It’s Friday night and you want to grab a nice dinner with your significant other. Unfortunately, on a college budget it isn’t always easy to find a sit-down restaurant at a relatively reasonable price. However, with the abundance of restaurants in Ithaca (more restaurants per capita than New York City!) there are a lot of hidden options that are perfect for the college couple on a budget. Use this guide to find the best date night deals for two for $25 or less (pre-tax and tip) in two of the most popular areas of Ithaca, Collegetown and the Commons.
Aladdin’s Natural Eatery, 100 Dryden Road
Aladdin’s serves a wide range of Greek, Middle Eastern and Italian food — it’s the perfect restaurant to compromise on two different preferences. Aladdin’s also has an outdoor patio where you can enjoy the few days of nice weather we have during the year.
Entree: Gyro Pita – $6.95
Entree: Chicken Souvlaki – $13.50
Dessert: Baklava – $4.50
Cafe Pacific, 114 Dryden Road
A hidden gem right in the heart of Collegetown, Cafe Pacific serves authentic Japanese food cooked fresh to order. With its inexpensive options and cozy interior, Cafe Pacific is great for a low-key night out.
Entree: Katsu Curry – $9.70
Entree: Shoyu Ramen – $8.10
Dessert: Mitarashi Dango – $4.99
Koko Korean, 321 College Ave.
Standing out from its neighbors with its vibrant blue exterior, Koko Korean serves authentic, traditional Korean dishes. With some of the friendliest service in Ithaca, Koko makes you feel at-home while even away from home.
Appetizer: Mandoo – $4.99
Main: Bibimbap – $9.99
Main: Yuk Gae Jang – $9.99
Mehak, 410 Eddy St.
With their great food and service, Mehak offers the flavors of India to its customers. Perfect for sharing, Mehak offers large portions without sacrificing quality.
Entree: Chicken Curry – $11.99
Entree: Daal Makhani – $9.99
Side: Plain Naan – $2.99
The Nines, 311 College Ave.
A Cornell classic, The Nines is Ithaca’s go-to for deep dish pizza. A favorite amongst Cornellians, it boasts a lively atmosphere great for a night out.
Entree: 4 Large Slices of Deep Dish Pizza with 2 Toppings – $20.20
Side: ½ pound of Seasoned Fries – $4.50
Asia Cuisine, 126 N Aurora St.
Asia Cuisine serves a diverse range of pan-Asian fare from Korean dishes to Japanese sushi. Its wide variety of cuisines makes it easy to try new things or stick with your favorites.
Appetizer: Shumai – $4.95
Entree: Bokum Bap – $10.95
Entree: Sashimi Salad – $8.95
Ithaca Ale House, 111 N Aurora St.
A gastropub famous for its 20+ craft beers on tap, Ithaca Ale House also has great food to match. Often featuring live music, Ithaca Ale House provides a lively, but cozy, dinner atmosphere.
Entree: Caprese Salad – $12.00
Entree: Ale House Pulled Pork Sandwich – $12.00
Kilpatrick’s Publick House, 130 E Seneca St.
Spacious and well-decorated with an Irish flare, Kilpatrick’s serves up hearty meals and great craft beers. With its weekly trivia and karaoke nights, Kilpatrick’s is perfect for a fun night out.
Entree: Traditional Fish and Chips – $13
Entree: Grilled Chicken and Brie Sandwich – $12
New Delhi Diamond’s, 106 W Green St.
With fast, friendly and knowledgeable staff, New Delhi Diamond’s provides authentic Indian food in the heart of Ithaca. Diamond’s offers a great variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options to satisfy a wide range of dietary restrictions.
Entree: Chicken Tandoori – $10.95
Entree: Navratni Vegetable Curry – $9.95
Dessert: Rasmalai – $3.50
Viva Taqueria and Cantina, 101 N Aurora St. & E State St.
One of the most popular restaurants on the Commons, Viva Taqueria and Cantina is a high-spirited restaurant with bright interiors. Surprisingly well-priced, Viva also has outdoor seating, a taco counter and a lively atmosphere to suit any diner’s preferences.
Appetizer: Salsa Fresca – $2.50
Entree: Tostadas – $8.75
Entree: Taqueria Super Burrito – $9.99
A college budget may limit your finances, but it doesn’t always have to limit your options. Save time and money by using this guide to find the perfect restaurant for your next date night.