International Cuisine in Lower Manhattan Sparks Connection with Culture

In a place as diverse as New York City, finding the best authentic food can be a difficult task when there are over 24,000 dining establishments to choose from. Four students of The King’s College chose their favorite place to eat among the thousands of restaurants and claimed that these locations reminded them of the food they ate back home.

Tasty Noodles and Tasty Memories

Graceann Beverly lived in southwest China for ten years. She was born in Orlando, Florida and moved with her family to Chengdu at the age of nine.

Menu Suggestions:

Roast Duck Noodle Soup: $8.50

10-Piece Steam Pork Vegetable Dumplings: $6.00

Beef Noodle Soup: $8.00

Price Range:

$3.75 - $15.00

College Student Value Meter:


Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles is the closest thing Beverly found that reminded her of her time living in China.

“I used to go with my friends to get lo mein,” Beverly said.

This hole in the wall noodle shop specializes in authentic Chinese hand-pulled noodles similar to the lo mein Beverly would eat with her friends.

“I love coming here,” Beverly added. “I take everybody here.”

Tasty Noodles is a place where she remembers her time with old friends in China and brings the friends she made in the city to create new memories.  

Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles is located on 1 Doyers Street in Chinatown. It is open from 10:30 am to 10:30 pm.

Napoli’s Napoleons


Mini Strawberry Tart

Baba Ricotta



Price Range:

Mini Pastries: $1.75 - $4.00

Pastries: $4.00 - $6.00

Gelato: $5.00 - $7.00

College Student Value Meter:


In the heart of Little Italy lies Ferrara Bakery and Cafe. Michael Napoli, an Italian-American student born in the Bronx, loves to pick up the pastry that originated from the same place his family came from generations ago: Naples, Italy.

Napoleons are a dessert layered with flaky pastry dough and custard cream.

“Dessert is usually the most exciting part of Italian meals,” Napoli stated.

He remembers the holidays and opening up an assortment of pastries filled with napoleons, eclairs, and tarts after Christmas dinner.

Ferrara’s is near his apartment and he claims it’s like Christmas all over again every time he picks up a quick sugary sweet on the way from the school.

Ferrara Bakery and Cafe is located on 195 Grand Street in Little Italy. It is open from 8:00 am till 11:00 pm.

Empanadas: Dough Wrapped Around Home

Born in the most dangerous city in the world, Mariana Pimiento left Medellin, Colombia for Birmingham, Alabama as a political refugee when she was seven years old. Her family received death threats from a drug cartel and couldn’t return home for another ten years.

Food was one of the few things Pimiento had that could take her back to the place she could no longer go back to.

“Being able to taste it, smell it reminds me of my family,” Pimiento reminisced.

Menu Suggestions:

Chicken Empanada: $2.69

Guava and Cheese Empanada: $2.69

Fried Plantains: $3.99

Cuban Sandwich: $9.49

Price Range:

$2.96 - $14.00

College Student Value Meter:


Pimiento loves to pick up an empanada at Sophie’s Cuban during lunch or after school as a quick snack. “It’s right by the school,” she added. “It’s probably the closest to Colombian food. Being able to have this, even though I’m not home, not with my parents makes it feel a little bit close to home.”

Empanadas are little pastries that can be filled with chicken, beef, spinach, or guava and cheese. “You can always get it on the go,” Pimiento claimed.

Sophie’s Cuban is located on 73 New Street, a few steps away from The King’s College Student Union, and 76 Fulton Street with more locations spread throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. The New Street location is open from 9:00 am till 4:00 pm. The Fulton Street location is open from 10:30 am until 9:00 pm.

Where the Heart Beets

Patricia Patlewicz is a first generation Polish-American. “In Manhattan, the closest restaurant that gets you Polish food would be Veselka,” Patlewicz stated.

Veselka is a popular Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village. Ukrainian and Polish are slavic nations and share very similar cuisines.

“I would suggest pierogies or borscht,” Patlewicz said.

Menu Suggestions:

4 Ct. Pierogies: $7

7 Ct. Pierogies: $11

Red Borscht: $4.95

Price Range:

$4.95 - $18.50

College Student Value Meter


Pierogies are the Polish version of a dumpling or empanada. They can be filled with meat, potatoes, cheese, sauerkraut or mushrooms. Borscht is a soup made out of beets and can include meat or mushroom dumplings.

“I remember making both of those dishes from scratch with my mom and as well with my grandmother,” Patlewicz stated.

Making pierogies is a long and cumbersome task and Patlewicz states that the process of rolling out the dough and stuffing each dumpling brought her and her family closer together.

Patlewicz used to hate eating borscht as a child but when she went to college, she remembers once eating the dish everyday for a week.

Veselka is open 24 hours everyday on 144 Second Avenue in the East Village.

Food connects these students with their past. They look at food as a bridge to new memories in the future as well. They bring their friends and dates to these places because it’s a door to their soul.

Part of living in New York City involves being surrounded by a variety of cultures. The endless urban jungle of culinary opportunities can connect you with your past and create new memorable futures.

“It’s a fusion of cultures,” Napoli said.

Having the opportunity to explore one's culture and other's as well is what earns America its reputation as a melting pot, and New York City the perfect place to stir it up.