Four New Independent Restaurants Open at Columbia

A selection of tapas plates, including peppers, cheese, deviled eggs, and meats.

Four independent restaurants within Columbia University's retail portfolio opened in Fiscal Year 2022, bringing a variety of cuisines to the Columbia and local communities. The year began with the opening of Oliva, a Spanish tapas restaurant by Chef Franklin Becker; followed by the openings of Ramen Kuraku, a restaurant serving Japanese cuisine; Trudy's Ice Cream; and Loco Coco, a local vegan superfood café.

Oliva, a new tapas restaurant developed by celebrity Chef Franklin Becker, opened its doors in September 2021 at Columbia's Manhattanville campus. Located inside Manhattanville Market at the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, Oliva serves a mix of traditional Spanish dishes, including cured meats, queso, paella, croquettes, and more.  A drink menu is available with a selection of beer from local breweries, cider, wine, seasonal sangrias, and cocktails. Oliva is available to hold events, and hosts live music performances weekly.

The exterior of Oliva's, which is the corner of the Jerome L. Greene Science building.

Ramen Kuraku, a new Japanese restaurant, opened at 3952 Broadway near Columbia's Irving Medical Center in Washington Heights in December 2021.  Inspired by samurai and Japanese culture, the menu features ramen entrees made with chicken, pork, salmon, and tofu, as well as rice bowls, hand rolls, gyozas, and more.  Ramen Kuraku also offers lunch specials that pair chicken or fish with rice and soup.

The interior of Ramen Kuraku, which has wooden panels on the walls, with wooden tables situated against the wall.

Trudy's Ice Cream opened their new Morningside Heights location on 975 Columbus Ave. (at 108th Street) just in time for summer in June 2022. Trudy's makes their ice cream in-house and offers a unique selection including Peanut Butter, Bacon Maple Walnut, Pumpkin Pecan, German Chocolate, and Coffee Toffee Crunch, which can be paired with cinnamon crisp waffle cones. In addition to ice cream cones, Trudy's also serves milkshakes, ice cream sundaes, banana splits, and more. Trudy's is a family-owned business that has been selling ice cream since 1949.

The storefront of Trudy's, which has a cone pattern on the sign and reads, "Trudy's" in bright pink letters.

Loco Coco also opened in June 2022 with a new location at 2905 Broadway in Morningside Heights. The vegan smoothie bar offers a wide selection of acai and pitaya smoothie bowls, smoothies, and juices, made with organic fresh and exotic fruits and superfoods.  In addition to smoothies, their menu includes health shots, matcha, coffee, kombucha, snacks, and more. Loco Coco’s new Morningside Heights location joins their two New York City locations on the Upper East Side and Williamsburg.

The storefront of Loco Coco, which has a party of three sitting at a table outside.

The four new establishments are consistent with Columbia University’s long-standing approach to its retail tenants, which favors businesses that bring a variety of amenities and experiences to the diverse Columbia community, the wider local community and visitors.