As graduation approaches, you’re left reminiscing about the past four years. The good times, the bad times, the drunk times, the cold times, and most definitely the late-night snack times. I think we can all agree that eating is life’s greatest pleasure and one of the best ways to experience a city is through its food. From boozy fishbowls to greasy hotdogs, our food lover’s bucket list has everything you must eat and drink before graduation rolls in.
11. Ruston’s Diner
This quaint diner is home to $5 breakfasts and one of the best eggs Benedict you’ll ever eat. But make sure to get there early because this brunch special usually sells out by 10 a.m. everyday.
6293 North Street, Jamesville. 315-469-1200
10. Beer Belly Deli & Pub
You are bound to miss this place if you’re strolling down Westcott Street. Tucked between the theatre and Asahi Japanese Restaurant, Beer Belly Deli & Pub serves upscale pub fare including eggplant wings (coated with rice krispies and tossed in buffalo blue sauce) and BBQ waffle fries (topped with BBQ turkey and smoked gouda).
510 Westcott Street, Syracuse. 315-299-7533
9. Mother’s Cupboard Fish Fry
The cupboard reference is no exaggeration. The tiny joint on the side of James St. only seats about 45 people at once. Treat yourself to pancakes bigger than your face, or a frittata the size of a small child. And if you’re feeling up to it, try The Frittata Challenge which consists of a 6-pound frittata stuffed with pepperoni, sausage, eggs, onions, broccoli, peppers, and home fries (oh my!).
3709 James Street, Syracuse. 315-432-0942
8. Mom’s Diner
Sometimes (most of the time) the line at Stella’s is too long for your hangover. Mom’s Diner, on the corner of Westcott and Harvard Street, is one of the quickest pick-me-up’s serving standard diner signatures like hash browns, omelets, and the perfect amount of grease.
501 Westcott Street, Syracuse. 315-477-0141
7. Street Eats
It may not have hit the mainstream SU foodie scene yet, but this sandwich shop is a game changer. The eatery, which was originally named Steve’s Street Eats, is known for its creativity and flavorful combinations. Street Eats whips up anything from ginger beef tacos to chicken sausage meatballs. However, the menu changes regularly so be sure to check the sandwich shop’s Facebook page before stopping by.
989 James Street, Syracuse. 315-476-3287
6. King David’s
If you can get over the Chipotle fascination, then it’s worth the extra trek upstairs to King David’s for a Mediterranean meal. The small restaurant tends to get overshadowed by the better-known Marshall Street establishments, but if you enjoy Middle Eastern food, then this is the spot for you. They serve an array of gyros, kabobs, and salads, but one of the most popular items on the menu is eggplant fries ($4.50).
129 Marshall Street, Syracuse. 315-471-5000
5. Brooklyn Pickle
Considered a “lunch landmark,” the Brooklyn Pickle is prepared to serve you a sandwich you won’t forget. Whether you go for a standard chicken salad sandwich or a corned beef sub, one thing is guaranteed: it will be packed with meat and overflowing from all ends.
1600 West Genesee Street, Syracuse. 315-487-8000.
4. Heid’s of Liverpool
Known as one of the oldest drive-ins in CNY, Heid’s is a Syracuse student’s must-have and a hotdog lover’s dream. The daily special includes 2 Franks or 2 Coneys or one of each, regular fries, and a medium drink for $7.25.
305 Oswego Street, Liverpool. 315-451-0786.
3. The Mission Restaurant
The Mission, a church-renovated, Pan-American restaurant, is rich in its cuisine and history. The basement was home to a 19th century way station on the Underground Railroad, and went on to be the Syracuse Wesleyan Methodist Church. Guests can come for brunch, lunch, or dinner, and choose from Mexican, Southwestern, and South American meals like mariscos (pan-seared sea scallops) and lobster tamales.
304 E. Onondaga Street, Syracuse. 315-475-7344.
2. Strong Hearts
But not the one in Marshall Square Mall. The OG Strong Hearts on East Genesee Street has even more to offer from an extended menu to a cozy coffee shop setting. Order the Deluxe PB&J French Toast (a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Italian bread with slices of banana dipped in French toast batter) for breakfast, or off the complete pizza menu with signature and custom-made options.
719 East Genesee Street, Syracuse. 315-478-0000.
1. Limp Lizard Bar & Grill
If you’ve been to Dino BBQ time and time again, then you may want to try something new. Limp Lizard BBQ in Syracuse, North Syracuse, and Liverpool serves a full barbeque menu that many consider underrated. Along with the ribs, smoked brisket, and pulled pork, the grill offers fun and flavorful entrees like Jambalaya and the Hog & Heifer (a plain burger topped with BBQ pulled-pork and melted cheese).
4628 Onondaga Blvd., Syracuse. 315-472-7831.