Ithaca Coffee Culture

As I sit in a coffee shop wondering what to write about this week, I think to myself: write about coffee shops! There are plenty in Ithaca, after all, and each cafe very much has its own unique character. Coffee culture is strong here, and it would be very difficult, maybe impossible, to be an Ithacan without knowing about Gimme! Coffee. This is where I happen to be right now, at the Gimme! Coffee cafe on Cayuga Street. My plan now is to list and give a little blurb about my top five favorite coffee shops in Ithaca.

Gimme! Coffee Cayuga Street: A smaller, cozy coffee shop. Sometimes limited seating. Nice lighting, plants in the windows, artwork (that changes frequently) up on the walls. Music is usually good, and given the size of the room can definitely be heard. Strong coffee, delicious pastries.

Gimme! Coffee State Street: One of the larger coffee shop options. Usually has a busier feel to it, lots of people being productive. Most of seating available is at larger, conference style tables. Like its sister shop it also has artwork that changes frequently, strong coffee, and yummy pastries.

The Shop: Located right outside the Ithaca Commons. A quirky combination of a coffee shop and tattoo parlor. Offers juices in addition to coffee and tea, as well as pastries. Music can be hit-or-miss. Hosts open mic nights monthly.

Press Bay Cafe: A very small cafe with a minimalistic feel. Large glass windows allow for beautiful light to come in, and gives you the feel of being outside. Seating can be limited due to its size. Strong coffee, not many options for pastries.

Ithaca Coffee Company: A combination of both a cafe and tavern, serves food such as sandwiches and bagels along with pastries. Cafe area in the front. Free coffee refills with the purchase of a small coffee.  Tavern area and bar in the back with seating at the bar as well as high top tables. Large specialty beer selection. Tends to be a little darker lighter and chillier temperature than other coffee shops.

Each of these shops is a good place to be depending on the day and mood. And, because they are all located close to downtown its always an option to take a drink to go.


By Kathleen Malnati