The Ithaca Festival is a fun, family-friendly festival with music, entertainers, vendors, and, most importantly, delicious food. The festival has a wide variety of food, not to mention the local restaurants on the Ithaca Commons. It’s a great festival to to plan for next year, during the first week of June. Here are a few of my favorite spots.
Ethiopian food is simple and so delicious. It was nice to see this new restaurant as a vendor at the Ithaca Festival, even if the restaurant is right around the corner. At the festival, they served mild and spicy stew-like dishes, along with a spongy flatbread known as injera, which allows you to eat with your hands. The food consisted mainly of beef, lamb, chicken, vegetables and lentils, which is arguably the best, besides the injera. And, as a bonus for all you vegans out there, all the vegetarian dishes are vegan, too.
2. Finger Lakes Fry Bread
Fry bread, fry dough, doughboys, elephant ears. Whatever you want to call it, it’s always good. You can’t go wrong with this fry bread. They serve it in taco form and burrito form, really utilizing the fried dough as if it were a warm tortilla. They also have your classic, Belgium waffle-style with whipped cream and strawberries. For those of us who like to keep it traditional, they have a classic fry dough with just the right amount of powdered sugar. And, if you’re not a fan of fry dough (for some reason), you can get some wings or tots. Why not all three?
Forget any gyro or pita you’ve had in the past because On The Street has the best pitas around. They offer your classic gyro as well as, souvlaki, falafel, chicken, and more. The “works” consists of a warm pita, onions, tomato, cucumbers, fresh greens, feta cheese, olives, pepperoncini peppers, and a choice of homemade Tahini or Tzatziki. The ingredients are not set in stone and you can build it yourself, as the server asks you what you want in the pita to make sure you are fully satisfied. The best part about an On The Street pita is you can eat it as a salad and a pita, making two meals out of the same dish. You can’t go wrong with this vendor food.
Even though this sub shop is not a vendor at the Ithaca Festival, it’s on the same street among the vendor tents. So it counts in my book, especially when considering how good the food is. First of all, they bake their own bread. They also make their own sauces and dressings and have options for everyone by offering eggplant and in-house seitan, as meat alternatives. They also have great sides such as fried pickles, Panda Wings, hand-cut french fries, fresh squeezed lemonade, and more. It’s a great place for a great meal, whether you are at the Ithaca Festival or just visiting the town.
This year’s Ithaca Festival was filled with great food and entertainment. I can’t wait to see what next year has in store and I hope to see you there.