Forgetting Ferris: Where to grab a bite to eat beyond 120th

Have you found yourself jaded with John Jay? No longer fancying Ferris? Don’t have a hankering for Hewitt?

Sometimes the dining options on campus can start to feel (and taste) a little stale. It’s time for you to break out of the Columbia bubble, and there’s nowhere better to go than up. Spectrum’s team of food ~experts~ went to test out some restaurants north of 120th Street. Here are their findings.


This place is trying pretty hard to be cute, and they’ve succeeded. I mean, just look at those polka dotted tables that scream *chic.*

@fisek / via Instagram

Pros: Good food and generous portions. I’ve been here a number of times, and I’ve always left feeling full and satisfied. Their brunch menu is delish.

Cons: It’s a little pricey, and sometimes their service can be pretty slow.

Rating: 3.5/5

Island Burgers and Shakes

When I went for lunch, the restaurant was dimly lit and basically empty. The smoke detector was chirping the entire time because it needed new batteries. I came in hungry, and left with a headache.

Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 4.56.55 PM.png
Yes, they’re as good as they look.
@islandburgers / via Instagram

Pros: My milkshake was heavenly, and pretty decently priced at six dollars.

Cons: Basically everything else. The wait staff was unattentive, the burger was unappetizing and super pricey (an extra dollar for cheese, sauce, and toppings—each). Additionally, I’m still waking up in cold sweat due to nightmares about that smoke detector.

Rating: 4/5 for the milkshake, 1/5 for everything else

Harlem’s Floridita

From the moment I walked in, the entire restaurant emitted great vibes, which were only magnified by their super tasty sangria. Seriously, try their sangria.

Pros: SO. MUCH. GOOD. FOOD. Each entree comes with a huge side of rice and beans, and for those who are living off of 30 meal swipes per semester, you’ll have plenty to take home for tomorrow’s lunch (or breakfast; I can’t tell you how to live your life).

Cons: It’s a bit of a walk, so either suck it up or fork out some extra money for a cab. But check this place out because it has some of the best food I’ve had in New York.

My friend Maya, holding our leftovers
—and we ate most of our meals. IT’S A TON OF FOOD.

Rating: 4.5/5

Chapati House

First of all, this place has the coolest floors in the world. Second of all, this is basically Chipotle for Indian food, sans E. coli. Third of all, go here immediately.

Tell me that floor pattern isn’t dope. I dare you.

Pros: Literally everything. There are so many options (especially for my vegetarian/vegan friends), the food is hot and served quickly, and it TASTES SO GOOD. Prices are comparable to Chipotle’s, and I think it’s even more filling.

Cons: I have nothing bad to say about this place. This is my new favorite restaurant in Morningside Heights. This is where I will go on my first dates from now on. This is where I will propose. Chapati House will cater my wedding.

Rating: Do you even need to ask?


It’s worth noting that they have an extensive brunch menu on the weekends and three different types of pumpkin beer (for those who are afraid of being too basic in the snacking game). The wall of exposed brick and Bon Iver playing on the stereo make this place trendy AF.

Screen Shot 2016-10-11 at 5.03.23 PM.png
@jonjon285 / via Instagram

Pros: Really, really good food. The tuna melt was, like, really good—and I have just about the highest standards for my tuna melts. The fries are also excellent! Decently priced and very filling.

Cons: I don’t understand the need for three different types of pumpkin beer. I tried, but I really don’t get it. It wasn’t even that good.

Rating: 4/5

There are tons of restaurants in the area to explore, so don’t fall into the trap of eating Ferris pasta for the fourth night in a row or gaining the freshman 15 from those JJ’s mozzarella sticks.

Miles Greenspoon is a trainee Spectrum staff writer and a GS/JTS junior. He has already contacted Chapati House about catering his next four major life events. You can email him about your other favorite Indian food spots at or @mileshasjokes.



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