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Vegetarian/kid-friendly off NY Thruway?

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I am driving the NY Thruway to Canada (NY City to Albany, then to Syracuse, then up route 80N), and am loathe to stop at the fast-food places at the service areas. Does anyone know of any decent places off the highway that might serve SOMETHING vegetarian (including eggs/dairy) and be relatively (very young) children friendly? i.e. the service is quick. If anyone knows places to picnic with playgrounds etc., I would be most appreciative. Thanks.

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  1. If you don't mind a bit of a detour, stop at the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY. It's about 25 miles off of 81, a bit before you reach Syracuse. Delicious vegetarian food, very friendly atmosphere-- everytime I head north, I try to stop there. Casual atmosphere, mid-priced, very friendly and I can't imagine that they would have any trouble with a child.

    Dinner on weekends is a bit of a zoo-- people start lining up long before opening, and they don't take reservations. But lunches and mid-week dinners are much quieter/quicker. Give 'em a call to get some idea of whether there might be a wait when you plan to drop by. A link to their website is below.

    Link: http://www.moosewoodrestaurant.com/

    3 Replies
    1. re: Beth

      Beth,

      Is that the famous Moosewood restaurant of the vegetarian cookbook fame? Perhpas not, since I thought that was in Vermont. But that's an excellent suggestion. In fact, and alternate route to Syracuse could take me right past Ithaca, so this is tipping the balance in favor of that route.

      1. re: Edmund

        Yep, this is the restaurant of cookbook fame. I highly recommend it.

        Also, alternate routes through that area go through the fingerlakes. Lots of little lunch places (some attached to wineries), lots of beautiful scenery. It will add a little time to your trip, but it sure beats interstate driving any day!

        1. re: Beth

          Thanks again Beth.

          It sounds tempting, though with my daughters in the car (3 and 18 months) I doubt we will have time to venture too far off the main roads. Incidentally, are there any good places to stop in the Pocanos (sp?), off Route 81?