4

AGAVA Restaurant

381 Pine Tree Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-319-4366

This southwest-themed eatery opened this spring near East Hill Plaza in the former home of Coyote Loco and Olivia. They've done a lovely job renovating the building with reclaimed wood from a local barn, and they serve good food and drinks at reasonable prices. The signature margarita is just $5, and the proverbial "$10 burger" is actually still $10, complete with fries. We hear good things about the tacos and the woodfired-oven flatbreads, and we look forward to trying brunch.

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

Aladdin's Natural Eatery


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100 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-5000

Aladdin's offers pretty good but not spectacular Mediterranean-style or Greek-style food, at prices that generally seem too high for what they're providing. The fact that their menu can't even spell "souvlaki" consistently right is an unfortunate sign of the inattention to detail throughout the Aladdin's experience.

3
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Apollo Chinese Restaurant

407 College Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:

Once called Hong Kong and then Peace Restaurant, Apollo is one of those eateries renamed largely for preferable GrubHub or Yellow Pages placement. They offer freshly prepared food delivered, carried out, or eaten at their no-frills tables, but the bulk of Apollo's business is from their steam table of prepared dishes. It's all pretty good, though sometimes isn't quite hot. The spicy steamed fish really is.

4

Applebee's

2300 North Triphammer Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-257-6200

Considering the disdain with which “cookie-cutter” establishments are viewed by some, I was very impressed with how smoothly this trendy, yuppie-oriented chain restaurant has fit into the area. Applebee’s offers very speedy and friendly service, a pleasant surprise to anyone expecting anonymous or uncaring treatment. The food is good, reasonably priced, and plentiful, as well. Hot, tasty soup and a grilled chicken sandwich made a good lunch, and a recent visit for dinner yielded an excellent “Bourbon Street Steak,” their 10oz.

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.

4

Asian Noodle House

204 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-9106

From the folks who brought us Little Thai House, Asian Noodle House is a classic noodle shop with a substantial variety of noodle and rice dishes and soups, plus gourmet Asian pizzas, with plentiful portions and reasonable prices. The curry puffs appetizer were a treat, and Thai grilled chicken with noodle was served with a perfect Thai peanut sauce. Our entrees came with a small salad, generously adorned with bean sprouts and bits of tofu.

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.

0

Bistro at La Tourelle

1150 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-2734

The Bistro at La Tourelle, just off the lobby of this South Hill inn, offers breakfast and lunch or brunch daily, featuring local produce and meats. The menu retains some favorites from Simply Red, the space's former occupant, but has expanded and evolved to feature wraps and sandwiches, salads and flatbreads, and a tempting brunch menu that offers eggs benedict, omelets and crepes, and oatmeal crusted french toast.

0

Black Diamond Diner

Route 89 near Covert Cottages Road
Trumansburg, NY 14886
Phone:

Pay a visit to the tiniest rail car diner ever -- a hot dog stand in a 70-year-old diesel engine. They serve hot dogs and white hots from Central New York's own Hofmann Sausages, and that's about it. Open seasonally, closing for the winter sometime in October, depending on weather.

4

BoatYard Grill

525 Taughannock Blvd
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-BOAT (2628)

This restaurant was opened by Mark Campagnolo, a former partner at Joe's Restaurant. The beautiful building with its nautical theme is a great setting for the exceptional, hearty food at this comfortable restaurant. Naturally, there's lots of fresh fish and seafood (brought daily from Boston), but the Texas Cowboy Steak (a porterhouse with a chipotle glaze served on the bone) and Boatyard Angus Sirloin (smothered with fresh roasted garlic) aren’t to be missed. Be prepared to wait for a table, and we keep hearing horror stories about iffy service.

3

Buffalo Wild Wings


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410 Elmira Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-0340

Ithaca probably had plenty of chicken wings already, we're checking out Buffalo Wild Wings, the latest chain restaurant to open in town. On Route 13 in Ithaca's southwest, Buffalo Wild Wings serves not just wings and so-called "boneless wings," but wraps, burgers, and even ribs. We were pleasantly surprised that the wing sauces had lots of flavor. The hot actually was, and the spicy garlic and garlic parmesan both weren't shy about the garlic.

2

Burger King

1010 Ellis Hollow Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-6662

Our expectations aren't that high when we go to a fast food outlet, but this Burger King sometimes fails to reach even that low bar. Whether the food's not hot, or we've gotten where we're going only to realize we've got a different item than the one we ordered, this BK misses the mark just a little too often for comfort. When they get it right, though, a Whopper with onion rings can sure be satisfying.

3

C. T. Bento

335 Elmira Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-7017

Just recently opened in Ithaca's southwest, in the former home of Smart Monkey Cafe, C. T. Bento offers a variety of Japanese food to dine in or take out. There's a focus on bento boxes, the original happy meal, plus rice bowls, appetizers, sushi, and an assortment of teas. Everything we've tried has been fresh, tasty, well prepared, and attractively served, and we're intrigued by some of the tea options. The place isn't quite organized yet, but we'll do a proper review after they've had a chance to settle in.

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.

0

Cafe WILD

301 Taughannock Boulevard
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-425-6475

Run by the self-proclaimed "Vegan Mafia Crew," Cafe WILD is a new "plant-based food" food truck operating in Ithaca's west end, in a small parking lot on Taughannock Boulevard. It's just the latest in a series of "farm to truck" initiatives bringing fresh, local food onto the streets where people can enjoy a casual meal. So far, they're using foods from Early Morning Farm, Littletree Orchards, Susie's Seitan, Cherry Knoll Farms, and lots more. The truck is open a few hours each for lunch and dinner on Thursday through the weekend, and they open at 10am for brunch on Saturday and Sunday.

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.

4

Carriage House Cafe

305 Stewart Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-645-0152

This restored old building in lower Collegetown has been turned into a beautiful eatery with gorgeous event space upstairs that features live music on some weekends. During the week, stop in for breakfast, brunch, or lunch Tuesday through Sunday, but be prepared for a long wait on weekends. The brie stuffed french toast is decadent, the steak and eggs the best in town, and the burgers, made from local beef and served on ciabatta with homemade sundried tomato puree, are out of this world.

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.

5
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CC's

159 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-218-2851

This Collegetown eatery, in new digs across from the Dryden Road parking garage, offers healthy, fresh, design-your-own wraps, salads, and smoothies. The custom wrap and salad menu (starting at $6) features no fewer than 35 ingredients to choose from, not counting the tortillas and meats (grilled chicken, tuna, or eggs), plus a couple dozen dressings. Or pick from one of the $6 pre-designed salads or wraps. Check it out from lunch through late-night if you're tired of bagels, pizza, and cheeseburgers.

3

Chili's Grill & Bar

608 South Meadow Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-5004

This national chain restaurant in Ithaca's southwest serves up American grill-style fare and southwest-themed food, ranging from their famous baby-back ribs to Mexican-style fare like quesadillas and tacos, as well as burgers and sandwiches. The burgers are overcooked as a matter of policy, but we've loved the Cajun tuna sandwich and the country fried steak. The bar specializes in decent margaritas, and it's always buy-one-get-one-free "happy hour" no matter the time of day.

4

Chipotle Mexican Grill

740 South Meadow Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-0437

Now open in Ithaca's southwest, Chipotle is one of several chains specializing in burritos and similar fare assembled to order. Their philosophy leans toward quality food produced as sustainably as possible.

4

Circus Truck

720 West Green Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-229-5198

This new food truck, currently situated in Ithaca's west end, offers made-to-order pasta dishes and other Italian food, plus breakfasts, burgers, sandwiches, and more. The breakfast burrito is huge and filling, the BBQ patty melt is ridiculous, and there's often a fresh pasta special. They're generally open weekdays for breakfast and lunch, and late into the night on Friday and Saturday. Look for them in the parking lot between West Green Street and West State Street, behind the Finger Lakes Beverage Center.

4

Coal Yard Cafe

143 Maple Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-0734

This delightful café on Ithaca's east hill, in the former coal yard building that once housed the Queen of Tarts, offers breakfast and lunch with made-to-order omelets, sandwiches, and daily specials such as lasagna or fried haddock. The breakfast sandwiches are made with a wonderful French peasant bread, as is the occasional french toast special. Daily soups are perfect if you need to grab something quick, but allow a few minutes for anything made to order.

4

Collegetown Bagels

415 College Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-0982

This legendary College Avenue eatery moved to much roomier digs on their current corner in the mid '90s, and has expanded way beyond their bagel roots. With a wide variety of sandwiches handmade to order from fresh ingredients, including many vegetarian options and lots of top-notch bread, this flagship CTB location also makes fancy espresso drinks, serves brewed fair-trade coffee, offers smoothies, and has a bar at the back with a few draft beers and carafes of sangria.

2
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Collegetown Pizza

139 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-7500

Collegetown Pizza has moved down Dryden Road to the former location of Mama Teresa's Pizzeria. As with most pizzerias, the slices that have been sitting out for a while are only appetizing at 2am, but the freshly made pies aren't bad.

5

Corners Deli

200 Pleasant Grove Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-257-4019

This Community Corners institution is a family-owned delicatessen specializing in Middle Eastern specialties in addition to a wide array of fresh American-deli-style foods. The overstuffed sandwiches and pitas barely leave room for the exceptional baklava and other desserts. Great falafel and gyros, and fresh roast beef whose aroma permeates the neighborhood. Leave a little room for dessert, such as traditional baklava or a cinnamon baklava roll, honey cake, or a semolina cookie, along with a cup of the very strong middle eastern coffee -- or regular coffee or tea.

0

Creekside Cafe

4 West Main Street
Trumansburg, NY 14850
Phone: 607-342-8145

This new cafe on Main Street in Trumansburg offers breakfast and lunch Thursday through Sunday, with a farm-to-table ethos bringing locally sourced food to their menu. They have soups, salads, and sandwiches, with plenty of vegetarian options.

4

Crystal Lake Cafe

4367 East Covert Road
at Americana Winery
Interlaken, NY 14847
Phone:

This small cafe adjacent to the tasting room at Americana Winery does a fantastic Sunday brunch, and it's well worth the wait for a table. They offer a great brioche french toast, shrimp and cheddar grits with eggs, oatmeal pancakes, and other decadent breakfast items, as well as burgers, hummus wraps, and other lunch choices. Lunch and dinner hours vary seasonally; for winter and spring, they're open Thursday through Sunday.

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.

5

Daño's Heuriger on Seneca

9564 Route 414
Lodi, NY 14860
Phone:

Amidst our favorite Seneca Lake wineries, Daño's offers freshly prepared European delicacies in a relaxed, attractive setting. The food includes simple charcuterie and a mouth-watering array of spreads along with freshly baked breads, and there's a broad selection of Finger Lakes and European wines.

0

De Tasty Hot Pot

422 Eddy Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-821-2303

This new Chinese restaurant in the former basement home of The Gates and The Chariot will offer soups, casseroles, noodles, and other Asian dishes.

0

Denny's Restaurant

323 Elmira Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-0139

The latest chain to reach Ithaca is the 24-hour "America's Diner." Denny's renovated and opened their restaurant in the former location of Ithaca's Friendly's on Elmira Road. They serve eggs and pancakes, burgers and sandwiches, and even salads.

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.

5

Doug's Fish Fry

206 West Road (Route 281)
Cortland, NY
Phone: 607-753-9184

Doug's Fish Fry is worth the drive from Ithaca. It's a small privately owned Central New York chain with restaurants in Skaneateles, Cortland, Mattydale, and East Syracuse, that prides itself on simple, quick food, with no table service, no wait staff, and no tipping. Yes, a lot of the food is fried, but not all of it.

0

Dryden Community Cafe

1 West Main Street
Dryden, NY 13053
Phone: 607-844-1500

This non-profit, volunteer-staffed cafe on the corner of Routes 13 and 38 in Dryden is open Monday through Saturday for breakfast and lunch, plus has a weekly Thursday night all-you-can-eat pasta night. Stop in for coffee or espresso drinks using beans roasted by Cortland's Coffee Mania; fresh pastries or breakfast sandwiches in the morning; and soups, quiches, sandwiches, and paninis at lunchtime. Check their Facebook for daily specials.

3

Dryden Hotel

42 East Main Street
Dryden, NY 13053
Phone: 607-844-8293

The Dryden Hotel's history begins in 1844, but its current incarnation dates to 2005, when a refurbished building opened to offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. After a typical omelets-or-pancakes breakfast menu, it's a step above diner fare, with salads, wraps, and sandwiches alongside burgers, fried shrimp, pizza, and prime rib. Vegetarian options are few and far between, and we admit we mostly get there for wing night on Thursday.

4

Fat Jack's BBQ

344 Elmira Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-319-0920

A new BBQ joint in Ithaca's southwest, Fat Jack's is part of a small Philadelphia-area chain focusing on slow-roasted meats and suitable side dishes. They offer pulled pork, slow-cooked brisket, shredded chicken, ribs, and more, with sandwiches, plates, and family-sized orders. The sandwiches are satisfying, with a hearty roll, but the plates let you get at the meat without distraction. Try the burnt ends. For now, there aren't really vegetarian offerings; most of the side dishes are cooked with meat. They do plan to add some vegetarian dishes down the road.

5

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

222 Elmira Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-2565

Ithaca's is the 475th franchise of this DC-based chain that specializes in just burgers, hot dogs, and fries, all freshly prepared to order. The Five Guys web site says there are over 200,000 ways to order your burger, but if you want chicken nuggets, or cheese sticks, or milkshakes, or cherry pie, you'll have to go somewhere else. For fast food, the burgers are outstanding. Vegetarian options are limited to a grilled cheese sandwich or a burger-without-the-burger, plus the fries, but we know lots of vegetarians who are delighted with these.

4

Glenwood Pines

1213 Taughannock Boulevard
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-3709

A casual eatery four miles north of Cass Park on Route 89, with an active bar and plenty of relaxed seating. We highly recommend the fresh fish fry dinner or sandwich (depending on how hungry you are) or the infamous Pinesburger, served on French bread. Good steak and seafood dishes, and creative specials. Vegetarian options are very limited; the spaghetti sauce has usually had the meatballs cooked in it.

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?

4

GreenStar Natural Foods Market

701 West Buffalo Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-9392

This natural foods grocery has prepared foods including a hot and cold salad bar, packaged entrees and sushi in a cooler, and a deli counter where they'll build whatever sandwich you'd like, with or without meat. GreenStar also provides excellent catering services that showcase the superb local produce and meats available at the store.

4

Hai Hong Chinese Restaurant

208 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-1668

A top-notch Chinese restaurant in Collegetown, this eatery moved up the hill from Ithaca's west end about five years ago. It's easy enough to stick to typical Chinese fare at Hai Hong, like sesame chicken or shrimp lo mein, and Hai Hong does them well, but it's worth stretching out and trying some new things. I'm a big fan of the roast duck appetizer, or when it's cold out share one of the soups... like the salted egg with mustard greens and sliced pork. Save room for the fried ice cream. 

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.

4

Heights Cafe and Grill

903 Hanshaw Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-257-4144

One of Ithaca's fanciest restaurants, The Heights has offered cozy fine dining for fifteen years. The menu ranges from comfort-food variations such as braised beef hash with a poached egg to gorgeous pan-roasted fish dishes and generous steaks. There are vegetarian offerings, including some of the handmade pizzas, and the Heights takes the gourmet burger prize with their $18 Brie Burger, featuring an entire pound of grilled sirloin. It's an expensive place to dine, but worth the occasional splurge.

4

Istanbul Turkish Kitchen

311 Third Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-345-3333

This lovely new Turkish bistro on Ithaca's northside offers freshly made and flavorful Mediterranean cuisine, focusing on tapas-style small plates called "meze," and kebabs featuring lamb, beef, chicken, or vegetables. The friendly atmosphere and crisp presentation match the tasty menu, and dinner is quite affordable.

3
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Italian Carry Out

1070 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-1111

One of Ithaca's top pizzerias, this latest incarnation of Italian Carry Out (which used to be on Meadow Street) also offers hot and cold sandwiches, wings, fish fry platters, and such Italian dinners as lasagna, chicken parm, and a variety of pasta. Delivery takes a while and they might not get your order quite right, but they'll cheerfully fix it.

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

Ithaca Bakery

400 North Meadow Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-7110

When I told a friend in Florida I was going to visit the Ithaca Bakery, she exclaimed, "Oh, I love bakeries!" I had to stop and think for a moment, then explain that our Meadow Street "bakery" doesn't just do bread and pastries. They do bake the fresh bread, rolls, donuts, cookies, and cakes for a number of hotels, stores, offices, and other eateries around the region, but I was there to visit the eatery part of the business. Any time of day, you can satisfy your appetite at the Ithaca Bakery for just a few bucks for a bagel sandwich or deli sandwich, or spend $8-12 for a full meal.

3

Ithaca Beer Taproom

122 Ithaca Beer Drive
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-0766

Now open at the new Ithaca Beer facility, set back from Route 13 and Five Mile Drive (Route 13A) southwest of Ithaca near Buttermilk Falls, the Taproom offers sandwiches, burgers, and flatbread pizzas under the supervision of Leslie Muhlhahn, known for Just Desserts baked goods and the former Queen of Tarts cafe.

5

Ithaca Sumo Japanese Hibachi & Sushi Restaurant

2309 North Triphammer Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-257-7777

This new Japanese hibachi and sushi eatery is now open in the Cayuga Mall, across North Triphammer Road from the Shops at Ithaca Mall. Their spacious restaurant offers bar area, dining room seating, sushi bar, private and open hibachi rooms, and a private dining room available for meetings. The folks are friendly, the food is good, and check the specials board for interesting creations like a cooked duck sushi roll!

4
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Jack's Collegetown Grill

120 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-233-4640

For delivery, carry-out, or to eat in, check out Jack's Collegetown Grill on Dryden Road, offering burgers, cheesesteaks, generous breakfasts whenever they're open, and Ithaca's only vegetarian wings, as late as 4am on weekends. It's an oddity at an eatery that serves so many burgers, cheesesteaks, and actual chicken wings, but vegetarians will appreciate the tofu wings. They expanded in the summer of 2012, with a new bar area so you can enjoy your food with a pint of beer and the game on TV.

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.

0
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Joe's Carryout & Delivery

704 West Buffalo Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-TOGO

No longer available as a separate location, but Joe's still offers take-out.

4

Lincoln Street Diner

309 Lincoln Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-216-1616

In the Fall Creek area near the Ithaca Falls, the Lincoln Street Diner, formerly Ziffy's, serves breakfast all day, hot and cold sandwiches, burgers, and daily specials like chicken and biscuits or a NY strip sandwich. The omelets are generous, and the signature breakfast is a pile of home fries and corn bread smothered in sausage gravy.

4

Ling Ling

222 Elmira Road
Ithaca Shopping Plaza
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-0718

Ling Ling, a pair of carry-out or eat-in Chinese restaurants, offers quick and inexpensive and tasty Chinese food. They offer a surprising variety of Szechuan, Hunan, and Cantonese cooking a la carte, with several options available as combo dinners ($7-8 or so for entree plus fried rice and egg roll), and a couple dozen lunch special possibilities, where $5 or so gets you an entree with fried rice, plus soup or an egg roll. The expanded East Hill location offers bottles of beer and fancier seating.

4
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Ling Ling Garden

East Hill Plaza
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-1668

Ling Ling, a pair of carry-out or eat-in Chinese restaurants, offers quick and inexpensive and tasty Chinese food. They offer a surprising variety of Szechuan, Hunan, and Cantonese cooking a la carte, with several options available as combo dinners ($7-8 or so for entree plus fried rice and egg roll), and a couple dozen lunch special possibilities, where $5 or so gets you an entree with fried rice, plus soup or an egg roll. The expanded East Hill location offers bottles of beer and fancier seating.

5

Little Thai House

202 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-1977

A tiny, casual eatery for take-out or eat-in service. You can order items from the menu, but your best bet is to select two already-prepared entrees from the steam table as a combo (or one large portion) for $6.25. We recommend the Pad Thai and one of the other entrees, such as red curry chicken or eggplant and tofu. For a treat, add a Thai iced coffee to your meal. Some dishes are deliciously spicy, and there's good chili sauce if it's not hot enough.

3

Louie's Lunch

588 Thurston Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-257-4649

On the north edge of Cornell University's campus, Louie's Lunch has a history that dates back almost a century to a Greek immigrant named Louis Zounakos who pushed around a food cart. These days it's more of a diner on wheels, open lunchtime to late night on Thurston Avenue near the north campus dorms, with breakfast sandwiches, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, and even salads. During the summer and other school breaks, Louie's is just open for lunch.

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.

3

Main Moon Buffet

401 Elmira Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-3399

Ithaca’s original "Chinese Buffet," Main Moon has expanded in response to the arrival of competing buffets in town. They’ve added sushi and a more complete salad bar, in addition to the wide array of Chinese food and such kid-friendly offerings as chicken wings and french fries. There are always vegetarian dishes on the buffet.

3

Manos Diner

357 Elmira Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-1173

Dubbed "The Diner of Fate" by those who know, Manos offers the usual diner fare, from breakfasts 24 hours a day to sandwiches, burgers, and entrees, plus a full bar (and a nearly identical food menu) in the attached Ichabod's. Manos is perfect for an inexpensive but filling breakfast. Later in the day, try the fries with a side of gravy, and if you’re in the mood for a big meal, the turkey dinner can’t be beat. Ichabod's also features a nice, fresh salad bar, great with your dinner. The downside of a decades-old diner is that the building is showing its age.

0

Mark's Pizzeria

222 Elmira Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-2727

The latest of over 40 locations of this 25-year-old pizza chain, Ithaca's new Mark's Pizzeria joins nearby branches in Groton, Auburn, Cortland, and Ovid. Listed only.

4

Mehak Indian Cuisine

410 Eddy Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-3425

We were very pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of the food on Mehak's lunch buffet, which even satisfied a friend who doesn't like curry. There's a full menu available at dinnertime, and we look forward to giving it a try before long.

4

Mexeo

111A Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-9367

This quick, new eatery in Collegetown, formerly Xeo's Cafe, now serves Tejano-style (Tex-Mex) taquitos and the like using fresh, local ingredients. The taquitos are tortillas wrapped around a variety of fillings, mostly local pork or beef. The vegan taquito, with marinated tofu and potatoes, is excellent, too. True to the Texas roots, it's not a vegetable-heavy cuisine, but there are a couple of vegetarian options. It's minimalist Mexican. We like it.

5

Mitsuba Japanese Cuisine

2300 North Triphammer Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-319-0760

Mitsuba Japanese Cuisine is the fourth location of a family-owned restaurant chain that offers fresh sushi and hibachi, the popular Japanese steakhouse style of cooking where meals are prepared right in front of the diner. They also have a variety of dishes prepared in the kitchen, and attractive lunch pricing. They're in the former location of Kyushu in Ithaca's northeast, near the Shops at Ithaca Mall, with updated decor and a remarkable attention to beautifully presented food.

4

Miyake


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416 Eddy Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-6767

In the former location of Kayuga, Miyake features attractive new decor and an expanded menu. After we were seated at our table, we were greeted with a small dish of edamame to nibble on, and served hot green tea. The steamed gyoza is a bit wilted, but the calamari tempura is exceptional and the sushi very good. Lunch box specials include cooked dishes or plenty of sushi. There's nothing extraordinary here, but the food's good and the service is good.

4

Moe's Southwest Grill


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324 Elmira Road
NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-6637

Call it Mexican food or southwestern food, Moe's is all about putting food in tortillas in various forms. Moe's welcomes visitors with an assembly line, very much like That Burrito Place or even Subway. The place is colourful and full of energy, a perfect match to the southwest-style pseudo-Mexican fare. You can get a well-stuffed taco for three bucks or even less, or an overflowing salad in a big tortilla shell, or a burrito or quesadilla. Try fajita steak, ground beef, or chicken in any of the above, or even veggies or tofu.

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.

4

Nines

311 College Avenue
NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-1888

The Nines offers great pizza and a variety of entrees and sandwiches. The entrees lean toward an Americana theme, and there's a good selection of beer on tap at the full bar. The square deep-dish pizza is its forte, with a broad array of toppings and a thick crust. The four slices easily feed two or three people. If you're not in a pizza mood, try the astonishingly good ribs or the roast chicken, or try the soup or the new homemade hummus. The Nines used to house one of Ithaca's fire stations (now next door) and offers great music many evenings.

4

On the Street

105 South Fulton Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-PITA (7482)

After twenty years operating popular gyro and falafel stands on the Ithaca Commons, at the Ithaca Farmers Market, and at countless area festivals, On the Street now has its very first brick-and-mortar location, right next to Maxie's Supper Club in Ithaca's west end. They serve overflowing pitas including gyros, falafels, chicken, pork souvlaki, and even cheeseburger and cheesesteak pitas, plus breakfast gyros and Greek salads. Free delivery in town, $2 delivery farther out.

0

Orange Blossom Pancake Company

423 Franklin Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-3428

[This eatery is closed, but the page is left here for archive purposes.]

2

Panera Bread

748 South Meadow Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-2590

They style themselves an upscale bakery, but Panera Bread is really just a soup, salad, and sandwich eatery with counter service. The food's not bad, but the slim portions, high prices, and general air of confusion behind the counter make it tough to justify a return visit. The many-columned menu board, with its "signature" and "premium signature" price bumps, is also optimized for making you spend more than you thought you were going to. If the place is full, it's probably because someone who bought a $2 item has parked at a table for two hours to enjoy the Wi-Fi.

4
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Papa John's Pizza

435 Franklin Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-7272

Papa John's makes one of the best traditional, round pizzas in town, thanks to a focus on fresh ingredients despite their chain status and their surprisingly affordable prices. It's a little dry unless you ask for extra sauce, which they'll gladly provide at no extra charge. We've always been a fan of the garlic dipping sauce and hot peppers that come with each pizza, and the slices-and-soda lunch specials are a good deal. 

4
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Pita Pita

143 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-8748

This quick eatery on Dryden Road makes hot and cold sandwiches to order in white or whole wheat pitas, with your choice of a whole host of veggies. Start with your choice of ham, turkey, tuna, or maybe go vegetarian with falafel or hummus. While the filling's grilling, pick out your toppings from an impressive selection, and Pita Pita's friendly crew will fill your pita layer by layer. Pita Pita even has breakfast pitas, featuring scrambled eggs mixed with hash brown potatoes, cheese, onions, peppers, and ham, bacon, or crumbled Italian sausage. Formerly part of the Pita Pit chain.

2
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Pizza Hut

2301 North Triphammer Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-216-6163

Pizza Hut offers their own style of deep-dish pizza that's perfect when it's fresh and hot. This location, in the Cayuga Mall in the Village of Lansing, has a decent lunch buffet featuring pizza and salad, and sadly, like most Pizza Huts across Central New York, doesn't serve beer.

3

Plantation Bar & Grill


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1285 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-4950

This casual pub out on Route 366 has good burgers, inexpensive cold beer, and dinner specials ranging from prime rib and New York strips to crab legs and fish fry. We love the potato wedges. There's live music a couple nights a week, and karaoke on Tuesdays. Check their Facebook page for upcoming events you might want to attend, or avoid.

4
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Plum Tree Japanese Restaurant


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113 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-8212

This Japanese restaurant at the "kneecap" bend of the lowermost block of Dryden Road offers good sushi and sashimi and a plentiful variety of cooked meals with very nice presentation.

3

Razorback BBQ at the Haunt


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702 Willow Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-275-3447

We love Razorback BBQ when we see their smoker at area festivals, so we love the idea of their food available all the time. The reality is that the Haunt and its wait staff aren't set up for serving food, though. Think of it as effectively bar or counter service where you'll eventually need to go track someone down to inquire about items that were missing from your order, and you've got the idea. The food is all tasty, but we wish the ribs were a bit closer to fall-off-the-bone tender.

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.

5

Red Newt Bistro

3675 Tichenor Road
Hector, NY 14841
Phone: 607-546-4100

Attached to the popular Red Newt Cellars winery just off Route 414 on the east side of Seneca Lake, Red Newt Bistro offers a delightful selection of freshly prepared dishes, locally sourced whenever possible. Stop by to enjoy lunch or dinner at the beginning or end of an afternoon of winery touring, or visit for a special meal anytime.

3
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Rogan's Corner

825 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-7191

This sandwich shop, pizzeria, and convenience store is perched on Ithaca's South Hill just below Ithaca College. We don't enjoy their pizza, though we realize tastes vary, and the wings and subs are pretty good.

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.

4

Saigon Kitchen

526 West State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-257-8881

Now in Ithaca's west end is Saigon Kitchen, a new Vietnamese eatery from the owners of Wok Village, in the former home of Taste of Thai Express. The menu features such Vietnamese specialties as pho and vermicelli noodle dishes, stir-fries, and rice plates. They're offering lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, with lunch and dinner delivery Tuesday through Friday, and dinner-only delivery on weekends.

4

Sal's Pizzeria

220 South Fulton Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-7257

Since Sal Melice opened in 1989, this small west end pizzeria and Italian restaurant has been offering excellent pizza, fantastic wings, subs, lasagna, salads, and lots more. Nothing fancy, just friendly people and good food. The pizza has a crisp crust and flavorful sauce, they make their own sausage, and the wings are perfect.

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.

3

Sangam Indian Cuisine


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424 Eddy Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-1006

Sangam's daily lunch buffet is a good way to sample this Indian restaurant's offerings, though there's not quite enough variety on the buffet from day to day to explore what they're capable of. Come back for dinner, or order lunch from the menu. The mango chicken is excellent, and Sangam offers traditional tandoori (clay oven) roasting. They can cater to vegetarian and even vegan needs.

3
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Scalehouse Brewpub & Northeast Pizza


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23 Cinema Drive
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-257-0107

This combination pizzeria and brewpub has good deals on decent pizza, wings, and subs, with both pizzeria and pub-style dining rooms, and a bar with a few beers brewed in-house. 

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.

4
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Sicilian Delight


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40 Catherwood Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-266-9999

This pizzeria has offered freshly made pies and pizza by the slice, plus lasagna and other Italian dishes, salads, and side dishes for many years in the Cafe Square food court at the Shops of Ithaca Mall. The pizza's especially good when it's fresh, and the Italian entrees are a pretty good deal.

4

Souvlaki House

315 Eddy Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:

If you're a fan of Greek food, you should never move to a town that has none. If you're in Ithaca, the options abound, and Souvlaki House represents the best combination of good food, reasonable prices, and good service. In fact, Souvlaki House offers both Greek food and Italian food, with the area's best souvlaki, Greek salad, and stuffed grape leaves, plus very good chicken (or veal or eggplant, etc.) parmigiana. Inexpensive lunch choices include subs, souvlaki and gyros, and Greek-style pizza. We recommend a bottle of Demestica, a Greek wine, with your meal.

0

Spicy Asian


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335 Elmira Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-7017

This new eatery in Ithaca's southwest, offering both Chinese and Japanese dishes, is in the former home of C.T. Bento and Smart Monkey Cafe. We hear they have good Szechuan food and a limited sushi selection.

3

State Diner

428 West State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-6189

The State Diner opened in 1936, and has expanded from their early lunch car days -- with lots of booth seating as well as counter seats along the grill. When I think diner, I think breakfast, so an early morning weekday visit or even a late-morning weekend visit probably means blueberry pancakes, or even an omelet. Diners also draw us in late at night, and the State Diner gladly serves up plenty of 2am greasy goodness. We were surprised that a friend's "cheese fries" were really a plate of french fries with two slices of American cheese on top, slightly melted.

3

Stella's

403 College Ave
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-1490

Stella's is attractively decorated, has a fantastic bar selection, and offers a varied and creative menu. If the prices, portions, and service better matched the atmosphere, it would be a favorite. The burger, made with local beef, feels overpriced except when it's half price for "happy hour," and the $10-12 sandwiches feel skimpy, too. The fancier entrees head north of $20. The food's pretty tasty, so we wish we felt the portions and prices were better matched. The coffee shop side is much simpler and a better bang for your buck.

4

Subway (East Hill Plaza)

325 Pine Tree Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-SUBS

Subway has captured lots of attention with its $5 foot-long offers, its weight-losing spokesman, its toasted subs, and, yes, its "Chuck" exposure. What it comes down to is that Subway is a decent place for a decent sandwich made with decent food at a decent price. If you skip some of the gloppy sauces and the potato chips, it's even a healthy meal.

4

Sunset Grill

823 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-1986

This new eatery on South Hill at Rogan's Corner features a full breakfast menu that's a good value, and we especially love the "breakfast sides" section of the menu, which lets you add a single pancake for about two bucks, or a single egg for a dollar, to whatever you're getting. This is a very customer-friendly way of letting you build the breakfast you want, instead of having to order two $6 breakfasts if you want corned beef hash and pancakes. It's a typical but solid American-style lunch and dinner menu, with good food and reasonable prices.

3
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Tamarind

503 North Meadow Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-277-2220

This Thai restaurant along Ithaca's Route 13 serves (or delivers) good but unexceptional Asian cuisine. They're friendly, and they're willing to adapt their menu to the customer's wishes, and that goes a long way.

4
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Taste of Thai Express

209 South Meadow Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-8424

This west end eatery, just east of Route 13 on State Street, features fresh and tasty food, and  delivers as well as having eat-in service. Our food arrived far faster than the promised 40-45 minutes, and everything was correct, fresh, and hot. The cashew chicken, a Vietnamese-style dish, was a delightful surprise, with a marinated wood-grilled flavour and crunchy strips of onion and green pepper.

4

Taverna Banfi

130 Statler Drive
Statler Hotel
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-254-2565

On the second floor of the Statler Hotel on the Cornell campus, Taverna Banfi (formerly "Banfi's") is known for a solid lunch buffet, an exceptional and decadent Sunday brunch buffet, and a Tuscan-themed menu, with unrivaled views of campus. Much of the staff is from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration, learning how to operate a restaurant, but they're working with pros. For a casual visit, we love the simple tapas menu in the Banfi wine bar, set up nightly in the same room as the midday buffet.

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.

4
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That Burrito Place


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319 College Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-319-0661

That Burrito Place makes burritos, nachos, quesadillas, and rice bowls to order, on a quick assembly line. Nothing unusual here, just tasty Mexican-style food to go. Watch their Facebook for daily specials. (If you want to eat in the restaurant, you'll be standing up. There's no seating, unless the weather's nice and you hit the bench out front.)

3
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The Connection

310 Stewart Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-3278

Pretty good pizza and subs in lower Collegetown, often with tempting special pricing. Stop in for a slice or call ahead to order a pizza or three to go.

3

The Ginny Lee Cafe

9322 Route 414
Lodi, NY 14860
Phone: 607-582-6574

On the Finger Lakes Wine Trail, the Ginny Lee is the cafe at Wagner Vineyards. They offer freshly made salads, sandwiches, wraps, and flatbread pizzas, and a surprisingly limited selection of wines by the glass. Open daily for lunch and Sunday brunch, May through October.

3

The Rose Tap Room & Grill


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2255 North Triphammer Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:

The Rose, in northeast Ithaca's Triphammer Marketplace, offers an ever-changing lunch buffet, a salad bar that's included with dinner entrees, a full bar with TVs for enjoying the game with a cold beer, and expanded space that's a nice change of pace from their former cramped quarters. It's straightforward American pub fare, featuring burgers and fish fry, but also broiled haddock, pasta dishes, and a tasty and generous chicken parmigiana.

4

Tim Hortons

411 Elmira Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:

This Canada-based chain of coffee, donut, and sandwich shops snuck into Ithaca a few years ago thanks to a deal to open a coffee kiosk in most Tops Friendly Markets stores, but we finally have the full experience. Tim Hortons offers breakfast sandwiches in addition to the coffee and donuts, plus the famous Timbits, but in the afternoon and evening they add excellent freshly made sandwiches and soups to the mix. Stop in for a snack or a meal, and pick up a canister of their great and affordably priced coffee for home, while you're at it.

4

Unwind Cafe

40 Catherwood Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-266-9463

This latest incarnation of coffee shop at the south end of the Shops at Ithaca Mall, where the Borders Books was, has a wide range of coffee drinks from Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters, teas, pastries, soups, breakfast sandwiches available all day, and handmade paninis. They're friendly, the espresso drinks are expertly made, and the food is tasty and creative, as well as affordable. Give it a shot.

3

Vietnam Restaurant

208 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-273-5030

This simple restaurant on Dryden Road in Collegetown offers Vietnamese-style soups, noodle dishes, and rice dishes for lunch and dinner. It's inexpensive and decent, and particularly hearty and filling on a cold day.

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.

4

Wendy's

326 Elmira Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-272-3526

What is it they say about the underdog trying harder? Wendy's is dwarfed by McDonald's and Burger King, but we think that, as a general rule, they offer the best-tasting, best-quality food of the three. Despite occasional missteps like chicken nuggets dressed up as "boneless wings," Wendy's has very good burgers, delightful spicy chicken sandwiches, and top-notch (and affordable) side dishes like salads and baked potatoes.

3

Wilson Farms

409 College Avenue
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:

This 24-hour convenience store hapens to have one of the best deli counters in town. There are always some sandwiches ready to grab and go, and they make an excellent Italian sub.

4
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Wings Over Ithaca

335 Pine Tree Road
East Hill Plaza
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 607-256-9464

This franchise of the growing "Wings Over" chain offers a chicken-heavy lunch buffet and extensive delivery. The hottest "Afterburner" wings are hot enough for Ithaca, if not Buffalo, and flavourful as well. Vegetarians are basically out of luck, unless they're satisfied with fries and macaroni salad. Poultry-eaters, though, might enjoy the 15 varieties of wings, and those who can't stand bones should try the "boneless wings," excellent hand-battered chicken strips sold by the half pound.

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