Barnard and Columbia Students Have a Wealth of Restaurant Options

I get reminiscent every so often about all the good food I ate while studying at Barnard College in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights.

My Barnard roommates and friends really opened my eyes to some great ethnic foods that I might not have tried otherwise. The Morningside Heights neighborhood is full of great eateries that offer a wide variety of foods. As a Barnard student, I explored many of these restaurants and the best ones kept me returning again and again. After all, that’s what a good food establishment does: it hooks you on their products and makes you want to return and try more.

Here are some of the best of the best in Morningside Heights near the Barnard and Columbia campuses:

Mill Korean @ 2895 Broadway
Mill Korean is a cramped Korean restaurant with a few outdoor tables available to eat at in warm weather. But though it’s tight on the inside, the food is well worth the sacrifice. Mill Korean still serving the streaming Bi Bim Bap in a hot stone crock to Barnard and Columbia students.

Honestly, I have never tried anything else there because that was just so delicious with the red chili sauce stirred in. Get it with the egg and beef. It’s the best that way. If I remember correctly, that was the first restaurant my Barnard roommates and I went to in the Morningside Heights area when I started school at Barnard in the Spring 1999 semester.

Che Bella @ 1215 Amsterdam Avenue
Does anyone eat inside Che Bella? I honestly don’t know. There are tables inside for eating but for my Barnard friends and I, this was the pizza place of choice for takeout. No need to call ahead though, they have fast service.

This is a great Morningside Heights pizza joint that serves up a great pie. Be sure to try their garlic knots – they are some of the best anywhere. I still drop in there whenever I am in the Morningside Heights area for an order of them, so that’s a clue to how good they are.

Wrapp Factory @ 2857 Broadway
Wrapp Factory makes a mean (and large) wrap. Like Che Bella, I don’t know if anyone actually eats at Wrapp Factory…in fact I don’t even know if they have tables there. My Barnard friends and I favored this eatery for delivery, which was always pretty fast.

If you order, try their great smoothies to go with the wrap. It’s well worth the expense. Be aware though that the dense wraps are extremely filling. Try the Jamaican Jerk Chicken or the Teriyaki Chicken.

SUBSconscious @ 1213 Amsterdam Avenue
Another awesome sandwich haunt for take out. They are fast and friendly and make a great sandwich. It’s the perfect place to stop for a quick bite while studying for finals or between classes at Columbia and Barnard.

Try the egg salad, it’s the best anywhere in Morningside Heights or beyond.

Panino Sportivo @ 1231 Amsterdam Avenue
Panino Sportivo is relatively new to the Morningside Heights area. Located beneath the Plimpton Residence Hall at Barnard, in an area that once held rundown and rarely frequented ethnic eateries. For starters, just seeing people at this restaurant was a good sign to me. There were people coming and going, and a number of tables filled in the small space.

There are so many varied and unique combinations for sandwiches at Panino Sportivo. The Arzu, for instance, combines smoked ham, goat cheese and pesto. The Andrea on the other hand has sliced barlett pears, brie cheese, arugula, toasted pine nuts and honey. I chose to try to the Ronaldo, which features Parma proscuitto, mozzerella di Bufala, tomato and extra virgin olive oil. It was delightful – the flavors blended so well together in a harmonic symphony.

Saigon Grill @ 1700 2nd Avenue on the Eastside and at 620 Amsterdam Avenue on the Westside
Though Saigon Grill is located outside of Morningside Heights, the trip south from Barnard was always worth it for some great Vietnamese food. Their chicken satay with peanut sauce is to die for. Served over rice noodles and with a ginger sauce, I just cannot get enough of it.

The service can be brisk, but they are efficient and it’s not as cramped as some city restaurants.

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