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Jun 11, 2013 03:53 PM

Good diners/casual spots on Rt 17?

We'll be driving back from Ithaca to Westchester county after dropping our son off at a summer program. The timing is very uncertain, so I'm not looking for a place that I need/want a reservation; a reliable diner or other casual place would be ideal. We'll probably be leaving Ithaca around 4 pm, but the timing of dinner is pretty flexible. Any ideas? I see on the interwebs that Roscoe diner is not the icon I thought it was.

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  1. I live in Westchester. My son went to Cornell. I spent many hours on 17. No chow worthy stops along the way.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mrsdebdav

      I have to agree with this - I am from Westchester and went to Cornell, and we used to time it so that we wouldn't need a meal along the way. Have an early dinner/late lunch in Ithaca! Or stop in Binghamton, although I'm not familiar with the food there, it's likely better than anything else you'd find along the rest of 17.

      DGresh, I hope your sun has a wonderful time at the summer program! Ithaca is amazing in the summer. I took part in a very short (one week) summer program at Cornell while I was in high school, and then ended up going there.

    2. I often enjoyed a pretty good "Sportsman Breakfast " at the Circle E Diner There are I believe two Italian restaurants also in that town which is Hancock

      1. Piccolo Paese, just off Rt. 17 at the Rt 52 exit in Liberty, is much more elegant than a diner, although when I have been there I sat at the bar where the full menu is available. Some true CHOWHOUNDS might scoff at the high prices, but the rod is great. Check it out at

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mike in Rhinebeck

          I just had a really good meal here. It wasn't cheap but everything was very good, especially the Caesar salad and eggplant parm. The specials run significantly more expensive than the regular menu so be sure to inquire if price is an object.

          The ambiance is very old fashioned and the service is a bit stiffly formal but this is a really good option if you are in transit on 17 and want a full sit down meal.

        2. The Lost Dog Cafe in Binghamton is really good, fun and relaxed.

          And to join in what others are saying about the Cornell summer program...I, too, went as a high schooler. Didn't go to Cornell (but I was tempted), but it had a huge positive influence on my ultimate choice, plus I got to college knowing about 10 of my classmates because of the Cornell program.

            1. re: fourunder

              This place is south of where the OP will be getting off Rte. 17.