When first coming to Binghamton University, it's easy for freshman to stick to the dining halls and other on-campus dining places. The food tastes pretty good—at least, better than the high school cafeteria—and they don't have to pay for their food with actual money, thanks to their trusty meal plan.

But, sometimes you just have to splurge. With so many scrumptious restaurants off campus, it's hard to resist not going to at least one of these restaurants during your first semester. 


1. Lost Dog Café

penne, sauce, pasta, chicken, garlic, basil
Mikaela Orenstein

This one's for all the pasta a la vodka fans. Lost Dog is THE place in Binghamton to get rigatoni a la vodka, no matter your dietary restrictions. (There's a vegan version too!) Plus, the café has a plethora of rustic salads, sandwiches, and desserts that will definitely satisfy your taste buds.

Location: 222 Water Street, Binghamton, NY 13901

2. Strange Brew

There's nothing strange about how good this coffee shop is. Besides delicious brews, you can get breakfast, baked goods, and mac and cheese bowls at Strange Brew. And don't even get me started on the grilled cheese mac and cheese sandwiches.

Location: 137 Washington Street, Binghamton, NY 13901

3. Craft

Kayla Jimenez

You don't have to live in NYC to get your crazy milkshake fix. Craft serves several fun shakes, including ones inspired by unicorns and chicken and waffles. Not to mention, they're almost half the price of the shakes that are served in the city at Black Tap, making them affordable to pair with any of the bar's juicy sliders. 

Location: 135 Washington Street, Binghamton, NY 13901

4. Garage Taco

No need to figure out your Taco Tuesday plans. Garage has both tacos—there's even a fried avocado option!—and good vibes. And on Tuesdays? A $2 taco special!

Location: 211 Washington Street, Binghamton, NY 13901

5. Social on State

han shi

Tapas on tapas on tapas. From its smoked gouda mac and cheese to spicy tuna tower, Social on State slays the tapas game with fresh and flavorful small plates. It gets even better during Binghamton Restaurant Week. Did someone say three plates for $25?

Location: 201 State Street, Binghamton, NY 13901

6. Whole in the Wall

Gaby Derlly

It doesn't get better than homemade pesto. At Whole in the Wall, you can order bowtie pasta smothered in a variety of pesto sauces, as well as other organic and healthy options

Location: 43 South Washington Street, Binghamton, NY 13903

University Plaza

7. Insomnia Cookies

peanut, peanut butter, butter, chocolate, cookie
Jessica Kelly

What's college without Insomnia Cookies delivery? Lucky for Binghamton students, there's an Insomnia right off campus. Take a trip to the store to indulge in Chocolate Chunks—the best cookie, in my opinion—or order some to your dorm for a treat while you're up late studying. Late-night delivery FTW. 

Location: 4710 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY 13850

8. CoreLife Eatery

Sometimes you just want to be healthy, am I right? CoreLife offers both healthiness and deliciousness. It's the perfect match. Core life serves an endless array of green bowls, broth bowls, and rice bowls. Plus, its signature teas and lemonades are the perfect pairing for any of these entrées, aka a must. 

Location: 4700 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY 13850


9. Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza has certainly brought the heat to Binghamton since opening in the spring. This pizza chain makes personal pies any way you want it, à la Chipotle, and even caters its menu for all kinds of pizza fiends. (Hint: There's vegan-friendly cheese!)

Location: 3714 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY 13850

10. Denny's

Darya Mack

Truly, you can't go your first semester at Binghamton without a late-night trip to Denny's with friends. While the food is good for the prices, like those all-you-can-eat pancakes for $4, it's really the memories you make on these Denny's trips that are worthwhile. Trust me on this one.

Location: 4024 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal, NY 13850

There are so many reasons to venture off-campus and food is totally on the top of that list. Grab a friend with a car, or grab a bus, and take a trip to one of these restaurants. Use these next four years to have fun, study hard, and try ALL the food.