Food Memories of Morningside Heights

Ok, I’m being inspired by the other thread going on about Harvard Square. I think there are a few others that went to schools up in Morningside Heights. I was there in the late 80s. I am going to list the places I remember and a few whose names I can’t recall.

College Inn - I have no idea how many late night greasy burgers I had here. Tom’s was a distant second for me. Maybe because I had to walk a few blocks further?

Mama Joy’s - where I first encountered a bagel with a schmear.

Then Mama’s way up on Amsterdam for the more refined diner experience.

West End for crappy steam table food and $1 tequila shots.

Happy Burger for those lovely pots of pickles on the table for munching while waiting for the food.

I remember Mill Luncheonette when it didn’t serve Korean food (not that there was anything wrong with that).

Green Tree where I first encountered a matzo ball.

V&T where a big group of my frat brothers and I would go for a splurge.

Koronet Pizza for the large slabs of tasteless pizza. Was good primarily for filling up starving students.

The Marlin - I loved that sign that said cheapest boneless chicken dinner in town on a bowl of boiled eggs.

The Terrace for when the parents came in to town and were taking you out to dinner.

Its funny that I can only recall one Chinese place - Wok and Roll or something like that. I know we ordered a lot of late night takeout from other places.

Places I can’t remember the names of:

The deli across Broadway from Furnald on 115th. Had great eggplant parm.

There was a Greek place I think that was on 113th or 112th. Then there was the much nicer Aesop’s Tables down around 110th.

There used to be a fish market below 110th that also made sushi along with fried fish.

There was a fancy coffee shop on Broadway on the Barnard side that I used to get shots of espresso before a class I had that started at 7. Needed the jolt to stay awake.

The place on the ground floor of the building across from the law school. Used to be great for a quick breakfast.

I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch but quite an abundance of choices for students back then. No fast food or chains either.


Only recently started exploring the area. A short walk east gets you to Red Rooster. It’s not the fancy food that made Marcus Samuelsson famous at Aquavit, but it’s really good. Mix of Swedish and fresh takes on soul food. Looking forward to following this thread.


We were just talking about having a few New Years Eve dinners at the Moon Palace on B’way between 111th and 112th. The Greek restaurant on 113th St was The Symposium. College Inn a distant second to Tom’s - probably also because it was a few blocks farther!

Dynasty, 110th and B’way. And to add a few, the Hungarian Pastry Shop and La Rosita for rice & beans and cafe con leche. And Cannons, which was much worse than the Marlin, but sometimes your friends insisted on going there for some reason.

I ate breakfast at The Mill hundreds of times. I’ve told this story before, but Rene used to call all non-Hispanic women “Blondie.” Including my friend Georgia, who was Black (and also not blonde).

Symposium. (Whoops! I see @janeh9 has already solved this mystery.) Also Cafe Per Tutti, a fancy-ish Italian place that served (I kid you not) $5 manicotti. I lived up there probably three or four years before you.


Just a little further uptown was M&G Diner on 125th street. 20 years after they’re gone, the sign is still there as a painful reminder.

Symposium! That’s it.

Was Cannons the bar down around 107th?

And I’m now recalling there was a bar that was just below street level on the northwest corner around 111 or 110. I recall we used to get cheap pitchers there. Am I remembering correctly?

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I just remembered the Amsterdam’s on Amsterdam Avenue. First place I had bbq in NYC. I recall thinking it was pretty good. Then they opened a branch on lower broadway in Soho I think. I had graduated and was working downtown and I remember going by the one on Broadway after the original had closed and thinking how weird it was that Amsterdam’s on Broadway was there but the original was gone.

In the late '80s there was a terrific “deli” on the east side of Broadway that sold the world’s best brisket sandwiches; a falafal shop that kept our son alive, and of course Broadway Bagels. Still have their sweatshirt.

Yes, east side of the street. Always smelled like beer and pee. I don’t remember the bar at 110th, but Lucy’s Surferteria (sp?) was at 105th, I think. I broke a light bulb there once, dancing on a table and flinging my arms around like a crazy person. There was also The Abbey, over on Amsterdam. And the Hudson View Diner on 125th (I think).

There was a Chock Full of Nuts on the SW corner of 116th & Broadway, but it might have closed by the time you got there.

Eva’s? Or Amy’s? It kept me alive, too.

The only deli I can recall on the east side of Broadway was Mama Joy’s. I recall they made good heros in general but I don’t remember the brisket. Was there another?

Am I mashing memories? Was there a Cuban Chinese place on the west side of Broadway? I think it was below 110.

He used to call it Ahmed’s Falafel Palace, but I found out that was his invention.

La Ronda. Wait, that might have been just a bar, a couple of doors south. I forget the name of the Cuban Chinese place. Maybe just Comidas Crijollas y Chinas.

I think it was Amy’s, A Wholesome Meal in a Sandwich.

Columbia Lion here too! But in the 90’s. (Look at all these Ivy League onions!)

My first bibimbap was at Mill. The server had to tell me to mix it all up in the hot stone.

There was an Ollie’s Chinese right across the street from the main entrance to campus on 116th.

Yes! That’s what replaced Chock Full of Nuts. I was there for the change (because I was roaming around up there for 7ish years, although I moved south after the first two).

I vaguely remember Ollie’s. I don’t think I ever tried it. Don’t know why.

I just discovered there is a pretty severe time limit on editing posts. So the below is my edited post if I had been allowed to edit it.

When I was there in the 60’s and early 70’s the main watering hole was the Gold Rail (some referred to it as the Brass Rail) between 110 and 111 on the east side of B’way. Since nobody has mentioned it (I don’t think) I assume it was gone by the time you all got there. My main memory of that place besides the cheap steaks and cheap beer was the night of the great blackout when one of the older bartenders (the place was super busy) expired right there behind the bar and was carried out on a chair. Sad but the party went on. The steaks weren’t normal steak cuts but some sort of flap meat or fajita meat which was cheap then but no doubt way more expensive nowadays; anyway we ate a lot of them. There was an excellent Chinese place about 107th on the West side of B’way, and another just a few doors below 125th, which was not a savory spot in those days. We ate a lot of pizza at the V&T, and occasionally ate at the Hungarian Pastry place which I understand is still there. Endless meat loaf subs at that carry out grocery Ta-kome Foods at 116 and lots of meals at Toms.

During that period in NYC I got initiated into food. On the high end I remember a place called the Coach House which was on Waverly Place near Washington Sq. I ate there many times – turned out it was James Beard’s favorite hangout, and I remember spotting him there. His house, now the James Beard House, was a couple of blocks away.

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