88 businesses and 41 vendors selling fresh food to the public. An explosion of aromas rattle your senses upon arrival at the Ithaca Farmers Market. If you’re on a limited lunch budget, it’s hard to choose the perfect stand. However, hidden amongst a jungle of ranging delicacies are not only some of the best dishes in Ithaca, but the best deals. With a careful eye and sufficient appetite, spending less than 10$ on a Farmers Market meal is easy. Here are some places to help you save:
Meals On The Go
Perhaps one of the most popular food items each Saturday is the Solaz breakfast burrito. Packed with monterey jack, eggs and salsa, this easy hand-held meal is available at booth 20 to the far left of the main entrance. This business has been located in Ithaca for over 25 years, a staple at the market and quick favorite for many.
The Good Loaf Bake Shop
Another fantastic deal can be found a little ways to the right at booth 36. There, The Good Loaf Bake Shop has sold fresh Chilean style empanadas since 2004. Empanadas come with complimentary pembre and a side salad for only six dollars. It’s a fast and full lunch served hot in a few minutes.
Around the same area of the market, Silver Spoon provides homemade, locally inspired comfort food. A big seller for them is their classic grilled cheese, which certainly catches the attention of many passing by booth 15. Soup and salad also comes at an affordable price, contributing to a nostalgic scent within the left sector of the market.
Fried and breaded bites like a good sandwich or an empanada sell out rapidly. Sunrise Samosas, at booth 65, is a contributor to this trend. For just a few dollars cash, meat or vegan samosas are wrapped in napkins and carried around the space. It’s a perfect meal to have on hand while shopping for art, clothes or groceries.
Khmer Angkor Cambodian Food
One more outstanding business you’re bound to see on the weekend is Khmer Angkor Cambodian Food. Offering a colorful array of traditional Cambodian dishes, some claim that booth 79 is the best around. Paper bowls of Amohck Chicken and Banh Chev, a crepe-like delicacy, have been seen circulating the market since 2002.
Desserts & Drinks
Dennis’s Homemade Ice Cream
While grab and go lunches are all the rage, the Ithaca Farmers Market would not be complete without dessert joints like Dennis’s Homemade Ice Cream. At booth 47, a line usually rounds the corner as anxious visitors wait to choose from a range of ice cream flavors. Whether the choice is peach or coffee, this business refreshes the masses at only four dollars a scoop. Lemonade is also sold, perfect for especially hot days.
Cold desserts don’t get all the attention on Saturdays when a hit like the hot crêpes at Veronika’s Pastries exists. Booth 87, directly to the right of the main entrance, sells both sweet and savory options of this french dish. Crêpes are made behind the counter and packaged for easy transportation. Veronika’s also sells an impressive assortment of baked goods addictive for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Another location that caters to sweet-obsessed customers is Littletree Orchards at booth 1. An easy find, this hotspot often runs out of its trademark cider slushie. A four dollar cup of this simple refreshment is destined to cure your sugar craving. It’s a creative spin on typical cider and a must-have accompanied with farm fresh apples.
A unique drink also high in demand is the Thai iced tea at Thai Palace. Thai ice teas are an aesthetic orange color, and while meant as a cheap supplement to spring rolls or lo mein, they’ve become a solo item. At booth 19, the iced classic is a brilliant combination of condensed milk and black tea, fit for any time of year.
Mama Said Hand Pies
A final destination for dessert is the one and only Mama Said Hand Pies. At booth 76, miniature pies are about five dollars. Made with an exciting variation of ingredients, they are a wonderful choice for both families and students alike. A brilliant perk of this business is its alternative location downtown, where pies are always available.
Food served at the Ithaca Farmers Market is incredibly unique to this town. A lot of restaurants and shops stationed on Saturdays don’t sell outside the market; hence, their brief weekend presence is even more of a revelation. Jonathan Scardon ‘26 remembers experiencing this weekly event for the first time in freshman first semester. “The Farmers Market was a really nice environment. Local performers and food vendors made Ithaca feel like a tight-knit community upon first impression.” Meanwhile, Ithaca local Janette Kinsey remembers the market as a childhood memory. When asked about food there, she responded, “It has variety all in one location. You know the food is much more local and fresh.”
As the semester ends, a Farmers Market lunch may be the missing activity on your spring 2023 checklist. Don’t miss the opportunity to see one of Ithaca’s greatest tourist attractions! Under $10 dining at the Farmers Market.
Kira Walter is a freshman in the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]