A number of casual eateries are located along Ithaca Commons. The 100 block of Aurora Street just off the Commons has one restaurant after another.
Famed worldwide for its best-selling cookbooks and natural foods, the cooperatively owned
Moosewood (215 N. Cayuga St., DeWitt Mall, 607/273-9610. $11) is a simple, casual place, crowded with rustic wooden tables. Named one of the 13 most influential restaurants of the 20th Century by Bon Appetit magazine, this creative vegetarian establishment continues to share its love of natural foods and produce. An outdoor dining area opens in the summer.
The upscale Willow (202 E. Falls St., 607/272-0656, $18) is a local favorite, serving contemporary American fare. Also serving contemporary American cuisine, as well as seafood, is the Boatyard Grill (525 Taughannock Blvd., 607/256-6228, $17), overlooking the waterfront.
Just a Taste Wine and Tapas Restaurant & Bar (16 N. Aurora St., 607/277-9463, average tapa $8) serves 50 wines by the glass and an international menu. Outside is a lovely garden.
A couple blocks north, Madeline’s Restaurant and Bar (N. Aurora and E. State Sts., on the Commons, 607/277-2253, $14) offers excellent Asian cuisine from a variety of countries. For the best Thai food in town, step into The Thai Cuisine (501 S. Meadow St., 607/273-2031, $12).
Hot spot Maxie’s Supper Club and Oyster Bar (635 W. State St., 607/272-4136, $14), all done up in purples and reds, offers both spicy Cajun cuisine and stick-to-your-ribs Southern soul food. Everything’s homemade at this family-run affair.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition