Tag Archives: Columbia

The 10 Best Coffeeshops On The Upper West Side

This is a cross-post with theculturetrip.com. Check out writer Cindy Liu’s original article here!

Long considered the ‘coffee shop desert’ of Manhattan, the Upper West Side now boasts coffee and pastries to rival the Stumptown’s of Flatiron and the Blue Bottles of Brooklyn. The uniting appeal in the coffee shop explosion of recent years lies in owners’ singular commitments to both quality and happiness.

Continue reading The 10 Best Coffeeshops On The Upper West Side


An Italian Restaurant You Can’t Go Wrong With

Of all the Italian restaurants near Columbia campus, Bettolona is definitely one of your best bets for a romantic date night. It is more spacious and chic than the cozy MaxSoha (on Amsterdam and 123rd), and definitely a lot tastier than V&T Pizzeria (Amsterdam and 113th). The pizza here is cooked in a brick oven. The prices are very reasonable, and the atmosphere of the restaurant will make you feel casual and comfortable. The waiters and the owner (he is actually Italian!) are very friendly and know the menu well.

Located on Broadway between La Salle and 125th St, it is just the right distance from campus – only 10-15 minutes walking distance from the main gate, yet far enough away  to have a off-campus feel.

Spinach Lasagne

Bettolona is known for the pizza and homemade Italian pastas. The pizza is small and delicious enough that one person can finish it. The spinach lasagna is made delicately and with amazing meat sauce. In all, both the pasta and the pizza here are of great, authentic quality.

Bettolona also features specials everyday. Simply keep in mind to ask the price, since they don’t put it on the chalkboard and you might end up having to pay slightly more than you expected (for example, the stripped bass special entrée was around $25). Also, the menu is entirely in Italian, so be prepared to use your smartphone to check some things out if you don’t know Italian!

Daily Special - Stripped Bass came with Buttery Mashed Potatoes and Spinach

In all, if you’re looking for a place near campus with authentic and great quality Italian food, you can’t go wrong with Bettolona. Highly recommended.


5 out of 5 stars



3143 Broadway (Broadway & La Salle St.), New York, NY 10027

Tel: (212) 749-1125



A café buried in the depths of campus

Melina comes back with HIDDEN GEMS and this time has got a place on campus.  Now, there’s really no excuse not to go mine this newest gem.

Only 1 in 10 Columbia students knows about this place.

Okay, I made that ratio up…but I am sure that the real statistic would be in that ballpark if anyone did that kind of research.

Housed in the building of Avery Architectural Library, deep deep (deep) down in the basement, Brownies Café is a non-Columbia owned eatery. That fact alone gives it promise. It is a campus gem—a best-kept secret with enough people in on the secret to keep the business alive and running.

Getting to the basement is the hard part. When I ask friends to meet me there, I keep my phone handy because I expect a call requesting directions. If you remember the following directions, you will arrive at this wonderful destination. Continue reading A café buried in the depths of campus

Fika Fridays: Beignets in the Valley

Amanda return for her second Fika Friday by taking an afternoon fika at a French bakery near to campus.  Go get your own coffee and sweet treat, take a break, relax, read this post, and fika it up.  After all, it is Friday.  Not sure what a fika is?  Click here.

Welcome to midterms week at Columbia.  For the liberal arts students, there are about ten days in October that make you very concerned about how much you are actually capable of retaining in your mind.  For engineering students, there is a “midterm” practically every week and this sort of trauma is somewhat expected.  My fellow students, I know your pain.  I too have been in Butler Library to watch the sun rise.  I have seen the other side, the stunned expression of a Creative Writing major too far gone to remember the sweet naivete of a world without exams.  But I want you to know about a beautiful place, a place where you can escape all of your worries.

Well, I’m being a little dramatic…you can’t escape all of your worries, but at least you can coax them into submission with a nice cup of cocoa.

There is a small neighborhood in New York, an enclave of others, known as Manhattan Valley.  It is commonly defined by 110th street to the north, Central Park, 96th street to the south, and Broadway.  For students, it’s the epicenter of Grub Hub delivery service.  It is also the home of La Toulousaine, a French bakery on Amsterdam and 106th.  I first came to La Toulousaine last year with Allison, my current roommate.  This past Tuesday, I realized I needed another Fika at La Toulousaine, stat!  After a quick coordination with Jonah, we walked in drizzling rain to the bakery.  We recognized it through the autumnal trees lining the street by its long purple sign.  Two colorful fold out chairs sit out front, waiting for sunnier days.  Before I even walked through the open door, I encountered a waft of warm and sugary air, laden with the scent of fresh baguettes.

Continue reading Fika Fridays: Beignets in the Valley

The (green)Market Watch: Cauliflower

The Columbia Greenmarket is a place filled with possibility and potential, but there always seems to be a lingering problem: Where do you start? Enter Merritt, our Farmer’s Market correspondent and a former chef. Each week, Merritt will update us about the seasonal produce–just in time for Sunday morning’s market.

Yes, this is cauliflower. No photoshop, no lie.
The Greenmarkets of New York City were my gastro-dream that I looked forward to before moving to the big city. While Union Square is a dazzling mecca that is well worth the visit, we are lucky to have our own market right on Broadway between 114th and 116th every Thursday and Sunday. Cooking local, in-season produce is a great way to learn about new ingredients and cooking techniques.Autumn is harvest season and there are loads of great produce to choose from. In October, we are not just limited to root vegetables and hardy winter squash. The last of summer’s tomatoes and lettuces are available alongside those hearty vegetables, creating an ample variety of produce.
Today, I’m going to try and convince you to pick up some seemingly boring cauliflower and turn it into something delicious.Cauliflower is, as we all know, a cousin (sister? brother from another mother?) of broccoli. For me, however, the greener of these vegetables seemed to grace our family’s table far more frequently. As a child, I thought that cauliflower looked like it would be bland (and maybe my parents shared this sentiment). The same color as what I though gruel might be, cauliflower was a vegetable for those humans who were so old that they no longer cared about taste and quality. But cauliflower actually comes in a variety of bright hues–from a cheddary orange to a vivid purple. To find these varieties, farmer’s markets are your best bet.

White cauliflower will do for the recipe below. Made with only a few ingredients, this recipe teaches you the importance of the measure and quality of those parts. If there is one thing I learned while cooking in a restaurant, it’s that everything will taste better with more salt, more fat, more acid. It’s just a fact. So don’t skimp! For this recipe, don’t be afraid to crank your stovetop up as well. We want our cauliflower to get blistery-burnt (and therefore, tasty) on the stove before transferring it to the oven to finish cooking. Two things I love about this recipe: Continue reading The (green)Market Watch: Cauliflower

5 Ways to Improve Your John Jay Dining Experience

As Columbia and Barnard students are forced into the hellish mess of reading (ie papers are due!) and finals week, we all have less and less time for eating out.  While I’ve still managed to make it off campus once or twice, most of my meals have been restricted to the dining halls and specifically, John Jay. The upperclassmen not on the meal plan might not find this post pertinent in any way, but I’d like to think that there are a couple of people who might appreciate a few ideas about beloved JJ.

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Street Sweets Comes to Columbia!

Emergency Update!

The Street Sweets Truck is coming to Columbia University tomorrow! The truck will be parked at 113th and Broadway from 8 am to 5 pm, and it will be AMAZING!

Street Sweets sells delicious pastries, including my personal favorite Nutella Croissants! However, they have many other offerings: quiches, muffins, savory croissants, cupcakes, coffee, and cookies… oh, the possibilities! I know where I’m going for breakfast tomorrow. (No joke!)

Another important note: Depending on its popularity tomorrow, Columbia may become a permanent stop on their weekly route (or so I’m told)!

P.S. I switched around the name of the truck on the email I sent out, making it Sweet Streets, but I’m sure everyone got the idea…