For a small town, Ithaca is blessed with a number of excellent local restaurants. Authentic Thai food is a bit of a town specialty, as is natural organic cuisine. Even the pickiest eater will be able to find something to eat in Ithaca, with restaurants ranging from classic American food on the waterfront to a swinging New Orleans-style supper club. Be sure to try a glass of locally produced wine when dining out — if you haven’t already sampled enough while on a Finger Lakes wine tour.
Address: 215 North Cayuga Street
Cuisine: Organic, Vegetarian
Word of Mouth: “We can see why [Moosewood] is so famous. The menu was limited with only about 4 entrees, but each came with a very fresh salad and the entrees themselves were delicious. Wine and beer selections were very good, and we were impressed with the local sourcing of both food and drink. Don’t be put off by the meat-free menu, the flavors are amazing and you definitely don’t feel like you’re missing out.” — jwmassey
Just a Taste
Address: 116 North Aurora Street
Cuisine: American, Tapas, Vegetarian
Word of Mouth: “One of my wife’s and my favorite places to go on a date! They have a big selection of tapas plates, excellent for sharing. In particular, they have really stellar vegetarian choices. I never knew Brussels sprouts could satisfy me so completely! The food is always simple, flavorful, and delicious. They have a great selection of wine flights which are also really fun to share.” — SingingOwl
Address: 400 North Meadow Street
Word of Mouth: “Staff is nice and helpful. Most of their breads are really good: try the olive breads and the focaccia. Sandwiches are made fresh and their pastries are excellent.” — kapharios
Address: 404 West State Street
Word of Mouth: “The food was great, well prepared, well presented and delicious. I had the seared ahi tuna, my wife had the pork tenderloin. I would recommend both. The warm bread pudding dessert was super. It is a bistro and the setting and and ambiance are faithful to the genre. The wine list is a bit pricey, but not overly so. Don’t miss Fineline when you’re in Ithaca!” — Ira W
Maxie’s Supper Club
Address: 635 West State Street
Cuisine: American, Cajun & Creole, Barbecue, Hamburgers, Seafood, Bar, Oyster Bar
Word of Mouth: “The food was as delicious as we remembered. My husband got the shrimp and grits with sausage, which had the perfect amount of spice and a delicious sauce. I got the pulled pork sandwich, which had a delicious smoked flavor, crisp cole slaw on top and yummy barbecue sauce on the side. Don’t miss the cajun fries.” — Mamafish13
Taste of Thai
Address: 216 The Commons
Word of Mouth: “My son and I were absolutely in love with the vegetarian dishes we ordered. We shared a soup (Tom Kha) that had coconut milk, lemongrass and mushrooms. We got it with tofu, but there were several other options. Soooo flavorful! Then we each ordered a wide, rice noodle dish (Pad See Eew and Rama Noodles) and chose mock-chicken as our protein. The noodles were just incredibly good, soft ‘piles’ of thick, rice noodles in a delicious sauce, and that wonderful mock chicken. Definitely one of the best things I’ve eaten in a restaurant!” — dianasgarden
Heights Cafe & Grill
Address: 903 Hanshaw Road
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Word of Mouth: “The deceptive location in an out of the way strip mall should not fool you. This place was top notch. I had the signature steak, and my wife had the veal chop special. Both were top notch and good perfectly. Beware the portions. They are huge. So, if you get an appetizer or dessert, share. The chocolate cake, which was great, feeds at least two, maybe three.” — TravelerNJ201
Mercato Bar & Kitchen
Address: 108 North Aurora Street
Word of Mouth: “This is absolutely my go-to restaurant when anyone comes to visit me, since I know the food will always be delicious. I have been four times with four different people, and no one has ever had anything they didn’t love. I personally love their pastas, but my fiancee raves about their pork shoulder (or whatever pork product they are currently serving). Their shaved Brussels sprouts are also amazing.” — lovetoeatandsleep
Address: 202 East Falls Street
Word of Mouth: “My husband is vegan, my son a big carnivore, and I order healthy to unhealthy depending on the day. Northstar is a place where we can all be happy. Their curry is better than any Thai restaurant in town, and I dream about their cheeseburgers! It’s a wonderful small neighborhood cafe. They stock great microbrews, and use local vendors.” — mizner_12
For more Ithaca restaurants, click here.
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