I know how it feels to visit Ithaca and not know where to begin when someone asks “Where should we eat?” As a major foodie, it was important to me that my college would have some kick-butt places to eat— and Ithaca has just that. With more restaurants per capita than New York City, the humble town boasts a wide range of foods for anytime of day. Check out my suggestions below to ensure your first foodie experience in Ithaca is top-notch. 

Breakfast — Waffle Frolic 

1.6 miles from Ithaca College 

cream, strawberry, syrup, chocolate, waffle
Laura Telischi

Waffle Frolic is like heaven on a plate. It has a variety of options ranging from sweet waffles, like their classic “Mr. Popular,” with fruit, Nutella, and whipped cream, to savory waffles, like the Fried Chicken and Waffles option. Their large selection of espresso drinks, teas, and smoothies only adds to the greatness that is Waffle Frolic. 

Lunch — Viva Taqueria

1.5 miles from Ithaca College 

tomato, cheese, vegetable
Danielle Weinstein

Located right by the Commons, Viva is the perfect spot for a quick lunch with the fam. As a California-style taqueria, it has a variety of foods ranging from tacos to salads and burritos that are all made with healthy and delicious ingredients. You can even treat the 'rents to a good old margarita while you're at it. Oh, and take my word— get the Macho Nachos. Just do it. 

Dinner — Coltivare 

1.6 miles from Ithaca College 

The word “coltivare” is Italian for “to cultivate.” Coltivare is unique because it incorporates learning with delicious foods. They use fresh foods from the Tompkins Cortland Community College Farm, where students from the college can experience cultivation of the land using sustainable farming practices. Not only is the food fresh and full of flavor, but the atmosphere is a innovative blend of rustic and modern. Try their Faroe Island Salmon, Apple Fest Apple Mac ‘N Cheese or any one of their different flatbread pizzas, you won’t be disappointed! 

Dessert — Madeline's 

1.4 miles from Ithaca College 

Appearing on the “Best of Ithaca” list for best desserts multiple times, Madeline’s is well-known for their heavenly desserts with sweet, savory, and even vegan options. With a menu ranging from earl grey chocolate mousse to strawberry walnut cake, Madeline’s will satisfy even the pickiest of sweet tooths. 

With so many tasty restaurants in Ithaca, you really can't go wrong. Sure, picking a major is important, but let's be real— if the city doesn't have delicious food, should you really go to college there? Keep in mind that all of these restaurants are totally within walking distance (when it's nice out) and only a TCAT ride away! Oh— and there is always Ithaca To Go to satisfy your hunger on those lazy days.