5 Local Off Campus Dining Options That MMC Students MUST Know About!

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You know that feeling when you’re on your way to school and need a quick boost before your long day of classes? Or the feeling you get when you step out of MMC’s doors after being there since 8:30AM and you’re just thinking “I’m hungry but the dining hall is closed. Where should I go?”. Maybe you just want to get off campus for a break during a long day, but don’t want to fall prey to the rising prices of New York City. Going to school in NYC has many perks, but variety is one of the biggest. 


Though Marymount Manhattan College’s on-campus dining hall offers a wide array of options, some students find it to be inconvenient, or not necessarily worth it if you don’t have an active meal plan or dining dollars in your account. 


NYC native Rashida Shaw works for Equinox, a luxury fitness company based in NYC, as a Movement, Nutrition, and Regeneration (MNR) Manager. When asked to comment on the relationship between nutrition and academic performance, she mentions the importance of eating, especially carbs, during your day. 


“Low carbs means low energy and altered brain function, affecting memory, motor skills, and even emotions.” says Shaw.


No matter the reason, there are plenty of local off-campus dining options that will make your mind, stomach, and wallet happy. Here’s a variety of options that you need to know about. 


Matto Espresso  – 71st St and 2nd Ave 


Located conveniently towards 2nd ave from Marymount’s 71st street campus is a coffee shop named Matto Espresso. Matto has numerous locations throughout the city, but the location near campus never fails to make a Marymount student’s day. 


Not only does Matto offer various classics when it comes to cafe drinks, but also a selection of pastries and other baked goods like banana walnut bread, pistachio muffins, and classic chocolate chip cookies. This location is open 6AM to 6PM throughout the week. 


Junior year MMC student Lauren Barrett goes to Matto whenever she needs a quick boost. 


“My absolute favorite cafe on a budget would have to be Matto. It’s a huge plus that they have vegan food options as well!” exclaims Barrett. 


Hex & Co –  76th St and 1st Ave


Hex & Co is the perfect place for you and some friends to go kill time while still keeping your brains active. Not only is there a full menu of both food and drink, but there are also numerous different games provided that you can play (and purchase) there as well for a $10 game pass (with discounts throughout the week for students). 


The menu offers different coffee, espresso, and tea options with multiple flavors and non-dairy alternatives available, as well as cocktails and soft drinks.


If you’re hungry, check out what the kitchen has to offer! They offer options for meals like wings, sliders for, or paninis from $10-$12, but you could always get one of their “quick bites”, such as chicken strips with BBQ for $9 or pretzel bites served with dips for $7. 


Little Italy Pizza – 68th St and 1st Ave


A few blocks away from campus is Little Italy Pizza on 68th and 1st. This shop may sound familiar because there is a location right near MMC’s 55th Street Residence Hall on 57th St and 3rd Ave


Little Italy offers deals for genuine New York City slices of pizza, and tons of options for other pizza shop delicacies. Like most places, you can go with a simple slice of cheese, or try specialty slices like a margarita slice or a chicken/bacon/ranch slice. 


Senior MMC student Lily Zwick says “Freshman year of college, Little Italy was that spot we always went to.”


“If you go enough, the staff makes an effort to know you and know your order. It’s the perfect place to feel like a regular, especially if you’re new to the city.” Zwick says. 


Kossar’s Bagels and Bialys – 75th St and York Ave


One place newer to the Upper East Side is Kossar’s Bagels and Bialys on 75th St and York Ave. Though they’ve had a Lower East Side location for decades, they just opened an Uptown location.


Though Bagels are obviously widely appreciated, this place offers you a rich history with its lesser known option: Bialys. With bagels, bialys, sandwiches, and fresh smoothies, Kossar’s menu is definitely one that students should check out.


Ritz Diner – 63rd St and 1st Ave

Ritz Diner is a great place local to campus that gives you a great meal with great vibes. This 24-hour diner’s menu offers good prices for big meals that are delicious. Ritz Diner is known as a “local hotspot” in Midtown, and offers you a classic diner atmosphere.


The extensive menu offers an all-day breakfast that can’t be topped, including favorites like egg Benedict and French toast, as well as appetizers, lunch/dinner specials, and an assortment of smoothies and desserts for a range of prices fit for you to find something in whatever mood you’re in.


Junior MMC student Ethan Palma passes Ritz on his walk home typically, and sometimes just can’t resist indulging. 


“It’s apparent that the employees are fellow New Yorkers, and it really gives the restaurant a sense of community. The food is affordable and the atmosphere is impeccable. There’s nothing better than finishing my classes then munching down on a nice Philly cheesesteak” says Palma.