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One night in Ithaca

t
tourmama Apr 19, 2011 08:30 PM

Spending one night in downtown Ithaca while we do college touring. Looking for suggestions for a really good but not really expensive dinner - two families with teenage kids willing to eat almost anything!

Thanks!

  1. s
    Solstice444 Apr 20, 2011 05:58 AM

    There are many topics on Ithaca dining if you do a search - here is one such thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/431817

    There are so many wonderful places to eat there, it would help if you could narrow down what types of foods you might like! Taste of Thai is great for (obviously) Thai, Maxie's Supper Club for seafood/Cajun, Just A Taste for an eclectic mix of tapas...etc. etc. I went to college there and very much enjoyed it...good luck with your touring!

    -----
    Just A Taste
    116 N Aurora St, Ithaca, NY 14850

    Taste of Thai
    216 E State St, Ithaca, NY 14850

    1. m
      mrsdebdav Apr 20, 2011 10:30 PM

      Always enjoyed Ale House. Lively, certainly not quiet or low key, but my son (recent grad) and I have enjoyed numerous dinners there.
      http://www.ithacaalehouse.com/index.php

      7 Replies
      1. re: mrsdebdav
        w
        writergeek313 Apr 21, 2011 10:51 AM

        The Ale House is in my opinion overpriced and can get very loud. A better alternative is the Bandwagon Brew Pub on South Cayuga Street (look for the yellow awning). What I like so much about them is that they try to use local ingredients whenever possible, and it's slightly more upscale pub grub, but not overly fancy or overpriced. I think their cheeseburger (made with local, grass-fed beef) is the best in town, but there are plenty of other options. The adults can try their house-brewed beers, or a variety of NY state microbrews, and the teens can try the root beer made by Ithaca Beer Co.

        Here's their website: http://www.bandwagonbeer.com/

        Taste of Thai would be another good choice. If you're looking for a unique-to-Ithaca meal, of course there's Moosewood, though I'd suggest it for lunch rather than dinner, since the prices are more reasonable then (and dinner portions often seem small for the price). I've had mixed experiences with Viva Taqueria and have heard others say that Sushi O Sake is a bit inconsistent lately.

        I worry Just A Taste might get expensive. I'd say the same for Madeline's, though it would definitely be worth a splurge to stop in for dessert.

        Enjoy your time in Ithaca!

        -----
        Just A Taste
        116 N Aurora St, Ithaca, NY 14850

        Moosewood Restaurant
        215 N Cayuga St Ste 70, Ithaca, NY 14850

        Taste of Thai
        216 E State St, Ithaca, NY 14850

        Viva Taqueria
        101 N Aurora St, Ithaca, NY 14850

        1. re: writergeek313
          r
          Regymos Apr 21, 2011 11:07 AM

          If you are in Ithaca over the weekend, you MUST go to the Ithaca Farmer's Market; probably one of the best in the country. My daugher is graduating from Cornell in May so we've hit a lot of the restaurants. Ithaca does have a lot of good restaurants; many of which use local ingredients. We've enjoyed Just a Taste and Sushi/Sake (Aurora) -- Just a Taste can get crowded, but both are very good meals. The kids get a very good carry out/delivery at Sticky Rice on State/Gateway Center. Best pad thai I've had ever. you could get it delivered to hotel - eating in there is not great. If you want to taste Authentic Mexican, go to Garcia's on 13. For a very nice meal, try Carriage House for Brunch. Moosewood is unique and very good, I've always had to wait a bit at Moosewood and the waiting place gets pretty crowded. Enjoy !!

          -----
          Moosewood Restaurant
          215 N Cayuga St Ste 70, Ithaca, NY 14850

          Carriage House Cafe
          305 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850

          1. re: Regymos
            r
            Regymos Apr 21, 2011 11:48 AM

            ....Forgot to mention that my husband likes Taste of Thai, he thinks it is excellent; but to me the Pad Thai is better at Sticky Rice. Sticky Rice is mainly carry out. Taste of Thai is a crowded and popular restaurant.

            -----
            Taste of Thai
            216 E State St, Ithaca, NY 14850

            1. re: Regymos
              w
              writergeek313 Apr 21, 2011 07:13 PM

              The Farmer's Market is my absolute favorite part of living in Ithaca. It's amazing. Right now, it's only open Saturdays, I think either from 10-2 or 10-3.

              I keep meaning to try Sticky Rice. It's not that far from where I live, but I always forget it's there, since it's not on the side of that building that's visible from the street. I also really like Ithaca Coffee Company in Gateway Commons. That's where I usually get my beans.

              1. re: Regymos
                d
                DGresh Sep 17, 2012 03:56 AM

                I was staying across the street from Garcias, and didn't feel like driving, so my son and I went there. I have to say I was singularly unimpressed by everything except for the margarita. I ordered the pork carnitas, my son had some sort of beef dish. They looked identical, and were both tough and tasteless. The "salad" was some chopped lettuce and a blob of avocado dressing. Salsa and chips were fine.

                1. re: DGresh
                  Fred19 Sep 17, 2012 05:16 AM

                  I like Antler's.

                  ~Fred19

              2. re: writergeek313
                j
                JeremyEG Sep 17, 2012 05:28 AM

                I second bandwagon. i had the pleasure of working in Ithaca for this past summer and Bandwagon became a semi-regular hangout. The beer is spectacular but I almost feel like the food is underrated in town! The burger is amazing and the salads were fresher than almost anything else around. They are committed to good ingredients and they cook very, very well. I sometimes found restaurant dishes to be too 'busy' and trying a little to hard in Ithaca, at least at the higher end. But Bandwagon was not afraid to keep things simple, well executed and well-sourced. If you can travel a bit, my wife and I had a special meal at Hazlenut Kitchen a bit out of town. i would reserve there but it's worth it. What a treat.

                I miss the Ithaca farmers market every Saturday!
                JeremyEG
                HomeCookLocavore.com

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