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Syracuse’s Top Restaurants for University Students

Syracuse’s Top Restaurants for University Students

Picking out a great restaurant for students isn’t easy. The student budget is always a concern, but there are other important factors too. For example, the restaurant should be able to accomodate groups with multiple cars, and the wait staff should be understanding about the need for separate checks.

With that in mind, we chose five Syracuse restaurants that are off the beaten path (seriously, has anyone within 500 miles NOT heard of the Dinosaur Barbeque?) and which will let you explore the culinary diversity this city has to offer without busting your budget. These aren’t quick lunch recommendations, these are sit down and enjoy your friends recommendations.

Laci’s Tapas Bar in Hawley Green. Tapas is the perfect meal for a group of new friends. Everyone gets to order something they like and sample new things when you order small plates. In Spain, tapas are what you use to fill in the spaces between conversation and sips of wine or beer, and you should use this busy restaurant to get to know your friends and their tastes. Make a reservation.

Photo courtesy of Laci's Tapas bar, by Josh Gutmaker

Photo courtesy of Laci’s Tapas bar, by Josh Gutmaker

Tang Flavor, Downtown Syracuse. Universities collect people from around the world, and if you get a chance you should go to a Chinese restaurant with classmates from China. The first thing they’ll teach you is that you should order authentic Chinese food, and some of the most authentic in Syracuse is found at this restaurant. Let your Chinese classmates order for you, you’ll quickly understand why this cuisine is considered one of the greatest on earth. The Chinese eat family style, so be prepared with cash, or to split the check on multiple credit cards. Downtown parking is never easy; walk or take the bus.

Alto Cinco, Westcott Nation. This restaurant began as a hole in the wall offering take-out burritos and tacos. It’s evolved into the place for Mexican-style eating. The atmosphere is casual, and the food is carefully prepared. If you like a crowded bustling atmosphere, and intense flavors, this is a must-try. Parking on Westcott street is iffy, but most SU students are within walking distance of the restaurant.

New Century Vietnamese on the North Side. You might have heard that Syracuse gets a little snow, and in the dead of winter there’s no better meal than a huge steaming bowl of Vietnamese pho soup. This northside restaurant has steadily grown its clientele over the years and is now a regular stop for students and locals. In the summer we strongly recommend the ginger chicken wings and Vietnamese lemonade. In the winter, the pho soup will melt the heaviest snow. Parking on the street or around the restaurant is easily available.

Delmonico’s, Erie Boulevard. Syracuse is named for a Sicilian city, so any list of must-try restaurants has to include an Italian joint. No restaurant celebrates italian heritage like this Erie Boulevard institution. In addition to a decent Marsala sauce, this restaurant has one of the best deals on its namesake steak. Parking and access are never an issue. There’s often a wait but be cool and enjoy the atmosphere. No one leaves this place hungry.

If we missed your favorite, let us know at or post on our facebook page.

About The Author

Shuai Wang

Master of Science in New Media Management


This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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