As the home of Columbia University, Morningside Heights has changed to accommodate more demanding eaters. Where can you get a good bagel and cup of coffee, fast slice, or sit-down meal? Here's our updated guide to answer those questions.
Community Food & Juice: With their emphasis on local and organic ingredients, like maple butter alongside pancakes ($12), this is another popular spot that fills up on weekends.
Joe the Art of Coffee: Joe's Columbia branch, located in the Northwest Corner Building on campus, is one of the neighborhood's top coffee shops, both for a quick cup or all the single origin geekery you'd like.
Quick & Cheap
Roti Roll Bombay Frankie: One of a few places in the city that sells Indian food in wrap form, and one of the more unique spots in the neighborhood with good, cheap Indian under $10. They're open until 4 a.m. on weekends.
Koronet: Not amazing pizza, but check out the size of that slice! One slice is 15 inches long (or about the size of your entire forearm), and until the advent of dollar pizza, it was the cheapest slice per square inch in the city. They're almost on par with 2 Bros at 4.5¢ per square inch, or $4 for all 88.3 square inches (isn't pizza math fun?)
Milano Market: Good for Italian sandwiches and salads.
Taqeuria Y Fonda: Your go-to spot for cheap, filling tortas and a "Giant Burrito" that doesn't mess around.
Comfortable Sit Down
Tom's Restaurant: A most famous for its use in exteriors shots on Seinfeld. The food is average, but the milkshakes are good, and it's a neighborhood late night mainstay.
Deluxe: A more upscale diner reflected in the quality of the food (they also have $5 burger Wednesdays.)
Thai Market: Better than average Thai food, some of the best you'll find uptown at gentle prices.
Jin Ramen: One of the city's best noodle shops, despite being well north of much of its competition.
Awash: Tasty, vegetarian-friendly Ethiopian good for groups, as long as you're prepared to eat with your hands.
A Little Fancier
Community Food & Juice: In addition to their brunch, the focus on local and sustainable ingredients also stands out in their lunch and dinner offerings, and really elevates the quality of their otherwise standard salads, sandwiches, soups and dinner entrées.
Max Soha: Casual but refined Italian in a low-key setting.
Pisticci: Another casual, intimate Italian spot; try their maltagliati with ricotta, spinach, and lamb.
Symposium: Quality Greek food with a similarly casual-refined setting.
Mill Korean: Very good bibimbap, noodles and barbecue (the kalbi and bulgogi are sweet, tender and fatty).
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: A Harlem mainstay worth a trip on the subway, and still one of the best barbecue spots in the city for ribs and wings.
Flat Top: A new addition to the neighborhood, offering American-style bistro fare with an upscale French and Meditteranean bent and Blue Bottle Coffee. Owned by the same people as Jin Ramen.
Bakeries and Sweets
Levain Bakery: No guide to New York city desserts would be complete without Levain's famous cookies, which are really more like giant doughy scones, and somehow prove that a cookie can be well worth $4, especially when they're fresh out of the oven (I'd recommend the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip.) One friend of mine was so moved by his first Levain cookie that he immediately bought a carton of milk to consume with it in a nearby park.
Nussbaum & Wu: A popular cafe and sandwich spot, but black and white cookies are the thing to order here, worlds better than the standard.
Silver Moon Bakery: A great selection of French pastries, breads, and cakes, including one of our favorite baguettes in the city.
Tea Magic: A source for bubble tea uptown.
Hungarian Pastry Shop: Popular neighborhood bakery and cafe good for bringing a book, especially at one of the outdoor tables. We're not so hot on the strudel here, but the walnut macaroons are serious cookies.
Lee Lee's Baked Goods: A bakery with some of the best rugelach in town.
Anything we miss? Let us know in the comments.
About the author: Ben Jay is an editorial intern at Serious Eats, photographer, carnivore, beer and whisky drinker, and music nerd. He'd like to thank the Columbia and Barnard people who helped him with this. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.