Recently I celebrated my two-year anniversary of living in the Village. For that occasion, I thought I’d share an update on some of my favorite foodie discoveries. While I did manage to venture off MacDougal Street, all of these places are within easy walking distance of the Law School.
Best Brunch Spot: Cornelia Street Café.
After being introduced to this gem by a friend during 2L, it took me a few months to remember it and venture back, but now it’s become a Saturday regular for me and my husband. It’s one of the cheapest prix fixe brunches you’ll find in the neighborhood—$25 for an entrée, delicious bread appetizer, one brunch drink like a mimosa or Bloody Mary, and coffee or tea. It has a New Orleans vibe with very classy décor and less of the college feel that places closer to the school have, partly because they don’t offer the famed all-you-can-drink brunch specials.
Their house-made Bloody Mary mix is amazing, but their refreshing fresh-squeezed orange juice might be your preference if this brunch is following a long Friday night. If you live near NYU Law’s campus, this spot should definitely be on your go-to list.
Best (Sit-Down) Breakfast Spot: The Grey Dog (Carmine Street location).
If you have more than 10 minutes to grab breakfast near the Law School, skip Bagels on the Square and head a little further down to Grey Dog Café. They have a very nice breakfast selection, Wi-Fi, and plenty of space. If you’re feeling thrifty, I definitely recommend any of their muffins (pumpkin and banana blueberry bran are two of my favorites, and they almost always have a vegan muffin, too). For those looking to fuel up for the rest of the day, try the egg sandwich, served on a super-soft croissant with home fries on the side. The French toast is also always a safe bet for a sugary morning boost.
Final pro tip: go for the hazelnut coffee.
Best Dessert: Victory Garden (Carmine Street).
The best frozen yogurt in the world (in my humble opinion). Because Victory Garden’s yogurt is made with goat milk, it has many benefits, not the least of which is being able to refer to it as “fro go yo.” The flavors available change almost daily, and run the gamut from the good old-fashioned plain to Mexican chocolate to Afghan cardamom and rose chamomile. They also rotate a more traditional, sweeter flavor like salted caramel or cheesecake.
While all these flavors stand alone, VG offers an array of delicious and unique toppings (cocoa bits, halva, fresh fruit, and about a dozen others), and they’ve recently added a gelato selection as well. Their hard-packed pints in various flavors have always tempted me, but I’ve yet to let myself indulge. With summer coming on strong, definitely take the time to venture to this one-of-a-kind spot.
Best Margarita Happy Hour and Guacamole Selection: Toloache (Thompson Street location).
The guac here is a bit pricey, but well worth it. If you’re in the mood to really snack out, order the trio so you can try all three of their guacamole selections. The real kicker here is the margarita happy hour: good prices and amazing, hand-crafted margaritas. Of course they offer the traditional, but there are also tons of more unique options (the flavor of my most recent one was hibiscus). This spot is slightly more upscale, but without feeling pretentious. If you decide to stay for dinner after enjoying the happy hour, try the veggie enchiladas (hint: they have an entire vegetarian menu on request).
My lease is up in the summer, so I’ve been exploring other neighborhood options. I’ve wondered if former NYU Law students venture down to the Village after they’ve graduated and moved to the Upper West Side and Brooklyn. For now, though, these great finds are an easy walk from campus. And when it comes to these spots, I’d say they’re certainly worth a MetroCard swipe.