Eateries on George Street-ery: From Indochine to Smashville, these establishments do it best
Easton Avenue and other streets near the College Avenue campus offer a wide variety of delicious food. From Daniel's Pizzeria to Stuff Yer Face, several dining establishments near the campus are beloved by Rutgers students.
But just beyond Kirkpatrick Chapel on the College Avenue campus lies George Street, part of the more towny area of New Brunswick. In my experience, it's often less explored by students despite hosting some absolutely amazing restaurants. Use this as a guide to explore some of the best eateries on and around George Street!
Utepia Bubble Tea
This isn't technically a food place, but it's by far my most frequent reason to go to George Street. Utepia offers up classic and new takes on bubble tea, with a variety of flavors and toppings.
It's a small shop right across from Ramen Nagomi with a cozy atmosphere and the best bubble tea New Brunswick has to offer. While Utepia is most famous for its brown sugar milk tea, I personally enjoy its customizable fruit teas and smoothie drinks, which are all made with fresh fruit.
The shop also has a small selection of baked goods — the tropezienne is absolutely incredible. If you don't know where Utepia is, it's approximately a 3-minute walk away from the SoCam 290 Apartments.
If you are struggling to find places that offer halal food, look no further than Smashville. Smashville's meat is Zabhia Halal certified, and if you want to double-check, employees can provide you with the certificate upon request.
The menu may be simple, but the items are packed with flavor. The restaurant offers two main types of meat, hot chicken and beef, and an Impossible Burger if you're vegetarian. Everyone I've met absolutely loves the chicken, and the menu gives you a sliding index of spice to choose from, going from plain to extra hot.
The Smashfries are amazing, resembling the famous Animal Style fries from In-N-Out Burger. I've personally had Smashville's Impossible Burger before, and while it was a tad pricey, I can say it was 100 percent worth the money.
Poke Nagomi and Cambo Box
These are some other favorite spots of mine. Located right next to Sakana Sushi & Japanese Cuisine, Poke Nagomi and Cambo Box are two restaurants under one roof. Poke Nagomi serves poke bowls as well as a few desserts and appetizers.
Cambo Box offers a modern take on Cambodian food with two main food items: a rice box and a sandwich. The restaurant also serves housemade Thai iced tea and excellent fries (the Cambo Fries are a personal favorite).
While the food is a bit pricey, at least for me, it comes out to two meals for one. Poke Nagomi and Cambo Box absolutely do not skimp on the portions and will keep you coming back more!
Chai Chenak serves authentic Pakistani food inside a colorful and charming interior. This place is always packed in the evenings and on weekends, and after trying the food, it's not hard to see why. The restaurant is committed to bringing the often underappreciated flavors of Pakistan to New Jersey.
This restaurant was a product of Khizer Syed's entrepreneurial spirit, and if you've noticed, the inside of the restaurant is decorated like a Pakistani truck. The meat served is certified Halal, and while I haven't tried the meat offered, the paneer entrees and desserts are fantastic.
This is a beloved restaurant by almost every Rutgers student I've encountered. Ramen Nagomi is a small ramen shop right across from Utepia Bubble Tea, serving up authentic ramen dishes, tasty appetizers and incredible housemade ice cream and desserts.
The atmosphere is cozy, and the place is almost always packed, especially on Friday nights and over the weekend (if you have Yelp, you can make reservations in advance so you don't have to wait outside). Almost any of the ramen dishes offered are guaranteed to be incredible. The most popular among the people I've talked to are the tonkotsu ramen, the Nagomi shoyu ramen and the miso crab ramen.
My personal favorite is the vegetarian curry and king trumpet mushroom ramen, as it reminds me of my favorite childhood instant noodle, Maggi, only elevated. If you have a bit of spare cash, the black sesame crème brûlée is also excellent. Ramen Nagomi is an absolute must whether you want a fancy celebratory dinner or are just craving a warm bowl of noodles.
Indochine is a small restaurant that offers a selection of authentic and modern takes on Vietnamese cuisine. It has a variety of dishes, from the signature noodle dish pho to banh mi to rice bowls. They also have an ample selection of vegetarian items.
I thoroughly enjoy the banh mi sandwiches and vegetarian Pho, and the Vietnamese iced coffee and Thai iced tea are out of this world. I don't typically drink coffee, but Indochine's is absolutely worth trying. If you've got salty, spicy or sweet cravings, anything at Indochine is sure to satisfy those.
Don't get me wrong — I love a lot of the restaurants that are right on or near the College Avenue campus. But Rutgers students do themselves a disservice if they don't venture outside the campus bubble and try some of these restaurants in downtown New Brunswick. I've had some of my favorite meals here, so next time you want to get some takeout, try something off the menu of one of these great George Street restaurants.