college hangouts near Ithaca College
My son and I are visiting Ithaca college next week and would love to know where the kids eat nearby. I've seen all of the threads for Ithaca in general but am looking for college hangouts, cheap good eats for the kids. Need recs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thanks
Be warned that the cost of living in Ithaca is very high, so even "cheap" eats seem to be more expensive here. jmoryl is right that IC is on a hill just south of downtown, and the places closest to campus (Rogan's and Sunset Grill) are greasy and not so great.
The good news is that there are plenty of places in town that will deliver to campus. You should check out the websites GrubHub and Ithaca to Go to get an idea of what's available. Many places deliver late, especially on the weekends. Students often really like Insomnia Cookies, which will deliver freshly-baked cookies and milk into the wee hours.
I like a place called Italian Carry-Out for sandwiches. Downtown, Capital Corner has pretty good Chinese food, and Capital State Kitchen has good sushi (I think they offer a $19.99 all you can eat special). Diamond's New Delhi offers an Indian buffet at lunchtime, I think for $6.95. Saigon Kitchen has good and reasonably priced Vietnamese food. Ithaca Bakery/ Collegetown Bagels has good sandwiches and baked goods, but the prices are steep.
The biggest complaint I've heard from IC students is that they feel cut off from all of the activity of downtown being up on the hill. If your son chooses IC, it would be a good idea to buy him a bus pass so he can take the bus downtown (the walk down the hill isn't so bad, but coming back up is another story!). There are some restaurants on the Commons, though again, I wouldn't call any of them college hangouts or cheap eats. From downtown, he can transfer to another bus up to Collegetown, the neighborhood surrounding Cornell, where there's more of a college community feel. The bus can also get him to Meadow Street, where there are grocery stores (Wegmans has a lot of prepared foods, which can be a good alternative to restaurants), a Wal-Mart, and some chain restaurants, and to the mall, where there's a Target and a few chain restaurants.
On campus, in addition to the dining halls, there are places where he can get pre-made sandwiches, salads, and soup, as well as a food court with some pretty good options, and a convenience store and sandwich shop. There's also a program called Late Night, where there are activities and food.
There are tons of places in Ithaca for good food. As some have said, it's a little further from the happening spots than Cornell and some places do tend to be a little pricey. My father lives there and brother went to IC. Also have good friends who went to both colleges. My personal favorite is Thai Cuisine. Prices are good, portions are nice and the food is amazing. The Glenwood Pines isn't within walking distance, but is probably the premier burger spot. Although I hear Five Guys is making a killing there too. Zaza's is the spot for Italian food. Antlers has dinner specials every night for a decent price, but need a car to get there. There are also quite a few bars that have food (burger, wing, etc) special nightly. There are quite a few threads to be found if you search for Ithaca on CH