12 Best Restaurants in Ithaca, NY [2023 Updated]

If you’re looking for a list of the most popular restaurants in Ithaca, New York, then you’ve come to the right place. Ithaca, which is located in New York’s Finger Lakes region, has an endless number of inviting, delicious dining options.

In this list, you’ll find our top 12 picks for the best restaurants in the area. If you’re looking for a leisurely brunch experience with friends, a quick but tasty lunch, or a special evening meal, we’ve got your Ithaca dining needs covered.

All of these restaurants are highly rated, have a long list of positive reviews, and have even been featured by trusted sources like the New York Times.

If you’re craving something new and ready to find your next favorite restaurant, then follow along as we share our list of the 12 best restaurants in Ithaca, New York.

Breakfast and Brunch

1. Dolce Delight

$$ | (607) 272-0282 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurants in Ithaca, NY

Considered to be “the place where locals go for brunch,” Dolce Delight often has a line out the door. But don’t worry, it usually moves fast.

With a cute and cozy atmosphere, homemade bread, and their unique pepper jam, it’s a great option for picking up breakfast to go, or relaxing for a while with friends while you sip a delicious cup of coffee.



2. Cafe Dewitt

$$ | (607) 273-3473 | WEBSITE


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At Cafe Dewitt, everything is made with local ingredients, resulting in a long list of fresh and delicious offerings. As a full-service restaurant and café in Downtown Ithaca’s Dewitt Mall, they’re a four-time “Best in Ithaca” winner for brunch.

With delicious coffee, decadent pastries, mouthwatering breakfast sandwiches, and numerous vegan and gluten-free options, Cafe Dewitt has something for everyone.



3. Angelhearts Diner

$$ | (607) 319-4205 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurant in Ithaca, NY

Angelhearts Diner offers made-from-scratch vegan comfort food. Breakfast is served all day long, so patrons can enjoy favorites such as their savory biscuits and gravy, the hearty breakfast skillet, or the loaded burrito with tofu scramble anytime they want.

Angelhearts is a top-rated destination for everyone, whether you prefer vegan dining options or just want a delicious take on all the breakfast classics.



4. Hound and Mare

$$ | (607) 319-4463 | WEBSITE


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With made-to-order egg and bagel sandwiches, a wide selection of delicious baked goods, and fresh coffee brewed daily, Hound & Mare is a can’t-miss breakfast destination.

The cozy-cute atmosphere, top-rated service, and delicious variety of morning favorites make Hound & Mare a favorite for locals and tourists alike.

Don’t miss out on the popular avocado toast, topped with pickled red onion and sliced radishes, or the butternut spice maple cupcake, if you have something sweeter in mind.



5. Coal Yard Cafe

$ | 607-277-0734 | WEBSITE

Ithaca, NYBest Restaurants

Mouthwatering omelets, scrambles, and breakfast sandwiches – need we say more? The Coal Yard Cafe is a popular stop for its variety of savory, filling, and unique morning fare.

With its location’s long and storied history – for many years, the building housed businesses that sold coal to Ithaca residents – the setting is as unique as the menu. The eclectic menu has a little bit of everything, making it a top choice for a large group with varying tastes.



Laid Back Meals

6. Moosewood

$$ | (607) 273-9610 | WEBSITE


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Widely acknowledged to be the country’s longest-running vegetarian restaurant, Moosewood has a long, storied history that dates back to 1973.

Since its establishment in 1973, and through a change in ownership in 2002, Moosewood continues to satisfy local interest in delicious, healthy, plant-forward cuisine. With its deeply rooted farm-to-table philosophy, the menu changes regularly, based on what’s in season.



7. MIX

$$ | (607) 319-4248 | WEBSITE

Ithaca, NY Best Restaurant

Considered by locals to be a neighborhood restaurant, MIX chef-owners Shayne and Mix Johnson want every guest who walks through their doors to feel like they’re stepping into a welcoming home.

Featuring a menu of multi-ethnic small plates, impressive steaks, and delicious cocktails, MIX serves up a vibrant atmosphere and an eclectic feel. Plus, you won’t want to miss the live jazz and blues on Sundays.



8. Ithaca Ale House

$$ | (607) 256-7977 | WEBSITE


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This laid-back, cozy destination is best known for its rotating list of 20 craft beers. With arguably the tastiest burgers in town, Ithaca Ale House is also a popular spot to enjoy crab cakes, flatbreads, and tavern fries.

A regular winner of the Ithaca Journal Readers’ Choice Award, the Ithaca Ale House offers a modern, inviting industrial décor where guests feel encouraged to sit back, drink up, and stay awhile.



9. Viva Taqueria & Cantina

$ | (607) 277-1752 | WEBSITE

Restaurants in Ithaca, NY

Viva Taqueria & Cantina is Ithaca’s best option for fresh, savory Mexican dining at affordable prices. With a full-service kitchen and a well-stocked tequila bar, Viva is both family-friendly and sure to deliver a good time.

Best of Ithaca Magazine has awarded Viva with the “Best Budget” and “Best Kid Friendly” titles. Choose from a vast selection of premium tequilas and mezcals, Mexican and local beers, fresh sangria, a vibrant, energetic atmosphere, and the best Mexican dishes Ithaca has to offer.



Upscale Dining

10. Le Café Cent-Dix

$$$ | (607) 319-0750 | WEBSITE

Ithaca, NYRestaurants

A classic French Bistro featuring timeless café dishes, Le Café Cent-Dix is the perfect destination for an intimate date night or a refined night out with friends.

With top-rated service and exquisite food to match, you’ll find the Frisée Aux Lardons and Steak Frites irresistible. When visiting, don’t miss the daily specials, seasonal salads, and extensive wine selection.



11. Taverna Banfi

$$$ | (607) 254-2565 | WEBSITE

Ithaca, NY Restaurant

Located in The Statler Hotel at Cornell University, Taverna Banfi offers memorable, Tuscan-inspired Italian dining with several vegetarian options.

With an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients and regional wines, the chefs at Taverna Banfi artfully meld old-world Tuscan flavors with modern culinary flair. Taverna Banfi is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as brunch on Saturday and Sunday.



12. Mercato Bar & Kitchen

$$$ | (607) 319-5171 | WEBSITE

Ithaca, NY Top Restaurants

Established in 2010, this family-owned and operated restaurant is a local favorite. With a seasonal menu, exceptional wines, and craft cocktails, Mercato is the perfect spot for an upscale dinner out in Ithaca.

The Italian-inspired menu includes favorite dishes such as Saltimbocca-style Chicken and Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crostini. The menu changes seasonally, so come back time and again for something fresh and new.




While Ithaca, New York may be best known for its beautiful natural surroundings, or as the home of Cornell University, it’s also a great destination for delicious food and drinks.

If you’re coming to visit the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art or to take a stroll through the Cornell Botanic Gardens, then this list of the best restaurants in Ithaca will ensure you’re well-fed along the way.

Best Restaurants in Ithaca

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Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.