Ithaca is host to a wonderful selection of terrific places to eat. We’ve listed some of our favorites here to help you make a good choice. Our absolute besties are marked with an *. You can also read up to the minute updates and Ithaca restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor
Inexpensive Cafe & Deli Options
Innovative, high quality deli, nice salad bar, vegan/vegetarian options. Aurora & Seneca, near the Commons. CTB in Collegetown (415 College Ave) is open late-night. Also see Ithaca Bakery below.
Festive, upliftingtmosphere and location, great weekend lunch place. Line up at Macro Mama’s, (local, macrobiotic), Khmer Angkor Cambodian, Solaz (burritos), or many others, then sit by the water and enjoy the magic of Ithaca. Saturdays, Apr-Dec. Sundays May-Nov. Steamboat Landing, by the lake, off Hwy 13, 3rd St Exit, NW side of town, 273-7109. www.ithacamarket.com/ or facebook.com/ithacamarket Great boat tours on the lake start at same site! Also: great food at Tuesday Farmer’s Market by Dewitt Park and Wednesday market in Trumansburg.
Best coffee in town. 4 locations. 430 N Cayuga St (Fall Creek neighborhood) 277-8393, 506 W. State/MLK St. (W. Side) 273-0111, and 7 E Main St, Trumansburg.
Ithaca Coffee Company, at two locations, is quite good, too, and has a beer pub in each location.
Great natural foods co-op and social hub for alternative community folks. Good deli, salad bar, hot bar, great wraps & veg. options, dining area lacks charm. 701 W. Buffalo St. 273-9392. Open every day from 7am – 11 pm. Also, GreenStar Oasis at Dewitt Mall – Convenient downtown location across from Dewitt Park. Healthy food and groceries. Outdoor seating. Buffalo St., near Cayuga St. 273-8213
Great deli, café, bakery, hot food bar, salad bar, sandwiches, entrees, pastries, artisan breads. Cozy atmosphere; a popular local gathering spot. Same owners as Collegetown Bagels. 400 n. Meadow Street/Hwy 13 N., corner of Court St. 273-7110
Very good, reasonably priced, take-out-only Chinese. Ithaca Shopping Plaza, between Hwy 13 South and Elmira Road. 272-0718. Also at East Hill Plaza 273 –1668.
Popular campus café, attractive local and organic food options, “Cornell University’s premier sustainable eatery”. In Mann Library off Tower Road in the Ag Quad, Cornell Campus. Metered parking on Tower Road, 5-10 min walk away.
Right on the highway, excellent Greek food, good prices, generous portions, falafel pitas, gyros, souvlaki, friendly service, mostly to-go 105 S Fulton St/Hwy 13S · (607) 277-7482
Popular sandwich/sub place and convenience store. An Ithaca staple for the last 35 years. Open 24/7/365. 200 W. Seneca (Hwy 79W) on the W. End. 273-1030. Sweet Melissa’s Ice Cream shop (open during warm months, has vegan options) attached to the back.
Huge attractive bustling 24/7 supermarket, nice dining area, very large natural foods and organic produce sections. Wide-ranging prepared food area includes great bars and stations for: Chinese, Indian, vegetarian, award winning “Wings of Life” salads, sushi, subs, etc. The stations close by 9 Pm Great place for a quick, decent meal. Set back from Hwy 13 500 S. Meadow St. 277-5800.
Popular Collegetown pizza spot with great deep-dish pizza and (often) live music. Waits can be quite long. 311 College Ave. 272-1888.
Excellent pizza, varied and interesting toppings, including vegan. Salvadoran food as well. Not much for atmosphere.. Corner of Green & Cayuga Sts., near the Commons. Opposite the County Library. 273-6165.
Moderately priced & nice atmosphere
Very popular. Farm-to-table ingredients, Southwest–inspired cuisine, wood-fired oven, seasonal menu, and a fun, community-minded atmosphere. Nice outdoor seating. Wednesday night salsa music & dancing. Indoor part of restaurant gets quite noisy during prime time. East Hill, near Cornell. 311 College Ave 319-4366
Below ground, but cozy and inviting, popular spot, great local food selection, nice prices. Yummy veggie burger. Delicious and quirky beers brewed onsite, including inexpensive flights. Late night service. Can get crowded and noisy. 114 N Cayuga St, near the Commons downtown. 319-0699.
Gorgeous waterfront location, contemporary American menu with good grilled foods, esp. seafood, decent veggie options. No reservations, popular, long-ish waits for outdoor dining or window seating, unless you go early. Service can be slow. Inlet Island, 525 Taughannock Blvd./Hwy 89. 256-2628.
Excellent breakfasts/brunches/lunches, seasonal bistro cuisine, locally sourced foods. A favorite of locals. Downtown, in Dewitt Mall, near Buffalo and Cayuga, 215 N. Cayuga. 273-2473.
Scrumptious Sunday brunches, great atmosphere, reasonably priced, nice weekend music scene. 305 Stewart Ave, Collegetown 645-0152.
Casual, family-style Italian restaurant, wood-fired pizza & Tuscan-accented pasta. Quite popular, check to see how long a wait. Lunch & Dinner. 2 Hickory Lane near the Ithaca Mall in Lansing, 10 minutes North of Ithaca. 257-2233.
Excellent Indian food, lunch buffet is a deal, near the Commons and main library, 106 W. Green/Hwy 79 near Cayuga St. 272-4508.
Traditional American food in a family atmosphere. Lake views, friendly service, substantial portions. A local favorite, esp. for the “Pinesburger Challenge”. 1213 Taughannock Blvd. Hwy 89 10 minutes north of town. 273-3709.
Popular pub/eatery, lively atmosphere, spills over into a spacious rolling landscape! Locally sourced foods, much of it grown on site. Wood fired pizzas, burgers, salads, soups, vegetarian and vegan options, local/seasonal specials. Expansive and fun outdoor options, (frisbees OK) can become crowded and noisy inside. To avoid a long wait, find a spot at the outdoor picnic tables or armchairs, then order from the bar. Award winning beers brewed onsite, brewery tours on weekends. Hidden away on south edge of town; 122 Ithaca Beer Dr. just off Rt 13A 273-0766
Popular, high quality tapas (small plate) offerings. Don’t miss! Nice flights of wine. Plenty of veg (but not vegan) options. Highlights local foods. Reasonably priced for the value you get. Lovely outdoor dining in rear, indoor tables closely spaced, so noisy at prime times. No reservations, beat the crowds by lining up before 5:30 or going after 8. Near the Commons, 116 N. Aurora. 277-9463
Lively, popular, Cajun/Creole cuisine, slow-smoked BBQ, seafood bar. Excellent service, live music Sun & Tue, outdoor option. 635 W. State St. and Hwy 13. West Side. 272-4136
Best Indian food place in town. Delightful spicing, good value. 410 Eddy Street, Collegetown. 256-3425.
World-famous vegetarian restaurant (fish options as well). Festive atmosphere, delicious and healthful food, much of it locally sourced. Creative drinks. Senior discounts 10%, 25% student discount on Thursdays. Outdoor option. Service may be slow. Online reservations or substantial waits during prime time. In Dewitt Mall, near the Commons. 215 N. Cayuga. 273-9610.
One of our favorites. Popular pub, cozy & quiet setting, great atmosphere, very good local food and beer. Reasonable prices, outdoor option. Fall Creek Neighborhood. Can combine with a visit to stunning Ithaca Falls nearby. 202 E Fall St. 216-8580.
Popular Vietnamese place offering reasonably priced generous portions. Great food. One of the best Asian eateries in town. Eat in, take out or delivery! Easy, pleasant location. Tables are close. Can get very busy and noisy between 6-9 PM . 526 W. State, nr Hwy 13 257-8881
Inexpensive, diner-type breakfast and lunch place. Generous portions, good food, friendly service, nice view of the lake from on high, outdoor seating in warm months, a real “find.” Near Ithaca College. Crowded on Saturday and Sunday mornings during the academic year
Best of the many good Thai places in Ithaca. Popular, delicious food, good vegetarian/vegan options, lively atmosphere, outdoor option, on the Commons. Reserve ahead or expect a wait around prime time. 216 The Commons. 256-5487.
Very good, affordable Thai. Outdoor and take-out options. Convenient location, though right on the highway. No alcohol served, but can bring. 209 S. Meadow (Hwy 13N), West side. 272 -8424.
Very popular, festive Mexican food place. Affordable, fresh, tasty food. An Ithaca staple. Cantina offers full dining service, taqueria side is take-out and sit-down. Outdoor option. Adjacent to the Commons. 101 N. Aurora St., at E. State 277-1752
Innovative, yummy waffle place on the Commons, also with coffee, teas and pastries. Vegan and gluten-free options. 146 E. State. 319-0999.
Innovative, high-quality Italian food; classy, festive atmosphere; great service; outdoor seating in warm months; pricey for Ithaca. Hidden away off Hwy 79 east of downtown, parking and access to the restaurant is easier from the rear lot
*Hazelnut Kitchen in Trumansburg, 15-20 min from Ithaca, near Taughannock. High quality, innovative cuisine, focuses on seasonal, local foods, well worth the extra time to get there. Thu-Mon. Reservations strongly recommended. 53 E. Main St. Trumansburg, 20 min. north of Ithaca. 387-4433.
Innovative Asian/Fusion fare, classy atmosphere, outdoor seating, outstanding dessert place to go to after an event. On the Commons, 215 E.State, at Aurora 277-2253.
Innovative Pan-Asian cuisine, nice atmosphere, outdoor option, on the Commons. Fun tapas menu handy for cutting costs. 130 East State St. 277-2000.
*Stonecat Café on Seneca Lake, 35-40 min from Ithaca Great local food, atmosphere, service, views of Seneca Lake, music nights. Very popular. Indoor & outdoor. If no reservation and a long wait, order at the bar. 5315 NY Hwy 414 607-546-5000
Classy atmosphere, great views, Tuscan-inspired specialties, local sourcing, great breakfast buffet and Sunday brunch, pricey for Ithaca. At the Statler Hotel, near center of Cornell campus. 254-2565.
N. Italian cuisine, fresh-made pasta, top-notch food and service, great atmosphere, elegant décor. 622 Cascadilla, on Hwy 13 N. 273-ZAZA.