Ithaca Eats!

Photo courtesy College Town Bagles / Facebook page
by Arleigh Rodgers

Besides enjoying the nature in Ithaca, another great thing to do in the city is to eat. In fact, one of the first things I heard when I came to Ithaca College for summer orientation was that Ithaca had more restaurants per capita than New York City. Whether or not that fact still stands true, I was happy to discover the selection in downtown alone was more than enough to satisfy my appetite. In the almost three years I’ve gone to school at Ithaca College, I have tried sushi, Thai, and Mexican restaurants. Yes, I’ve been to Collegetown Bagels. And, you’ll read soon, I think it’s one of the best places to get breakfast.

I decided to make a list of my all-time favorite places – all-time admittedly being the last three years – broken down into each meal.


Breakfast: Collegetown Bagels

I think this place is the best to grab breakfast. The restaurant has a new location downtown, and the space is broader and more colorful. Their morning sandwiches are never short of excellent, and be sure to substitute a bagel for the menu items without them (I don’t understand this sentence). California Sunrise on a Rosemary Salt bagel is my go-to!


Coffee: Gimme! Coffee

While Collegetown Bagels may be the place to go for food, your coffee fix should be filled by Gimme! Coffee. The shop’s brand isn’t overtly vibrant like Collegetown Bagels because it instead focuses on a minimalist menu that will appeal to all customers — there’s nothing like a good latte. The one location on Cayuga Street is small, but it’s cozy and an ideal space for reading or work.


Lunch: Luna Inspired Street Food

Drawing on different cuisines, this restaurant is comfort all around. The location near the Commons in Ithaca is easy to access and undeniably attractive inside, with long tables that seemingly invite customers to bring in other people. It’s a restaurant that seemingly offers it all — with coconut curry, pizza, sweet potato tacos, and endless options for mac & cheese, what’s not to love?.


Dinner: Hawi Ethiopian Cuisine

I have brought just about every person who has come to visit me in Ithaca to this restaurant. The restaurant’s family-style, hands-only meals deliver so consistently and so beautifully, how could I not return again and again? The vegetarian options, which I always order, are never short on flavor and good seasonings, and the food is served on traditional Ethiopian injera bread.


Dessert: Purity Ice Cream

Finally, how could I finish off this list without a place for dessert? Purity is a place to bring your kids, your parents, your friends, or your significant other. The shop follows all avenues, with a romantic, friendly, and cheerful atmosphere. While Purity is known for its sweet treats, the shop also offers brunch items, all of which look as enticing as the buckets of ice cream chilling in the freezer by the register.


Arleigh Rodgers is a junior English major at Ithaca College. She is currently the assistant Life & Culture editor at The Ithacan, Ithaca College's student-run newspaper. She enjoys reading, playing the piano and visiting the Ithaca Farmer's Market every weekend.

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