Because you were busy summoning the garçon during Restaurant Week, you may have missed the OTHER important culinary news: Taco Bell, our favorite local artisanal Mexican restaurant, is partnering with America’s favorite chip maker (again), to give us the Cool Ranch Doritos Taco.
The Cool Ranch Doritos Taco—or, as some are calling it, the beginning of the end for America—won’t hit your fancy Taco Bell trays ’til March. But in anticipation of late-night Cool Ranch Doritos Taco runs and the stomach aches certain to ensue, we’ve put together a guide to fast food around NYU.
Right On Campus
Fast food is perhaps the ultimate food for college students—quick, cheap, and great after a few post-finals (or hell, pre-final!) beers—so it’s no surprise we’ve got our fair share surrounding NYU. Chik-fil-A is delicious, but if you’d rather not eat “homophobic” fast food, head over to Broadway, where you’ll find a McDonald’s next to the bookstore and a Wendy’s between Bleecker and Bond. The McDonald’s even offers a “College Night” on Thursdays, when Big Macs and McChickens are only $1.59 after 8PM.
Eighth Street hosts a number of fast food joints somewhat nicer than McDonald’s, such as Chipotle, Cosi and ‘Wichcraft. There you can feel slightly nutritious when still in a hurry. And if big chains aren’t your thing but you still want greasy, delicious munchies then we recommend Papaya Dog on Sixth Avenue and Fourth Street, where you can grab hot dogs, french fries, and a nice big papaya juice.
Union Square Mecca
Das Racist might as well have called their hit “Combination Pizza Hut Taco Bell,” “An Ode To Union Square.” A mecca of fast foods, Union Square has served up many a late-night treat for residents of the many NYU dorms nearby. The holy grail of fast food is on 14th Street between Union Square West and Fifth Avenue, where you’ll find a combination Taco Bell Wendy’s across the street from a Subway (Which we all know is fast food, healty-Jared commercials be damned).
The Square is also host to not one but two Starbucks, a Maoz vegetarian if you need your fast food without the associated guilt and, of course, a McDonald’s. Fast food enthusiasts will know that this McDonald’s is special, in that it is surcharge-free for many out-of-state banks (Including PNC, who this blogger still doesn’t forgive for forcing him to go to a McDonald’s anytime he needs cash). And God forbid we forget Panera.
Whether you want Doritos Tacos, a Wendy’s Frosty shake or a Big Mac, Union Square truly has it all! Viva NYC culture!
Worth Travelling For
While we may be taking a cynical—daresay snarky—take on fast food, certain burger joints are worth making a trek for, whether because of quality or lore or plain difference.
White Castle, the hamburger chain made famous by that stoner movie and known for its miniature burgers, has several outposts in NYC. The closest to NYU is on Eighth Avenue and 36th Street. One reviewer called the location “pretty great, in its own semi-slimey way,” adding “Party time! Excellent!”
Another fast food favorite you’ll have to hunt to find is Burger King. The home of the Whopper doesn’t currently have any locations near NYU. If you do find yourself craving the King, your best bet is to hop on an N/R train at Eighth Street and get off at Herald Square. There you won’t even have to go above ground on to get your Whopper, as there’s an entrance to an underground BK in the station.
Hopefully this guide to our fast food ecosystem will help sate your cravings until the Cool Ranch Doritos Taco is upon us. If you have any other fast food tips, let us know in the comments.