Dining

Hakacha: A New Hidden Gem in the Ithaca Dining Scene

Hakacha is an Asian fusion restaurant that has recently opened on 311 Third Street, near the DMV and across from Aldi. When I read ‘fusion’ online, I audibly groaned. When a casual dining restaurant claims to provide fusion cuisine, I’ve come to expect nonsensical combinations of foods from various regions, haphazardly slapped together on a board with little to no regard for actual gastronomical composition. Therefore, most of the time, ‘fusion’ food falls short of any claims to innovation. Nevertheless, my dedication to my fellow foodies is the reason why I decided to visit this place anyways.

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Coltivare: Brooklyn Vibes in Downtown Ithaca

Brunch is the most exciting part of any weekend because a fresh cup of steaming coffee, sweet, flaky pastries and some beautifully runny eggs are the perfect remedy to the Sunday scaries. I especially love taking an hour on the weekends to try new restaurants in Ithaca with friends, where we can relax and enjoy good food before heading back up the hill to the library. I was excited to find Coltivare, a New American restaurant located in the Commons. Its chic atmosphere was the perfect getaway from campus.

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Thompson and Bleecker: Neapolitan With a Twist

What Thompson and Bleecker has to offer surely goes beyond its creative artisanal pizza. Gazing around this vibrant Ithaca Commons spot on a Thursday evening transports me; I am no longer in Ithaca, but in New York City, almost. Perhaps this feeling is evoked since owners Milly and George named Thompson and Bleecker after the intersection of their first apartment in the city. The candles on each sleek, wooden table twinkle. Milly makes her rounds, ensuring all guests are having a wonderful time, which is an easy feat. Patrons sip on red wine while simultaneously biting into doughy crust and cheesy goodness.

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Coal Yard Cafe: Warming the Soul

For decades, 143 Maple Avenue served as the business office for a series of companies tasked with distributing coal to the city of Ithaca. Today, it continues to warm the bodies and souls of students and residents, albeit in a far more tasty manner.

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Soak Up the Sun with Some Ithacan Ice Cream

As spring progresses and we are blessed with continually warmer weather, my longing to go out on a 70-degree day and enjoy some ice cream beneath the sunshine has only intensified. As a graduating senior, I’m already beginning to miss certain ice cream establishments that can only be found in Ithaca. Below are three recommendations (in no particular order) based on my research during my past four years at Cornell.

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But First, Breakfast: Trying the New and Improved Suna Breakfast

The next morning, I rolled out of bed and awaited a text message from Suna. Sure enough, a text came precisely at the beginning of the 10-minute delivery window notifying me that my order was ready! All I had to do was step outside of my dorm building to retrieve it. As someone whose breakfast typically consists of scarfing down overnight oats or eating a sugary muffin from a campus eatery, getting a beautifully packaged breakfast delivered directly to me felt uber-luxurious. I was already giddy about Suna’s seamless delivery process, so could hardly wait to dig in and try what I ordered.

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Northstar House: the Bright Glow in Ithaca’s Gray Winters

The Northstar Plate, a dish that can satisfy both your sweet and savory breakfast cravings, comes with choice of French toast or pancakes, bacon or sausage and potatoes or grits with two eggs your way. Northstar’s French toast is soaked overnight, giving it a cinnamon-y flavor throughout to its center. Topped with New York maple syrup, this French toast outshines all other French toast options in Ithaca.

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Mehak? More like Mmmhak.

As the sun emerges from the grey clouds that continuously inhabit Ithaca’s skyline, I too emerge from the dim recesses of the stacks at Olin Library. It is time for a study break and an even more perfect time to try out Mehak’s lunch buffet for $11.99 with my roommates.

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Hawi: Authentic Ethiopian Cuisine

If you’re like me, you’ve often wondered how “authentic” some ethnic cuisine in America truly is. For example, is Panda Express poorly done Chinese food, or is it just cultural appropriation? Well, I went on an investigation to find out about one of Ithaca’s own!

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Starting the Day Right at Sunset Grill

A choice spot for brunch has a few early indicators of quality to look out for. The size of the crowd around brunch time is the first sign; one look through the doorway of Sunset Grill inspired confidence. The second, aroma, was immediately obvious as the sweet scent of the warm interior beckoned us to enter from the frigid parking lot and demanded that we stay. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the hot sauce waiting at the table speaks volumes about the establishment that placed it there. To sit at a table prepared for a medley of warmth and savory and be greeted with the familiar bottle of Frank’s RedHot is to be sure your chef knows what they are doing.