The following are our favorite places to eat and fun things to do. We have compiled these lists from comments from our guests and our own experiences, and are delighted to share them with you.
With so many great restaurants to choose from in Ithaca, it was difficult to refine our favorites list to only ten. Please let us know about your exceptional dining experiences.
John Thomas Steakhouse
Located right next door to La Tourelle this is the premier steak house in the region. The steak is mouthwatering, and served with family-style sides. Reservations are recommended and we would be happy to make them for you at the front desk.
Maxie’s Supper Club
A great local restaurant and bar scene with a raw bar, Mardi gras beads at the door, and a Cajun theme. They do not take reservations, but call-ahead seating is available and there is a fun bar to sit at while you wait for a table. We recommend the supper club salad topped with Cajun catfish or their homemade gumbo with fresh cornbread. Maxie’s is located in downtown Ithaca away from the Ithaca Commons with plenty of parking.
Corey and Kevin Adleman are identical twin brothers bringing Latin American cuisine to New York. After testing a concept for 2 years by hosting weekly "pop-up" dinners around Ithaca, they decided to open a restaurant together that reflected their love of cooking and desire to bring the flavors and ingredients of Latin America to Ithaca.
Just a Taste
A tapas bar with wine flights from throughout the region and the world. They are located on Aurora Street, also known as Restaurant Row. Just a Taste is a fun place to order many plates to share. Keep your menu because you can order more food throughout your meal. There is outdoor seating available on the patio in the back, just ask to sit outside. The garlic and white wine shrimp are a real favorite.
Mercato & Cent-Dix
Located on Restaurant Row, just off The Commons, Mercato offers an Italian-inspired menu that changes seasonally. Right next door you will find Cent-Dix – a wonderful French Bistro which has recently opened. Save room for every course on this journey through French cuisine – it is superb.
Offers classic American cuisine with an upscale twist. It is located right on the inlet with great views of kayakers and dragon-boaters. A favorite among students and their families, Boatyard Grill is THE place to be.
A famous local restaurant in the heart of Ithaca. Their vegetarian cookbooks are known throughout the world as being revolutionary in vegetarian cuisine. The menu changes daily, but is always fantastic, so take a chance and show up or you can look at today’s menu online at moosewoodrestaurant.com. Ask at the front desk and we’ll print you out a copy of the menu for tonight. They also offer lunch which is sometimes less busy and also great. All entrees come with a salad, order the house dressing, it’s the best.
The food is why most people come to Northstar, situated in Ithaca’s Fall Creek neighborhood, but they also have an extensive list of bottled beer, 12 rotating drafts, and a very good selection of spirits and wines. The menu is always fresh and will change with the seasons. They use local, organic vegetables and meats whenever possible. Northstar is a favorite of our vegan and vegetarian guests. We love the lobster mac and cheese.
Our local Mexican restaurant with 2 sides: the cantina on the right for takeout and quick meals and the taqueria which offers a full service Mexican menu. The margaritas at the bar are known as some of the best throughout Ithaca, only barely beating the maxie-rita. The chicken stuffed quesadillas are especially great with salsa inside the cheesy delight. For a delicious non-alcoholic treat try the homemade orange-lime juice, it’s fantastic.
This small bistro speaks our language with their locally sourced cuisine. From their Finger Lakes cheese plate to their blueberry salad, superb meats and poultry from local farms, and a half baked brownie with local ice cream and bacon – we’re always enchanted by the special way in which the Hazelnut Kitchen shows off the wealth of our region. This very popular but small restaurant in Trumansburg is a 30 minute drive from La Tourelle, and worth the trip.
Agava’s southwest cuisine and amazing drinks have quickly made it an Ithaca hotspot. Located next to East Hill Plaza near Cornell, this is a great place to mingle with students and Ithacans. Lots of music, wonderful cocktails and a delicious brunch.Corey + Kevin Adelman are identical twin brothers originally from northern New Jersey.