Since the day it opened in April of 2012, Agava has been bursting at the seams with people. With a creative Southwestern flair, a large wood-fired oven, and a drink list that includes seven different margaritas, it’s easy to see why. However, Agava offers more than a delicious menu and a full service bar. The lively ambiance, nightly events, and frequent live music keep people coming back again and again.
Take a walk below the yellow awning on Cayuga Street to experience a unique gastropub with a brewery, rich local menu, and atmosphere that reaches far outside the box. Since the first keg was tapped, and the public streamed through this gem of a brewpub, Bandwagon has become a staple on the locavore dining scene.
Located in the historic Dewitt Mall in Downtown Ithaca, Cafe Dewitt is a bustling collection of daytime diners, professional servers, and talented chefs amid the shoppers and businesses filling the downtown shopping center. Known for its imaginative and fresh cuisine, this European-style eatery has won multiple awards for its delicious brunches.
The Carriage House is perched on the outskirts of the perpetually lively Collegetown, and provides a welcomed calm to this dynamic neighborhood. Inside the stone walls of the restored 1850’s carriage house (hence the name), lofty ceilings and warm hardwood floors give the restaurant an airiness and homey feeling hard to find elsewhere in the area.
Creekside Cafe specializes in delicious, locally sourced, farm to table cuisine for breakfast and lunch. The Cafe is happily situated in the middle of the Village of Trumansburg, in the heart of the growing local food shed made up of small farms, producers and agri-entrepeneurs.
With community right in the name and a special for almost every day of the week, it’s obvious that this local eatery is run by the people, for the people. Dryden Community Center Café is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization that both hosts and promotes local events with a passion to be admired.
If a foodie owned a speakeasy…oh wait. A foodie does own a speakeasy, and it’s called Felicia’s Atomic Lounge. Imagine a whole shelf lined with locally infused spirits including seasonal succulents like house-infused cherry bourbon, earl grey gin, cucumber gin, fig bourbon, and homemade elderflower syrup.
The fortunate few who score the counter seats at Fine Line Bistro get to enjoy dinner and a show as its dynamic open-air kitchen features top chefs whirling from countertop to stove to sink and back. And there’s outdoor dining, too, for another type of show. Opened by three young entrepreneurs in 2008, this small and cozy bistro boasts a comprehensive menu, and serves six to eight daily specials, influenced by ingredients that are fresh, in season, and locally available.
The Hazelnut Kitchen, on Main Street in Trumansburg, was conceived by two basic (but strong) philosophies: folks want a casually elegant dining atmosphere, paired with simple, delicious food made from the best ingredients available. You can see these principles in action with Hazelnut’s compact menu filled with local dished that pack a flavorful punch.
Dynamic, fast-paced, and ever-changing, Ithaca Bakery is the go-to for a quick bite. With two locations in the city, inventive sandwiches, a fully stocked cold-case, and steaming bowls of soup are never far.
You may already know Ithaca Beer for its award-winning brewery with beer distribution in 10 different states. Step inside the official taproom in Ithaca, NY and see where the magic happens. Not only can you view the sparkling stainless steel tanks that are home to fermenting Flower Power IPA and Cascazilla Ale, but you can spend a whole day on the expansive and enticing grounds that offer everything from farm-fresh food to bocce ball courts.
Located on “Restaurant Row” in Downtown Ithaca, this tiny tapas restaurant is dishing out big flavors. Its extensive and constantly evolving menu features a surprising selection of proteins like buffalo, octopus, and head cheese, plus vegetarian options that are impossible to overlook. Charming, unpredictable, and always on a local’s “Oh, have you tried…” list, this eatery is not to be missed.
Mahogany Grill is the place to go for great food and great service. Conveniently located on Aurora St. in the heart of Downtown Ithaca, the Grill boasts an outdoor seating area as large as its menu. Their menu is packed full of soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, seafood, burgers, sandwiches, and premium steak, pork, and chicken dishes - it's so chock full of options, it's hard to choose!
Manndible Cafe is not your average eatery. There’s something different about the menu: sandwiches with chicken raised right around the corner; the perfect cup of coffee roasted just down the hill that morning; a fresh organic salad grown across campus; and vegan desserts so rich you’d never guess they didn’t contain any dairy or eggs. To finish it off – you can toss your plate and cup right into a compost bin (trash cans are so last year).
Southern dining at its finest! Focusing on New Orleans Cajun-style food with a local spin, Maxie’s offers a surprising variety from its raw bar (featuring ½ price Raw Oysters from, 4-6pm daily) to the smoky barbecue and famous fried chicken.
Mia's is not afraid of mixing cultural influences to produce a perfect dish.
Moosewood Restaurant’s fame and reputation is well merited. Founded in 1973, the restaurant had (and continues to have) a huge influence in changing the way people think about local, organic, vegetarian recipes. The first cookbook alone has won multiple awards, among them a New York Times accolade as one of the top ten best-selling cookbooks of all time.
Join the fun as Northstar takes over Lot 10 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to midnight. Lot 10 and Northstar have teamed up in a partnership that will bring one of Ithaca's most beloved neighborhood restaurants into the heart of Downtown Ithaca. Enjoy fast, casual, quality food with a focus on innovative offerings that feature fresh, local ingredients. It's cash-only, so bring your dollar bills!
There’s just this vibe at Northstar that will give you cravings morning, noon, and night. Maybe because it’s owned by three popular local musicians who have made it just about the funkiest, most laid-back, deliciously chill place in the entire universe.
Just 5 minutes North of Ithaca, this National Historic Landmark inn features locally sourced, globally inspired cuisine complimented by Rogues’ own craft brewed ales & Finger Lakes wine. Featuring dinner nightly, seasonal outdoor dining, plus elegant lodging, please be sure to visit their website often for the frequently-changing seasonal dinner menu and virtual tour on the Rogues Harbor Inn and Restaurant.
Experience this upscale American Bistro located right on Restaurant Row in the Ithaca Commons for brunch, lunch, or dinner any night of the week. The perfect venue for people-watching, Simeon’s specializes in fresh local food and drink, all located within a beautifully restored 1871 building.
Where Tuscan tradition embraces the bounty of the Finger Lakes! Sit back and enjoy the captivating views of Cornell’s campus while dining in this enchanting Italian trattoria. A warm, welcoming gathering place for hotel guests, locals, students and professors alike, with a menu that features some of the freshest local ingredients available.
Open for breakfast, lunch and brunch, the Bistro at La Tourelle goes above and beyond a typical hotel restaurant. Chef Angelina Tagliavento grows her own fresh herbs and other produce in the gardens at La Tourelle, as well as using locally sourced ingredients. The menu offers fresh twists on culinary classics.
The Good Truck is not really a truck at all, but a 7×17 V-nose trailer with a kitchen inside. The Good Truck team has been satiating Ithaca area customers with a new version of hot truck fare. The cuisine has been given many designations, from gourmet hot truck, and Ithaca-Mex,to locavore-fusion. Some just call it The Taco Truck. What ever the classification, when you look at the menu you see that it is locally driven, seasonal food with definite Mexican flare.
As a Wine Spectator award winner every year since 1999, the Heights has always been as well known for its fantastic wine menu as it has for delicious upscale cuisine.
In their own words, Viva Taqueria “brings to Ithaca a California-style taqueria” that delivers quick and easy Mexican takeout on the fly. Next door, the full-service restaurant, Viva Cantina, offers a full bar with talented bartenders serving up a variety of freshly made margaritas and sangrias to complement their crispy nachos, piping hot burritos, and freshly cooked quesadillas. And did we mention the homemade salsa?
The Waterwheel Café in Freeville is a delightful oasis with large windows and tables overlooking Fall Creek.