In a perfect world, we would all live (and eat) 100% sustainably. We would buy grass-fed, organic beef, eliminate all of our unnecessary waste, and grow our own vegetables. Of course, this is far from practical for the average college student. But don’t worry, there is still hope even for the most time-pressed and cash-strapped of us.
Eating locally sourced food is a great way to do your part. It reduces the distance the food has to travel (cutting down on carbon emissions), supports smaller-scale, rural farmers and provides tasty, seasonal food. Restaurants are getting on board too, trying to locally source their ingredients to deliver a more sustainable—and delicious—product. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite locally-sourced eats near NYU so you can help the environment just by eating out.
We all know that Chipotle cares about sustainability (this video is the only proof needed), but they aren’t the only chain doing their part. Tom Colicchio’s sandwich chain, ‘Wichcraft, has taken on some responsible practices as well, making a commitment to source locally whenever possible. This includes Pennsylvania favorite, Eckerton Hill Farm, which provides the meat for their seasonal BLT. ‘Wichcraft also makes an effort to buy from small-scale artisans, using Pain D’Avignon bread for their creations. The sandwiches are definitely Manhattan priced ($7-$10), but with a multitude of locations throughout the city, ‘Wichcraft is an excellent on-the-go option.
Location: 60 E 8th St (bet Greene and University)
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 8am to 6pm, Sat-Sun: 10am to 6pm
It’s easy to pass by Paradis, but it would be a shame if you did. The founding of this adorable café involved an American culinary student falling for a French butcher and a love for local, seasonal food, so you know off the bat it’s going to be good. The pastry case is always stocked with freshly baked items and the menu changes daily so there are always new, delectable items to sample. One of the best parts of Paradis is the seasonal menu, currently featuring fall dishes such as roasted sweet potatoes with spicy slaw, butternut squash flatbreads and ultra autumnal pumpkin whoopie pies. Grab some coffee while you’re there as well, it’s 100% fair trade.
Location: 114 4th Ave (bet 11th and 12th)
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 7am to 7pm, Sat: 9am to 6pm
An offshoot of the City Bakery, Birdbath declares itself, “one of the most eco-friendly food businesses on Earth.” They may very well be right. This café has left no base uncovered—from seasonal to organic to wind powered. Since ingredients are sourced from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket, employees rarely know what the menu will be on a given day. The shops themselves are wind-powered and offer water in boxes rather than the usual plastic bottle. Also worth noting is the 15% discount for customers arriving by bike. If this is not convincing enough, Birdbath Bakery’s incredible chocolate chip cookies are sure to seal the deal.
Location: 35 3rd Ave (bet 9th and 10th)
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat: 8am to 9pm, Sun: 9am to 9pm
Doma na Rohu
For a brunch that you can feel good about, head to Doma Na Rohu. This West Village restaurant serves up Austro-Hungarian comfort food with dishes such as poached eggs from Hudson Valley farms atop a hearty, tomato-pepper stew. They source their dairy from upstate New York and get their bread products and meat even closer. After all, eating locally doesn’t necessarily mean farm fresh. Doma sources from local establishments such as Murray’s Bagels and Ottomanelli’s butcher shop. This cuts down on the distance the food has to travel and helps promote small businesses instead of big chains. Not to mention, Doma has live Gypsy Jazz every Saturday night.
Location: 27 1/2 Morton St (at 7th Ave)
Hours of Operation: Mon-Thu: 7am to 11pm, Fri-Sat: 8am to 12am, Sun: 8am to 11pm
Jimmy’s No. 43
If gypsy jazz isn’t your thing, don’t worry, Doma na Rohu isn’t the only sustainable after-hours hangout around. Just a five minute walk from campus, Jimmy’s No.43 is serving up artisanal brews and locavore foods. Jimmy’s menu sources many of its ingredients right from the Greenmarket, and has even been awarded Slow Food NYC’s Snail of Approval. There are always neat events happening, such as an upcoming prix-fixe dinner to benefit the Vermont Sail Freight Project, an awesome organization that is currently building a barge to transport fresh produce from Vermont to New York.
Location: 43 E 7th St (bet Taras Shevchenko Pl and 2nd Ave)
Hours of Operation: Mon-Thu: 12pm to 2am, Fri-Sat: 12pm to 4am, Sun: 12pm to 2am
Though a little pricier, Home is a great place to go when your parents are in town. Though it may not look busy from the street, don’t be fooled. There is a wonderful patio garden in the back, and many customers choose to enjoy their meals there when the weather cooperates. Most of the ingredients here are sourced from farmers upstate, and most of the wines and beers are made by New York artisans. Like nearby Doma na Rohu, Home works on the micro-local level as well, buying from neighborhood favorites such as Murray’s Cheese and Florence Meat Market. Definitely try the seasonal pie. On a recent visit, we finished off a delicious lunch with slice of the apple-rhubarb pie, rich with rhubarb right from the owner’s father’s garden.
Location: 20 Cornelia St (bet 4th and Bleecker)
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 11:30am to 11pm, Sat: 10:30am to 11pm, Sun: 10:30am to 10pm