Rylee Meelan, Staff Writer
Utica is known for its variety of food that can fulfill anyone’s hunger. There may be a lot of chain restaurants around the area but there are even better local, family owned restaurants that are worth the trip to go try out.
Varick Street may be known for its nightlife however there are several restaurants that everyone should check out when they get the chance. Zeina’s Cafe is an old school, family owned restaurant with great Lebanese food. Their menu has traditional Lebanese food along with some items for people who may not typically like that kind of food.
Nail Creek also on Varick Street is a hidden gem. They offer simple British-American grub at an affordable price.
Another great place to stop on Varick Street is Lukins Brick Oven Pizza. You can often find some sort of live entertainment and enjoy a nice beer or cocktail (if you are over the age of 21) along with tasty pizza and fried foods.
Away from the bar scene, in Whitesboro you can find one of the best sandwich shops in the area, Bennu. The wide variety in their menu will leave anyone full but still wanting more. “Bennu is very unique to the area,” junior Madison Williams said.
“It’s my favorite place to eat” Williams said. Bennu is also vegetarian friendly making it a great place for everyone to enjoy. “Bennu has great food,” graduate student Tori Couture said.
“They also have a happy hour and a chill vibe.”
Bennu is a great place to enjoy lunch or dinner and will always leave you overly satisfied with whatever you ordered.
In New Hartford there are many good chain restaurants, but even better local, family owned and operated food joints. If you’re in the mood for dessert, Cafe Cannoli or Cafe Florentine are the best places to grab homemade pastries such as a cannoli, lobster tail, éclair and cheesecake. They are amongst the best two places to grab a pastry in the area.
Another must stop in New Hartford is Peter’s Cornucopia isn’t just a natural health food store, but it is a great place to stop for lunch. Their healthy options are not just good for you but taste excellent as well. They have great homemade soups, salads and sandwiches. They also offer fresh organic juicing, fresh smoothies and a gluten free menu.
“Peter’s Cornucopia is one of my favorite places to go to off campus,” freshman Ricki Haab said. “It’s delicious, all-natural healthy food. It’s one of a kind and I’m so glad it’s close to campus because I can go there all the time.”
Another great restaurant in New Hartford is Carmella’s. This restaurant is perfect for college students with the great deals they offer. After 8 p.m., they offer buy one get one appetizer, perfect to split with a bunch of friends or family. They also offer a great happy hour also with buy one get one on drinks.
Babes Macaroni Grill and Bar is another great place for homemade meals. Especially to try out Utica’s famous Chicken Riggies. Their menu has a wide variety of options and offers another great weekday happy hour special.
“I like going to Babes because it’s a classic restaurant that my family has always gone to,” freshman Fiona Shea said. “It’s so close to school and that is such a blessing and it reminds me of my family when I am at school.”
The food in and around Utica is very unique. No matter what kind of food you may be in the mood for, you can find a restaurant that offers great food.