8 Foodie Cities with MSIs

by Larry McDaniel Jr.

When it comes to daily meals, college students might rely on the quintessential college delicacies: top ramen, spam, peanut and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, and pizza. While these might be mainstays for some college diets, undergraduates can also explore what noms their college campus and surrounding city have to offer (especially, for some of us, to celebrate financial aid disbursement time). Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up takes a look at 8 lucky Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) that have prime access to delicious foodie options close to campus.

For your convenience, we’ve also included door-to-door distance and directions between these MSIs and the restaurants we’ve recommended.

1) City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA (AANAPISI)

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Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution | Distance: 6.1 miles | Directions

The demographics of San Francisco allow it to lead diverse and forward thinking cuisine among many cities in the U.S. As the fourth largest city in California, San Fran houses many creative people with a passion for food. Chef Brenda, from Brenda’s French Soul Food, explains how the opening of her restaurant has allowed her to express herself through food.

2) Bellevue College, Seattle, WA (AANAPISI)

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Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution | Distance: 11.2 miles | Directions

Chowders, bisques and shellfish are usually what comes to mind when thinking of the Pacific Northwest cuisine; however, the Seattle area has fully embraced the art of food fusion. For example, Japonessa integrates Mexican flavors, such as the jalapeno spice, into the traditional sushi dishes.

3) North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC (HBCU)

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Historically Black College or University | Distance: 2.2 miles | Directions

The South is known for its comfort food and North Carolina is no different. You can find exquisite mom-and-pop eateries throughout the city that will delight your taste buds and comfort your soul. For a breakfast treat, visit Dame’s Chicken & Waffles.

4) Community College of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA (PBI)

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Predominantly Black Institution | Distance: 2.1 miles | Directions

Philadelphia has a vast array of food trucks ranging from bagel trucks to the traditional Halal trucks. However, let’s not forget about the brick and mortar dining locations. Throughout the Center City and Rittenhouse neighborhoods, there are Zagat-worthy restaurants lined up, block after block. A Philly favorite is Cuba Libre for its beautifully crafted Cuban food and exceptional night life.

5) California State University, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (AANAPISI, HSI)

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Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution, Hispanic Serving Institution | Distance: 3.4 miles | Directions

Los Angeles is notorious for birthing many leafy green dishes and smoothies. However, LA definitely knows how to create a mouthwatering meal. Because it is so close to the U.S.-Mexico border, LA has mastered the art of duplicating cultural foods from Sinaloa and Michoacan, MX. One of the greatest restaurants that exemplifies this is Guisados, a fantastic place to enjoy home-style braises on handmade corn tortillas.

6) Howard University, Washington, D.C. (HBCU)

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Historically Black College or University | Distance: 0.2 miles | Directions

Washington D.C. is a hotbed for hip and thriving restaurants. With a mashup of different cultures residing in the city, you will be hard pressed to not find something that tickles your taste buds. A city favorite is the all-natural eatery, NuVegan Cafe. It offers vegan alternatives to burgers, lasagnas, and sandwiches, all at a reasonable price for college students.

7) CUNY Brooklyn College, New York City, NY  (AANAPISI)

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Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution | Distance: 7.8 miles | Directions

This wouldn’t be a complete foodie list without featuring New York City. The NY food scene is enormous, and like San Francisco, the level of innovation occurring throughout the city is astronomical. Bee Hive Oven Biscuit Cafe is one of the many restaurants in NY that strives to offer an original experience through food.

8) Dillard University, New Orleans, LA (HBCU)

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Historically Black College or University | Distance: 3.6 miles | Directions

New Orleans might very well be the Mecca of cuisine. From the gumbo to the po’boys, New Orleans’s flavor, style, and presentation are all unique to the city. Notorious for the Hurricane and the Frozen Daiquiri, New Orleans also prospers in caffeinated beverages. Although Cafe du Monde will always be a classic, many NOLA residents also rave about cafe au laits from Cafe Amelie in the French Quarter.

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