University Hill is the collegiate epicenter of Syracuse, NY. Home to Syracuse University, SUNY ESF, and SUNY Upstate Medical University, this major educational and medical district of the city is also full of small businesses, fun bars and delicious restaurants, luxury hotels, cozy cafes and historic 19th century architecture.
Whether you're in town for Family Weekend, an SU game, or to explore the multiple campuses and surrounding areas, The Hill is where you’ll discover the lively university culture and neighboring Downtown area.
Best breakfasts + brunch spots
- Restaurants and eateries galore on The Hill — go vegan and munch on a tasty tofu scramble or French toast, and save room for some of the most delicious "milk" shakes you've ever had at Strong Hearts on The Hill.
- Visit the ultimate coffee house that is Peaks Coffee Co. on East Genesee Street. Open Tuesday through Sunday, this gorgeous and cozy new café pours their own fresh roasted coffee and serves up delicious breakfast bites like avocado toasts and sweet morning starters from Mylk & Hunny and Le Petit Matin.
- Get your day going with a coffee from favorite Café Kubal at their Marshall Square Mall location. Pick up some fresh pastries or breakfast while you're there.
Best afternoon eats
- Craving a sandwich? Stop by Jimmy John's on The Hill to grab a quick bite to go.
- Try the Bleu Monkey Café for fresh sushi, noodle bowls and bento boxes. This cozy Japanese restaurant is a great place to grab some specialty rolls with a side of sake.
- Check out Panda West for some delicious Chinese food options.
- Build your own lunch at the Pita Pit, where healthy sandwich options can be personally customized and ordered from lunchtime through the very early morning hours.
Best place for pizza + pints
- Everyone knows you go to Varsity for some of the best slices on the SU Hill. Check out their full menu for all your pizza shop cravings such as wings, wraps, hot sandwiches and sides.
- Franco's Pizzeria & Deli is open late and offers pizzas by the pie or by the slice, as well as calzones, salads and more.
- Open late, Acropolis Pizza House & Restaurant serves up Greek and specialty pizzas, subs, American and Greek sides, sandwiches, calzones, chicken wings and more.
Best supper spots
- Phoebe's Restaurant & Coffee Lounge is a classic American bistro serving up a seasonal menu below its skylight-topped bar and dining rooms. Right across from Syracuse Stage, it's a great place to kick off your evening out while in the Syracuse area.
- Scope out Taste of Asia for Thai and Vietnamese dishes. This casual restaurant also offers bubble tea and highly recommended curry dishes.
- Taste the finest American dishes at Redfield's Restaurant & Library Lounge at the Crown Plaza Syracuse. A casual yet refined atmosphere, this restaurant satisfies the palate with burgers, sophisticated sandwiches and entrées and classic and craft cocktails.
Best late night lounges
- Part sports bar and part cocktail lounge, Sitrus on the Hill in the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel is a great place to grab a cocktail and share a grilled pizza with friends and family. Enjoy light bites and delicious drinks while checking out their live music schedule.
- Open until 3 a.m. and also offering delivery, Insomnia Cookies isn't your typical late night lounge, unless you have a serious sweet tooth craving that is. Order up a box of warm, fresh cookies to go or hang out to enjoy an ice cream cookie sandwich any time of day.
- Marshall Street on University Hill is loaded with shops and storefronts. Grab all of your Syracuse University gear at Manny's, your one stop shop for apparel, t-shirts, jerseys, baby outfits, umbrellas, hats, and all kinds of SU swag.
- Dr. Martens, Birkenstock, Vineyard Vines, Patagonia, Ugg, Toms, Steve Madden, The North Face, Ray Bans — J. Michael Shoes on Marshall Street carries all the brands you love and the hottest shoes, apparel and accessories.
- Dead Heads will love Down Under Leather for their super stock of tie dye tees and leather goods. Located on South Crouse Ave., this smoke shop meets Birkenstock shop sells unique and well-made clothing, jewelry, tapestries and much more.
Explore a variety of vintage merchandise at the 3fifteen thrift shop in Marshall Square Mall on University Ave. Scope out stylish apparel and one-of-a-kind items to set you apart from the crowd.
Best way to get outdoors
Split between both the University Hill and Westcott neighborhoods, Thornden Park is a 76-acre community green space complete with tennis courts, an amphitheater, football fields and even a charming rose garden. The second largest park in the city of Syracuse, Thornden is a great place to spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful outdoors in Syracuse.
Best places for family fun
- If you're in town while a Syracuse University Athletics game is going on, you won't want to miss your front-row seat to the action at the Carrier Dome. Check out game schedules, Dome information, and get your tickets here.
- The Syracuse University Community Folk Art Center is a great place to celebrate the arts by attending exhibitions, film screenings, gallery talks and workshops. Check out their calendar of upcoming events here.
- Children of all ages and families from all over will enjoy a day exploring the Syracuse University campus. Gorgeous architecture and a fascinating history, SU is the quintessential Northeast college campus with plenty of unique and diverse characteristics to discover.
Best places for a pint
- Check out Orange Crate Brewing Company on South Crouse Ave., the ideal game-day hangout with plenty of food and craft beer on tap.
- Just south of University Hill in the bordering Outer Comstock neighborhood, Willow Rock Brewing Company offers and awesome craft beer experience for locals and visitors alike. Sample some hoppy flights or grab a pint of their fantastic lagers while scooping up some bites at their food truck round-ups or testing your knowledge at one of their trivia nights.
Best evening entertainment
Enjoy a night out with the family at Syracuse Stage, a professional theater staging classic plays, musicals and original productions since 1974.