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Kosher groceries/food in Ithaca, NY

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Hi all -

I may be relocating to Ithaca, NY next year for graduate school, but I probably won't have a chance to visit beforehand. Does anyone know anything about kosher restaurants, kosher groceries, etc in Ithaca? Some Google searching has confirmed to me that they have several vegetarian restaurants, a Wegman's (but not one with a special Kosher dept.), and a couple other organic/vegetarian grocery stores. Anyone have anything to add? I assumed there'd be more in the area (Cornell is a huge school), but maybe not...

Thanks!

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  1. I was just in Binghamton which is near Ithaca - the Wegeman's in Binghamton had decent kosher for not having a kosher dept. - I would check with http://www.chabadcornell.com/ or http://cornellhillel.org/ or http://www.cornellcjl.com/kosher/abou...

    5 Replies
    1. re: weinstein5

      Enjoy Ithaca. It's a great town. As for kosher, for a rural town in the middle of nowhere, it's a great kosher-friendly place. There is a kosher dining hall at both Cornell and Ithaca College (when I was at Cornell, IC had better food, but Cornell's was pretty good too, especially the challah). They are both open to the public. Moosewood Restaurant (as in the cookbook) is also located in Ithaca. While it is not kosher, it is vegetarian. I'm sure there are a couple of other veggie joints around town, but they escape me.

      As for the grocery stores, Wegmans in Ithaca has had and probably still has fresh kosher meat (not all the time, but find out when delivery is and they should have it). They more often had fresh Empire as well as Empires full stock of frozen products. There is a Tops supermarket across the parking lot from Weggies which had plenty of kosher food too (Tops house brand has more kosher products than Weggies' does). Last time I was at Wegmans, about a year ago, they had Zomick's challah.

      I think some "townies" as we affectionately called them would order meat through the Cornell kosher dining hall (who got its meat from Scranton).

      While kosher food in Ithaca may not be as plentiful as New York, you can definitely survive very well. The Jewish community - whether at Cornell, IC or Ithaca-itself - is very good and they always treated me well.

      Finally, the Ithaca Brewery is approved kosher by the Orthodox rabbi at Cornell.

      And remember, Ithaca is Gorges. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      1. re: craigcep

        Thanks to both responders - this is incredibly helpful and I feel a lot better about (potentially) moving to Ithaca next year!

        Two very random questions -

        1) Do you know if there's anywhere in town to get Sabra products (hummus, baba, etc)? These are my student staples, but I've occasionally had trouble finding them outside of NYC.

        2) Is there an Orthodox or Modern Orthodox congregation in Ithaca aside from Chabad?

        Thanks again!

        1. re: katyana27

          Center for Jewish Living: http://www.cornellcjl.com/index.aspx

          1. re: katyana27

            1 - Wegmans carries a lot. While I don't know specifically if they carry Sabra brand, there's a decent chance and they certainly carry humus. Wegmans is unlike any other supermarket you have experienced in the NY area. It's huge and carries a lot. And if Weggies doesn't it, there's a Tops across the parking lot, another Tops near the mall, a PNC in East Hill Plaza, another supermarket downtown that I never went to (near the science center) and a food co-op which I also never went to. Of course, you can learn to make your own hummus.

            2 - As for minyans, the CJL (Cornell Jewish Living) is affiliated with the OU. They used to run the kosher dining hall (when it was affiliated with Young Israel), but now sponsor a residential hall and community hub, if you will. Also, they have 3 minyans/day. Check out http://www.cornellcjl.com/

            Let me know if you want my email address to ask me more Ithaca questions. I really loved it up there, having spent my undergrad days at Cornell.

            1. re: katyana27

              My in-laws live in Binghamton, and for a while, whenever they came to visit us in Manhattan, they brought big tubs of Sabra chumus with them. Once I felt more comfortable, I pointed out that we could get chumus in New York, even Sabra chumus! I think they shop at the Wegman's in Binghamton, so the one in Ithaca might have Sabra products also.