Cultural Experience | New York

‘Cuse Local Eats: Bueno Burritos at Alto Cinco

Girls Dine Out Mexican Style in Syracuse

By Sara Freund, Syracuse University.

On the edge of the Syracuse University campus is Marshall Street, where a lot of college students grab a bit to eat. And where most of the Freshman 15 is gained. After a while my taste buds weren’t too enthralled with the large assortment of pizza, fried ravioli, and sugary double shot macchiato lattes. It’s time to expand your palette past the mainstream sushi rolls and froyo.

syracure alto cinco

At Alto Cinco any night of the week college students and locals clink beer bottles and find a place to catch up in the low-lit saffron colored room. Walking into the Mexican restaurant you first get a glimpse of the kitchen behind the take-out counter. Sizzling quesadillas, frying catfish, and the fresh baking cornbread enter your senses as you open the door. Sliding past the line of people into the restaurant, you enter a lively but chill place.

Alto Cinco Restaurant

I love going to Alto Cinco, located near campus in the Westcott neighborhood. It’s as close to Mexico as you can get in Syracuse—also bonus points for the fastest delivery. Johanna Yorke opened Alto Cinco in 1995, and since then the restaurant has been dedicated to creating homemade salsas, guacamole, soups, and their special jalapeno cornbread.

With a variety of stuffed burritos, melty quesadillas, satisfying salads, plenty of vegan and vegetarian meals—everyone has options. My favorite burrito on the menu is the California with chicken. It’s pulled jerk chicken and creamy guacamole put this at the top of my list. My other favorite, a Tex Mex Salad, is loaded with tortilla chips, black beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream and spicy jalapenos over lettuce. But anything you order is always fresh.

aimee alto

The atmosphere mimics the same artsy feel of the Westcott neighborhood. Flickering metal lanterns hang from the ceiling and vibrant artwork covers the walls. The cozy room only holds about a dozen tables but with a loaded menu and a lively alternative vibe it’s packed nearly every night.

If you want to try Alto Cinco but aren’t into crowded restaurants, I suggest going for brunch. Their morning menu has a number of egg dishes, breakfast burritos, and specialty coffee but what’s really worth coming for are the blueberry pancakes made with vanilla infused butter. The bottom line, for brunch or burritos, give the microwave a break and head to Alto Cinco.

526 Westcott St,  Syracuse, NY 13210
(315) 422-6399
Restaurant Hours: M-Sa Su

Sara Freund

Syracuse University | 2 stories

Sara attends Syracuse University where she is currently studying Writing & Rhetoric. Born and raised on the beach in Sarasota, Florida-- Sara is a writer, shoe addict, and pizza connoisseur. You can probably find her cooking something wildly delicious or dreaming of her next travel destination. She has a weakness for yellow lab puppies and Miami Heat basketball.

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