New eats in old spaces: A pre-Reunions look at Nassau Street eateries

Princeton’s culinary scene has changed quite a bit over the past few years, and alumni returning for Reunions may find that some of their old favorites have closed their doors. But with the current crop of dining options, visitors are sure to start new traditions at restaurants on Nassau Street and beyond. 

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The days of the Balt, which closed in 1963, are long gone. Click here to read more about famous former restaurants in the PAW archives. (Photo: Historical Society of Princeton)

The town’s newest fine-dining establishment is Agricola, which took over the venerable Lahiere’s space on Witherspoon Street. Agricola is a farm-to-table restaurant showcasing local and seasonal ingredients. The “community eatery” has a cozy, rustic interior with communal tables and a kitchen visible to the street.

Efes Mediterranean Grill, at the corner of Nassau and Olden, serves the only Turkish cuisine for miles. The menu includes cold appetizers like hummus and baba ganush as well as charcoal-grilled kebab, lamb chops, and dorado. Across the street from Efes, the owners of Hoagie Haven have opened a new brick oven pizzeria, Slice Between, in the former location of Old World Pizza. One of Slice Between’s most popular menu items is the Sanchez Pizza, a crossover concoction topped with chicken, mozzarella, and Sanchez sauce, just like the gut-busting hoagie next door.

Nassau Street has also added a few chain restaurants. Qdoba Mexican Grill, located in the old Ricky’s candy store space, offers fast-casual tacos and burritos. East of Washington Road, Naked Pizza serves health-conscious pizza made with all-natural, whole food ingredients, and Cheeburger Cheeburger serves burgers, fries, and milkshakes in a classic diner setting. Finish Cheeburger’s famous “Pounder” burger, and you’ll earn a spot on the restaurant’s Wall of Fame.

In the heart of downtown Princeton, two new casual eateries have fast become student favorites. D’Angelo Italian Market on Spring Street is part gourmet grocery, part homestyle Italian kitchen, featuring a rotating menu of entrees, pizza, pasta, and panini, and an array of authentic Italian pastries to satisfy your sweet tooth. Just down the street, Infini-T Café and Spice Souk offers an eclectic, vegetarian-friendly menu of fair trade and organic teas and Eastern-inspired dishes like masala scrambled eggs and panipuri.

The latest addition to the Terra Momo Restaurant Group empire is Terra Libri, a new café inside the Princeton Public Library. Perfect for a light breakfast or lunch, the cafe carries pastries baked by Terra Momo Bread Company and locally-sourced salads and sandwiches. And one new challenger has entered the town’s crowded field of frozen desserts: Fruity Yogurt. This shop, next to the CVS on Nassau, sells bubble tea in addition to self-serve frozen yogurt.

 

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Vicky Gan ’13 is a history major from Baltimore, Md.

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