Being a college student in New York City allows you to have an array of food options to choose from. New York food staples such as dollar slice pizza and bagels are among these options. Say your taste buds are feeling a more unconventional dish, you’re also in luck because the city is filled with people from an array of diverse cultures, and the ethnic dishes they make.
When I first moved to New York two years ago, I was delighted by the variety of food choices I had. If I wanted to eat pad thai one night and pierogies the next, I could. There is a Chinatown, Little Italy, Ukrainian neighborhood, and a number of Indian restaurants in Murray Hill all within one borough.
Manhattan is filled with neighborhoods that specialize in a particular cuisine because of the communities that immigrated here. Although it is filled with many diverse ethnic cuisines, I noticed that some of the places were overpriced and had an over the top aesthetic feel. I realized that if I wanted to have a more authentic experience trying these dishes while remaining within my student budget, my best bet would be to venture outside Manhattan and into the outer boroughs.
I am from California and grew up eating authentic Mexican food including street tacos for 50 cents, and also authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Little Saigon, the neighborhood I lived near in Southern California serves a large bowl of pho for three dollars. These are the dishes that remind me of home and I was determined to find places in New York that could comparably make these similar dishes and offer them at a reasonable price.
I highly advise students to explore other boroughs outside of Manhattan. If you are craving Mexican food, instead of opting for the local Chipotle around your apartment or over-priced trendy taco place in the city, venture out to Bushwick in Brooklyn. In my following chapter, I will be writing more about the best taco spot I have found that reminds me most of Southern California, and it is by far the cheapest taco place I have found in the city! In the following weeks, I will write more about the best dim sum in Flushing, Queens, Dominican food in the Bronx, and international food festivals that occur here in New York.
By: Tricia Vuong
Tricia Vuong is a publishing intern here at the Campus Clipper. She is currently studying Journalism + Design at Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts with a minor in Global Studies. Check out more of her work on her portfolio.
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Stay tuned for more tips from Tricia on ethnic cuisine outside of Manhattan, check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.