Saturday nights once spent with our Air Force 1’s being spilled on, “All Night Longer,” and our beloved elevated surfaces are now a thing of the past (and hopefully near future!), but that doesn’t mean we can’t reinvent nightlife with our closest friends. We’ve all been taking to our fave local 'Cuse Restaurants, and as much as we LOVE Xo Taco, there’s more to ‘Cuse food culture than just hot chix and loaded nachos. Here are some delicious, pandemic-appropriate restaurants to add to your bucket list to make your semester just a little more bearable.


With an amazing array of ramen bowls, salads, and maybe the sickest pork buns ever, you can’t go wrong with Katsu ramen. Located in Armory Square, you and your besties can sit outside and enjoy the scene while drowning your sorrows in dumplings and ramen that doesn’t come from a styrofoam cup. Aside from offering ramen flavors such as chicken, veggie, and brisket (because Rosh Hashanah just wasn’t enough), my top pick would have to be the Kasai chicken sandwich.

Chloe Hechter


I was genuinely shocked by the number of people who didn’t know what Mitsuba was, so I felt compelled to add it to this list even though this gem should be anything BUT hidden. First off, they offer COVID-safe outdoor dining, which is already a win, but they offer Hibachi grilled food (yum), sushi, and probably the best dressing EVER.

Chloe Hechter


Though the drama students at Syracuse Stage have been subsisting off of Phoebe’s iconic lavender lemonade for years, this walking-distance-from-campus cafe is definitely not to be missed. After Kubal’s closing, we’ve all been searching for a cute, new place to grab coffee and snacks, and Phoebe’s is perfect for a non-Dunkin’ coffee run. They offer to-go or dine-in, so you can grab your coffee or sit down to dinner with your friends. They’re known for their lavender lemonade, breakfast sandwiches, and daily hummus special (yes, you read that right) but my top pick is definitely their veggie burger.


Big Dip has been all the rage lately, but I’m partial to The Ice Cream Stand in Armory Square. You can curb your sweet tooth and treat yourself to over 20 flavors of ice cream, cookie ice cream sandwiches, and floats. I've found that a lot of 'Cuse restaurants don't typically offer dairy-free and vegan options, so as your resident lactose-intolerant, I’m thrilled to say that they offer several flavors made with oat milk that honestly taste just like real ice cream, thank God. Stroll around Armory Square with this newly opened, DF friendly, super delicious ice cream to end a stressful week.


If you’re ever missing NYC (I know I ALWAYS am), this recreation of NYC dining located in a more hidden area of Armory Square can’t be beaten. Known for their insane burgers and charcuterie boards, this is the perfect place to go if you’re craving a delicious meal and a chill night. The York salad is not only giant, but to die for, and their wide variety of apps for any mood will make this your new go-to dinner spot.


Does anyone else constantly crave guac? At this underrated Mexican spot located in an underground railroad stop, you can order a literal TUB of it for your tacos, chips, or, let’s face it: eating straight-up (I CANNOT be the only one who does this). With plenty of vegan options, amazing rice, and big enough portions to last all week. This vibrant and authentic Mexican restaurant will be sure to satisfy your Monday Munchies. 

Though the days of ordering Calio's at 2a.m. seem long gone, we can still enjoy great food with our friends here in 'Cuse.