1. Peppino's

Peppino's is a must-try. Located in Armory Square, the pizza at this casual Italian restaurant is to die for. In addition to pizza, they have pasta and salads as well as salad on pizza. I recommend the Caesar salad on artisan pizza dough. The caesar dressing is one of the best I've had. The pasta, pizza, and salad options are endless. Not in the mood to go out? GrubHub delivers Peppino’s in under an hour and never fails to prepare the perfect meal.

2. Original Grain

Chloe Davis

Original Grain, also located in Armory Square, has multiple healthy options to keep you from gaining the freshman 15, such as smoothie bowls, grain bowls, salads, avocado toast, eggs, etc. Not craving one of the basics? Original Grain also has exciting options like the Puff Daddy (peanut butter, banana, Reese’s puffs, honey, cacao nibs, banana bread) or milk & honey toast.

3. Stella's Diner 

Chloe Davis

Stella's Diner is hands down the best diner in Syracuse. Its old fashion layout has a cozy and welcoming feel. The coffee is excellent, the omelets are crisp and catered to your preferences (I am a big fan of their Greek Omelet), and the chocolate chip pancakes melt in your mouth. When you can't fathom eating another dining hall meal, Stella's is perfect for breakfast or weekend brunch. Get ready to wait on weekends, but it’s worth it. 

4. XO Taco 

XO Taco is the perfect restaurant for a large group of friends, whether for birthdays or a fun girls’ night out. Dress cute for a photo shoot in front of the aesthetically pleasing wall you've probably seen all over Instagram. The margaritas and Frosé are tasty and, for all us broke college students, low priced. In a rush to get ready for DJs? The service is super fast and you're never left waiting. I highly recommend ending your meal with the churros and the hot chocolate dip is to die for. 

5. Pastabilities

Looking for the best pasta in Syracuse? There is no better place to gorge yourself in Italian food than Pastabilities. The restaurant is famous for its Spicy Tomato Oil. It’s highly probable you'll be full after stuffing yourself with bread and sauce starter. Trust me, the long wait is worth the grumbling stomach. You'll never be dissatisfied after a dish of your favorite pasta with vodka sauce, basil pesto sauce, or 50/50 sauce. The iconic sauce can be purchased on-site or on Amazon for a delicious homemade meal. If this isn't checked off your bucket list by the end of the first semester, you've missed out. 

6. Water Street Bagel Co.

bagel, sandwich, cheese, cream cheese
Julia Wigdor

For all the New Yorkers craving a fresh bagel, Water Street Bagel Co. is the place to go. These bagels are the closest you're going to get to a NY toasted bagel with cream cheese. Don't fret New Yorkers, there are a variety of wood-fired bagel options, ranging from pumpernickel to french toast. The Nova - smoked salmon, tomato, onion, and cream cheese on a bagel is the perfect alternative to your hometown bagel and lox. Enjoy some delicious Hot Chocolate on the freezing winter mornings. 

7. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which originated in Syracuse, is the optimal location to pig out. For all you meat lovers, Dinosaur is famous for its Bar-B-Que Pork Ribs, glazed with their homemade BBQ sauce. If you're a vegetarian, like me, racks of ribs, brisket, and pork aren't in the picture, but the cornbread and mac and cheese will leave you stuffed and satisfied. As they say, "Keep Up. Meat Up. Pig Out."