The Grey Dog

Craving good food and coffee that won’t cost you a bomb? The Grey Dog is just the place you’re looking for. Located on 90 University Place, this is your friendly neighborhood coffee shop — the wooden sign greets you in swirly black font and paw prints, and the interior is a rustic barn-like setting, complete with wooden furniture and pretty golden light bulbs strung across the ceiling.

The Grey Dog was the brainchild of brothers David Ethan and Peter Adrian, who created the space in 1996. Interesting fact: the name was inspired by the owners’ two Labrador retrievers that were white and black (Moose and Goose). It offers a slice of small-town comfort in the big city, bringing back memories of childhood and college days. It’s a haven for comfort and coziness — and if those dreamy light bulbs don’t make you feel at home, the fireplace will.

Ramen Takumi

Ramen Takumi’s new location on 1 University Place boasts a loftier expanse, but its food still retains its original quality. Japanese chefs wearing printed round hats bustle around behind the counter while the young waiters and waitresses work the floor.

The menu offers a selection of Asian appetizers such as oshinko (Japanese pickled vegetables), edamame and shumai (dumplings with the option of pork or shrimp), and entrees consisting noodles and rice. This is also a vegetarian-friendly restaurant, with specially-catered ramen to suit the customers’ preferences.

You know a good dumpling on the first bite. The pork shumai encompasses the quintessential shumai at most Asian restaurants. The thin layer of unleavened dough shells tender, scrumptious pork that splits at the pressure of your chopsticks. The scallions resemble little green halos over this heavenly appetizer.