor, which is then served at The Dairy Bar and in the campus cafeterias. The Dairy Bar is located on the top of the hill just past the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Taverna Banfi
The Statler-Cornell University Hotel
130 Statler Drive
Ithaca, New York

Cornell is unique in that there is a hotel, The Statler, located in the center of the campus, which is the location of the Cornell Hotel School.  Taverna Banfi is the excellent hotel restaurant where you will see guests, professors, administrators, and students engaged in conversation during breakfast, lunch and dinner.  (Banfi’s name comes from the Italian wine company, Banfi, which is owned by Cornell Hotel alum, John Mariani.)

Louie’s Lunch Wagon Food Truck
Outside Risley Dormitory

For a late night snack, look for “Louie’s Lunch Wagon” to be found late at night opposite Risley Dormitory!  The best tuna sandwiches ever!

A drive just outside campus:

Ithaca Ale House
111 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, New York

Located just below the Collegetown hill in a restaurant row called The Commons, Ithaca Ale House offers a great selection of tasty American cuisine and local Ithaca brews on tap. There is something for everyone on this menu. The space is a little smaller though, so beware if you have a large party that seating may be tight.

The Boat Yard Grill
Taughannock Boulevard
Ithaca, New York

A casual waterfront restaurant for everyone — great for small or large parties, it offers a variety of food for any appetite, portion-size preference or budget. The ambience is casual and friendly, the venue is large and most tables have a nice view of the lake. If you visit when it’s warm they have outside tables on the water.

602 West Buffalo Street
Ithaca, New York

Offering hearty Italian cuisine, this family-owned establishment offers unlimited salad and bread sticks, large portions and a cheap bill. A great spot if you are traveling with a large party, Joe’s is only a five to ten minute drive outside the campus.

Taste of Thai
216 The Commons
Ithaca, New York

Truly authentic Thai cuisine in The Commons, this independently owned restaurant has been voted Ithaca’s Best Thai/Ethnic restaurant for over 7 years. The pad thai is a favorite.

A little farther away, but well worth the drive: While a little pricier than the rest, these next two restaurants are out of this world. If you are a foodie or willing to drive the extra mile for an exceptional meal while college traveling, these will not disappoint. Make sure to book early though, as these hot spots fill up fast, especially during prime times such as move-in day, graduation weekend, and prospective freshman visits. The dress/ambience is a little more upscale at both.

John Thomas Steakhouse
1152 Danby Road
Ithaca, New York

Located opposite Ithaca College, this is a steak house as good as any in New York City.  Be prepared for huge steaks and prime rib – with prices to match — perfectly prepared, with fresh accoutrements and great desserts.

Taughannock Farms
Taughannocks Farms Inn
2030 Gorge Road
Trumansburg, New York

Exquisite food and an even more unbeatable view of Cayuga Lake, you will fall in love with Taughannock Farms and its fresh, finely-prepared dishes and lovely atmosphere.

Hamilton College, Colgate University

Monica Inzer, Hamilton College Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, and the staff of the Hamilton Admission Office

Georgio’s Village Café
60 Genesee Street
New Hartford, New York

The Chicken Riggies and Utica Greens are both local favorites that you need to experience when you’re here! Chicken Riggies are bite sized portions of chicken breast served with rigatoni, romano cheese, sweet and hot peppers, and onions in a hot and spicy pink white wine sauce. Utica Greens, also known as Greens Georgio, is made with chopped escarole, cherry peppers, fresh prosciutto, and a mix of oregano, bread crumbs and grated cheese.

The Dessert Booth
13 College Street
Clinton, New York

Don’t miss the Magic Bars at The Dessert Booth in the village of Clinton — and lots of other yummy treats. They also serve lunch.

Park Row Espresso!
1 West Park Row
Clinton, New York

At Park Row Espresso!, try the legendary half-moon cookies invented here in Utica and made famous in “The Dinner Party” episode of Seinfeld. This coffee bar is located just down the hill from Hamilton in the village of Clinton and you can get a coupon for one free cookie from the Admission Office. Be prepared, though — you’ll want to buy more!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
7840 State Rte 5
Clinton, New York

A local institution, order the Chocolate Chip Pancakes  — and other things drowning in syrup or with bacon.

Clinton Cider Mill
28 Elm Street
Clinton, New York

Upstate New Yorkers take their apple cider seriously. If you’re visiting during the harvest season, check out the cider donuts and fresh apple cider here.

For more places to eat — and some sites to see — check out ”A Sampling of Life “Off the Hill” on Hamilton’s website.

New York University

From AnnaKate C., NYU, Class of 2010:

775 Washington Street
New York, NY

A charming, higher-end restaurant featuring seasonal Italian-inspired food from chef Jonathan Waxman.

Grey Dog Cafe
90 University Place
New York, NY

Adjacent to Washington Square Park, this coffeehouse features fresh organic sandwiches and salads and is a hangout for NYU students. Perfect for a casual breakfast or lunch.

Otto Enoteca Pizzeria
1 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY

Mario Batali’s pizzeria is near the NYU Admission office. Try the tomato, pecorino, and egg pizza.

Sushi Yawa
25 West 8th Street
New York, NY

Great sushi at a decent price and, again, conveniently near the NYU Admission office.

Purchase College - State University of New York, College of New Rochelle, Concordia College, Iona College, Mercy College, Pace University


From the students of Purchase College, State University of New York, courtesy of Garrett Marino, Assistant Director of Admissions:


Shy G., Purchase College, State University of New York, Class of 2014

Pearl Yogurt
270 Main Street
White Plains, NY

Pearl Yogurt is a small shop that you might just pass by. But the Yogurt is really good -- think Cable car chocolate, Peach Mango, Thin Mint and Taro --  and they have a lot of variety with many different goodies to top your yogurt -- from kiwi and banana to pecans, white chocolate syrup and Reese's Pieces!   The price is very good and you pay by the pound!


Five Guys Burgers and Fries
240 Main Street
White Plains, NY

Five Guys is relatively expensive but when you have the time to sit and the money to spend, this is definitely the place to go! They have the best burgers and their French fries are amazing!  When you ask for fries, they put them in the cup size you want, then in a bag, and then they add more fries! Burger toppings are free and they say there are more than 250,000 possible ways to order a burger at Five Guys.  A student's dream!


Buffalo Wild Wings
1 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains NY

Buffalo Wild Wings is a nice, relaxing restaurant where you can hang out with your friends and eat great food -- salads, burgers, wraps and Chocolate Fudge Cake.  Choose from plates like the Spinach Artichoke Dip or the Parmesan Garlic Chicken Flatbread. Servings are large and in a great price range!


Sophie B., Purchase College, State University of New York, Class of 2013

Terra Ve
First floor
Campus Center South
Purchase College

Whether or not you are a vegetarian, Terra Ve is THE place to eat on the Purchase College campus.  As I write, I am enjoying a cup of their vegetarian split pea soup and a bag of Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips.  One of the healthier options for an eatery that Purchase offers, Terra Ve easily has the best pizza available on campus, as well as dishes like Dal and Spinach Curry and Lo Mein Stir-fry.  And with permanent selections like Terra Mac & Cheese, vegetarian meatball parmesan subs, and tomato bisque soup, you can never go wrong.  Their garden burgers are delicious and they have some of the best quesadillas ever.


The Cobble Stone Restaurant
620 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, New York

The Cobble Stone is a perfect off-campus restaurant for Purchase Students to enjoy.  Within walking distance of the campus, the restaurant has friendly service and staff and the prices are reasonable. Serving lunch and dinner, The Cobble Stone has an extensive menu that runs the gamut from salads, sandwiches, burgers and wraps to house specialties like BBQ Beer Can Chicken and Salmon with Saffron Rice.   A personal favorite?  The Avocado Veggie Burger.


The Cheesecake Factory
1 Maple Avenue
White Plains, NY

The Cheesecake Factory is my favorite place to eat at home in Arizona, so I was thrilled when I saw there was one in White Plains, just a ten-minute drive from Purchase.  There are small plates like edamame and chicken samosas and their signature large servings of fish tacos, huevos rancheros, shrimp with angel hair. My favorite dish is the Four Cheese Pasta.  No favorite when it comes to cheesecake, though. There are simply too many flavors to choose from -- vanilla bean, Snickers Bar, and Craig's Crazy Carrot Cake!


Eric D., Purchase College, State University of New York,  Class of 2013

The Melting Pot
30 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY

This is a great place to have dinner if you're interested in something different. The layout of the restaurant alone is unconventional -- below street level, the restaurant boasts a modern, slightly labyrinthine design. However, the fondue-style cuisine is what sets The Melting Pot apart. Dip bread and vegetables, steak, chicken and seafood into their delicious combinations of cheeses. And then enjoy scrumptious dessert foods like cheesecake, marshmallows, and fruits to dip in delicious chocolate. The Melting Pot has truly mastered this genre of dining. And don't be fooled -- it may seem as though the menu options are not enough for a full meal, but they are surprisingly filling!


The Full Moon Trattoria 632
632 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY

Within walking distance of Purchase College, the Full Moon is the perfect place for students to go for something different. The authentic northern Italian cuisine includes dishes like Braised Osso Bucco or Chicken Parmigiana. But the menu also features items with  a contemporary twist, such as the popular Nutella Pizette. Having spent some time in Italy, I can honestly say that the Full Moon Trattoria does Italian food right. Bravo, Full Moon! Every time I eat your delicious food, I go back to Campania. Grazie…



Union College

At Union, everybody in the admission office (many of them alums!) gets in on the restaurant review act on their “Meet the Staff” pages of the school’s website. Here are their recommendations:

From Matthew Malatesta, Vice President for Admissions, Financial Aid, and Enrollment, Class of 1991:

Café Nola
617 Union Street
Schenectady, New York

A great lunch stop for New Orleans cuisine.

1600 Union Street
Schenectady, New York

It’s really first-rate. The best deli north of New York City.

Peter Pause
535 Nott Street
Schenectady, New York

A great family-owned place to get breakfast or lunch just on the edge of campus. Terrific breakfast specials and wonderful soups.

Perrecca’s Bakery
33 North Jay Street
Schenectady, New York

Perrecca’s makes great bread! This story explains more, including how Jack Nicholson gets it delivered (still?). They also do a good breakfast and lunch business.

From Geoff Bowman, Associate Dean, Class of 2004:

Pizza King
124 Jay Street
Schnectady, New York

The best pizza!

Katie O’Byrne’s
121 Wall Street
Schenectady, New York

I recommend their haddock sandwich nestled in a warm potato bun, and you can’t go wrong with the wings, particularly after a hockey game.

From Ann Fleming Brown, Director of Admissions:

Ambition Café
154 Jay Street
Schenectady, New York

I love it for their delicious sandwiches and local coffee shop flavor.

From Vernon Castillo, Senior Associate Dean:

39 North Jay Street
Schenectady, New York

Good, traditional Italian food, it’s perfect for a special occasion or any time.

From Susan Hanks, Associate Dean:

Aperitivo Bistro
426 State Street
Schenectady, New York

Interesting sandwiches and salads for lunch! And the ambience is modern, urban, airy, and relaxing.

From Abbey Massoud-Tastor, Assistant Dean, Class of 2007

The Van Dyck Lounge
237 Union Street
Schenectady, New York

A large menu, fresh food, and good service. Plus, it’s located in the Stockade district, a great location for a walk.

From Delon McAllister, Assistant Dean, Class of 2008:

Bomber’s Burrito Bar
447 State Street
Schenectady, New York

The burritos are stellar. It’s a very welcoming place, and the owner is a Union alum who’s giving back to the city of Schenectady.

From Aaron Ray, Assistant Dean, Class of 2010:

I’m doubling down on Perrecca’s BakeryPizza King, and Bomber’s Burrito Bar – all mentioned above. The service is fast, friendly, and they all help to support the local economy.

From Jessica Wenger, Assistant Dean, Class of 2010:

Scotti’s Restaurant and Pizzeria
1730 Union Street #4
Schenectady, New York

Delicious pizza and the friendliest service. I’d always go with my parents on family weekends.