Seniors all over campus are counting down the days until graduation, saying goodbye to their favorite people, places and most importantly, FOOD! Because there are so many restaurants in Ithaca and a multitude of different types of cuisine, everyone has found something that made college more memorable than all those tests we had to take. 

Got a few years, months or even days left in Ithaca? Get out there and try these favored foods before you start thinking about decorating your grad cap. 

1. Hannah Byron, Communication Management and Design

Photo by Hannah Byron

"Hands down, my favorite dish in Ithaca has got to be the Dolce Special from Dolce Delight. It's the perfect breakfast sandwich with ham, egg, cheddar and hot pepper jelly on a chipotle biscuit. I always swap out the ham for bacon, but you do you. It's the best combination of savory and sweet—everything you need in breakfast. The chipotle biscuit is to die for. It's so unique to your average breakfast sandwich, and it makes the Dolce Special all the more special." 

2. Josh Mitnick, Cinema & Photography 

"I'd have to say it was at Istanbul Turkish Kitchen where I got this grilled lamb dish. It was phenomenal, particularly because of the sauces it came with, which were a yogurt sauce and a tomato sauce. I also had a lentil soup that was maybe the best thing I've ever had. The soup had this strong flavor of lime that really came through. Even though it was four years ago, the food was so good that my family wasn't even originally planning on sharing our items. But by the end of the meal, we were all just eating each other's stuff. Unfortunately, this Ithaca restaurant is closed now, but I'll never forget it." 

3. Kim Bacon, Sports Management 

Katie Holzman

"I love the Spicy Udon Kee Mao from Thai Basil downtown. The noodles are piled with a blend of Thai basil, carrots, baby corn and chicken. You can pick the level of spice, but I'm a big fan of spicy food, so I always go towards the more extreme side. The flavor combo is out of this world. They give you such large portions there, so I always have leftovers for the next day, and it tastes just as good heated up."

4. Sophie Hancock, Psychology

Katie Holzman

"I'm torn between the Sunny Green breakfast sandwich from Purity or the Greek Breakfast Omelet from the Farmer's Market. The breakfast omelet has the most delicious falafel and tzatziki sauce on top, but the Sunny Green sandwich has orange-braised kale, cranberries and goat cheese on top of a sunny-side egg. I like them both because they have different combinations of foods and flavors that I wouldn't necessarily ever think of on my own. They seamlessly make all the different aspects of the dish taste like they were meant to be."

5. Alex Dwyer, Television-Radio

Alex Dwyer

"I love Saigon Kitchen's Vegetable Lo Mein. It's so much less salty than usual lo mein, which I found made such a difference. The veggies were very well-cooked, so everything felt like it was perfect. I also always get the Vietnamese coffee that has a little maple in it. The environment of the restaurant is so cute, and everyone there is super friendly. It's definitely my favorite Ithaca restaurant." 

6. Tara Schorr, Occupational Therapy

"A few years ago, I went to Just a Taste and got the Sliced Chicken dish. It was sautéed with potatoes, onions and madeira wine. I would say what's best about it is the flavor. All the components of the dish complement each other nicely. The point of the restaurant is to have a lot of small plates and try different things, but this one was too good to share. For the price of the dish, it was a great portion. It was super filling and tasted great." 

7. Louis Levanti, Television-Radio

Louis Levanti

"Without a doubt, it's gotta be the Nachos from the Ale House. The portion size is literally unbelievable. It's that big. They're super cheesy, which some nachos lack. It's completely loaded with everything you love on top of nachos, like house-made pico de gallo and mounds of guacamole. The chips are so crunchy, which I love too. If you split them with friends, they aren't too pricey, which is important when you're balling on a college budget." 

Visiting Ithaca for the first time and looking for the best restaurants? Check out our ultimate guide on Where to Eat When You Visit Ithaca College.