Cornell University, Ithaca College

Mattie G., Cornell Class of 2010, and Carol M., Cornell Class of 1964

In Collegetown/on Campus: Collegetown is a quaint Cornell hotspot at the base of the campus hill where most of the bars, restaurants, eateries and upperclassman reside. Whether you are looking to grab a quick bite or enjoy a sit-down meal, Collegetown has a little something for everyone- no car required.

Collegetown Bagels (referred to as “CTB”)
415 College Avenue
Ithaca, New York

An all-time favorite among Cornell students, faculty and local residents alike, this is a must-hit destination when visiting campus. Freshly baked bagels and delicious, made-to-order sandwiches and wraps create the perfect recharge meal — whether you take your food to go for the walking tour or sit down and enjoy the people watching.

403 College Avenue
Ithaca, New York

If you’re looking for a nicer sit-down meal, look no further than Stella’s. The chicken pesto mozzarella wrap, chicken & wild mushroom pasta and local grass-fed Finger Lakes burger are favorites, and you can’t go wrong with one of their omelet specialties for breakfast.

100 Dryden Road
Ithaca, New York

A more casual Greek restaurant, Aladdin’s offers dine-in and to-go service. Everything is tasty and comes in large portions, great for family style dining or leftovers later on. Student favorites include any of the souvlaki or pita plates, the sundried tomato pesto pasta and the fruit and nut salad.

The Dairy Bar
Cornell Agriculture Quad
Ithaca, New York

Another must-visit spot to really experience the Cornell culture. The ice cream is made locally by agriculture farms around campus, and it is absolutely to die for! Every year, dairy science students compete to win the year’s best new ice cream flavor, which is then served at The Dairy Bar and in the campus cafeterias. The Dairy Bar is located on the top of the hill just past the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Taverna Banfi
The Statler-Cornell University Hotel
130 Statler Drive
Ithaca, New York

Cornell is unique in that there is a hotel, The Statler, located in the center of the campus, which is the location of the Cornell Hotel School.  Taverna Banfi is the excellent hotel restaurant where you will see guests, professors, administrators, and students engaged in conversation during breakfast, lunch and dinner.  (Banfi’s name comes from the Italian wine company, Banfi, which is owned by Cornell Hotel alum, John Mariani.)

Louie’s Lunch Wagon Food Truck
Outside Risley Dormitory

For a late night snack, look for “Louie’s Lunch Wagon” to be found late at night opposite Risley Dormitory!  The best tuna sandwiches ever!

A drive just outside campus:

Ithaca Ale House
111 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, New York

Located just below the Collegetown hill in a restaurant row called The Commons, Ithaca Ale House offers a great selection of tasty American cuisine and local Ithaca brews on tap. There is something for everyone on this menu. The space is a little smaller though, so beware if you have a large party that seating may be tight.

The Boat Yard Grill
Taughannock Boulevard
Ithaca, New York

A casual waterfront restaurant for everyone — great for small or large parties, it offers a variety of food for any appetite, portion-size preference or budget. The ambience is casual and friendly, the venue is large and most tables have a nice view of the lake. If you visit when it’s warm they have outside tables on the water.

602 West Buffalo Street
Ithaca, New York

Offering hearty Italian cuisine, this family-owned establishment offers unlimited salad and bread sticks, large portions and a cheap bill. A great spot if you are traveling with a large party, Joe’s is only a five to ten minute drive outside the campus.

Taste of Thai
216 The Commons
Ithaca, New York

Truly authentic Thai cuisine in The Commons, this independently owned restaurant has been voted Ithaca’s Best Thai/Ethnic restaurant for over 7 years. The pad thai is a favorite.

A little farther away, but well worth the drive: While a little pricier than the rest, these next two restaurants are out of this world. If you are a foodie or willing to drive the extra mile for an exceptional meal while college traveling, these will not disappoint. Make sure to book early though, as these hot spots fill up fast, especially during prime times such as move-in day, graduation weekend, and prospective freshman visits. The dress/ambience is a little more upscale at both.

John Thomas Steakhouse
1152 Danby Road
Ithaca, New York

Located opposite Ithaca College, this is a steak house as good as any in New York City.  Be prepared for huge steaks and prime rib – with prices to match — perfectly prepared, with fresh accoutrements and great desserts.

Taughannock Farms
Taughannocks Farms Inn
2030 Gorge Road
Trumansburg, New York

Exquisite food and an even more unbeatable view of Cayuga Lake, you will fall in love with Taughannock Farms and its fresh, finely-prepared dishes and lovely atmosphere.