2
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Aki Samurai Japanese Restaurant


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113 East State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-8638

Aki Samurai is the latest in a string of eateries in this spot, offering sushi and sashimi, bento lunch boxes, noodles, hibachi dinners, and more. OK food and indifferent service.

3
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Asia Cuisine

126 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-8818

This small eatery specializes in Korean and Japanese cuisines, including sushi, salads, bento boxes, and bibim bap. They excel in both hot and cold weather, with a cold sashimi variation of bibim bap, which is normally served hot. For winter, try the bibim bap served in a hot stoneware bowl. The food is good, but service can get slow when they're busy.

5

Bandwagon Brewpub

114 North Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-319-0699

This underground brewpub just off the Ithaca Commons quickly became a favorite when they opened in the fall of 2009. They serve their own beer ranging from good to great as well as lots of other microbrews, and some outstanding pub and bistro fare from an ever-changing menu. It's casual enough for a late-night snack and a pint, and snazzy enough to bring a date for a nice dinner, and affordable either way. 

4
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Bangkok Thai Bistro & Sushi Bar


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118 West State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-319-4722

Just off the Commons in Downtown Ithaca, this "Asian fusion" eatery opened in the summer of 2012, featuring Thai and Vietnamese dishes and a limited variety of freshly prepared sushi. Affordable and tasty food, with quick, friendly service.

4
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Bella Pizza

171 East State Street
Ithaca Commons
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-1003

Offering wings, subs, and pasta dishes in addition to pizza, Bella Pizza has taken over the corner pizzeria stand in the Center Ithaca atrium food court. At the heart of downtown, this is a cluster of eateries we might wish were open longer hours -- like, say, at dinnertime or late-night. Lunch specials start at $2.25 for a slice and a soda. The pizza's crisp and tasty, and we look forward to exploring the rest of the menu.

4

Cafe Dewitt

215 North Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-3473

In the basement of the Dewitt Mall, this tiny cafe offers breakfast, lunch, and Sunday brunch featuring lots of local food and creative recipes. Enjoy a cup of soup and a sandwich, or creative breakfast platters available any time. It gets crowded fast, especially on weekends, so be prepared for a wait -- both before and after you're seated.

3
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Capital Corner Restaurant

118 West State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-7350

This new establishment where Asiatic Garden lived for decades has a lot to live up to, and is off to a very good start. We were impressed that our egg rolls came out of the kitchen almost as soon as we’d ordered them, hot and fresh. The steamed dumplings appetizer didn’t arrive in quite as timely a fashion, coming after the first of two entrees. Our beef satay, with chunks of fresh tomato, was a pleasant surprise, and the sesame chicken (a Chinese restaurant staple) was good. They have affordable combo dinners and lunch specials, and deliver free with an order of $8 or more.

3
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Capital State Kitchen

138 West State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-1388

The new Capital State Kitchen Japanese Restaurant adds Japanese food next door to the same family's Capital Corner Chinese Restaurant. They offer good-quality sushi and Japanese entrees, though there's nothing especially innovative about their menu and the prices are a little higher than similar downtown offerings. We're intrigued by a new all-you-can-eat offering, $14 for lunch and $21 for dinner, in which you can keep ordering appetizers, sushi, sashimi, teriyaki dishes, rice or noodle entrees, and dessert until you've had enough.

0
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Casablanca Pizzeria and Mediterranean Cuisine

111A East State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-240-5770

On the Ithaca Commons, Casablanca offers the usual pizza, subs, wings, and mozzarella sticks you'd expect from a pizzeria, plus some gourmet pizza combinations, burgers, falafel, shawarma platters, and gyro pitas.

3
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D.P. Dough

114 West Green Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-7772

D.P. Dough does one thing and they do it well -- an infinite selection of calzones with whatever you can imagine stuffed inside. I'm a fan of eggplant and ricotta, or go the Buffalo-style chicken calzone route. Check their Facebook for the daily $5 'Zone of the Day.

1
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Domino's Pizza

311 East Green Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-4000

No surprises at this franchise pizza shop. They have the advantage of being cheaper than the local pizzerias, but that's about it. Their poor food and service is made worse by the fact that they are extremely poor neighbors, and are rude to people who live and work near them. Go next door to Napoli, or call Papa John's if you want chain-pizza prices.

4
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Gorgers Gourmet Subs

116 West State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:

Now open across from the State Theatre, in the former home of the Prize Diner, Gorgers offers soups and gourmet subs on homemade bread, with locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. At $3 for soup, $6 for salads, and $7 for subs, the price is definitely right. Try the coconut shrimp po'boy, served with pickled vegetables and a Thai sweet chili sauce on a homemade sub roll, or make any of the subs vegetarian with eggplant instead of meat. The potato salad, made with a balsamic vinegar reduction, is a tasty side dish. Ready for a challenge?

0

Gorgers Taco Shack

111B East State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-1100

A new eatery from our friends at Gorgers Subs on the Commons just a block from their sandwich shop. We've enjoyed excellent and quick tacos made from scratch with fresh ingredients, including meaty and vegetarian options just like their sandwiches.

3
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Hal's Deli

115 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-7765

Serving Ithaca for over fifty years now, Hal's has offered inexpensive breakfasts and overstuffed sandwiches to countless generations of students and locals. Hal Kuntz, the original proprietor, passed away years ago, but his memory lives on in the tasty food, and his wife, Sandy, still presides most mornings.

5

Ithaca Ale House

111 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-7977

This downtown eatery on "Restaurant Row" quickly became a favorite, sporting fresh salads, crisp flatbreads, creative appetizers, soup and seafood, and what consistently gets our nod as the best burger in Ithaca. The outdoor seating and big french doors are great on summer evenings, and a variety of seating from barstools to booths to big tables indoors can handle just about any group.

4
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Jade Garden

113 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-8880

Jade Garden offers a small but well-stocked Chinese lunch and dinner buffet right off the Commons, plus tasty food prepared to order for dining in or carry-out service. They also deliver, with online ordering via GrubHub. The restaurant is clean and casual, and while they don’t compare to the sheer variety at the larger buffets in town, they don’t seem to have to.

4

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

122 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-645-0075

They're not rocket science, they're sandwiches. But Jimmy John's focuses on doing decent sandwiches and doing them quickly, and they've gotten very, very good at it. You can have french bread or seven-grain wheat slices, or go the "unwich" route for a low-carb sandwich wrapped in lettuce. We love the Vito or Italian Night Club, though we can't imagine why they put oil & vinegar and mayo on a sandwich. We usually remember to ask them to skip the mayo.

5

Just a Taste

116 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-9463

Catering to an interesting mix of business owners, college students, and everyone in between, this wine and tapas bar offers an ever-changing menu of creative food, and a broad array of wines to sample. Since the menu changes every night we can't suggest a specific dish, but we'll tell you that if it sounds like an odd combination, it's probably exquisite. Try the sangria.

5

Le Cafe Cent-Dix

110 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-319-0750

This new French bistro, developed by the owners of Mercato Bar & Kitchen, is finally open! The menu offers such French staples as frisee salad with a perfectly poached egg, steak frites, roast chicken, mussels, and bouillabaisse, and our mouths are watering just thinking about it. The full bar offers signature cocktails, a deep selection of French and other wines, including a few wines "on tap" by the glass, half-liter carafe, or liter carafe.

4

Madeline's Restaurant

215 East State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-2253

Best known, and deservedly so, for its decadent desserts and creative cocktails, Madeline's is also an upscale dining destination at the east end of the Ithaca Commons. Many of the dishes display an Asian influence, and the menu ranges from steaks and seafood to vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. The full bar has an enviable whisky selection, among its various strengths.

4

Mahogany Grill

112 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-1438

This beautiful space on Restaurant Row has good fare from sandwiches and salads to steaks and seafood, with quick and attentive but not overly pushy service. A wine list includes some decent Finger Lakes offerings, and the bar makes a great mojito. Try brunch, as well, for a good variety of omelets and eggs benedict variations, and either brandied french toast or a stuffed french toast. We'd provide a link to their web site, if it didn't start spewing unsolicited music at you. We won't do that to you, but we have faith you can find them if you so choose.

5

Mercato Bar & Kitchen

108 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-319-5171

On "restaurant row" in the former downtown home of Ragmann's, Mercato Bar & Kitchen offers crostini and charcuterie, pasta and pastry, steaks and seafood. They serve an extensive and affordable wine list and a creative cocktail menu, and they're always near the top of our list of area favorites.

4

Mia Restaurant

130 East State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-2000

Twenty years after opening his first restaurant, Just a Taste, Lex Chutintaranond has opened Mia on the Ithaca Commons, featuring pan-Asian cuisine embodied in a variety of fresh and interesting dishes. It's a very seafood-heavy menu, but there are also lots of meat and vegetarian dishes. We were impressed with the friendly and helpful service, and the delicious food. Be warned: when they say spicy, they mean it! (Try the spicy saketini cocktail.)

3

Moosewood Restaurant


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215 North Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-9610

Even people who've never been to Ithaca have a Moosewood Cookbook or one of its sequels, and this downtown eatery, focusing largely on vegetarian and vegan dishes, nearly lives up to the resulting reputation. Both food and service are OK but not great, and we find it to be a little on the pricey side for what you get. Lunch is a better deal than dinner.

4
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Napoli Pizzeria

401 East State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-3232

Our favourite among the area's traditional, round pizzas is from Napoli Pizza, at the foot of the East State Street hill in the Gateway building. Napoli's roots go back decades in downtown Ithaca, and they know how to make their pizza. Napoli also has by far the best wings in town, great cold or hot subs, and beer on tap if you're dining in or waiting for your pizza.

3

New Delhi Diamond's

106 West Green Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-4508

On Green Street just off the Commons in Downtown Ithaca, Diamond's features an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet with an ever-changing variety of Indian specialties, as well as a dinner menu for sit-down dining. They never manage to maintain the supply of nan, the traditional Indian flat bread, or refill water glasses in a timely manner, costing the restaurant a rating point. The silver lining? When there's nan, it's fresh and warm, and perfect for mopping up some spinach aloo or other thick sauce.

3
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Pizza Aroma

128 South Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-6165

We find Pizza Aroma's pizza to be just pretty good, but they're noteworthy for offering soy cheese and Daiya non-dairy cheese, a real boon to vegans who love pizza and don't want to skip the cheese. If you're not in a pizza mood, try the Salvadoran menu.

3

Red & White Cafe

402 West Court Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-5233

Formerly the Corner Store, this unassuming, little red shop on the edges of Ithaca's downtown neighborhood is a deli and convenience store, but they also serve foot-long hot dogs, 1/3 pound burgers, and a seriously good fish fry. Stop in and grab a freshly fried haddock dinner, served with fries and cole slaw for less than ten bucks, or just have a fish sandwich for under $5.

4

Red's Place

107 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:

This new eatery on Downtown Ithaca's "Restaurant Row" calls itself "a unique dining pub," and their opening menu offers dishes ranging from tacos to flatbreads, with some vegetarian and vegan options available. Bold and creative flavor combinations, including the Heart Attack, a basket of citrus peppered bacon with maple syrup. Go hungry. Bring friends.

0

Sahara Mediterranean Restaurant

118 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-319-4522

This new Mediterranean eatery in the former location of Micawber's on downtown Ithaca's "restaurant row" has just opened, promising fresh ingredients prepared to order. The menu features standards like falafel, hummus, and shish kebabs, as well as seared lamb chops and grilled swordfish. The owner is formerly of the tiny but tasty King David kiosk in Center Ithaca, so we look forward to trying the food. Their web site promises beer and wine soon.

2
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Sammy's Pizzeria

215 East State Street
NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-2666

This pizza shop at the east end of the Ithaca Commons is perfect for a late-night slice, and delivers decent subs, pizza, wings, and even fried chicken. They're not trying to be culinary artists, but they hit the spot when they've got what you need.

3

Sangam Center Ithaca

Center Ithaca
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-6716

There are a few select entrees from the main Collegetown Sangam Indian Restaurant here at this steam-table counter in Center Ithaca. The food always tastes fresh, and it's always ready when you walk up. There's also a small selection of Indian groceries and videos.

4

Shortstop Deli

200 West Seneca Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-1030

Whether you call them subs or grinders or hoagies or whatever, Shortstop Deli specializes in those long sandwiches on fresh-baked French bread, or smaller sandwiches on kaiser rolls. They've got the usual ham, roast beef, and turkey, but they've also got seafood salad, eggplant, seitan, or prime rib. For the last few years, the Shortstop hot sub menu has had a selection of the famous Hot Truck French bread pizza subs. Supplement your sub with a fresh hot bowl of soup or chili. In the morning, enjoy their own custom coffee roast and a breakfast sandwich.

3
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Sticky Rice Thai and Laotian Cuisine


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401 East State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-275-3641

A tiny Thai and Laotian eatery at the back of the Gateway Center, just east of the Ithaca Commons, Sticky Rice has a rabidly loyal following for its freshly prepared dishes. Enjoy the tamarind fish soup, the summer roll, and the spicy garlic chicken, but save room for the sticky rice and mango dessert. If you catch them open despite oft-unpredictable hours, pick it up or get it delivered; there aren't enough tables.

4

Sweet Melissa's Ice Cream Shop

200 West Seneca Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-0090

On the east end of the Shortstop Deli in Downtown Ithaca, Sweet Melissa's is a seasonal ice cream stand offering a variety of soft-serve treats, hard ice cream, and more. There are even vegan options made with coconut milk from GreenStar Co-Op.

0

Tavern on Green

311 East Green Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-7800

Tavern on Green is the pub within the Ithaca Coffee Company, downtown in the Gateway Commons building, which has expanded its craft beer offerings and now offers beer and wine by the glass each afternoon and evening. They have a tempting array of tapas-style foods such as cheeses and hummus available on combination plates.

0

Tellez's Mexican Grill and Catering

171 East State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:

This new counter-service eatery in the Center Ithaca food court on the Ithaca Commons offers tacos, enchiladas, and the like, both meaty and vegetarian. Listed only.

5

The Shop Cafe

312 East Seneca Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:

At the foot of the Seneca Street hill, The Shop has handmade espresso drinks, French press or pourover coffee by the cup, and even a nice selection of good tea. There are locally baked pastries, there's local art on the walls, and there's often live music. The Shop even shares its home with Model Citizen Custom Tattoos. Talk about your multitasking opportunities.

4

Uncle Joe's Grill & Sports Bar

302 West Green Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-2662

Just southwest of Downtown Ithaca, Uncle Joe's is a straightforward and honest sports bar with good food, good drinks, and plenty of TVs for watching that game you've gotta catch. There are a dozen beers on tap, and the menu includes good wings and burgers, plus sandwiches and salads. Veggieburgers are available, and there are nightly specials. The half-pound burger with fries is a good deal at the regular $6.50-7.50 price, but the Tuesday $5 burger special is a bargain.

3

Viva Cantina

103 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-1752

Added next door to the Taqueria, Viva Cantina offers a similar, slightly deeper, burrito-and-taco menu plus a great selection of tequilas and some excellent margaritas at the full bar. The food's all pretty good, but we have trouble justifying the $1.50-$3.00 price hike from essentially the same items if ordered next door. (It would make more sense if a sit-down meal came with complimentary chips and salsa, as at pretty much every other Mexican eatery on the planet.)

4

Viva Taqueria

101 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-1752

Affordable and unassuming, this taco and burrito eatery provides a limited menu of pretty good if unexceptional California-style Mexican fare. The burritos used to be humungous and cheap, enough for two meals, but the portions aren't what they once were. The soft tacos offer better bang for the buck, and the soup's a pleasant surprise.

3

Waffle Frolic


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146 East State Street
NY 14850
Phone: 607-319-0999

Is it the simplest restaurant concept ever? In the space best known as Juna's, Waffle Frolic features handmade waffles, from basic to buckwheat to gluten-free, with a wide variety of toppings including fruit, Nutella, bacon and eggs, and even all-natural, free-range fried chicken. There are also variations on the grilled cheese sandwich theme. A meal gets expensive fast, but it's a fun treat. The coffee, roasted by Coffee Labs in Tarrytown, is top notch. Our biggest concern is that the often-confused service better matches the food's simplicity than its price.

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